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VOL. XXXIV No. 3.
Palmetto Roots for Industrial (De natured) Alcohol. Believing that the large roots of the saw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata), commonly known as scrub palmetto, might contain enough starch to make them of some value, I recently made an analysis of a sample collected a few weeks ago in the vicinity of the Experiment Station, with the result that I found about 7 1-3 per cent of starch. Another sample, collected a few years ago, and taken almost entirely from the corky part of the root, showed a still higher percentage. The samples examined were of the air-dried, not the green material. So far as I can learn, the amount of starch in the root of this plant has not before been determined. Dr. E. R. Flint has reported a sam ple (Seventh annual report of the Mass. Experiment Station) that coiv tained 69.95 per cent, of non-nitro genous extract (carbohydrates) and 21.25 per cent cellulose. In some recent unpublished notes on Saw Palmetto he further says: “There is also a certain amount of starch in the root as shown by the iodine test/’ Should other samples, taken at dif ferent seasons of the year, and from other sections of the State, show a percentage of starch as high or high er than those I have examined, it seems quite possible that it might be utilized as a source of denatured alcohol, either the alcohol being man ufactured as an independent industry, or as a by-product from the extrac tion of tannic acid, of which there is considerable present. In addition to the starch, there is present some cellulose, and a gummy substance (not yet studied), and no doubt a portion of these could be con verted into fermentable sugar. The weight of alcohol that may be produced from a given material, is estimated at a little less than one half of the fermentable substance pre sent, it being understood that the fermentable substance is expressed in terms of sugar, and since all the starch present can be converted into sugar, the amount of alcohol that could be produced would be equal i to about one-half the starch'-present, or 3 2-3 pounds per hundred pounds of root. The weight of a gallon of 95 per cent, alcohol is given as nearly seven pounds, hence a ton of the dry roots should produce about ten gallons oft 95 per cent alcohol, if the starch only i is available. D. H. W. Wiley, Chief of the Bu Jacksonville and DeLand, Fla., Wednesday, January 16, 1907. reau of Chemistry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, in speaking of the utilization of waste material, or by ! products, for the manufacture of in dustrial alcohol, mentions the stalks and cobs of sweet corn, the waste products of canneries, wood pulp and 1 waste wood as possible materials for this purpose. Should the actual manufacturing operations show that palmetto roots can be successfully and profitably converted into denatured alcohol, the industry should prove an important one in Florida, for the supply of material is well nigh inexhaustible. Further investigations will be re ported later. 111 explanation it may be stated that industrial alcohol is domestic alcohol that has been rendered unfit for use as a beverage or as a liquid medicine, by having mixed with it a small amount of denaturing or pois onous material, and may be with drawn from bond, tax free. The de naturing materials do not render it unfit for use in the arts and indus tries and for heat, light and fuel. A. W. Blair. Fla. Agri. Expt, Sta., Lake City, Florida. January 4, 1907. “W. C.” In Florida. A regular contributor to the Far mer’s Home Journal, has been in Flor ida, writing from Tampa, he relates some of his experience and expresses his opinions as to some of the things which he has seen: “This is winter time, but no winter here, for it is farming time when crops are planted and harvests are gathered. The “gold and the green” mark beauty on the orange groves, and we are quite ready to say that a section of the first garden planted by God had escaped the bite of the ser pent of sin, and dropped down in a new world where, as it were, two seasons meet, and flowers bloom and fruit ripens every month in the year. The Fountain of Youth was a de lusive myth, but a climate of health and everblooming flowers that gave the christening name, Florida, to the land. Tradition, if not true history, tells that DeSoto was the first to see and place his standard on the land of the great Western World, that has hatched, as it were, a great nation of white faces and red hearts,: that now, by its might and right, proposes to dominate the world. Mr. Editor, we have flowers and mosqui toes here, while you all in my Old; Kentucky Home have frost on the lawn and hot fires in the fireplace^, This is a big country and a Godblest one. At one end of it the polar bear makes his home inside of the eter nal iceberg, and at the other end the aligator makes his wallow and fish and mosquitoes bite at the same time. But enough of this skyscrap ing and sand digging talk. Florida is a growing country now. The first discovered and proclaimed, yet the most tardy to be occupied and appreciated. Florida for a long time stood at the foot of the list in Congress, but in the last census she got one more for company, and the next time she will double her pre sent representation. Mark what I say: This land is getting her proper place at the family board of her sis ter States where the cotton and pal metto grow. When I took pencil and paper to write you I tripped up on the time of morning, when to get up and out. I had no striking clock in my room, nor no rooster on trees or roost to sound me the watches of the night, so the result is, I am up two hours ahead of time, and have put in a few strokes of pencil more than nec essary and dropped out some be cause daylight is behind time for me. Please excuse haste and strange home; and absence of old rooster as time sentinel in the cedar tree for the coming of daylight and the ris ing with the sun.” Hunting in Brevard County. A recent issue of the East Coast' Advocate contains the following para graphs which are of special interest to sportsmen: Messers. D. A. Pritchard and M. L. Peacock, of Titusville, killed a large deer yesterday. Mr. Wade Jones, of Titusville, has returned from a hunting trip with a party of friends. Six deer and many duck were killed on their trip. Mr. L. C. Branning and friends who have hunted with him this winter in the neighborhood of Titusville,., have killed 640 quail since the season open ed. Mr. Wm. Budd, of St. Augustine, was in TutusyjUe last Saturday after noon, and went after duck. In about three hours he returned here with beauties. Mr. Wm. Prindle, of Titusville, is •. t * .still making a. good record at quail and duck shooting, but says the con tinued hot and dry weather is against hunters. Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Gore and daugh ter returned Wednesday from a hunt ing trip to Fort Christmas, Orange county. While on the trip they killed ioo quail, 44 squirrels and two wild turkeys. Barring Out Suspected Stock. The Citrograph publishes an arti cle on this subject, written, by the horticultural commissioner of San Bernardino county, California, and read at the Fruit Growers’ Conven tion at Hanford, December sth As all well posted horticulturists know, all of our very numerous bad fruit tree pests have been shipped into our state on nursery stock of all kinds. We, of California, are noted for be ing in the front rank in the matter of inspection and quarantine. And yet it should be apparent to all that something has been awry with our methods else Wfe would not today be taxed with such a long list of bad fruit pests. r - The white scale, Icerya Purchasi, was introduced into California from Australia on acacia plants in 1868 by Mr. George Gorden of Menlo Park. From there it spread all over the state and cost an immense amount of money to fight it prior to the introduction of its natural en emy, Vedalia Cardinalis. The rCci scale, Aspidiotus Aurantii, was first introduced into California on six lemon trees from Australia by Don Mateo Keller of Los Angeles. When we contemplate the immense amount of damage done by this pest to our citrus groves and the hun dreds of thousands of dollars that have been spent in fighting it, surely we realize what a great thing it would have been if those little lemon trees had been dropped into the ocean or burned or at least quaran tined until the trees were proven to be perfectly clean. Mytilaspis Citricola, the purple scale, was first introduced into the United States on some lemons ship ped into Jacksonville, Florida, from Bermuda, in 1855. This was so long ago, and the damage so great in Florida that it would seem to the average person that every care would have been taken to keep it out of our state. It would seem as if the nursery men interested in Florida stock would wish not to have it spread. The facts are that certain nursery men who raise and budded citrus trees in Florida shipped a great many carloads into this state. Many of the trees were covered with the purple scale. When our inspector quarantined the infested trees, burned some, removed the foliage from many Whole No. 1683.