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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/205

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THE BOTANICAL GARDENS OF CEYLON

clear out the trees for a sufficient distance and their "finds" once more become overturned by growing roots or the stems of gigantic climbers.

So, where jungle is the rule, and clearings have to be protected, it is natural that the botanical gardens should have a patch of jungle. This is situated in the experiment station grounds, but easily reached by the visitor. Here may be seen the native trees of the region in their natural condition and the visitor may get some idea of tropical luxuriance in the large number of species present on even a small tract of ground. It must be said, however, that a visit to this bit of jungle would be, to many visitors, a disappointment, for it is not filled with air plants hanging from the trees nor rendered impenetrable by interlacing stems of climbing plants. It is, however, much easier to travel through than the jungles at sea level in districts of great heat and humidity.

The botanist who is interested in ecology—the relation of the plant to its environment—is often on the lookout for field and roadside weeds. In temperate regions, particularly in the western United States, roadside weeds make a constant and striking feature of the landscape. This is not the case, as a rule, in the tropics. Indeed, there are not only rather few weeds, but few flowering herbs of any kind. The

PSM V73 D205 Screw pine or monocotyledon of genus pandanus.png

Fig. 5. A "Screw Pine"; not a pine at all, but a monocotyledon of the genus Pandanus. From a photograph by the author.