Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoanutby@scientificamerican

Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoanut

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The following interesting facts concerning the cultivation of the above products in the island of Ceylon, were given in Mr. H. B. Brady's recent address before the British Pharmaceutical Conference at Swansea: The vanilla plant is trained on poles placed about twelve or eighteen inches apart—one planter has a line of plants about three miles in length. Like the cardamom, it yields fruit after three years, and then continues producing its pods for an indefinite period. The cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is, as its name indicates, a native of Ceylon. It is cultivated on a light sandy soil about three miles from the sea, on the southwest coast of the island, from Negumbo to Matura. In its cultivated state it becomes really productive after the sixth year, and continues from forty to sixty years. The superintendent of the largest estate in this neighborhood stated that there were not less than fifteen varieties of cinnamon, sufficiently distinct in flavor to be easily recognized. The production of the best so injures the plants that it does not pay to cut this at any price under 4s. 6d. to 5s. per lb. The estate alluded to above yields from 30,000 to 40,000 lb. per annum; a uniform rate of 4-1/2 d. per lb. of finished bark is paid for the labor. Cinnamon oil is produced from this bark by distillation; the mode is very primitive and wasteful. About 40 lb. of bark, previously macerated in water, form one charge for the still, which is heated over a fire made of the spent bark of a previous distillation. Each charge of bark yields about three ounces of oil, and two charges are worked daily in each still.

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