Monday, December 17, 2007

Rubber tree seeds

I'm only speculating that Pau Brasil ( Caesalpinia echinata) is the most famous tree in Brazil, given that the country gets its name from the same. I also speculate that the rubber tree is the most famous tree in the Amazon. There are different species, but Hevea brasiliensis is the one that the famous English botanist, Richard Spruce, proclaimed as producing the best quality rubber. It's probably no coincidence that his cohort, Henry Wickham, smuggled 70,000 Hevea brasiliensis seeds to Kew Gardens in 1876, an act that eventually led to the demise of the rubber boom in Brazil. As a side note, I discovered these seeds in an old peanut butter jar at the Bosque today. I was surprised how well they were preserved. I don't remember when I put them in the jar, but it must have been at least two years ago. I guess I won't brag too much about that after seeing the 1876 seeds on display at Kew Gardens.

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