Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany, Volume 3

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Sir William Jackson Hooker
Reeve, Benham, and Reeve, 1851 - Botany
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Hooker was one of the great Botanists/Field naturalists who studied plants in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and South Asia in the 19th century. Note that this is some years prior to the publication of Darwin’s work, and so this was from the great age of Victorian field naturalists. My interest in this material was mainly in regard to the report by George Gardner, the Director of the Botanic garden of Peradeniya.
However the book gives a glimpse of the activities of Baron Humboldt, and other people of the period, and how the Colonial secretary and others were involved in all this; many parts of the book are indeed very interesting reading, and cover even Tibet, Sikkim etc., as well as south America.
Gardner's report gives a nice detailed picture of how the coffee plantations of Ceylon succumbed to the "coccus" infection. It also gives some insights to the botany, geography as well as the plantation culture that prevailed in Ceylon prior to the replacement of Coffee by Tea. We learn that The Rothschilds owned at least 400 acres of Coffee in Ceylon of the 19th century.
We have used some of this material in our ethno-botanical website on botanical and local names (Sinhala, Tamil, Sanskrit) of Sri Lankan plants, as well as place-names. Gardner's accounts of the "Niloo plant" that flowers only every 5 -7 years, and how it attracts rats, etc., are fascinating.
Chandre Dharmawardana

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Page 309 - the authority of the natives, or accidentally discovered by the pirates, does not appear. If the former was the case, they must have learned it while on some of their cruizes on the Magdalena, for in the Isthmus the very existence of the tree was unsuspected until about 1845, when Don Juan de Ansoatigui ascertained, by comparison, that the
Page 308 - so much resembling a candle as to have given rise to the popular appellation. The fruit is generally from two to three, but not unfrequently four, feet long, and an inch in diameter. The tree itself is about twenty-four feet high, with opposite,
Page 271 - Kunth). It is said of the Manzanillo de playa that persons have died from sleeping beneath its shade ; and that its milky juice raises blisters on the skin, which are difficult to heal. The first of these statements must be regarded as fabulous, and the second be received with a degree of modification. Some people
Page 311 - especially in half-shady places ; but its geographical range is by no means confined to them. It is found all along the western shores of New Granada and Ecuador; and I have noticed it even at Salango, where, however, it seems to reach its most southern limit, thus extending over
Page 311 - made in Manta, Monte Christi, and other parts of Ecuador. The hats are worn almost in the whole American continent and the West Indies, and would probably be equally used in Europe, did not their high price, varying from
Page 312 - 61. apiece. The plaiting of the hats is very troublesome. It commences at the crown, and finishes at the brim. They are made on a block, which is placed upon the knees, and requires to be constantly pressed with the breast. According to their quality, more or less
Page 309 - have also proved highly beneficial in cases of intermittent fever. The Cedron is a tree, from twelve to sixteen feet high; its simple trunk is about six inches in diameter, and clothed on the top with long pinnated leaves, which give it the appearance of a palm. Its flowers arc greenish, and the fruit resembles very much an unripe peach.
Page 247 - have seen, especially as the large yellow flower may be considered to represent the flame. The rays are half an inch long, clavate, not hollow, but composed of about six series of large diaphanous cellules. The cellules are convex on the surface, giving the rays a papillose appearance, hexagonal, pale green, with pink
Page 342 - presence of mind to thrust the fingers of his left hand into the monster's eyes, and after rolling over three or four times, the jacare let go his hold, and the man rose to the surface, but mangled, bleeding, and helpless. His father immediately swam to his assistance, and providentially the two reached the shore without being
Page 309 - History of the Buccaneers,' an old work published in London, in the year 1699. Its use, as an antidote for snakes, and place of growth, are there distinctly stated ; but whether

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