Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/408

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
400
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

floating on the water. The hard stony nut of the Bahia piassába is used for the manufacture of buttons.

The stiff parts of the fibers of some palms are used by the native Indians to make combs. The tucúm is much used along the coast in the manufacture of fishing nets and fishing lines. It is extracted by scraping away the fleshy part of the leaflet with a dull knife. The tucúm palms are abundant in the Amazonas valley and in the forest

PSM V60 D408 Examples of palm nuts.png
Fig. 16. Examples of Palm Nuts; Natural Sizes.

covered parts of Brazil as far south as the State of Espirito Santo, and possibly further. The abundance of the plants and the remarkable strength of the fiber seem to make it possible to turn the plant to more extensive use.

Flowers.—The flowers of palm trees are very short-lived, and are therefore not available for ornamental purposes. A newly-opened spathe, however, especially of the large trees, is an impressive sight. I have never observed any marked odors about the flowers of palms, but