Imágenes de páginas

if you are watchful, an old coral wall, a couple of miles before you reach the sea, covered, loaded with the night-blooming cereus. The effect is beautiful and artistic at a little distance; but too near, they are coarse, pale, and rank-looking, not like those under fine cultivation.

And this brings to my mind the lantana-man's dreaded foe; as hateful a one, and as hated as the “ Canada thistle” of the North. In New England the lantana is found in hot-houses in quite small plants. The bloom is changeable in its color, pinks and yellows intermingled- sometimes white. This rough, strong shrub, with its many interlacing, wire-like branches of toughest, ugliest kind, and its mass, its cloud of color in heads somewhat like the red clover, will, where it once gets a foothold-an inch of ground sowed with its pernicious, deadly seed - not only spread an ell, but acres upon acres; and so rapid and malignant is its growth, like to all other evil things, that it is almost impossible to uproot it. It takes so firm and determined a hold that “all the king's oxen and all the king's, men" can hardly manage it.. It saps the land, and literally makes a rich man poor! At its worst it attains a height of four or five feet. It must be chopped down and the ground chopped up! It has been suggested that if its millions of lovely laughing blossoms could be used by the chemist, a fine perfume could be made. Very likely. I am sure it could supply a nation. But it would be “high treason” to ask an Islander to buy a bottle—and the man

would be mobbed by the time “Lantana Perfume' was even suggested by him!

In nearly all of the valleys ferns and other plants worthy of the botanist can be collected, and often land shells on the uplands, for which these islands are noted.

Strange to say, some of the wild flowers are very pale, limp, colorless, and odorless. A wild convolvulus is sickly-looking, and as pale as moonlight. You will will see it on the sides of the hills, sometimes, but not pretty, at all. It looks very homesick and unhappy.

But most of the climbers and some of the bushes, as well as trees—the poinciana regia, for instance, where the pretty, delicate green of the leaves can hardly be seen, for the mass of scarlet—are truly superb, magnificent, in color. Then there is the pink poinciana regia, with changeable blossoms, the “Pride of India," with blossom that looks, at a distance, like the appleand oh, a multitude of others of beauty, in bush and tree. With the greatest varieties of elevation and temperature is a like variety of vegetation. There are said to be about one thousand different species of flowering plants and one hundred and fifty-five ferns. It is said six hundred of all these species are found only on the Islands. However, most all of the fruits and vegetables are not indigenous. The bean, palm, and fern families are the commonest kind of vegetation.

There was one royal palm in Honolulu that whenever I came into its presence—and that was often-I felt as if I ought to bend the knee as to a king—for it

was a very king of trees. It shot straight into the air for about seventy feet, and, so far as my eye could measure, I could not detect that it deflected from the true perpendicular, or varied an inch in its girth until a few feet before it met its magnificent crown.

Our lovely little annuals do not thrive under these trees, and must be sowed and resowed. So, many give them up, and look more to the lilies, roses, geraniums, ferns and the flaming shrubs. To keep up a fine flower garden at the Islands is a world of care, and needs the presence, continually, of a gardener.

Until within a very few years no one thought of locking a door on these Islands. You could make your call at any hour in the day or evening, in your neighbor's parlor; if no one was about, you could rest, entertain yourself, play a tune on the piano, put your card down, and go. And you might go to a number of houses and find all the doors and windows opencertainly never shut. If a native went in and wanted a spool of cotton, or any other trifle, and took it, nobody cared-certainly not the native! And for anybody else—why, everybody knew everybody, and that was the end of it. And outside of Honolulu to-day, there is very little of the lock and key.


“ Shall we venture to say a word in favor of this noxious plant, lantana, which has already overrun so many acres of pasture land, and is now pursuing its conquests with accelerated speed, as if it intended to take possession of the whole group? Is there nothing to be said by way of compensation for the universal reprobation it has received ? Probably it has other merits than that one to which we will call attention, as, for instance, that of making soil by its rapid growth on many a tract of rocks and lava. Our plea on its behalf is this: Does it not deserve some thanks for bestowing on the dull, uninteresting sides of Punchbowl a drapery which, for variety and richness of coloring, surpasses the products of the looms of Persia ? If tourist travel is to be one of the resources of the Islands in the future, then whatever can add beauty and attractiveness to the scenery should be welcomed. Compare the drive round the top of Punchbowl, with the lantana in bloom, with what it was when the road was first made. Apart from the magnificent view from the summit and the enjoyment of the cooler air, there was then nothing particularly interesting in the drive itself. But it may be questioned whether anywhere in the world a more gorgeous display of natural covering could be seen than when, after the rains, the lantana suddenly burst into bloom, clothing the sides and carpeting the whole interior of the Bowl with the most brilliant mantle, in which pink and yellow in various shades blended in the same flower, here almost fading into white, there deepening into orange red. Neither an English hillside golden with gorse and broom, nor the woods of Carolina ablaze with azaleas of every conceivable hue, nor the Scottish hills in autumn purpled with the heather, can, in point of brilliancy or gorgeousness of coloring, compare with the scene that Punchbowl presented in November. Then add the views from the top, not only makai over Honolulu, towards Diamond Head on one side, and the Waianae mountains on the other, but mauka also ; in which direction the diversified foliage, that now clothes the once bare sides of Tantalus, makes a fitting background for the rich coloring at your feet. And it may be safely said that few cities have, within their environs, a more lovely drive than that round Punchbowl, when the lantana is in bloom.”Honolulu Diocesan Magazine.

“Any one who has been to Manoa valley may have observed on passing Oahu College that the wall of the grounds skirting the road is covered from the ground upwards to the height of eight or nine feet with a species of the cactus tribe, which has straggled along until it now extends to a distance of fully an eighth of a mile. Ordinarily there is nothing about this plant to attract attention. But for a few days in the year it presents a most wonderful spectacle. This plant that looks so uninteresting is the night-blooming cereus (Cereus grandiflorus). Its blossom of white petals may be compared to a large goblet, of a rich cream color on the inside, enclosing a wealth of innumerable stamens. It was at the August full moon that this uninteresting-looking hedge burst into bloom along the entire length of the road. Not a bud had opened before the sun went down. But by 8 o'clock in the

« AnteriorContinuar »