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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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The shrub lays aerial leaves rising from the base like Ivy, and it is based on twigs that interweave.

Piper nigrum

This plant was recommended by Cayenne as an anchor for the walnut of Behn (Hyperanthera Moringa, Vahl.), which extends many horizontal twigs and, making the canopy flood, will not grow beyond 12 feet. In the shape of a pyramid, it is effective for plant development and facilitates fruit harvesting.

Hyperanthera Moringa

These pyramids should be planted at a distance of 8 to 12 feet from each other. Also the cuitezeiro (Crescentia cujete, L.) and the guava (Psidium pomiferum, L.), or the "flamboyant " (Poinsciana Pulcherrima), which in the East Indies are often employed as a salve. I have seen it here used for this purpose.

Crescentia cujete

Psidium guajava, the guava tree

Poinsciana Pulcherrima

In the third year, already the branches of the pepper are loaded with ripe fruits. They resemble our asparagus, in color and size. It is not guaranteed, but in general, they ripen well and they fall easily. Harvest them when the berries become almost all yellow. The pulp, being carefully placed to dry in the sun in sieves, becomes a black glossy color. White Pepper is prepared, by scrubbing with water to the pulp and letting the seeds dry the shade.

Myristica fragrans. Moscadeira or nutmeg

The cultivation of the Moscadeira offers much greater difficulty. This plant was introduced in Para at the same time by Luis de Abreu, who, in 1809, returned with 200 Portuguese prisoners, from the island of Franca, to Rio de Janeiro, and by Manuel Marques (in three seedlings). The tree here has not multiplied, and continues to give only few fruits, which come to mature in the run of the year. All this makes one believe that this noble tree, which, known as Las Moluccas, even in the native soil requires extreme care. Here promising cultivation conditions are not found. In any case, this plant requires muddy soil, well nourished, loose and rich humus, in addition to low humidity, and protection against the strong heat of the sun. The male plants flourished in Para, for the first time, in the fifth year; the female plants in the sixth. Its cultivation has been propagated by means of seeds and cuttings. The seeds I saw were round and, therefore, the true species (Myristica moschata, L.).

Myristica moschata, the nutmeg

On the contrary, the abundant harvest of the Girofleiros (Caryophyllus aromatica, L.) takes place annually, from July to the end of October, being less favorable in the climate of Rio de Janeiro than Para. The shape of these beautifully leafed pyramidal trees delight the view with superb green, the delicate stars of its white flowers, and its soothing aroma. The harvest must be complete before the little petals appear, recognizable by the beautiful red color of the chalice. It has multiplied through seeds and fallen fruit.

Caryophyllus aromatica

What amazed me in particular was the extraordinary height, which had reached, in 10 years the height of several Breadfruit trees (Artocarpus Incisa, Sol.), also imported from Cayenne.

Breadfruit from Artocarpus Incisa

Artocarpus

These beautiful and useful plants equaled, in the thickness of the trunk and extension of the branches, a chestnut tree of 100 years. Here in the orchards they produce more abundant and better fruits than in the establishments beyond the city, where the soil is too damp. The plantings are easily multiplied by grafting cuttings onto the trunks of the plants. The star fruit and the Bilimbi (Averrhoa carambola and A. Bilimbi, L.), whose pentagonal fruit are recommended, by the pleasant acidity, as a vegetable in soups, or as sweet and soda drink, are cultivated without difficulty by means of seeds.

Averrhoa carambola, starfruit

Averrhoa bilimbi, the cucumber tree

The walnut of Behn (Aleurites moluccana, Juss.) has many seeds from which, when crushed, one removes an unctuous oil, which dries easily. However, until now, it has not been used as a drying agent, nor as a purging, similar to the seeds of the local area.

Aleurites moluccana

The plantation of the cinnamon tree (Laurus Cinnamomum, L.) is made near the Fazenda da Olaria, half an hour north of the city, in a low region, near the river. The soil is muddy, fairly moist, and with an altitude high enough not to be flooded in the river's overflow. Within six to seven years, the small cinnamon trees, some 800, had reached

Laurus Cinnamomum

Cinnamon tree

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