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Etching 32  Valley of the Orange trees  from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by C. Miranda Chor

#32 Valley of the Orange Trees in the direction of Catete near Sebastianopolis, the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Latin translation by Ben Hennelly

There are five hills which, in different stretches, pass between the districts of homes in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which has its name from St. Sebastian; and so, because the view is blocked, the city can be seen in its entirety from no direction. This same winding ridge of mountains extends beyond the city as far as the immense forests of Corcovado Mountain, the outermost boundary set in the splendid image of the imperial city, and incomparable with respect to its physical beauty. Among the very lovely valleys to the city's south is the valley of Laranjeiras, at the bottom of which flows a river that passes out into the bay of Botafogo. Etching #32 depicts part of that valley: we wanted the appearance of the plant life that is disseminated throughout the gardens there to be illustrated here for the viewer.

It is beyond doubt that at the time America was discovered those hills were wrapped everywhere with thick, ancient forest, just as the more remote mountain slopes; but that forest yielded to the steel of the settlers and was gradually cut away, and only on the hills' peaks has new growth -- called Capoeira -- risen in its place. 

The trees discerned here and there beside the hills and in the valleys are: from the magnificent palms, Acrocomia sclerocarpa, crowned with its dense, curled foliage, and the more slender, ringed Syagrus Mikaniana; from the fruit-bearers, the shady Mangifera indica, with its dark bark and pointed, oblong, leathery leaves (it is the first tree from the right), MusaCrescentia CujeteSpondiasPsidiumAraca, and Guajava to the inhabitants, Jambosa vulgaris (Jambo to the Brazilians), Eugenia brasiliensis (Grumixameira), and Eugenia cauliflora (Jabuticabeira). Some of these trees are imported and some autochthonous, but they are improved by cultivation and hold the eyes of those traveling through these fertile regions, which nature's benevolence adorns uninterruptedly in a happy competition with the industry of the cultivators.

Etching commentary 32