NATAL BOTANIG GARDENS,

Colonial berbarium

FOR THE

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4x YEAR 1905-1906. Kod.

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

Corresponding Member of the Pharmaceutical Society , . of Great Britain. :

DIRECTOR.

DURBAN : Bennetr & Davis, Printers, GARDINER AND SMITH STREBTS, 1906.

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Durban Botanic Society.

REPORT

ON

NATAL BOTANIC GARDENS,

July Ist, 1905, to June 380th, 1906,

BY

J. MEDLEY WOOD, ha 24867 Corresponding Member of ne pideinecdicita3 Society

of Great Britain.

DIRECTOR.

Durban Botanic Society.

President: Sik B. W. GREENACRE, K.B.

Committee ; Mr. T. W. EDMONDS Mr. M. S. Evans Hon. R. JAMESON, M.L.C. Mr. H. H. PUNTAN Mr. J. DICK Mr. W. BUTCHER

Government Members: Mr. J. S. STEEL Mr. J. D. BALLANCE

Mayors of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, ex officio.

Sec. and Accountant: Creasurer : Mr. G. BURGESS Mr. J. MEDLEY Woop, A.L.S.

Director : Mr. J. MEDLEY Woop, A.L.S.

Curator: Mr. JAS. WYLIE.

NATAL BOTANIC GARDENS.

2 9

BYE-LAWS.

The Gardens are open to the public every week-day from sunrise to sunset; on Sundays from 2 o’clock p.m. until sunset.

Children under JO years of age, unless accompanied by competent protector, cannot be admitted.

Persons accompanied by a dog or dogs cannot be admitted.

No vehicle shall be allowed entrance, and all bicycles must be left at the gate, but upon application to the Director or Curator, invalids in wheeled chairs may be permitted.

Admission may be granted to picnic parties if permission be first obtained from the Curator.

Visitors are requested to keep to the paths, and any person sliding, running or walking up and down the grassed enbankments will be lable to be expelled from the Gardens.

Touching or handling plants, fruits, or flowers is strictly prohibited, the indiscriminate use of butterfly nets is prohibited, but permission to use such nets may be obtained from the Director or Curator, and will be available for the day of issue only. This permission will not be granted on Sundays, and may at once be withdrawn if the privilege is abused.

All games, climbing of trees, shooting of guns or catapults, throwing of stones or fruit, disorderly or indecent behaviour, are strictly prohibited.

Any person abstracting, destroying, or damaging any property of the Society shall be lable to be prosecuted.

The Director is hereby authorised to prosecute offenders under the fore-going Bye-Laws whenever found to be necessary.

DPOCSCOOOe

The Jubilee Conservatory is open to the public as under:—

Week-days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in summer; from 9 a.m. - to sunset in winter; Sundays from 2.30 p.m to 5.30 p.m, in summer; from 2.30 p.m. to sunset in winter.

The public are admitted to the Nurseries and Forcing Houses

on business only, during business hours, and on Sundays and Public Holidays they are closed altogether to visitors,

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

http://archive.org/details/reportonnatalbo190506wood

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Botanic GARDENS, DuRBAN,

Berea, JuLy, i906. To the President and Committee,

Durban Botanic Socvety.

GeNTLEMEN,

I have now the pleasure of presenting my Twenty-fifth Annual Report on the work of the Botanic Gardens and Her- barium under my charge, and again am pleased to say that the Report is a fairly satisfactory one in I think every respect; we have not suffered from either drought or floods to any appre- ciable extent, and I am pleased to be able to say that the tree of Arenga saccharifera which was blown over by the heavy gale of May 31st, 1905, has now quite recovered and has borne flowers. Our greatest trouble has been the malaria which has been so prevalent, but which I am glad to say is now on the decline; the work done by the Durban Corporation on the flat below the Gardens has very sensibly diminished the number of the mosquitoes which were the agents for its dissemination and the cases of attacks of the disease are now much more rare’ In consequence of this outbreak it was thought necessary to have the pond at the lower corner of the Garden ground filled in. In the early days of the Gardens, some 50 years ago Nymphewas of several species were grown in this pond as well as some other species of acquatic plants, but since the Indian houses were placed not far from it, and its drainage interfered with by different circumstances it had become somewhat of a nuisance, besides forming a breeding place for the Anophiles mosquito, so that a contractor was engaged at a cost of £00 to fill it up with soil which with the consent of the Borough Eugineer was taken from near the foot of St Thomas’ Road, temporary portable rails having been laid for the purpose. It will be necessary for the completion of this work to lay a drain from the foot of the hill to the drain on the Corporation land, and this will be done in the near future. The work at the nursery was in danger of getting behind Land, consequent on one of the gardeners who was constantly employed there leaving for his home in Australia, the vacancy has now, however, been filled

8

and the work going on as usual. The fumigating house has been in constant use, and plants are invariably sent out quite free from insect pests; the house was examined by Mr. Berens- berg, assistant to the Entomologist, and after some alterations had been made, it was found to be quite efficient; the nursery has also been examined by Mr. Claude Fuller, the Government Entomologist, and found to be quite free from insect pests, and he has given us his certificate to that effect.

The Refreshment Room alluded to in my last Report is now completed, and was opened to the public on Monday, April 2nd. Mrs. Malyon who has charge of it has given com- plete satisfaction to the public, she having had considerable experience in conducting a somewhat similar institution in Cape Colony; it is fairly well patronised by visitors, and as it becomes better known will be even more frequented than it is. The charges are moderate, and the viands supplied are the best of their kind. The building is roofed with Asbestos slate, and the interior of the working room is lined with the same material ; the building is square, the working and store room in the centre, while the chairs and tables are arranged in a raised verandah 12 feet in width, so that almost complete protection can be had from both sun and wind from whichever quarter the wind may be, and the floor is well raised above the ground. A wicket gate has been opened close to the Refreshment Room, and both are opened at 10 o’clock a.m. and closed at 6 o’clock p.m. in the summer, and at sunset in the winter; a gong is sounded 15 minutes before the gate is closed for the day, but it must be clearly understood that there is no thoroughfare through the Gardens, and that coloured servants are not allowed to use the gate unless accompanied by Europeans, the Society retaining the right to close this gate to the public at any time that it may be found advisable or necessary to do so.

In consequence of great press of more important work the Durban Corporation have not been able to commence the hardening of Sydenham Road, which bounds the N.HK. side of the gardens, and in consequence the fence which was to be erected as stated in my last Annual Report has not been pro- ceeded with, and itis, perhaps better that all the soil which has to be taken from the Gardens should be removed before the fencing is done; it is hoped, however, that it will be completed before the next Annual Report is published.

On the occasion of the visit of the members of the British Association tv South Africa in August last, many of the botanical members visited the Gardens, and it is a matter for regret that their time was so short, and that I was not able to give the attention to them that I should have liked; all that I met expressed their pleasure at what they were able to see

a ee gt eer

9

here, and every information possible under the circumstances was given to them, Guide Books were freely distributed and as freely made use of. I was especially pleased to meet with Prof. Dr. A. Engler, a botanist who is well known all over the world, and in the short time that he was in the Gardens he was good enough to give me the names of three plants which he saw growing, and which we have had many years, but of which we knew the order only, but not the names; they are, Philodendron radiatum, Schott, a native of Mexico, Syngodium auritum, Schott. from S. America; and Rhaphidophora decursiva, Scott. native of H. Indies, all belonging to the Order Aroidez, a class of plants with which Dr. Engler is very familar. It may be thought strange that in a Botanic Garden we should not know the names of the plants growing in it, but one of these plants was here unnamed when [ took charge of the Gardens in 1882, another was given to us without a name by the late Mrs. Schultz, and the third was purchased at a sale also unnamed, and our Library is not yet sufficiently supplied with books to enable us to identify specifically plants belonging to this difficult order. Another plant which Dr. Engler noticed we had from the late Col. Bowker also without name, and he told me that it belonged to a new genus Predilanthus, nearly, related to Huphorbia, but the specific name I do not know, nor does the generic name appear in any book in our Library ; the plant is I believe a native of Cape Colony.

Another singular plant belonging to the same Order, from the higher districts of Cape Colony, has been presented by Mr. J. Thode, but without name; it has not yet borne flowers, nor shall we be able to identify it until the part of the Fl. Cap. including this Order is published.

I regret to have to say that we again failed to rear plants of Victoria Regia, the giant water lily ; seeds were planted, some of which germinated, but the plants died before becoming large enough to be put out. I hope for better success next sammer. The Nympheas in the tank have been in flower most of the season, and a species of Nelwmbium is doing fairly well, and it is hoped will bear flowers next summer. The gold fish which are in the tank keep it quite clear of mosquitoes or their larve.

I am sorry again to have to report that the behaviour of some of the younger visitors to the Gardens is far from being what could be desired, seats and plants are defaced by initials, &c., being carved upon them, labels are defaced, broken and frequently removed from their places, fruit and flowers are stoleu, while the grassed banks are damaged by running or sliding down them, and this not always by children, persons who are quite old enough to know better are frequently known to do the same thing. It is difficult to detect parties who are

10 : guilty of these offences against the Bye-Laws, but the first one that we do detect in the act will certainly be afforded an opportunity of an explanation before the Magistrate.

I regret in consequence of the distured state of the couutry the usual collecting trip could not be taken, so that we shall be at some disadvantage for the present in not being able to supply seeds and plants to our numerous correspondents as usual, since we shall be quite restricted to the stock on hand, which is not large.

Mr. Wylie, the Curator, and Messrs. Rutter, McAlpine and Bartlett are still with us, and deserve hearty thanks for the manner in which the work has been carried on under very serious difficulties, Mr. Wylie and Mr. Rutter have had repeated attacks of malaria, quite unfitting them at times for duty; native labour has been scarce, and at times unobtainable, and the time of some of the indentured Indians has expired; two have re-engaged, and it is quite uncertain when we shall obtain those that were requisitioned for some time ago. Under these adverse circumstances no improvements of any kind could be undertaken, nor the ground kept in the order that we should like to see it.

My hearty thanks are due to the Committee for their valuable advice and assistance in all matters connected with the management of the Gardens that have been brought to their notice.

Packets of seeds have been received in exchange during the year as under -—

Royal Botanic Gardens, Calcutta a eee 20 a Mauritius... sh 9

Botanic Gardens, Jamacia ... ee Ee 1 be Trinidad ... ad Me 1

ae i British Guiana Wee so a OS)

9 ‘s Sydney ... ods a ap

2 5 Congo ee Sh abe 1 From India, Donor unknown Ne: aes 6U Bureau of Forestry, Manila, P.I. ee ou pelO Department of Agriculture, U.S. America seh eo

i - Transvaal Hh Se 7

W.E. Ledger, Hugland fee 1 A. Robertson Preschowsky, France ie ae 1 M. Buysman, Holland : 8 Reasoner Bros., Florida, U.S. Me a 4 C. Sprenger & Co., Naples Ge wee Ree 0)

11

‘Max Herb, Naples ... 29 W. E. Dowsett, Rhodesia 12 W. George ss 4 Mr. Swymerton . 2 C. H. F. Allen 4 2 Geo. Thorncroft, Transvaal .. 4 L. F. Brady ; 4 Mr. Williams 1 Mrs. W. Saunders, Cape Colony 1 Lieut.-Col. Wales, Natal 2 S. Large zy 6 Hon. R. Jameson a 4, Dr. Telfer, Zululand 3 Dr. Hyslop, Maritzburg sie 2 R. W. Benningfield, Durban 1 Mrs. Cooley, Durban 2 W. R. Gordon, Durban , 5 Mrs. W. D. Rogers, Durban... 1 Mr. Tatham, Durban 1 J. F. Fette i hy a 19

372

a

Packets of seeds have been sent to the following persons and institutions, but in consequence of the native rebellion very few seeds have been collected.

Bureau of Forestry, Manila ... ee <a ao U.S. Department of Agriculture be 3 Conservator of Forests, Maritzburg ee 2 S. E. Large, Mid Illovo ss Be ase 1 Geo. E. Hind, Durban si see Ste ues: J. Burtt Davy, Pretoria ae 3

The following plants have flowered for the first time :—

Bauhinia sp., Rhodesia.

Tulbaghia violacea, Mrs. Todd, Maritzburg. Nicotiana Sanderiana, Sander & Sons, St. Albans. Ceropegia sp., Geo. Thorncroft, Barberton.

rs Zululand, collected. Dendrobeum Fi ndlayanum. Oncidium splendidum.

12

Plants, bulbs and cuttings sent away :—

Bureau of Forestry, Manila,

I box, 12 plants.

Conservator of Forest, Maritzburg, 4 tins, LUO plants. Govt. Experiment Farm, Winkle Spruit, 4 plants. r i , Cedara, 1 sack Agave rigida, var.

99 9

sisalana. » LU varieties Cassava.

. Empangeni, 4 plants. J. Burtt Davy, Pretoria, 1 bag Stenotaphrum glabrum. 1 ,, Fourcroya gigantea.

Mosse: Phone: Rogers &

Wilson, Zululand, 200 Agave

sisalana.

John Gordon, Noodsberg, 6 varieties Cassava cuttings.

Mr. MacKonzict Dundee, 6

99

S. EH. Large, Mid Illovo, '24 roots Ramie..

24 hi. Li iSenre Hill Crest, 24

Plants and bulbs received :-

» Rumex hymenosepalus.

9 99

Royal Botanic @uhdons: ‘Mannend) Do plants, 7 species.

Sander & Sons, St. Albans

Geo. Thorncroft, Transvaal H. G. Williams i

L. F. Brady

Dr. Marloth, Cape Colony Mr. Haw keawortl Natal Major Silburn F Mrs. Trotter . Mrs. ‘Todd x Mr. Hare - Miss Ritchie a Mr. Goldsworthy ie Mrs. McCord a

9G Cle

144 tubers, 4 _,,

11 99 2 99

2 plants. =e

ANd ag Sih iro

2 99 2 99

I. 99 il 99

3 99 3 99

3 99 1 99

2 99 1 99

1 99 l bP)

l 8) 1 ”9

3a bulbs, 11) .;

l 1 359 90

382 packets of seeds and 549 plants were received during the year 1904-5, with the following results :—

PLANTS. Dead on arrival ao 50 Died afterwards ah 65 Still in pots ... jee AO) Planted in Gardens... 250 Previously tn stock sa 24

549

SEEDs. Failed to germinate... 80 Germinated, but died

atterwards ... Be 45 Still in pots... 130 Annuals and vegetables 60 Not suitable for climate 20 Duplicates... aga

382

is

The following free grants have been made :—

Durban Home, plants Sich ence anes Ue ©) 2 17 6 Convalescent Home, plants _... 312 6 Government Asylum... af ha) Gaye 0, Durban Corporation ... re: o 070 ; ee beg Bal Chih Oana) i " sae aus 20" +0

CoFFEE AND THE HEMIUEIA.

As it frequently comes to my notice that in spite of what has already occurred in Natal and other places, by the almost complete ruin of coffee plantations by the destructive fungus Hemileia vastatrix, some persons still cling to the idea that coffee may still be successfully grown in the Colony and in the Transvaal also, I think that it will not be out of place to give some information as to what occurred here before the introduc- tion of this pest into the Colony, and to state the conclusions at which scientific men have come in the matter. In the year 1880 the Hemileia was not known in Natal, or at any rate it had not been observed by planters or others, but in consequence of other diseases or attacks of insects a Commission was appointed by Governmeut to look into the matter, and the correspondence in connection with this Commission is in my charge here, but I did not receive it until some years afterwards. In all the correspondence no hint is given by any of the writers as to the presence of Hemileia in the Colony except in one case. The members of the Commission were C. Manning, Hsq., J.P., D. Brown, Esq, G. L. Smith, Esq., Sir J. L. Hulett, S. Crowder, Hsq., Chairiaan. <A printed paper containing 24 questions was forwarded to planters, and though the borer and bark diseases are alluded to, the Hemileia is only mentioned by one person, whose name I am not able to decipher with certainty, but it appears to be H. F. Portel, and the letter is numbered (I think wrongly) 94. He says ‘‘ Leaf disease most virulent, cause and origin unknown, appeared in Ceylon in 1871 or 1872.” It is somewhat strange that in all the correspondence this is the only case in which the Hemileia is reported to exist in the Colony, and so far as known to me, this letter received no attention and is not even alluded to in the report of the Com- mittee, which I have lately received from Government in com- pliance with my request.

During the time that the Commission was sitting, and at a meeting of the Natal Microscopical Society” held in 1887 I read a paper entitled ‘‘ Notes on some Parasitical Fungi,” and to this meeting the members of the coffee Commission were juvited, but as they all with one exception lived out of Durban,

14

only one, Mr. S. Crowder, who lived in Durban and was Chair- man of the Commission was able to attend. This paper had special 1eference to two of these parasitic fungi, viz.: the “Sugar Cane Smut” Ustilago Sacchari, Rabh. about which some correspondence had taken place between myself and the Victoria Planters Association, and an Hemileca which I had myself collected and which is now known as H. Woodit, Kalch & Cook. This fungus I had found upon two plants Vangueria infausta and V. latifolca, and the following is an extract from the paper:

‘“‘T now pass on to the particular plant the discovery ‘of which caused this paper to be written. When I first “collected the fungus I failed to identify it, as it differed “considerably from any other species which I had ex- ‘‘amined, and of the genus Hemileia I had no description. ‘My correspondent in Cape Colony also declared it to be ‘“¢indeterminable,’ but he had probably forwarded the ‘best of the specimens which I had sent him to Dr. ‘“‘Kalchbrenner, for some weeks ago the pamphlet which I ‘‘ have here in which the plant is described and figured was ‘forwarded to me from Kew. Upon the receipt of this “pamphlet I was of course anxious t- identify the plant “upon which I had found the fungus, and after some ‘little time I succeeded in doing so, and finding it to be ‘“‘Vanguerta infaustu, a plant belonging to the same Order ‘‘as the Coffee plant, I thought the matter of sufficient ‘interest to warrant further enquiry. The first question ‘“which may be asked is—What reason have you for ‘supposing that the fungus which has hitherto been found ‘“‘on Vanguerias only, will establish itself on the Coffee ‘plant, should Coffee be extensively grown here?

“Tt seems to me that if this fungus appears on two “totally different plants, even though both plants belong ‘to the same genus, we may at any rate suspect that “under favourable circumstances it will transfer itself to “other plants, even though they do not belong to the same ‘‘genus, but only of the same Order.

“T have just referred to the Hemileia being found upon “two plants belonging to the same genus, but I should “say that the fact is not yet quite proved. I have here ‘a specimen of a fungus which I collected upon Vangueria “latifolia, but the power of my microscope is not sufficient ‘for me to decide with certainty whether it is an Hemileia ‘or not, or if it be an Hemileia then itis H. Woodz, but “T hope to-night with a higher power of the microscope ‘“we may be able to decide upon the genus at any rate. “(Note-—The fungus on examination proved to be H.,

Woodit).

15

Another point upon which information may be “wanted is as to the extent of the damage done by the ‘“Hemileia to the plants on which it is found. I have rot ‘‘vet had much time to observe, but it appears to me that “the damage done to the plants of Vangueria infausta is “equal to that done by H. vastatria on coffee trees in ‘Ceylon, the leaves of the shrub turn yellow, wither and “fall off, leaving the plant somewhat almost bare, and I “think that it will be an exception if any amount of fruit ‘be found on a tree which bas been severely attacked. I ‘do not remember to have seen any badly affected tree “with much, if any fruit upon it, though I gathered a ‘“week ago a number of fruits from a tree which had ‘scarcely a trace of the fungus upon it. I have also found “another fungus upon the Vanguerija, an Aecidium [| think; ‘it may easily be distinguished from the Hemileia by its ‘‘more definate sori and cellular peridium, but I do not ‘‘think that it damages the trees to the same extent as ‘does the Hemileia, and I have occasionally found both “fungi upon the same plant. One question occurs to me ‘‘as being worthy of further investigation, it is this, is it ‘possible that the Aecidium is but another form of the ‘‘Hemileia? You are aware that the existence of poly- “morphism in these fungi has only been completely ‘proved within the last few years, and both good instru- ‘‘ments and careful observers are required to determine ‘with certainty whether any two forms belong to the ‘‘same cycle or not. Whether the Hemileia has two or “three forms or not, is, perhaps, only interesting to men ‘of science ; its effects upon the plant which serves as the “host remain still the same.”

In the year 1882, I removed from Inanda, where I had lived for some years, and came to Durban as Curator of the Botanic Gardens, and in 1884 while passing Lower Umzimkulu I collected Hemzleca Woodii on Vanqueria infausta and showed it tc Mr. Walter Bissett, who thinking that it was H. vastatrix became rather alarmed, as he had seen the ravages that this fungus had made in Ceylon. J explained to him that it was H. Woodii not H. vastatrix, but advised him to have all the plants of the Vanyueria in the vicinity rooted out and burned, as I felt sure that it would eventually transfer itself to the Coffee. A few weeks afterwards the true H. vastatriw was found upon some Coffee trees belonging to Mr. D. C. Aiken. I therefore by request accompanied Mr. Harry Bissett to Maritzburg, where we saw Sir Chas. Mitchell, and as the result of the interview, Government purchased the small patch of Coffee and the trees were cut down and burned, the roots being unfortunately left

16

in tke ground, but a few weeks afterwards the fungus was found plentifully at the large plantations of the Natal Land and Colonization Co., at Reit Valley, and afterwards at several other places, so that the attempt to exterminate the pest proved a failure. At that time so far as known to me these two species of Hemileia were the only ones known to science, but a short time since I received from the Director of Kew Gardens a number of the Kew Bulletin, contailaing a monograph of the genus Hemileia, showing that four species are now known and described, and further that H. Wood:: has been found at the following places: Natal on leaves of Vanguerza infausta, Burch. V. latifolia, Sound, and V. euwonymoides, Schwein, f; at Bukoba, Kilimandscharo on V. madagascariensis, J. KF. Gmel; Lindi German East Africa; on Coffea Ibo, Froehner; Java, on various species of Gardenia: Queensland, on (fardenia edulis, F. v. M. At the commencement of the article in the Kew Bulletin, it is said :——

“It is somewhat remarkable that no attempt appears ‘‘to have been made by those engaged in studying the life- “history of Hemilera vastatriz, Berk. and Broome, the ‘cause of the much dreaded coffee-leaf disease in Ceylon ‘‘and elsewhere, to ascertain whether or not an Aecidium “condition existed; the presence of both Uredo- and ‘““Teleuto-spore stages strongly suggesting the probability ‘of the presence of such.”

This probability receives further support from the fact that there exist ‘‘four species of Aecidium as yet not ‘correlated with Uredo or Teleuto-spore stages, parasitic ‘‘on the same or closely allied plants as those on which “the various species of Hemileia are parasitic, and also “occurring in the same countries as the latter.’ These species are as follows :—

Aecidium Vanguerie, Cooke, on Vangueria infausta, Burch, and V. latcfolia, Sond, Natal. ‘‘ Often on the same ‘‘ plant, sometimes on the same leaves as Hemileva Woodi1,

“K.& OC.” (Cooke, Grevillea, x. p. 124.)

Aecidium Pavette, Berk. and Broome, and A. flavidium, Berk. and Broome, on Pavetta indica, L. Ceylon.

Aecidium Plectronice, Cooke, on Plectronia Gueinzit, J.

M. Wood, Natal.

‘Should heteroecism be proved to exist in the genus, “the fact would be of value in any attempt to arrest the ‘“‘extension of parasitic species. Two species, Hemileia vastatria, Berk and Broome, and H. Woodiz, Kalchbr. ‘“‘and Cooke, are now known as parasites on species of

in

17

“Coffea, and as these species are shown to be parasitic on ‘several other Rubiaceous plants belonging to different “genera, which have an extended geographical range, ‘their distribution should be carefully studied by those “interested in the culture of coffee. The establishment of ‘‘a coffee plantation in a district where those species of ‘“‘Hemileia capable of infecting coffee are at present on ‘indigenous vegetation, would be tempting providence, and “probably result in disaster.” The note ‘often on the same plant, sometimes on the same leaves as Hemileia Woodw. K. & C.” was sent by myself to Kew, and copied by Cooke in Grevillea. Vol. 10, page 124,

Cinnamomum cassia, Blume. (Cassia lignea). In a previous part of this report I gave an account of the damage done to this tree in the Gardens by some unknown person or persons, but as a specimen of it is in Maritzburg Gardens, succeeding much better than our tree has done, and is, I understand, bearing seed regularly, it will not be without interest if I givea short account of its introduction into the Colony, and especially as it appears likely to succeed well in the midland districts. In May, 1881, Mr. Chas. Ford, the Director of the Botanic Gardens at Hong Kong, was, at the instance of Sir J. D. Hooker, per- mitted to visit the Cassia growing districts in China, as the origin of the Cassia bark was involved in some ‘“‘ mystery and uncertainty ;”» he was quite successful in identifying the tree, and published a useful report of his work from which I make some extracts. He brought back with him a number of young plants, a few of which he kindly sent to us, and in my report for 1885, I stated that ““ When the plants arrived from Hong Kong many of them were dead, but by the care and attention of the head Gardener the remainder survived.” Two of them were planted in the gardens, one of which did not survive, two were sent to the Botanic Gardens at Maritzburg, one of which has done well, the other was I understand cut down by mis- take, as by changes of Curators the name had been lost, and so far as known to me this is the only tree now left in the Colony, unless plants have been distributed from Maritzburg.

Mr. Ford says that it is a medium sized stiff ornamental tree, and the largest seen was about 40 feet high with a trunk about 3 feet in circumference, which was said to be 50 years old, and that this is the only species from which the Cassia bark, buds and leaves of commerce are obtained. The tree was not met with anywhere in a wild state, nor could any native be found who knew where it did grow wild, though Dr. Thorel states, that it grows ina wild state in the forests of Cochin China, about 19 deg. North latitude. The yield of the trees are as follows:—

18

“Bark. When the trees are about six years old, the ‘first crop of bark is obtained. The season for barking “commences in March and continues until the end of May, ‘after which the natives say the bark looses its aroma, ‘“‘and is therefore not temoved from the trees. The “branches, which are about an inch thick, being cut to ‘* within a few inches of the ground, are carried to houses ‘“‘or sheds in the vicinity of the plantations. All the “small twigs and leaves being cleared off, a large bladed ‘“‘knife, with the cutting edge something like the end of a ‘budding knife, is used to make two longitudinal slits, ‘and three or four incisions, at sixteen inches apart, round “the circumference through the bark; the bark is then ‘loosened by passing underneath it a kind of slightly “curved horn knife with the two edges shghtly sharpened. ‘Pieces of bark sixteen inches long and half the circum- ‘‘ ference are thus obtained.

“The bark, after its removal and while it is still ‘“‘moist with sap, 1s then laid with the concave side down- ‘“‘ wards, and a small plane passed over it and the epidermis “removed. After this operation. the bark is left to dry ‘for about twenty-four hours, and then tied up in bundles “about eighteen inches in diameter and sent into the ‘merchants’ houses in the market towns.

Leaves.—The leaves, which are cleared from the “branches that are barked, are carefully preserved and “dried, and afford by distillation cassia oil. A large “quantity of leaves are sent to Canton, where I was told “the operation of distilling is performed.

““'T wigs.—These are removed from the cut branches ‘“‘at the same time as when the leaves are obtained. They ‘“‘are a marketable commodity for native uses.

‘“‘ Buds.—Cassia buds are the immature fruits. They ‘are gathered when about one-eighth grown. Budsand the “seeds which are annually required for sowing, are “obtained from trees ten years and upwards of age that “are left standing at about fifty and a hundred feet apart ‘amongst the trees which are cut down every six years for “their bark. These seed-bearing trees are not cut, unless ‘there is a demand for the very thick bark on their “trunks, when some of the trees which can be conveniently ‘spared are sacrificed. The yield per acre of bark is said “‘to be about 1,470 lbs., but the trees are only barked once “in six years. The leaves yield a small income. The “buds, which are gathered annually, realise 15 dollars per ‘picul (1335 lbs.), but no satisfactory information could ‘‘be obtained as to the yield of buds per acre.

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“The total export for 1881 was 54,526 piculs---broken “bark 3,129 piculs, buds 1,729 piculs, twigs 6,941 piculs, “and bark of twigs 2,832 piculs, the picul being 133% lbs., “the total value of these exports in that year being “¢ 329,694 Haikwan taels, but the value of this coin is not “‘siven except that it equals 1.46 dollars, the value of the “dollar in China I do not know.”

Khaya senegalensis, A. Juss. ‘Gambia mahogany.” In my last Annual Report I gave some extracts as to the value of this tree for its timber and stated that plants of it had been reared and some of them had been handed over to the Natal Agricultural Department for trial at the Experiment Station. The tree continues to succeed well near Durban, and is of fairly quick growth. A further supply of seeds has been received from Mr. Swymerton, plants have been reared, and a few are promised to the Conservator of Forests, Transvaal, for trial in the low country.

Macadamia ternifolia, F. v. M. Queensland Nut.” We have in the Garden two trees only of this species, which have been here for many years, since the name appears in a list of trees in the Gardens published in 1876, but is there stated to be ornamental only, but an article has appeared in the “Tropical Agriculturist” for February of the present year which shows that the tree has an economic value also. The article is by Mr. H. F. Macmillan, the Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya, Ceylon, and I take the liberty of quoting a portion of it.,

‘The nuts are borne on spikes 4 to 7 inches long, each

“being of the size and shape of large marbles, about ? of

‘‘an inch in diameter. These have an agreeable flavour,

‘‘which, according to some tastes, is richer than that of

“the Hazel-nut. Their chief objection is, perhaps, their

‘very hard shell, which requires extra strong nut crackers

“to break. A wag has suggested that this explains the

“derivation of the name Macadam’ having reference to

“the inventor of the system of road-making of that name.

“The tree, however, has been named in honour of Dr,

‘‘ Macadam, a scientist of Victoria. ¥ hd hp

‘It is uot generally known how largely nuts of

“different kinds figure in the list of commercial fruits

‘‘and food products or the world. Some nuts afford a

“very wholesome diet, as for example Chestnuts, which,

‘being made into flour, are a standard article of food in

“some districts of Southern France and Italy, whence, it

“is said, 30,000,000 bushels are exported to England and

America every year. In Spain and elsewhere the culti-

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“vation and export of Hazel-nuts form a considerable “industry, whilst the Pecan, Hickory, and Walnuts are all “largely cultivated and of considerable commercial “importance in Hurope and the United States. Brazil “Nuts and Butter Nuts form an export from South ‘‘ America amounting to close on 8,000 tons a year, and the ‘‘demand for these is only lhmited by the supply. ‘Pistachio nuts are a favourite delicacy, and are largely ‘eaten by the Turks and Greeks, being also, according to ‘Rev. Firminger, obtainable in great abundance in the ‘cold weather in the bazaars of most parts of India.’ “These are not, however, produced in India, but probably “in Asiatic Turkey, whence about 1,300 cwts. are yearly ‘imported by England alone.

‘“ Authorities on the subject claim that nuts, especially “the larger and more important kinds, are a nutritious ‘wholesome food, and predict that the time may come ‘‘when they will form one of the staples of human food. Vegetarians generally advocate extended cultivation of “the better kinds of nuts; these may be conked and pre- ‘pared into numerous dainty dishes, which ure claimed to “be good substitutes for flesh food.”

Our trees are not, perhaps, in a suitable place, and do not not bear fruit in such abundance as stated in the above article, but they bear every season. The great drawback is the great hardness of the shell, and it would probably be necessary to remove it before offering the kernels for sale. We shall try to rear plants when the nuts are obtainable.

Eleusine coracana, Gaertner. Upoko.” This grass was figured in Natal Plants,” Plate 440. Since the publication of that Part a letter appeared in the Agricultural Journal from Mr. W. R. Gordon, which I take the hberty of quoting entire, as it may be useful to farmers and others.

“T forward you a sample of native millet, also a few

‘head which ripened off last—not a good sample—as the

‘‘main crop has been reaped. I should say it would be a

splendid thing to feed cattle and horses on when green,

“It comes up like grass and throws out ratoous, so that

“from a small quantity of seed a large piece of ground

“can be planted. It does not require to be planted very

“thick. I have not seen Japanese millet, but I should say

‘the poko’ is better which has been known to the Natives

“of the Colony for many years and regularly planted by

“them in certain districts of the Colony. They mix it

‘with amabele to make beer and also grind it for porridge,

“The Indians like it, and give a good price for the grain.

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“They call it ‘cowree,’ and say it is the same as their “Indian millet. I do not know whether any of the “farmers have tried it in the upper districts of the Colony ‘“‘—none have done so about here that I am aware of. My

‘‘ coolie gardener procured the seed for me from some of

“his friends near Pinetown, and was a very small

“quantity. It was planted on about an eighth of an

‘acre of land, and produced nearly five muid sacks of

“seed and about a ton of straw. The stubble when

“ploughed in will make excellent manure to invigorate

“the soil. As a feed for winter chickens | find it

“cannot be beaten, and to those who want to go in

‘for poultry farming it is invaluable. It should be

“planted about October for seed, and for fodder or

““oreen feed for cattle in winter somewhat later. It

‘“‘must not be allowed to get too ripe before reaping. The

“Indians say they put it in heaps in India and muzzle two

‘oxen which are worked around to tread the heads and

“the seed drops out. I performed the operation in a more

“simple way by making my Indian walk on it. He him-

“self suggested this process, as I knew little or nothing

“about it. After it is reaped it must be allowed to dry

“for about a week, and the seed then drops out when

touched.

“Tf any of your readers would like to try and grow

“some I can supply them with seed in 10 or 25 Ib. bags.

“You might insert this letter in the ‘Journal’ if you

‘consider it of sufficient interest or of any value to the

‘farming community.”

Baron Mueller says that horses prefer the hay to any other dry fodder in India,” and also that H. indica, Gaertn. only differs as a variety.” H. indica is very common in Natal, usually near farm houses and cultivated ground, but I have not noticed that cattle are partial to it. It bears grain in abundance and probably, when in seed, cattle take the seed only, as I have observed they do with Hragrostis curvula, Nees. in the upper parts of the Colony, where it is known, as | was told by a farmer, as “seed grass.” This grass is also figured in Natal Plants,” Plate 439.

Coleus sp. ‘‘Izambane.” I also received from Mr. Gordon a few tubers of this plant, which the Natives cultivate for food. It will be noticed that the Native name is the same as the one used for the common potato. This plant has always been known by this name, which was afterwards applied to the potato when it was introduced by Huropeans. The tubers were planted and yielded a large crop of small tubers, with a few of about 2 inches in diameter. I had a couple of them cooked

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They were not unpalatable, and the plant would no doubt improve by cultivation. The whole of the tubers that we have will be re-planted, and further trials will be made. Very few flowers, and no seed vessels were produced, so that [ cannot be quite sure of the genus, but hope