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the time required for ripening. On the other hand, if the sweet Havana or Virginia tobacco is grown in Connecticut or Pennsylvania, it becomes, year by year, more delicate in texture, and more leafy and less sweet. The fibers grow small, but the thickness of the leaf decreases, and in time it makes a fine wrapper, but a poor filler. It also grows quicker and ripens earlier than it did further South. Attempts have often been made, in the South, to grow the seedleaf tobacco, but always with failure. The writer once sowed seed of the best Pennsylvania seedleaf variety, and planted a crop upon soils in Tennessee, resembling, in all particulars, the soils upon which it is grown in Pennsylvania. The very first year, the leaves narrowed and became too thick for cigar wrappers; the color, from a dark brown, became a cinnamon red; the aroma changed from that of the dampish cigar odor to that of sweet chewing tobacco. The comparatively gumless leaf of the parent became a rich, waxy leaf with the offspring. And this was the result of an experiment lasting for one year only. The modification was so pronounced that no one would have taken it for a seedleaf variety. The Florida seedleaf, so called, resembles the tobacco of Cuba more than it does the tobacco of the seedleaf districts of the North. It is thick, heavy, less expensive, and not so delicate of fiber, but often very fragrant, with an odor not unlike that of the Cuba tobacco, but not so strong.
The long period of growth, in the Southern States, gives tobacco ample time for the elaboration in its vesicular system of the oils and waxes and gums that contribute to its sweetness and fragrance. Even saccharine juices have been found stored up, in large quantity, in some of the yellow tobacco of North Carolina and Virginia. We infer, therefore, that two causes are constantly in operation to increase the number, or modify the character, of existing varieties. These are soil and climate.
Another cause, still greater, perhaps, and one that has a more powerful effect in determining the shape of the leaves and the peculiarities of the plant, is the crossfertilization of different varieties. From two varieties, the one with a narrow leaf, and the other with a broad leaf, by cross-fertilization may be produced one partaking of the character of both. Planted on the same farm, and even in the same field, they will produce some modification of variety in the succeeding crop, although the utmost pains may be taken to prevent this, by turning out the seed heads of the two varieties as far apart as possible. Any one who has grown a few hundred plants of Cuba tobacco, for domestic use, on a farm where the heavy export tobacco is produced from the Big Orinoco, the Medley Pryor, or the Beat-All, knows that in the crop of the succeeding year many growing plants will be found with the sweetish odor of the Cuba tobacco, growing side by side with the heavy varieties.
It is exceedingly important, therefore, in consequence of the readiness with which the varieties mix, that in order to keep a desirable variety from deterioration, no two varieties shall be planted upon the same farm. Hundreds of modifications of varieties have thus been made. Darwin made some exceedingly interesting experiments in the cross-fertilization and self-fertilization of the tobacco plant, from which he drew the conclusion that cross-fertilization from plants grown from the same seed produces deterioration of variety, both in size and weight.
On the other hand, when a plant is cross-fertilized with a totally different variety, grown under different conditions of climate and culture, and on different soils, the improvement was manifest, both in size and weight. This improvement was shown in several ways, "by earlier germination of the crossed seeds, by the more rapid growth of the seedlings while quite young, PLATE IV. HAVANA Seedleaf (complete plant In fiower*.
Grown In Connecticut valley, Massachusetts. Hight 6 feet 7 inches. Top leaves 20 to 25 inches long, 12 to 15 inches wide; middle leaves 15 to 17 by 28 to 33 inches ; bottom leaves U to 13 by 20 to 26 Inches. by the earlier flowering of the crossed plants, as well as by the greater hight which they ultimately attain. The superiority of the crossed plants was shown still more plainly when the two lots were weighed, the weight of the crossed plants to that of the self-fertilized being as 160 to 37. Better evidence," he concludes, "could hardly be desired, of the immense advantage derived from cross with a fresh stock." But Darwin neglected the most important point, and that is, the relative value of the cured products. Strong vitality in the tobacco plant does not ensure a high quality of products.
While this tendency of the varieties to mix is accompanied with trouble in preserving the purity of the seeds of desirable varieties, it also offers opportunities for improving old, or of creating new, varieties. The plant may be bred for qualities desired for specific purposes. In the districts growing wrappers, width and fineness of the leaf may be increased by crosa-fertilization. Where the product is thick and heavy, but not large, the crossfertilization with a plant of larger leaf may result in a decided improvement. This should be one of the duties of those having charge of agricultural experiment stations.
In the investigation of the culture and curing of tobacco, by the census of 1880, more than one hundred names of varieties were mentioned in the schedules returned. Probably half of these were synonyms. In the list below are given the names, uses, places where grown, and peculiarities of growth of such varieties as commended themselves to growers. A few new varieties have been introduced since 1880, of which the names, uses and qualities are given at the close of the chapter.
New "varieties" are frequently brought to notice, but in most cases prove, upon investigation, to be merely variations of established kinds. Indeed, it is difficult to mark the line between distinct and indistinct varie* ties. We by no means contend that absolute perfection has yet been attained in any of our varieties of tobacco, and feel confident that the great development of tobacoo culture which is coming in America, will be characterized by marked improvements in the desirable features of the different classes of leaf.
PRINCIPAL VARIETIES OF TOBACCO GROWN IN THE UNITED STATES.
Adcock.—Wide space between leaves; ripens uniformly from top to bottom; used for yellow wrappers and fillers for plug; excellent fine smokers; grown in North Carolina.
Baden.—Short leaves, light, inclined to be chaffy; cures a fine yellow, but liable to green spots; used for plug wrappers and fillers, smokers; grown in Maryland.
Baltimore Cuba.—Long leaf, good body, fine, silky texture, tough ; yields well; sweats a uniform color; disseminated by the United States agricultural department; used for cigar wrappers and fillers; grown in Ohio (Miami valley).
Bat.—Large, heavy leaf, red spangled and yellow when cured; used for manufacturing and shipping; grown in Maryland.
Beat-all (same as Williams).—Large, spreading leaf, fine fiber, dark, rich and gummy; export to Great Britain and Germany; well cured, makes fine Sw ss wrappers. Tennessee, Virginia.
Belknap.—Sub-variety of Connecticut seedleaf; same as Connecticut seedleaf. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York.
Bullface.—Sub-variety of the Pryor; large, heavy leaf, oval shaped, tough, small stems and fibers; a luxuriant grower; heavy shipping, makes good wrappers tor cheap plug. Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee.