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---continuation commentary #7a----

The plant life in the Serra de Mantiqueira itself is that characteristic of plains, and so includes grasses, small plants and bushes. Small woods are found only here and there at the bottom of the valley, in gently graded, moist places, or around the mountain's roots. The plant life is the same in that part of the area which I present to you here, kind reader, from the picture by Thomas Ender, the most distinguished painter. 

Etching 7 Serra Mantiqueira from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by Alberto and C. Miranda Chor

Etching #7 

You see here in back some of the Serra de Mantiqueira ; the delicate outlines of the ridge and the hollows of the valley -- softly sloping on the sides, here and there overlaid with a covering of thin greenery -- appear clearly, since the sky is very bright. Shining white rocks, lit up by the sun, gleam like silver because of their thin layers of schistose granite . But our etching cannot render the bright and beautiful color of the region, inasmuch as no painter's skill can imitate the pellucid softness and radiance of the tropical sky. In the valley, which runs down from the mountain toward the east and takes up the largest part of our picture, you see in one spot the waters of the river Paraiba, while everything else is wrapped in vegetation. There are fields, which they call Campos geraes, or broad fields because of the distance they run out over; but here and there the vaulted islands of Capoes forests jut up, as if from a sea of herbage. The largest part of the vegetation consists of grasses, such as it is known make up the fields that the inhabitants call uncultivated.(4)

And so these grasses combine their distinct tufts, which are not woven together into an even meadow, but have many stalks, and are grey-green, shaggy and two or three feet tall. Individual plants of the most varied orders are thrown in among them, such as those which are celebrated as an excellent antidote; various Echites, noteworthy for the splendid color of their flowers, which store in their tuberous roots a cathartic element;nemidostachys marginata from Martius and Eichler's Nova genera et species plantarum…, Lipsiae 1823-32. Thanks to Lehigh u., Special Collections !LisianthiSchuebleriaeCallopismata; all the Gentianeae, with their pleasingly colored flowers and very bitter greenery; various Declieuxiae with white or deep blue corollas; twining Oxypetala and Ditassae, remarkable for their closely drawn leaves and the singular apparatus of their tiny flowers; little shrubs of Cnemidostachydes; then small bushes of Anona cornifolia and Anona furfuracea; different genera of Compositae, namely WedeliaeKuhniaeEupatoriaMikaniaeSteviae and Vernoniae; and -- the extraordinary ornament of these places -- several Melastomaceae, conspicuous for the splendor of their multicolored flowers, from the genera of MicroliciaCambes sedesiaLasiandra and Marcetia. Also to be mentioned is the genus of Camaraea, which so far has been found only in these and similar locations. 

Etching commentary #7a

Melastoma villosa from Capt. George Cook's Botanical Cabinet, London 1817. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections !

Melastoma villosa