Page:An account of the manufacture of the bla.pdf/19

This page has been validated.

[ 10 ]

ing. On the top of this land you must fancy a thick wood of all sorts and sizes of trees, and amongst these the Tea tree, struggling for existence; the ground here and there having a natural ditch cut by the rain water, which forms so many small Islands. The largest piece of ground that I have met with, I think was about 600 paces without a break. I also add a section of the little river Kahong, where the Tea plant abounds, exhibiting many small Islands, every one of which is covered with trees of various sizes, and the Tea among them; the land being never wholly inundated in the rains, though nearly so. This kind of land is called Coor-kah Mutty. I have never met with the Tea plants growing in the sun, but invariably under shade, in thick woods, or what we call tree-jungle, and only there, and in no other jungle whatever. It struggles for existence amongst so many other trees, that it becomes tall and slender, with most of its branches high up. The largest Tea tree I ever met with was 29 cubits high, and four spans round; very few I should say attain that size. I have taken great numbers of Tea plants from the jungles, brought them 4 to 8 days journey to my own house, and planted them in the sun, that is, without any shade; during the first six months the half of them died, at the end of the year about one quarter of what I had originally brought only lived; at the end of the 2d year there was still less; those that did live threw out leaves and blossoms, but the fruit never came to perfection. The plants I speak of were from one to three feet high; if they have grown any thing since they were transplanted, it has hardly been perceptible, either in height or thickness; many of them have had the advantage of a little shade from the tree: in my garden, and those that had the most