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included in it in many places and under identical conditions. The diamond always appears on high ground, at two or three thousand feet above sea level; in

places overgrown with the vegetation of the fields, and containing quartzite, as it does in the Diamantino District, also continuing in Goias and Mato Grosso to

the west. No trace of this gemstone is found in the mountains of gneiss and granite along the (Serra do Mar) and further inland, in the interior of the country,


the formation of gneiss and a species of dolomite is found.

In a way, the vegetation of the Diamantino District is the most peculiar and well-formed field flora that can be seen on the plateau. The meetings of Liliaceas, Velosias and Barbacenias, are more abundant here than in other parts of Minas,

Lilia cattleoides

Vellosia asperula

Barbacenia tomentosa

and are even considered by the local people as an indication of the existence of the diamond. Among the hairy, gray-green grass, which, to a large extent, covers

Eriocaulon decangulare

the plains of this District, above all are the Eriocauleas which are in large numbers, with their umbrellas of tiny white flowers; Labiadas lanu­das,

Centaurea scabra

innumerable Compostas, Centaureas,

Madressilva, Lonicera flexuosa, or commonly, Honeysuckle

Madressilvas with their foliage and pink flowers; Lisiantas, sporting the

Clitoria amazon

splendor of their red and blue bells, Angelonias, Evolvulus species, Clitorias, Polygalas at one and at the other end of the board, bushes and the low grove of Cassias, Helerias, Malpiguias,

Panax aculeata

Banisterias, Panaxes and Vernonias flourish. In the groves of the valleys, by the waters and the swamps, the species of Stirax, Anonas, Xylopias, and Mabeas predominate, next to arborescent ferns and closed fences of shrub gramineas. On the hard ground, a Thesium with its yellowish brown sticks appears, which are often wrapped with tangles of the parasite Cassita, or of the strange


Cabeca-de-Frade, a Melocactus, which looks like a turban with slices of red fluff. Delicate Utricularias and variegated Burmese trim the edges of the streams. The whitish cliffs, banks and rocks of the quartzite are adorned with

Amarylis pulverulenta

isolated orchids, species of large-flowered Amarilis or groups of Bromeliads, with whose filamentous roots the inhabitants prepare yellow paint. Instead of the carpet of moss, which lines the green stone of our Alps with green velvet, here the rock is only lined with parched, whitish lichen.

Less characteristic than plants are animals in this especially demanding region; being less attached to the place, spreading more easily and quickly, they therefore generally spread in large numbers over the surface of the earth. Therefore, the Diamantino District, in common with the nearby mine zones, most of the species of the fields themselves and of the virgin coastal forests. Some little marmosets, anteaters, armadillos, the jaraticacas, dwellers

Marmoset monkeys

Tamadua, ant-eater

Dasypus sexcintus, armadillo