A good specimen of myrtle, or candleberry wax, accompanied by candles made from it in the crude unbleached state in New Brunswick, was shown at the Great Exhibition.
Vegetable wax was also sent from Shanghae, in China; from St. Domingo, in the northern parts of which the plant is indigenous; and a remarkable specimen from Japan. This substance, from its high melting point and other physical characteristics, has of late attracted a good deal of attention; it is admirably suited as a material for the manufacture of candles.
At a meeting of the Central Board, at Cape Town, in March, 1853, the members voted about L300, to employ some 20 or 30 men, in gathering berries from the Downs, and making wax during the winter months, that is, from the beginning of May to the end of September. The wax fetches a good price in the Cape market.
In the annual report of the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, in May, 1853, a very fine sample of myrtle, or terry wax, grown on the Cape Flats, was exhibited by Mr. Feeny, Superintendent of the Road Plantation, by direction of the Commissioners of the Central Road Board, in different stages of purification, from green to white, as also some candles; and it being conceived by the meeting that this article might ultimately become one of considerable importance for purposes of export, a letter of thanks was addressed to Mr. Feeny; and Nathaniel Day, the constable who assisted him, was presented with the sum of L5, as a remuneration for his trouble in assisting to purify and prepare the wax. On reference to the juror's report on the Great Exhibition, it will be gratifying to find that the berry wax, forwarded by this Society, had attracted peculiar notice, and a prize medal been awarded for it; the following reference is therein made to it: "some fine specimens of myrtle or berry wax, from the Cape of Good Hope, are exhibited by J. Lindenberg, of Worcester. This is an excellent material for the manufacture of candles, when employed in conjunction with other solid fats. The jury awarded a prize medal for these specimens."
Your Committee would suggest every possible attention being drawn to this subject, in which they are gratified to state, the Commissioners of the Central Road Board have evinced a readiness to co-operate, by offering to place at the Society's disposal the sum of L10 10s., "to be given as a premium for the best information respecting the wax berry plant, the soils and situations in which it is found to grow most luxuriantly: the best mode of propagating and cultivating it, of collecting the berries, and extracting and preparing the wax, &c." And from a letter received from the Secretary to the Central Road Board, it appears that the Board had authorised the shipment to England of 2,561 lbs. of the wax, by the Queen of the South in November last, which, from the account sales lately received from Messrs. J.R. Thomson & Co., realised as follows, viz.:—
4 cases weighing nett 856 lbs. a 8d. L28 10 8 4 " 1040 lbs. a 9d. 39 0 0 3 " 745 lbs. a 11d. 34 2 11 3 " 6 lbs. a 11d. 0 5 6 ———————- L101 19 1 Discount 21/2 per cent. 2 11 0 ———————- L99 8 1
CHARGES. Warehouse Entry 3s. 6d. Fire Insurance 2s., Ports 2s. 6d L0 8 0 Freight 7 3 3 Primage 0 14 4 Dock Charges 3 9 6 Sale Expenses 0 9 0 Brokerage 1 0 6 ———————- L13 4 7
Commission at 21/2 per cent 2 11 0 ———————- Carried forward L16 15 7
Brought forward L15 15 7 ————- L83 12 6 Deduct Bills of Lading, &c. 0 19 6 ————- L82 13 0 Deduct the Board's expenses for gathering and preparing, &c 28 8 7 ————- Leaving a clear profit of L54 4 5
This statement shows that from a plant, which is indigenous to the colony, and might he cultivated to almost any extent, and mostly on soils unavailable for other purposes, an article of great export could be derived at a comparatively small expense; it is with that view that I desire to direct public attention more prominently to it.
In the Museum of the Royal Botanic Gardens, at Kew, wax is shown as scraped from the trunk of the wax palm (Ceroxylon andicola), and candles made from it, as also some made of acorns and closely resembling common tallow. Concrete milk and butter made from the Shea butter tree, and others growing in Para, are also exhibited.
Wax candles have been made from the seeds of Myrica macrocarpa in Colombia, and also from vegetable wax in Java. Some of these are to be seen in the Museum of the Pharmaceutical Society of London.
CASTOR OIL PLANT.
Castor oil is expressed from the seeds of Ricinus communis (Palma Christi), a plant with petale-palmate leaves, which is found native in Greece, Africa, the South of Spain, and the East Indies, and is cultivated in the West Indies, as well as in North and South America. In the temperate and northern parts of Europe, the plant is an herbaceous annual, of from three to eight feet high; in the more southern parts it becomes scrubby and even attains an height of twenty feet; while in India it is often a tree thirty to forty feet high. The best oil is obtained by expression from the seeds without heat, and is hence called "cold drawn oil." A large quantity of oil may be produced by boiling the seeds, but it is less sweet and more apt to become rancid than that procured by expression.
The Palma Christi grows continuously for about four years, and becomes a large tree in constant bearing, ripening its rich clusters of beans in such profusion, that 100 bushels may be obtained annually from an acre, and their product of oil two gallons per bushel.
There are several species, all of which yield oil of an equally good quality. A shrubby variety is common in South Australia, and other parts of New Holland. Ricinus lividus is a native of the Cape of Good Hope. It is a hardy plant, of the easiest culture, and will thrive in almost any soil, whether in the burning plains or the coldest part of the mountains. The seed should be planted in the tropics in September, singly, and at the distance of 10 or twelve feet apart. They will bear the first season, and continue to yield for years. When the seed-pods become brown, they are in a fit state to pluck. It is often grown in the East intermixed with other crops. The primitive mode of obtaining the oil is to separate the seeds from the husks, and bruise them by tying them up in a grass mat. In this state they are put into a boiler amongst water, and boiled until all the oil is separated, which floats at the top, and the refuse sinks to the bottom; it is then skimmed off, and put away for use. The purest oil is obtained, as before-mentioned, by crushing the seeds (which are sewed up in horsehair bags), by the action of heavy iron beaters. The oil, as it oozes out, is caught in troughs, and conveyed to receivers, whence it is bottled for use.
Castor oil is used for lamps in the East Indies, and the Chinese have some mode of depriving it of its medicinal properties, so as to render it suitable for culinary purposes.
That which we import from the East Indies comes from Bombay and Calcutta, and is obtained at a very low price. It is exceedingly pure, both in color and taste.
In the West Indies the shrub grows about six feet high. The stalks are jointed, and the branches covered with leaves about eighteen inches in circumference, forming eight or ten sharp-pointed divisions, of a bluish green color, spreading out in different directions. The flowers contain yellow stamina; the seed is enclosed in a triangular husk, of a dark brown color, and covered with a light fur, of the same color as the husk. When the capsule is thoroughly ripened by the sun, it bursts, and expels the seeds, which are usually three in number.
In Jamaica this plant is of such speedy growth, that in one year it arrives at maturity, and I have known it to attain to the height of twenty feet. A gallon of the seed yields by expression about two pounds of oil.
The wholesale price in Liverpool, in October, 1853, was 3d. to 5d. per lb.
It is brought over from the East Indies in small tin cases, soldered together and packed in boxes, weighing about 2 cwt. each.
In Ceylon castor oil is obtained from two varieties of the plant, the white and the red.
The native mode of preparing the oil is by roasting the seed; this imparts an acridity to the oil, which is objectionable. By attending to the following directions, the oil may be prepared in the purest and best form. The modes of preparation are—1. By boiling in water. 2. By expression. 3. Extraction by alcohol. In the first the seeds are slightly roasted to coagulate the albumen, cleaned of the integuments, bruised in a mortar, and the paste boiled in pure water. The oil which rises on the surface is removed, and treated with an additional quantity of fresh water; 10,000 parts of clean seed give by this process (in Jamaica) 3,250 of oil, of good quality, though amber-colored. 2. Expression is the simplest and most usually adopted process; the cleaned kernels are well bruised, placed in cloth bags, and compressed in a powerful lever and screw press. A thick oil is obtained, which must be filtered through cloth and paper to separate the mucilage. In Bengal the manufacturers boil the oil water, which coagulates some albumen, and they subsequently filter through cloth, charcoal, and paper. 3. The extraction by alcohol is practised by some druggists. Each pound of paste is triturated with four pounds of alcohol, specific gravity 8.350, and the mixture subjected to pressure. The oil dissolved by the alcohol escapes very freely: one half is recovered by the distillation of the spirit, the residue of the distillation is boiled in a large quantity of water. The oil separates and is removed, and gently heated to expel any adherent moisture; then filtered at the temperature of 90 deg. Fahrenheit; 1,000 parts of the paste have by this process given 625 of colorless and exceedingly sweet oil.
The cultivation of the Palma christi, and the manufacture of castor oil, is extensively carried on in some parts of the United States, and continues on the increase. A single firm at St. Louis has worked up 18,500 bushels of beans in four months, producing 17,750 gallons of oil, and it is stated that 800 barrels have been sold, at 50 dollars per barrel. The oil may be prepared for burning, for machinery, soap, &c., and is also convertible into stearine. It is more soluble in alcohol than lard-oil.
American castor oil is imported for the most part from New York and New Orleans, but some comes from our own possessions in North America. In the United States, according to the "American Dispensatory," the cleansed seeds are gently heated in a shallow iron reservoir, to render the oil liquid for easy expression, and then compressed in a powerful screw press, by which a whitish oily liquid is obtained, which is boiled with water in clean iron boilers, and the impurities skimmed off as they rise to the surface. The water dissolves the mucilage and starch, and the heat coagulates the albumen, which forms a whitish layer between the oil and water. The clear oil is now removed, and boiled with a minute portion of water until aqueous vapors cease to arise: by this process an acrid volatile matter is got rid of. The oil is put into barrels, and in this way is sent into the market. American oil has the reputation of being adulterated with olive oil. Good seeds yield about 25 per cent. of oil. A large proportion of the drug consumed in the eastern section of the Union is derived by way of New Orleans from Illinois and the neighbouring States, where it is so abundant that it is sometimes used for burning in lamps.
In Jamaica the bruised seeds are boiled with water in an iron pot, and the liquid kept constantly stirred. The oil which separates swims on the top, mixed with a white froth, and is skimmed off. The skimmings are heated in a small iron pot, and strained through a cloth. When cold it is put in jars or bottles for use.
Castor oil imported. Retained. lbs. lbs. 1826 263,382 453,072 1831 393,191 327,940 1836 981,585 809,559 1841 871,136 732,720 1846 1,477,168 — 1849 1,084,272 — 1850 3,495,632 —
The imports of castor oil come chiefly from the East India Company's possessions, and were as follows, nearly all being retained for home consumption:—
lbs. 1830 490,558 1831 343,373 1832 257,386 1833 316,779 1834 685,457 1835 1,107,115 1836 972,552 1837 957,164 1838 837,143 1839 916,370 1840 1,190,173 1841 869,947 1842 490,156 1843 717,696
In 1841, 12,406 Indian maunds of castor oil were shipped from Calcutta alone, and 7,906 ditto in 1842.
In 1842, 8 cases were shipped from Ceylon, 10 in 1843, 24 in 1844, and 14 in 1845.
1,439 barrels were shipped from New Orleans in 1847. The quantity brought down to that city from the interior was 1,394 barrels in 1848, and 1,337 barrels in 1849.
Within the last year or two, an attempt has been made to introduce the cake obtained in expressing the seeds of the castor oil plant as a manure, which is deserving attention, both because it is in itself likely to prove a serviceable addition to the list of fertilizers which may be advantageously employed, and because it may lead to the use of similar substances, which are at present neglected, or thrown aside as refuse.
The castor oil seed resembles in chemical composition the other oily seeds. It consists of a mixture of mucilaginous, albuminous, and oily matters; and the former two of these are identical in constitution and general properties with the substances found in linseed and rape cake, while the oil is principally distinguished by its purgative properties. The cake obtained is in the form of ordinary oil-cake, but is at once distinguished from it by its color, and by the large fragments of the husk of the seeds which it contains. It is also much, softer, and may be easily broken down with the hand. I have analysed two samples of castor cake, stated to have been obtained by different processes; and though I have not been informed of the exact nature of these processes, I infer, from the large quantity of oil, that one must have been cold-drawn. The first of the following analyses is that of the sample which I believe the cold-drawn. It is the most complete of the two, and contains a determination of the amount of oil. In the other analysis this was not done, but there was no doubt on my mind that its quantity was much smaller.
No. 1. No. 2. Water 8.32 16.31 Oil 24.32 — Nitrogen 3.05 3.35 Ash 7.22 4.95
The ash contains— Siliccous matters 1.96 — Phosphates 3.36 2.27 Excess of phosphoric acid 0.64 —
In order to give a proper idea of the value of this substance as a manure, I shall quote here, for comparison sake, the average composition of rape cake, as deduced from the analyses contained in the Transactions of the Highland Society of Scotland:—
Water 10.68 Oil 11.10 Nitrogen 4.63 Ash 7.79 The ash contains— Siliccous matters 1.18 Phosphates 3.87 Excess of phosphoric acid 0.39
It will be at once seen that there is a close general resemblance between these two substances, although there is no doubt that the castor cake is inferior to rape cake; still I believe that this inferiority is fully counterbalanced by the difference in price, which is such that, compared with rape cake, the castor cake is really a cheap manure. There is only one of its constituents which it contains in larger quantity, and that is the oil. No weight is, however, to be attached to the quantity of oil in a manure. In a substance to be used as food, it is of very high importance; but so far as we at present know, its value as manure is extremely problematical. Whale, seal, and other coarse oils have been used as manures, and by some few observers benefits have been derived from their application, but the general experience has not been favorable to their use, nor should we chemically be induced to expect any beneficial effect from them. We have every reason to believe that the oils which are found in plants are produced there as the results of certain processes which are proceeding within the plant, and there is no evidence to show that any part of it is ever absorbed in the state of oil by the roots when they are presented to them. On the other hand, the oils are extremely inert substances, and undergo chemical changes very slowly; so that there is no likelihood of their being converted into carbonic acid, or any other substance which may be useful to the plant; and as they contain no nitrogen, and consist only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, they can yield only those elements of which the plant can easily obtain an unlimited supply. I can conceive cases in which the oil might possibly produce some mechanical effect on the soil, but none in which it could act as a manure, in the proper sense of the term.
KANARI on.—Mr. Crawfurd, in his "History of the Indian Archipelago," speaks most favorably of an oil obtained from the "Kanari," a tree which, he says, is a native of the same country as the sago palm, and is not found to the westward, though it has been introduced to Celebes and Java. I have not been able to distinguish its botanical name; but Mr. Crawfurd describes it as a large handsome tree, and one of the most useful productions of the Archipelago. It bears a nut of an oblong shape, nearly the size of a walnut, the kernel of which is as delicate as that of a filbert, and abounds with oil. The nuts are either smoked and dried for use, or the oil is expressed from them in their recent state. It is used for all culinary purposes, and is purer and more palatable than that of the coco-nut. The kernels, mixed up with a little sago meal, are made into cakes and eaten as bread.
THE COCO-NUT PALM.
This palm (Cocos nucifera) is one of the most useful of the extensive family to which it belongs, supplying food, clothing, materials for houses, utensils of various kinds, rope and oil; and some of its products, particularly the two last, form important articles of commerce. An old writer, in a curious discourse on palm trees, read before the Royal Society, in 1688, says, "The coco nut palm is alone sufficient to build, rig, and freight a ship with bread, wine, water, oil, vinegar, sugar, and other commodities. I have sailed (he adds) in vessels where the bottom and the whole cargo hath been from the munificence of this palm tree. I will take upon me to make good what I have asserted." And then he proceeds to describe and enumerate each product. Another recent popular writer speaks in eloquent terms of the estimation in which it is held, and the various uses to which it is applied.
"Its very aspect is imposing. Asserting its supremacy by an erect and lofty bearing, it may be said to compare with other trees, as man with inferior creatures. The blessings it confers are incalculable. Year after year the islander reposes beneath its shade, both eating and drinking of its fruit; he thatches his hut with its boughs, and weaves them into baskets to carry his food; he cools himself with a fan plaited from the young leaflets, and shields his head from the sun by a bonnet of the leaves; sometimes he clothes himself with the cloth-like substance which wraps round the base of the stalks, whose elastic rods, strung with filberts, are used as a taper. The larger nuts, thinned and polished, furnish him with a beautiful goblet; the smaller ones with bowls for his pipes; the dry husks kindle his fires; their fibres are twisted into fishing-lines and cords for his canoes. He heals his wounds with a balsam compounded from the juice of the nut; and with the oil extracted from its pulp embalms the bodies of the dead. The noble trunk itself is far from being valueless. Sawn into posts, it upholds the islander's dwelling; converted into charcoal, it cooks his food; and, supported on blocks of stones, rails in his lands. He impels his canoe through the water with a paddle of the wood, and goes to battle with clubs and spears of the same hard material. In Pagan Tahiti, a coco-nut branch was the symbol of regal authority. Laid upon the sacrifice in the temple, it made the offering sacred; and with it the priests chastised and put to flight the evil spirits which assailed them. The supreme majesty of Oro, the great god of their mythology, was declared in the coco-nut log from which his image was rudely carved. Upon one of the Tonga Islands there stands a living tree, revered itself as a deity. Even upon the Sandwich Islands the coco palm retains all its ancient reputation; the people there having thought of adopting it as the national emblem."
Besides the foregoing and following uses, I am aware of several scents and spirituous liquors being procured from the flowers and pulp of the coco-nut.
This palm tree is one of the finest objects in nature. Its stem is tall and slender, without a branch; and at the top are seen from ten to two hundred coco-nuts, each as large as a man's head: over these are the graceful plumes, with their green gloss, and beautiful fronds of the nodding leaves. Nothing can exceed the graceful majesty of these intertropical fruit trees, except the various useful purposes to which the tree, the leaf, and the nut are applied by the natives.
1. The stem is used for—Bridges, posts, beams, rafters, paling, ramparts, loop-holes, walking sticks, water butts, bags (the upper cuticle), sieves in use for arrowroot.
2. The coco-nut is used for—milk, a delicious drink; meat from the scraped nut, for various kinds of food; jelly, kora, pulp, nut, oil, excellent and various food for man, beast, and fowl.
The shell for vessels to drink out of, water pitchers, lamps, funnels, fuel, panga (for a game).
The fibre for sinnet, various cordage, bed stuffing, thread for tying combs, scrubbing-brushes, girdle (ornamental), whisk for flies, medicines, various and useful.
3. The leaf is used for—Thatch for houses, lining for houses, takapau (mats), baskets (fancy and plain), fans, palalafa (for sham fights), combs (very various), bedding (white fibre), tafi (brooms), Kubatse (used in printing), mama (candles), screen for bedroom, waiter's tray.
Here are no less than forty-three uses of which we know something; and the natives know of others to which they can apply this single instance of the bounty of the God of nature. For house and clothes, for food and medicine, the coco-nut palm is their sheet anchor, as well as their ornament and amusement, who dwell in the torrid zone.
This fine palm, which always forms a prominent feature in tropical scenery, is a native of Southern Asia. It is spread by cultivation through almost all the intertropical regions of the Old and New Worlds; but it is cultivated nowhere so abundantly as in the Island of Ceylon, and those of Sumatra, Java, &c. On the shores of the Red Sea it advances to Mokha, according to Niebuhr; but it does not succeed in Egypt. It is cultivated in the lower and southern portions of the Asiatic Continent, as on the coasts of Coromandel and Malabar, and around Calcutta. In the island of Ceylon, where the fruit of this tree forms one of the principal aliments of the natives, the nuts are produced in such quantities that in one year about three millions were exported, besides the manufactured produce in oil, &c. According to Marshall it requires a mean temperature of 72 deg. Its northern limit, therefore, is nearly the same as the southern limit of our cereals.
Rumphius enumerates thirteen varieties of this palm, but many of these have now been placed under other genera, and Lindley resolves them into three species—C. nucifera, the most generally diffused species, a native of the East Indies; and C. flexuosa and plumosa, natives of Brazil. The trunk, which is supported by numerous, small fibrous roots, rises gracefully, with a slight inclination, from forty to sixty feet in height; it is cylindrical, of middling size, marked from the root upwards with unequal circles or rings, and is crowned by a graceful head of large leaves. The terminal bud of this palm, as well as that of the cabbage palm (Euterpe montana), is used as a culinary vegetable. The wood of the tree is known by the name of porcupine wood. It is light and spongy, and, therefore, cannot be advantageously employed in the construction of ships or solid edifices, though it is used in building huts; vessels made of it are fragile and of little duration. Its fruit, at different seasons, is in much request; when young, it is filled with a clear, somewhat sweet, and cooling fluid, which is equally refreshing to the native and the traveller. When the nut becomes old, or attains its full maturity, the fluid disappears, and the hollow is filled by a sort of almond, which is the germinating organ. This pulp or kernel, when cut in pieces and dried in the sun, is called copperah, and is eaten by the Malays, Coolies, and other natives, and from it a valuable species of oil is expressed, which is in great demand for a variety of purposes. The refuse oil cake is called Poonae, and forms an excellent manure.
A calcareous concretion is sometimes found in the centre of the nut, to which peculiar virtues have been attributed.
Along the Gulf of Cariaco there are many large coco walks. In moist and fertile ground it begins to bear abundantly the fourth year; but in dry soils it does not produce fruit until the tenth. Its duration does not generally exceed 80 or 100 years, at which period its mean height is about 80 feet. Throughout this coast a coco tree supplies annually about 100 nuts, which yield eight flascos of oil. The flasco is sold for about 1s. 4d. A great quantity is made at Cumana, and Humboldt frequently witnessed the arrival there of canoes containing 3,000 nuts.
Throughout the South Sea Islands, coco-nut palms abound, and oil may be obtained in various places. Some of the uninhabited islands are covered with dense groves, and the ungathered nuts, which have fallen year after year, lie upon the ground in incredible quantities. Two or three men, provided with the necessary apparatus for pressing out the oil, will, in the course of a week or two, obtain enough to load one of the large sea canoes. Coco nut oil is now manufactured in different parts of the South Seas, and forms no small part of the traffic carried on with trading vessels. A considerable quantity is annually exported from the Society Islands to Sydney. They bottle it up in large bamboos, six or eight feet long, and these form part of the circulating medium of Tahiti. The natives use the bruised fronds of Polypodium crassifolium to perfume this oil. Evodia triphylla, a favorite evergreen plant with the natives of the Polynesian Islands, is also used for this purpose.
The most favorable situation for the growth of the coco palm is the ground near the sea-coast, and if the roots reach the mud or salt water, they thrive all the better for it. The coco-nut walks are the real estates of India, as the vineyards and olive groves are of Europe. I have seen these palms growing well in inland situations, remote from the sea, but always on plains, never upon hills or very exposed situations, where they do not arrive to maturity, wanting shelter, and being shaken too violently by the wind. The stems being tall and slight, and the whole weight of leaves and fruit at the head, they may not unaptly be compared to the mast of a ship with round top and topmast without shrouds to support it. Ashes and fish are good manures for it.
The coco-nut is essentially a maritime plant, and is always one of the first to make its appearance on coral and other new islands in tropical seas, the nut being floated to them, and rather benefiting than otherwise by its immersion in the salt water. Silex and soda are the two principal salts which the coco-nut abstracts from the soil, and hence, where these do not exist in great abundance, the tree does not thrive well. I do not know myself what is the practice in Ceylon, but in Brazil, Dr. Gardner tells me, salt is very generally applied to the coco-nut when planted. Far in the interior, he states, he has seen as much as half a bushel applied to a single tree, and that too when it cost about 2s. a pound, from the great distance it had to be brought. That the application, therefore, of salt, of seaweed, and saline mud, does more than supply soda, must be very evident, if we only recollect how difficult it is to dry any part of our dress that has been soaked in salt water, and what effect damp weather has on table salt, which, in a balance, has often been made use of as an hydrometer. Moisture is always attracted by salt, and the more sea mud and other such little matters that coco-nut planters can apply round the roots of their trees, there will most assuredly be the less occasion for watering them in the dry season. Sea weed contains but very little fibrous matter, being chiefly composed of mucilage and water; and the experiments of Sir J. Pringle and Mr. C. W. Johnson, prove that salt in small quantities assists the decomposition of both animal and vegetable substances. Decomposed poonac, or oil-cake, is one of the best manures that can be applied, as it returns to the soil the component parts of which it has beau deprived to form the fruit.
The primary direction of the planter's industry will be to the establishment of a nursery of young plants. In Ceylon, for this purpose, the nuts are placed in squares of 400, covered with one inch of sand, or salt mud; are watered daily till the young shoots appear, and are planted out after the rains in September. Sand and salt mud are to be found on almost all the coasts where it would be desirable to plant nuts, and if they are put into the ground at the commencement of the rainy season, artificial watering will scarcely be necessary. Any period, when there are showers, would answer for transplanting them. I should say from the middle to the end of January would be best, when they are placed in the nursery in October and November; and in October when they are planted in June.
It is said that they should be allowed from 20 to 30 feet space apart, but I will calculate their return when planted 27 feet apart every way. This will give 58 coco-nut trees per acre. If manured, for the first two years, with seaweed and salt mud, and supplied with water in dry weather, there need be no loss, and the plants will thrive the better. The land must be kept clear of weeds till the plants are matured, in order to permit them abundance of air and light. In five years, when well cared for, the flower may be expected, but the plants will not be in full bearing before the seventh or eighth year. From 50 to 80 nuts are the annual crop of a tree; but I will calculate at the lowest rate. One hundred nuts will yield, when the oil is properly expressed, at least two gallons and a half. I shall not take into account the making of jaggery sugar and toddy, or spirit from the sap, as I do not consider that the manufacture would be remunerative; and it must be attended with much trouble, besides requiring a great deal of care and some skill.
Take the case now of a plantation of 100 acres in extent. This would give us 5,800 trees, which, at 50 nuts per tree, 290,000 nuts, at 21/2 gallons of oil per hundred, would yield 7,250 gallons of oil, the value of which any person may calculate, but which, at the low rate of 3s. over charges, would furnish, as the gross plantation return in oil, a sum of L1,087 10s. sterling. If the cultivator, instead of making his produce into oil, were to sell it in its natural state, his gross return in the West Indies would be nearly L600 sterling, at the rate of ten dollars per thousand.
Either of these sums would be a handsome return from 100 acres of any land, requiring no cultivation or care whatever, after the fourth year, and yielding the same amount for upwards of half a century! But this is not all. An outlay of a few pounds will secure other advantages, and ought to enable the owner of a coco-nut plantation to turn his gross receipts for oil into nett profits. The coir made from the husk of the nut is calculated to realise nearly one-fourth of the proceeds of the oil, but if we put it down at one-fifth, we shall have, in addition to the value of the oil, L217 10s., thus making a total of L1,305 sterling. If we obtained 60 nuts from each tree, the return would be L1,566 sterling, and if 75, L1,957 8s. sterling; and this from 100 acres of sea side sand! But even this does not exhibit the whole return of this article of culture. Each nut may be calculated to give a quarter of a pound of poonac, or oil-cake, being the refuse after expression, fit for feeding all kinds of stock, which may be estimated as worth L10 per ton. We must, therefore, add on this account to our first calculation, the sum of say L325; to the second, L390; and to the third, L485. This would give, in round numbers, the entire returns of the 100 acres planted:—At 50 nuts per tree, L1,630; at 60 ditto, L1,957; at 75, ditto, L2,446.
These are striking results, and may appear exaggerated; but I will, to show how very moderate has been my calculation, give two returns, with which I have been favored from Ceylon. These, it will be seen, differ materially, but the latter I can rely on as a practical result, from a plantation in Jaffna, the peninsula of the northern portion of the island. After estimating the expense of establishing the plantation, the first writer sets down his return thus:—
"The produce, calculating 90 trees to an acre, and 75 nuts to a tree, sold at L2 per 1,000, would yield 675,000 nuts, worth L1,350; or if converted into oil, calculating 30 to give one gallon, it would produce 22,500 gallons, or about 90 tons from 100 acres."
From Jaffna, the following is an abridged estimate of return of 100 acres in full bearing:—"At 27 feet apart, 58 trees per acre, 5,800 trees, at 60 nuts per tree, 3,480 nuts per acre, 100 acres, 348,000 nuts, at 40 nuts per imperial gallon, 8,700 gallons of oil, at 2s. per gallon, netted L8 14s. per acre. The poonac left will pay the expense of making the oil. If shipped to England, at the present time (close of 1848), the selling price there being 55s. per cwt., measuring 12 imperial gallons, say, 4s. 7d. per gallon, and the cost and charges of sending it home and selling it being 23s., it would leave 3s. per gallon, or L13 per acre." This sum is nett proceeds.
It will be seen by the above, that I have been extremely moderate in my computation of the return which may be anticipated, for there is no doubt that planters can, in favorable localities, on the coasts of most of our colonies, cultivate this palm with as much success as attends its culture in Ceylon. By the first of the calculations I have cited from, that island, the gross return appears thus:—
22,500 gallons at 4s. 7d L5,156 5 Coir—one-fifth of value 1,031 4 Cake from 675,000 nuts, say 1/4 lb. each, 75 tons at L10 750 0 —————- Total gross return from 100 acres 6,937 9
According to the other calculation, the return will stand thus:—
8,700 gallons at 4s. 7d L1,993 15 Coir 398 15 Cake from 348,000 nuts, 34 tons 340 0 ————— Total gross return from 100 acres 2,732 10
It will be seen that in my calculation I have set down the return lower than it is rendered in the less favorable statement from Ceylon by a sum of upwards of L1,000 sterling. But even supposing one-half of the amount of the lower Ceylon estimate could be realised, we should have a return of L1,366 5s. sterling from 100 acres of sea side sand.
I now proceed to point out the very small outlay required to obtain these results. In places where the coco-nut would be grown, there is generally no heavy woodland requiring great labor with axe and fire, and consequently one able-bodied man should get through the felling and clearing away bush, on an acre of the land to be prepared for the plant, in a short period,—say, on an average, four days. I will calculate, that for wages and rations, each hand employed will cost sixteen dollars per month, an outside price. Let us then say that ten laborers shall be at work. They fell two acres and a half per diem. In one month there should be nearly 70 acres felled; but I will say that the 100 acres will occupy them two months in felling and stacking the wood. During this period our planter may be considered to have had the aid of two more hands, engaged in the preparation, planting out, and care of the nursery of young plants. Two more hands must also be occupied in the construction of tanks and sheds, except where there is a stream of fresh water. For grubbing up the roots, if not very large size, the assistance of about a dozen cattle would be required, a labor which would be performed by means of the common grubbing machine, an implement in the form of a claw. We will consider that all hands are occupied another month in this manner, and in removing and re-stacking the wood, and turning up the land. The planting out would require but little time and labor. At the end of three months then, one-half of the hands, besides those engaged in the nursery and tanks, might be discharged. We must make an allowance for provision for the fodder of the cattle. Six thousand nuts would be required.
Let us now see what are the planter's expenses; making ample allowance on account of each item:—
dollars. 6,000 picked nuts at 10 dollars per 1,000 60 Hire and rations of 12 hands, at 16 dollars for 3 months 676 Two hands at nursery, for same period 96 Purchase of 12 cattle at 20 dollars 240 Foddering cattle one month 32 Hire of two extra hands, making tanks and sheds 3 months 96 Hire of 6 hands for 9 months 864 Tools (including plough) 100 ——- Total 2,064
About L415 sterling for expenses for the first year.
Where fencing is required, we must add for making about three miles of fence, say L30 sterling. Two carts would also have to be provided, which will cost, say L20 more. In all we may compute the first year's expenditure at L460 sterling.
Second year's expenditure: ploughing land, or hoeing it twice, watering plants, manuring, repairing fences, and supplying plants, say hire of eight men for six months, about L150 sterling. The same for the third.
Fourth year's expenditure: hire of six hands for three months, cleaning land, and manuring plants, about L60 sterling, and the like, at the cultivator's option, for the fifth year.
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES. L First year 460 Second year 150 Third year 150 Fourth year 60 Fifth year 60 —- Total expenditure 880 Add for buildings 80
And we have a grand total of L960 sterling expended; for what purpose? To secure a net income of at least L1,200 sterling per annum for at least 50 years!
In the first year's expenses many items might be cut down, but I leave the calculation as one to be considered by a party with small capital, intending to establish a coco-nut plantation. I have allowed nothing for the cost of land, as it is impossible to compute that. In general it would cost next to the nothing mentioned. I have, by careful calculation, arrived at the conclusion that by combining the cultivation of provisions with the gradual but steadily progressive establishment of a coco-nut plantation, any man of energy and perseverance may, with the aid of but four hands, clear, fence, and plant, in a favorable locality, 50 acres of coco-nuts within the year, yet have a balance in his pocket at its close. Such a person would, ere doing anything beyond putting in his nursery plants, establish a provision ground, of considerable extent, for the purpose of supplying himself and his laborers with bread kind, and vegetables, and of enabling him, by the disposal of the surplus produce in the market, to raise a sufficient sum of money to furnish the wages and rations of the men. I need not enter into a calculation to show how this could be done, as every one must be aware of an easy method of following out so simple a suggestion. Of course he would have to bear in mind that the provision ground is of secondary importance, and limit his exertions in that line accordingly; devoting to the coco-nut plantation the strictest daily attention.
The cultivation of this tree deserves much more attention than has hitherto been paid to it, particularly in the East, where it not only forms part of the daily food of all classes of the community, but is an exportable article to neighbouring regions, the oil which it yields having of late years become in great demand in England, for the manufacture of composite candles and soap, and there is no doubt of its continually extended application to such purposes. Supposing, nevertheless, the result of an increased cultivation of the coco-nut should be such as to cause a fall in price, and sink the nett return in England to 2s. per gallon; this being clear profit, would make this kind of plantation a safe and sure investment for both capital and labor in the Colonies.
A kind of sugar made from the sap is called "jaggery," and the sap when fermented forms an intoxicating beverage known as toddy. The fibrous outer covering, or husk of the nut, when macerated and prepared, is termed "coir," and is spun into yarn and rope. It is extensively shipped from Ceylon, in coils of rope, bundles of yarn, and pieces of junk.
The coco-nut is usually planted as follows:—Selecting a suitable place, you drop into the ground a fully ripe nut, and leave it. In a few days a thin lance-like shoot forces itself through a minute hole in the shell, pierces the husk, and soon unfolds three pale green leaves in the air; while, originating in the same soft white sponge which now completely fills the nut, a pair of fibrous roots pushing away the stoppers which close two holes in an opposite direction, penetrate the shell, and strike vertically into the ground. A day or two more, and the shell and husk, which in the last and germinating stage of the nut are so hard that a knife will scarcely make any impression, spontaneously burst by some force within; and, henceforth, the hardy young plant thrives apace, and needing no culture, pruning, or attention of any sort, rapidly arrives at maturity. In four or five years it bears; in twice as many more it begins to lift its head among the groves, where, waxing strong, it flourishes for near a century. Thus, as some voyager has said, the man who but drops one of these nuts into the ground, may be said to confer a greater and more certain benefit upon himself and posterity, than many a life's toil in less genial climes. The fruitfulness of the tree is remarkable. As long as it lives it bears, and without intermission. Two hundred nuts, besides innumerable white blossoms of others, may be seen upon it at one time; and though a whole year is required to bring any one of them to the germinating point, no two, perhaps, are at one time in precisely the same stage of growth.
Coco-nuts form a considerable article of export from many of the British colonies: 375,770 were exported from Honduras in 1844, and 254,000 in 1845; 105,107 were shipped from Demerara, in 1845; 3,500,000 from Ceylon in 1847.
They are very abundant on the Maldive Islands, Siam, and on several parts of the coast of Brazil. Humboldt states, that on the south shores of the Gulf of Cariaco, nothing is to be seen but plantations of coco-nut trees, some of them containing nine or ten thousand trees.
Ceylon is one of the localities where the greatest progress has been made in this species of culture.
In 1832 several Europeans settled at Batticaloa, expressly for the purpose of cultivating this palm to a large extent. They planted cotton bushes between the young trees, which were found to ripen well, and nurse and shade them.
There are now an immense number of coco-nut topes, or walks, on the coasts of the island, and about 20,000 acres of land are under cultivation with this tree.
The value of this product to Ceylon, may be estimated by the following return of its exports in 1847, besides the local consumption:—
L Declared value of nuts 5,485 Ditto of Coir 10,318 Kernels, or Copperah 6,503 Shells 210 Oil 19,142 Arrack 11,657 ———- Total L53,315
The annually increasing consumption of the nuts holds out a great inducement to the native proprietors to reclaim all their hitherto unproductive land. The fruit commands a high price in the island, (ranging from 3/4d. to 3d. per nut), owing to the constant demand for it as an article of food, by both Singhalese and Malabars; there is not so much, therefore, now converted into copperah for oil making. In the maritime provinces of the island, it has been estimated that the quantity of nuts used in each family, say of five persons, amounts to 100 nuts per month, or 1,000 per annum. It needs only a reduction in the cost of transit, to extend the consumption in the interior of the island to an almost unlimited extent.
In 1842, Ceylon exported but 550 nuts, while in 1847 she shipped off to other quarters three millions and a half of nuts, valued at L5,500. The average value of the nuts exported may be set down at L7,000.
In Cochin China the cultivation of the coco-nut tree is much attended to, and they export a large quantity of oil. At Malacca and Pinang it shares attention with the more profitable spices. Since the palm has been acclimatised in Bourbon, about 20,000 kilogrammes of oil have been produced annually. About 8,000 piculs of oil are exported annually from Java.
A correspondent, under date December, 1849, has furnished me with the following particulars of coco-nut planting in Jaffna, the northern district of Ceylon, in which the culture has only recently been carried on; the facts and figures are interesting:—
The Karandhai estate, the property of the late Mr. J. Byles, was sold last month for L2,400, part of it bearing. It consisted of 303 acres, of which 228 are planted with coco nuts—about half the trees six years old.
The Victoria estate, in extent 170 acres, planted and part in bearing, and about seventy acres of jungle, was also sold for L1,500. Mr. G. Dalrymple was the purchaser of the latter, and Mr. Davidson of the former. Both lots were cheap. The properties are among the best in the district, the latter, especially, is a beautiful estate.
About two-thirds of the estates planted are looking well, and the remainder but indifferently, in fact, ought never to have been planted, and I believe will never give any return. About 7,000 acres are now under cultivation here, and clearing is still going on. Estates can now be put in for about one half what they cost formerly, viz., about L4 or L5 per acre, and can be kept in order, inclusive of all charges, for about 15s. to 20s. per acre for the first two years, and about half that afterwards. Estates, in some instances, have been put in for about L3 per acre.
Elephants have almost disappeared; now and then a stray one comes. Figs are still a great nuisance, but the greatest anxiety among planters is regarding beetles. You will be sorry to hear that the first year the trees showed fruit or flower, one-tenth of them were destroyed by the beetle; the insects still go on destroying, and hardly a tree attacked ever recovers.
This is a very serious evil, and upon which the fortunes of all those involved in coco-nut planting depend. The trees come into bearing but very slowly, and I consider no estate will give any return over its current expenses under twelve years. It takes twelve months from the formation of the flower, till the fruit ripens. On an estate, perhaps one of the oldest and best in this district, out of 120 acres, part seven and eight years old, about 12 per cent, are in flower or in bearing, and give a return of about twenty-four nuts per tree, on an average, yearly. On the next oldest, the return is not near so great. But few of the estates here will, I think, pay interest on the money laid out, and many will never pay anything over the expense of keeping them up, even after coming into bearing. I doubt if any estate in this district, however economically managed, will ever give a net return of more than L2, or perhaps of L2 10s. per acre, at least without there is a great increase in the consumption of oil in Europe. The consumption of this oil, in Europe, is under 5,000 tons. If the beetles do not destroy half the trees, the estates here when in bearing, if they yield anything, will give half that quantity; and it must be borne in mind that coco-nut oil is not a strong oil, like palm oil, and that soap boilers will never use it to any extent, for it will allow but little admixture of rosin, &c.; its use in Europe will be principally for candles and fancy soaps; but as by refining and compression they can now purify tallow, and make of it candles fully equal to those made from coco-nut oil, the consumption of the latter is not likely to increase. The consumption of candles is always limited on the continent of Europe, liquid oil being preferred, and in many instances gas is now being used where candles formerly were.
The return of land planted with coco-nut trees in Ceylon, in 1851, was 22,500 acres; but this refers only to regular estates recently opened and cultivated chiefly by Europeans. Let us suppose that the natives possess besides, twenty millions of trees; Butollac in his time estimated the number at thirteen millions. At 100 trees to the acre, twenty millions of trees give 100,000 acres, so that the total amount of land planted with coco-nut trees would be 122,500 acres.
An hydraulic press, for the manufacture of coco-nut oil, 1,200 horse power and weighing twenty-three tons, was cast at the Ceylon Iron Works, in 1850, by Messrs. Nelson and Son.
In the island of Singapore there are now many extensive plantations in a very flourishing condition, holding out favorable prospects to the proprietors. Hitherto the island has been supplied almost wholly from abroad with nuts and oil for its consumption, which will, before long, be obtained exclusively from its own soil. In 1846 there were 10,000 coco-nut trees in bearing in Singapore.
I have omitted to notice, in the foregoing observations, a very mistaken notion which prevails in many quarters, that it is best to let the trees drop their fruit, and not to pick the nuts when ripe. Nature directs differently. As soon as the husk of the nut is more brown than green it should be picked. It then makes better oil and better coir, than when left to shrivel up and fall from the tree.
Colonel Low, in his "Dissertation on Pinang," gives some interesting details and statistics on coco-nut planting:—
On a rough estimate—for an actual enumeration has not been lately taken—the total number of bearing trees in Pinang may be stated at 50,000, and those in Province Wellesley at 20,000; but very large accessions to these numbers have of late years been made. The tree is partial to a sandy soil in the vicinity of the sea, and Province Wellesley offers, therefore, greater facilities, perhaps, for its cultivation than Pinang does, as its line of clear beach is longer, and has many narrow slips of light or sandy land lying betwixt the alluvial flats inland. There are several kinds of this tree known here; one has a yellowish color, observable both on the branches and unripe fruit; its branches do not droop much. A second has green spreading branches, more drooping than the former, the fruit being green colored until ripe; this is, perhaps, the most prolific; it also bears the soonest, if we except the dwarf coco-nut, which fruits at the second or third year, before the stem has got above one foot high. This last kind was brought from Malacca; it attains in time to the height of the common sort. Its fruit is small and round, and of course less valuable than the other sorts. There is also a coco-nut so saturated with green, that the oil expressed from its kernel partakes of that color.
It is a mistaken supposition that the coco-nut tree will flourish without care being taken of it. The idea has been induced by the luxuriant state of trees in close proximity to houses and villages, and in small cove's where its roots are washed by the sea. In such circumstances, a tree, from being kept clear about the roots, from being shaded, and from occasional stimuli, advances rapidly to perfection; but in an extended plantation, a regular and not inexpensive system of culture must be followed to ensure success.
The nuts being selected, when perfectly ripe, from middle-aged trees of the best sorts, are to be laid on the ground under shades, and after the roots and middle shoots, with two branches, have appeared, the sooner they are planted the better. Out of 100 nuts, only two-thirds, on an average, will be found to vegetate. The plants are then to be set out at intervals of thirty or forty feet—the latter if ground can be spared—and the depth will be regulated by the nature of the soil, and the nut must not be covered with earth. The plants require, in exposed situations, to be shaded for one and even two years, and no lalang grass must be permitted to encroach on their roots. A nursery must be always held in readiness to supply the numerous vacancies which will occur from deaths and accidents. The following may be considered the average cost of a plantation, until it comes into bearing:—
FIRST COST—100 ORLONGS OF LAND. Spanish dollars. Purchase money of land, ready for planting 1,000 7,000 nuts at 11/2 dollars, per 100 105 Houses of coolies, carts, buffaloes, &c., &c. 100 ——- Spanish dollars 1,205
YEARLY COST OF SEVEN YEARS.
First year, 10 laborers at 3 dollars per month, including carts, &c. 360 Wear and tear of buildings, carts, and implements 50 Overseer, at 7 dollars per month 84 Quit rent, average 50 Nursery and contingencies 50 ——- Total per annum 594 Seven years at the rate will be 4,158 ——- Total, Spanish dollars 4,752
To this sum interest will have to be added, making, perhaps, a sum total of 6,000 Spanish dollars, and this estimate will make each tree, up to its coming into bearing, cost one Spanish dollar at the lowest. The young tree requires manure, such as putrid fish and stimulating compounds, containing a portion of salt. On the Coromandel coast, the natives put a handful of salt below each nut on planting it.
The cultivators of Kiddah adopt a very slovenly expedient for collecting the fruit. Instead of climbing the tree in the manner practised by the natives on the Coromandel coast, by help of a hoop passing round the tree and the body of the climber—and a ligature so connecting the feet as will enable him to clasp the tree with them—the Malays cut deep notches or steps in the trunk, in a zig-zag manner, sufficient to support the toes or the side of the foot, and thus ascend with the extra, aid only of their arms. This mode is also a dangerous one, as a false step, when near the top of a high tree, generally precipitates the climber to the ground. This notching cannot prove otherwise than injurious to the tree. But the besetting sin of the planter of coco-nuts, and other productive trees, is that of crowding. Coco-nut trees, whose roots occupy, when full grown, circles of forty to fifty feet in diameter, may often be found planted within eight or ten feet of each other; and in the native campongs all sorts of indigenous fruit trees are jumbled together, with so little space to spread in, that they mostly assume the aspect of forest trees, and yield but sparing crops.
The common kinds of the coco-nut, under very favorable circumstances, begin to bear at six years of age; but little produce can be expected until the middle or end of the seventh year. The yearly produce, one tree with another, may be averaged at 80 nuts the tree; where the plantation is a flourishing one—assuming the number of trees, in one hundred orlongs, to be 5,000—the annual produce will be 400,000 nuts, the minimum local market value of which will be 4,000 Spanish dollars, and the maximum 8,000 dollars. From either of these sums 6 per cent. must be deducted for the cost of collecting, and carriage, &c. The quantity of oil which can be manufactured from the above number of nuts will be, as nearly as possible, 834 piculs of 133-1/3 lbs.
The average price of this quantity, at 7 dollars per picul 5,838 Deduct cost of manufacturing, averaged at one-fourth, and collecting, watching, &c 2,059 ——- Profit, Spanish dollars 3,779
The Chinese, who are the principal manufacturers of the oil, readily give a picul of it in exchange for 710 ripe nuts, being about 563 piculs of oil out of the total produce of the plantation of 100 orlongs. The price of coco-nut oil has been so high in the London market as L35 per tun, or about an average of ten dollars per picul. It is said that English casks have not been found tight enough for the conveyance of this oil to Europe, but if the article is really in great demand, a method will no doubt be discovered to obviate this inconvenience.
So long, however, as the cultivator can obtain a dollar and a half, or even one dollar for 100 nuts, he will not find it profitable to make oil, unless its price greatly rises.
Soap is manufactured at Pondicherry from this oil, but it is not seemingly in repute; the attempt has not been made in Pinang with a view to a market.
There is scarcely any coir rope manufactured at this island, so that the profit which might (were labor cheaper) arise from this application of the coco-nut fibre, is lost. The shell makes good charcoal; the leaves are scarcely put to any purpose, the nipah or attap being a superior material for thatching.
The coco-nut tree is extremely apt to be struck by lightning, and in such cases it is generally destroyed. It is a dangerous tree, therefore, to have close to a house. If the trees are widely planted, coffee may be cultivated under their shade. It is generally believed that the extracting of toddy from this tree hastens its decline. The Nicobar and Lancavi Islands used partly to supply the Pinang market with this indispensable article; but their depopulation has greatly reduced the quantity.
On the whole it may be said that there is no cultivation which insures the return of produce with so much certainty as that of the coco-nut tree; and as Rangoon, the Tenasserim coast, and Singapore will, probably, always remain good markets for the raw nut, there appears to be every chance of the value of the produce affording ample remuneration to the planter.
Coco-nut beetle.—The chief natural enemy of this tree is a destructive species of elephant-beetle (Oryctes Rhinoceros), which begins by nibbling the leaves into the shape of a fan; it then perforates the central pithy fibre, so that the leaf snaps off; and lastly, it descends into the folds of the upper shoot, where it bores itself a nest, and if not speedily extracted or killed, will soon destroy the tree. At Singapore, on account of the depredations of this beetle, the difficulties have been considerable.
In Pinang and Province Wellesley it has only been observed within the last two years, and it is believed to have come from Keddah. A similar kind of beetle is, however, found on the Coromandel coast. The natives of Keddah say that this insect appears at intervals of two, three, or more years.
Its larvae, which are also very formidable insects or grubs, about three inches long, with large reddish heads, are found in decaying vegetable matter. It is when the tree has made considerable progress, however, that the parent insect does most mischief. When they are from one to two years old, throwing out their graceful branches in quick succession with the greatest vigor, and promising in three or four years more to yield their ruddy fruit, this destructive enemy begins to exercise his boring propensities; and, making his horn act as an auger, he soon penetrates the soft and yielding fibre of the young tree, and if not discovered in time, destroys the leading shoot or branch. The only remedy which has been adopted in Ceylon, is the following:—Several intelligent boys are provided each with an iron needle or probe, of about a foot long, with a sharp double barbed point, like a fish-hook, and a ring handle; they go through the plantation looking narrowly about the trees, and when they perceive the hole in the trunk, which indicates that the enemy is at work, they thrust in the barbed instrument and pull him out. Sometimes he may only have just commenced, when his capture is more easily effected, but even should he have penetrated to the very heart of the tree, the deadly needle does not fail in its errand, but brings the culprit out, impaled and writhing on its point. This is the only known way of checking the ravages of this beetle, except destroying its larvae. Some cultivators, however, think pouring salt water or brine on the top of the tree, so as to descend among the folds of the upper shoots, a good plan to get rid of the larvae.
Nearly two million coco-nuts are shipped annually from Bahia.
From Ceylon, 114,600 coco-nuts were shipped in 1851, and 70,185 in 1852.
Coco-nut oil; 98,159 gallons were shipped from Ceylon in 1852; 359,233 gallons in 1851.
The prices of Ceylon oil have ranged from L31 to L33 10s. per tun; of Cochin oil, L34 to L35, within the last two years. The price per leaguer in Colombo, without casks, has been L8 10s. to L9.
Copperah is the name, given by the natives to the kernel of the ripe nut after it has been exposed to the sun on mats, until it has become rancid and dissolved. It has recently been shipped to England in this state for the purpose of converting into oil. The exports of copperah from Ceylon were, in 1842, 115 cwts.; in 1843, 2,194; in 1844, 2,397; and in 1852, 39,174 cwts.
The returned value of the copperah or kernels exported from Ceylon, as entered in the Custom House books, is—
1840 2,508 1841 1,460 1842 3,022 1843 5,795 1844 6,194 1845 3,282 1846 5,517 1847 6,503 1848 12,639 1849 7,819 1850 4,166 1851 9,678 1852 13,325
632 cwts. of poonac (being the refuse or cake, after expressing the oil) were exported from Ceylon in 1842. It is worth there about L10 the ton.
The oil from the nut is obtained for culinary purposes by boiling the fresh pulp, and skimming it as it rises. That for exportation is usually obtained by pressing the copperah in a simple press turned by bullocks. Recently, however, steam power has been applied in Colombo, with great advantage. About 21/2 gallons of oil per 100 nuts, are usually obtained. It is requisite that care should be taken not to apply too great and sudden a pressure at once, but by degrees an increasing force, so as not to choke the conducting channels of the oil in the press.
In many of the colonies the oil is expressed by the slow and laborious hand process of grating the pulp.
The quantity shipped from Ceylon was 2,250 tuns, in 1842; 3,985 in 1843; 2,331 in 1844; 1,797 in 1845. The quantity in gallons shipped since, was 101,553 in 1846; 197,850 in 1847; 300,146 in 1848; 867,326 in 1849; 407,960 in 1850; 442,700 in 1851; and 749,028 in 1852.
The duty on importation is of and from British possessions, 7d. and 7/8ths. per cwt.; if the produce of foreign possessions, 1s. 33/4 d, per cwt. In the close of 1852, the price of coco-nut oil in the London market was, for Ceylon, L32, L33, to L33 10s. per ton; Cochin, middling to fine, L34 to L35.
The following return shows the Custom House valuation of the oil shipped from Ceylon for a series of years, and which is of course much below its real value:—
1839 L26,597 1840 32,483 1841 24,052 1842 34,242 1843 43,874 1844 24,067 1845 15,945 1846 7,939 1847 19,142 1848 24,839 1849 34,831 1850 35,035 1851 31,444 1852 58,045
Among the coco-nut oil exported from Ceylon, in 1849, there were 47,4271/2 gallons, valued at L3,595, the whole of which, I believe, was Cochin oil; the raw material of this kind not being, like the copperah generally in Ceylon, subjected to the action of fire, the product is finer, and fetches a better price in the London market.
Amongst the imports from British possessions in Asia, were 2,600 cwts., of copperah (dried coco-nut kernels, from which oil is expressed), valued at L1,100; amongst the imports re-exported to Great Britain, we find 870 cwts. of the same article, valued at L300. Of the oil exported a quantity of 11,000 gallons was shipped for the United States. About 600,000 piculs of coco-nut oil are annually exported from Siam.
A large quantity of oil is made in Trinidad, chiefly on the east coast, where, in one locality, there is an uninterrupted belt of coco-nut palms fourteen miles in extent. They usually bear when five years old.
The cultivation of the coco-nut in a proper soil presents a very profitable speculation for small capitalists. Whether sold at the rate of a dollar per hundred in their natural state, to captains of ships, who freely purchase them, or manufactured into oil, they are a very remunerative product. Each tree in the West Indies is calculated to produce nuts to the value of one dollar yearly. There is one thing to which we would draw the attention of chemists and other scientific men.
For twenty-four or even forty-eight hours after its manufacture this oil is as free from any unpleasant taste as olive oil, and can be used in lieu of it for all culinary purposes, but after that time it acquires such a rancid taste as to be wholly unpalateable. If any means could be discovered of preventing this deterioration in quality, and preserving it fresh and sweet, it could compete with olive oil, and the price and consumption would be largely raised.
COCO-NUT OIL IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED KINGDOM.
Imports. Retained for home consumption. cwts. cwts. 1835 19,838 14,015 1836 26,058 26,062 1837 41,218 28,641 1838 — 38,669 1839 — 15,153 1840 — 37,269 1841 — 26,528 1842 — 26,225 1843 — 29,928 1844 — 42,480 1848 85,453 54,783 1849 64,451 14,622 1850 98,040 46,494 1851 55,995 2,333 1852 101,863 27,112
A London coco-nut oil soap was found, on analysis by Dr. Ure, to consist of:—
Soda 4.5 Coco-nut lard 22.0 Water 73.5 ——- 100.0
This remarkable soap was sufficiently solid; but it dissolved in hot water with extreme facility. It is called marine soap, because it washes linen with sea water.
Of the six principal vegetable oils, namely—palm, coco-nut castor, olive, linseed, and rape, the first four are imported in the state of oil only; the two last chiefly as seed. The proportion in which they were imported is shown in the following tables; and if to these quantities are added about a million and a half cwt. of tallow, and nearly twenty thousand tuns of whale oil and spermaceti, they will nearly represent the total quantity of oil imported into Great Britain.
IMPORTS IN 1846. Palm oil. Olive oil. Castor oil. cwts. tuns. cwts. Western Africa 475,364 1 — United States 13,349 — 290 Naples and Sicily 14 9,661 — East Indies — — 6,315 Canary Islands 3,719 — — Malta — 2,237 — Turkish Empire — 1,712 — Tuscany — 832 — Spain — 753 — Brazil 525 — — Ionian Islands — 506 — Morocco — 368 — Madeira 353 — — Sardinia — 333 11 Miscellaneous 7 471 65 ———- ———- ———- Total 493,331 16,864 9,681
IMPORTS IN 1850 Linseed. Rape seed. quarters. quarters. Russia 482,813 3,235 Sweden 870 — Norway 268 — Denmark 37 3,092 Russia 87,273 645 Hanse Towns 1,153 2,872 Holland 7,734 201 Naples 1,476 — Austrian Territories 40 2,580 Greece — 1,637 Wallachia and Moldavia 910 1,280 Egypt 17,517 — East Indian Empire 26,142 13,126 Miscellaneous 262 922 ———— ——— Total 626,495 29,495
OIL-CAKE.—It has been observed by Evelyn that one bushel of walnuts will yield fifteen pounds of peeled kernels, and these will produce half that weight of oil, which the sooner it is drawn is the more in quantity, though the drier the nut the better its quality. The cake or marc of the pressing is excellent for fattening hogs and for manure.
Oats contain, as a maximum, about seven per cent. of oil, and Indian corn nine per cent. The cake of the gold of pleasure contains twelve per cent. Indeed the most valuable oil-cakes are those of the Camelina sativa, poppies and walnuts, which are nearly equal; next to these are the cakes of hemp, cotton, and beech-mast. In France the extraction and purification of oil from the cotton seed is a recent branch of labor, the refuse of which is likely to prove useful in agriculture; its value as a manure being nearly ten times greater than that of common dung. Oil is obtained from maize or Indian corn in the process of making whiskey. It rises in the mash tubs and is found in the scum at the surface, being separated either by the fermentation or the action of heat. It is then skimmed off, and put away in a cask to deposit its impurities; after which it is drawn off in a pure state, fit for immediate use. The oil is limpid, has a slight tinge of the yellow color of the corn, and is inoffensive to the taste and smell. It is not a drying oil, and therefore cannot be used for paint, but burns freely in lamps and is useful for oiling machinery.
Among the various seeds used in the manufacture of oil-cake, flour of linseed is the most important. Rape seed is also employed, but is considered heating. In Lubeck, a marc, called dodder cake, is made from the Camelina sativa. Inferior oil-cake is made from the poppy in India. Cotton-seed cake has lately been recommended on account of its cheapness, being usually thrown away as refuse by the cotton manufacturers. It is extensively used as a cattle food, in an unprepared state, in various parts of the tropical world, and to a limited extent in this country.
The cost of seed, freight included, was 2d. per lb. from Charlestown to Port Glasgow. Cotton oil-cake is now ordered at the same price as linseed cake. The produce of oil-cake and oil from cotton seed, is two gallons of oil to one cwt. of seed, leaving about 96 lbs of cake; 8 lbs. is the daily allowance for cattle in England.
Cotton seed oil, very pure, is manufactured to a considerable extent at Marseilles, by De Gimezney, from Egyptian seed; and he received a prize medal at the Great Exhibition.
Account of the export of linseed and rapeseed cakes from Stettin, principally to England, in—
cwts. 1834 33,518 1835 27,038 1836 56,581 1837 70,643 1838 119,540 1839 115,416 1840 162,457 1841 143,816 1842 119,814
The quantity of oil-seed cakes imported into the United Kingdom was in—
tons. 1849 59,462 1850 65,055 1851 55,076 1852 53,616
Cargoes of oil-cake, to the value of L22,207, were exported from the port of Shanghae, in China, in 1849.
2,467 tons of oil-cake were brought down to New Orleans from the interior in 1848, and 1,032 tons in 1849.
Seven samples of American oil-cake gave the following results:—
Oil 11.41 Water 7.60 Nitrogen 4.74 Ash 6.35
From the above figures, the scientific farmer will see that the manure formed by 100 lbs. of oil-cake is more than that derived from 300 lbs. of Indian corn. 300 lbs. of corn contain about l1/4 lbs. phosphoric acid; 100 lbs. oil-cake contain about 21/2 lbs.
VOLATILE OR ESSENTIAL OILS occur in the stems, leaves, flowers and fruit of many odoriferous plants, and are procured by distillation along with water. They are called "essences," and contain the concentrated odor of the plant. They usually exist ready-formed, but occasionally they are obtained by a kind of fermentation, as oil of bitter almonds and oil of mustard. Some of them consist of carbon and hydrogen only, as oil of turpentine, from Juniperus communis; oil of savin, from Juniperus Sabina; oil of lemons and oranges, from the rind of the fruit; and oil of nerole, from orange flowers. A second set contain oxygen in addition, as oil of cinnamon, from Cinnamonum verum; otto or attar of roses, from various species of rose, especially Rosa centifolia; oil of cloves, from Caryophyllus aromaticus.
Those principally obtained from tropical shrubs and plants are citronella, oil of oranges and lemons, from the rind of the fruit oil of cinnamon and cloves, croton oil, &c.
The oil of Sandal or Sanders wood (Santalum album), grown on the Malabar coast, is much esteemed as a perfume. Keora oil, from Pandanus odoratissimus, in Bengal. Oil of spikenard, so highly prized, on account of its perfume, by the ancients, may be procured in Sagur, Nepaul, and the mountains of the Himalaya.
956 lbs. of essential oils were imported into Hull in 1850. There were exported from Ceylon in 1842, 902 cases; in 1843, 138; in 1844, 20; in 1845, 25 cases of essential oils, and in the last two years as follows:—
1852. 1851. cases. cases. Cinnamon oil 17 23 Citronella oil 110 87 Essential oil 72 35
Of chemical, essential, and perfumed oils imported from France, the quantity is about 35,000 lbs. annually, worth L10,000. The duty is 1s. per lb. We also imported from France, in 1851, 9,596 cwt. of oil or spirit of turpentine, worth L14,197, on which a duty of 5s. 3d. per cwt. is levied.
From Western Australia some distilled oil of the Liptospermum was shown at the Exhibition, which it is stated may be obtained in any quantity, and a similar oil produced, by distillation, from the Eucalyptus piperita, a powerful solvent of caoutchouc, evidently very similar, if not altogether identical, with the oil of cajeput. The characters of these two oils are much alike and without some care it is difficult to distinguish them from one another by the odor; the liptospermum oil has a slight tinge of yellow, its specific gravity is 0.9035; the eucalyptus oil is colorless, and has a density of 0.9145. It is probable that these oils might be used with great advantage in the manufacture of varnish, they readily dissolve copal, and when its solution is spread over any surface the oil soon evaporates, and leaves a hard, brilliant and uniform coating of the resin. These oils, according to Prof. Solly, are specially worthy of attention.
Dr. Bennett, in his "Wanderings in New South Wales," states that a large quantity of camphorated oil, which closely resembles the cajeputi, is produced from the foliage of several species of Eucalyptus. Some of the leaves, which are of a bluish green, contain it in such abundance as to cover the hand with oil when one of the leaves is gently rubbed against it.
From the odorous leaves of the Arbor alba is extracted a portion of the aromatic cajeput oil. This celebrated medicinal oil is principally made in the island of Borneo, one of the Moluccas.
The leaf of the Melaleuca minor yields, by distillation, the volatile oil of cajeputi, well known as a powerful sudorific, and a useful external application in chronic rheumatism. It is an evergreen shrub, with white flowers like a myrtle, native of the East Indies, principally flourishing on the sea coasts of the Moluccas and other Indian islands. Two sacks full of the leaves yield scarcely three drachms of the oil, which is limpid, pellucid, and of a green color.
Oil of cinnamon and oil of cassia, according to Mulder, have the same composition. When fresh they are pale yellow, but become brown on exposure to the air. On exposure they rapidly absorb cinnamic acid, two resins and water.
More than 22,000 lbs. of essence of bergamot was imported in 1848. It is obtained by distillation or pressure from the rind of the fragrant citron.
Andropogon calamus aromaticus, of Royle, A. nardoides, of Nees v. Esenb., according to some yields the grass oil of Namur.
The fruits of Carum carui, a hardy biennial British plant, popularly known as caraway seeds, supply a volatile oil, which is carminitive and aromatic. Oils of a similar kind are obtained from Coriandrum sativum, from anise (Pimpinella Anisum), and cumin (Cuminum Cyminum), a native of Egypt.
The production of cinnamon, clove, and cassia oils, have already been noticed in speaking of those spices.
In Malabar, a greenish sweet-smelling oil is obtained, by distillation, from the roots of Unona Narum, an evergreen climber, which is used medicinally as a Stimulant.
OIL OF PEPPERMINT.—Mr. De Witt C. Van Slyck, of Alloway, Wayne county, New York, furnished me with the following particulars on the cultivation of peppermint, in December, 1849, which may appropriately be introduced in this place:—
"As an agricultural production, the culture of peppermint in the United States is limited to few localities; this county and the adjoining ones, Seneca and Ontario, comprise the largest bed. In the year 1846 about 40,000 lbs. of oil were produced. In Lewis county, in this state, it is grown, though to a less extent; the amount of oil produced there in 1846 was estimated at 4,500 lbs. In Michigan about 10,000 lbs. are annually produced; Ohio furnishes about 3,000 lbs. and Indiana 700 lbs. per annum. The entire crop in the United States, in the year 1846, is estimated in round numbers at 58,000 lbs.
The above comprises all the localities of any importance in the United States, and the above estimates of the annual product of oil were made from correct data for the year 1846, since which time the cultivation of mint has rapidly decreased in consequence of a speculative movement by a New York company, who in the spring of 1847 purchased nearly all the mint then growing in this State, and stipulated with the growers not to raise it for two years thereafter, which condition was generally observed on the part of the growers. The present year (1849), on account of the drought, has not realised the expectations of those engaged in its culture, although the amount of oil produced is much larger than the product of the two preceding years. In this mint district, 8,000 lbs. have been raised; Lewis county furnishes 1,000 lbs.; Michigan, 8.000 lbs.; Ohio, 1,000 lbs., and Indiana 500 lbs. So that the entire crop of 1849 will not materially vary from 18,500 lbs.
I have consulted several of the principal dealers in mint oil, whose opportunities have been ample to form a tolerably correct estimate of the amount of oil annually consumed, and their opinion fixes the total consumption, for the various purposes for which it is used in the United States and in Europe, at from 20,000 to 30,000 lbs. annually.
The price of mint oil is extremely fluctuating. Like other unstaple commodities, the value of which depends upon their scarcity or abundance, it never has assumed a constant and standing value, but its price has generally been deranged by speculation and monopoly. It has happened that the amount of oil produced was for several years greater than the annual consumption, producing an accumulation in the market, and reducing the price to the very low rate of 75 cents per pound; on the other hand, when the article was scarce, it readily sold for 5 dollars 25 cents per pound. The average price for fifteen vears has been about 2 dollars 50 cents, per pound. This year (1849) it readily sells for 1 dollar 50 cents., (6s. 6d.).
Peppermint began to be cultivated in this vicinity as an agricultural product about the year 1816, but for several years the want of a proper knowledge of its culture, and the expense and difficulty of extracting the oil, prevented its extension beyond a few growers, who, however, realised fortunes out of the enterprise. Almost any kind of soil that will successfully rear wheat and maize is adapted to the growth of mint. Rich alluvions, however, seem to be most natural, as would be inferred from the fact that the wild herb is almost uniformly found growing upon the tertiary formations on the margins of streams. The rich bottom lands along our rivers and the boundless prairies of the West are eminently adapted for its successful culture. It is believed by those best acquainted with the subject, that its cultivation must be ultimately confined to the western prairies, where it will grow spontaneously, and where the absence of noxious weeds and grasses, incident to all older settled lands, renders the expense of cultivation comparatively light, and where the low price of land will be an important item in the amount of capital employed, the expense of marketing being slight in comparison to that of the more bulky products of agricultural industry.
The method of cultivation is nearly uniform. The mode of propagation is by transplanting the roots, which may be done in autumn or spring, though generally the latter, and as the herb is perennial, it does not require replanting till the fourth year. To ensure a good crop and obviate the necessity of extra attendance the first season, the ground intended for planting should be fallowed the preceding summer, though this is not necessary if the land is ordinarily clean. The ground should be prepared as for maize, as soon as possible in the spring furrowed, and roots planted in drills twenty inches apart, and covered with loose earth, two inches deep, the planter walking upon the drill and treading it firmly. The proper time to procure roots is when the herb is a year old, when from six to eight square rods of ordinary mint will yield a sufficient quantity of roots to plant an acre, and the crop from which the roots are taken will not be deteriorated, but rather benefited by their extraction. As soon as the herb makes its appearance it requires a light dressing with a hoe, care being taken not to disturb the young shoots, many of which have scarcely made their appearance above the ground. In the course of a week or two the crop requires a more thorough dressing, and at this stage of growth the cultivator may be used with advantage, followed by the hoe, carefully eradicating weeds and grass from the drills, and giving the herb a light dressing of earth. Another dressing a week or two later is all the crop requires.
The two following years no labor is bestowed upon the crop, though it is sometimes benefited by ploughing over the whole surface, very shallow, in the autumn of the second year, and harrowing lightly the following spring, which frequently renews the vigor of the plant and increases the product.
The mint should be cut as soon as it is in full bloom, and the lower leaves become sere; the first crop will not be fit to cut as early as the two succeeding ones. It is then to be hayed and put in cock, and is then ready for distillation.
I have consulted many mint growers, who have cultivated it for a series of years, in regard to the average yield per acre, and have arrived at the following estimate, which I think is low, provided the land is suitable, and is properly cultivated. I estimate the average yield per acre for the first year at 18 lbs.; the second year at 14 lbs.; and the third year at 8 lbs.—making the product for three years 40 lbs., which I think will not materially vary from the actual result, though growers aver they have raised from 30 to 40 lbs. per acre the first season.
Several years since, the only method of extracting the oil then known was by distilling the herb in a copper kettle, or boiler, and condensing in the usual manner; a slow and tedious process, by which about 12 or 15 pounds of oil could be separated in a day. But recently steam, that powerful agent, which has wrought such immense changes in our social and national economy, has been applied to this subject with its usual attendant success. The present method consists in the use of a common steam-boiler, of the capacity of from 100 to 150 gallons, from which the steam is conveyed by conductors into large wooden air-tight tubs, of 200 gallons capacity, containing the dried herb; from which it is conveyed, charged with the volatile principle of the plant, into a water-vat, containing the condenser. The water collected at the extremity of the condenser, although it does not readily commingle with the oil, is highly tinctured with it, and is used to feed the boiler. Two tubs are necessary, in order that when the "charge" is being worked off in one, the other can be refilled. The oil is then to be filtered, and is ready for market. The expense of a distillery is estimated at 150 dollars, which, with the labor of two men, and a cord of dry wood, will run 40 lbs. of oil per day. The usual price for distilling is 25 cents per pound.
The cost of production is of course greatly modified by circumstances. If grown on rich bottom lands, or prairie, unusually free from weeds and grass, the labor required will be comparatively trifling. From information derived from the principal mint growers in this vicinity, I have prepared the following estimate of the cost of production of an acre of mint for three years:—
FIRST YEAR. Dollars. Rent of an acre of land one year 8.00 One day plough and drag, one hand and team 2.00 Half day furrowing, digging roots, one hand and horse 1.00 Three days planting, at 75 cents 2.25 Two days dressing with hoe, at 75 cents 1.50 Two days with cultivator and hoe, 1.00 2.00 Two days with cultivator and hoe (third dressing) 1.50 One and a-half days cutting new mint, at 75 cents 1.13 Curing and drawing to distillery 1.50 Distilling 18 lbs. oil, at 25 cents 4.50 Can for oil 25 ——- 25.63
SECOND YEAR. Rent of an acre of land one year 8.00 Cutting one acre of old mint 75 Curing and hauling to distillery 1.50 Distilling 14 lbs. oil, at 25 cents 3.50 Can for oil 25 ——- 14.00
THIRD YEAR. Rent of an acre of land one year 8.00 Cutting, curing, &c. 2.25 Distilling 8 lbs. of oil, at 25 cents, and can 2.25 ——- 12.50 ——- Total expenses for three years 52.13
Forty pounds of oil, at dollars 1.371/2 per pound 55.00 Deduct expenses 52.13 ——- Net profit 2.87
In the above estimate I have omitted the expense of roots, for the reason that the crop will yield as many as are required for planting. The price of roots is about 50 cents per square rod, and if they are in demand, the profit of the crop will be greatly enhanced by selling them at that, or even a lower price.
It will be readily perceived that the culture of peppermint promises no great return of profit in sections of country where land is valuable, and where the expense of production is nearly double what it is in newly-settled districts. It is a fact that in Michigan, and other Western States, the actual expense of production is about one-half less than the above estimate, and the yield is a fourth greater; the greater distance from market, which is usually New York city, not being taken into account, the freight on oil being comparatively trifling. Another consideration in favor of prairie cultivation is, that the mint will endure for years by simply ploughing over the surface every second year, which seems to invigorate the herb, and obviates the necessity of replanting every second or third year, as must be done in older settled localities."
In India the perfumed oils are obtained in the following manner:—The layers of the jasmine, or other flowers, four inches thick and two inches square, are laid on the ground and covered with layers of sesamum or any other oil yielding seed. These are laid about the same thickness as the flowers, over which a second layer of flowers like the fruit is placed. The seed is wetted with water, and the whole mass covered with a sheet, held down at the end and sides by weights, and allowed to remain for eighteen hours in this form. It is now fit for the mill, unless the perfume is desired to be very strong, when the faded flowers are removed and fresh ones put in their place. The seed thus impregnated is ground in the usual way in the mill and the oil expressed, having the scent of the flower. At Ghazipoor the jasmine and bela are chiefly employed; the oil is kept in the dubbers, and sold for about 4s. a seer.
The newest oils afford the finest perfume. In Europe a fixed oil, usually that of the bean or morerja nut, is employed. Cotton is soaked in this, and laid over layers of flowers, the oil being squeezed out so soon as impregnated with perfume. Dr. Johnson thus describes the culture and manufacture:—
Cultivation of Roses.—Around the station of Ghazipoor, there are about 300 biggahs (or about 150 acres) of ground laid out in small detached fields as rose gardens, most carefully protected on all sides by high mud walls and prickly pear fences, to keep out the cattle. These lands, which belong to Zemindars, are planted with rose trees, and are annually let out at so much per biggah for the ground, and so much additional for the rose plants—generally five rupees per biggah, and twenty-five rupees for the rose trees, of which there are 1,000 in each biggah. The additional expense for cultivation would be about eight rupees eight annas; so that for thirty-eight rupees eight annas you have for the season one biggah of 1,000 rose trees.
If the season is good, this biggah of 1,000 rose trees should yield one lac of roses. Purchases for roses are always made at so much per lac. The price of course varies according to the year, and will average from 40 to 70 rupees.
Manufacture of Rose-water.—The rose trees come into flower at the beginning of March, and continue so through April. Early in the morning the flowers are plucked by numbers of men, women, and children, and are conveyed in large bags to the several contracting parties for distillation. The cultivators themselves very rarely manufacture.