« PreviousContinue »
(i. /•. W. Collection. Plate LXY
This tree is supposed to be the first mango tree brought to the Hawaiian Islands. It was planted in the early part of the nineteenth century by Don Marin, whom the Hawaiians familiarly called " Manini." He brought to Hawaii many useful trees and plants ; among the number was this mango, which he planted in his vineyard, then known as "Ka Pa Waina," and there it may be found today; a venerable tree standing about 80 feet high, having a spread of over 100 feet, and its trunk measuring 15 feet in circumference. Although a prolific bearer, its fruits, which are borne in large clusters, are small, and of an inferior quality, having a thick skin and a large, hairy seed.
G, P. W. Collection. PLATe LXVI
This mango, with its distinctive shape, is one of the few types that comes true to seed. The first and original tree, which was planted at the Government Nursery, Honolulu, was brought from Jamaica by Joseph Marsden, Esq. This tree is a prolific bearer, and its seeds have been widely distributed throughout these Islands. The fruit is large and regular in size, having a thick skin which is of a light-green color. The pulp is pale yellow, very juicy, and slightly acid. There is a very large, hairy seed.
0. P. W. Collection. pLaTe LXVII
The banana, which has been cultivated from the most remote times, is a plant of great importance in tropical and sub-tropical climates, where its highly nutritious fruit is used as food. It is a large herbaceous, slightly shrubby, plant of very easy growth, having immense, gracefully-arching, undivided leaves. There are numerous varieties, the fruit of which differs in shape, color and flavor.
As decorative plants in landscape gardening, few subjects equal the choice species of the banana; and on account of its utility, combined with its beauty, it is considered one of the most valuable of tropical products. Propagation is by off-shoots or suckers. When a stalk is cut, the fruit of which has ripened, sprouts are put forth which in time bear fruit. The enormous flower stalk issues from the centre of the crown of leaves, and curves over with its own weight.
The flowers are arranged in a dense terminal panicle; they alternate with large, reddish scales, which drop off as the fruit stalk develops, and the finger-like fruits are in clusters. The I lawaiians seem to have possessed the banana from the earliest times, and about fifty varieties were known to the older natives. However, since the year 1855, the so-called Chinese banana (.\fnsa Carendishii), which was at that time introduced from Tahiti, has crowded out the native varieties, many of which arc now extinct.
The accompanying cut shows a few of the different forms and sizes of the banana thrown in Hawaii.