Among the plants used by the Tarahmnara Indians was one of special interest, a small, turnip-shaped, spineless cactus called Hikuli, in quest of which they made long journeys to the mountains of eastern Chihuahua. It proved to be the narcotic "mezcal-button" (Lophophora williamsii), also known in Mexico by the name Peyote, or Peyotl. This plant causes delightful visions and strange hallucinations, and the Indians regard it with great veneration. Like their cousins, the Huicholes of the Nayarit Mountains of Jalisco, they observe certain rites or ceremonies in collecting it, bringing it home, and preparing it for use, which recall the superstitious practises of the rhizotomi, or root-gatherers, of ancient Greece.
Dr. Palmer's next expedition was to the state of Jalisco, where he made extensive collections, especially in the vicinity of Guadalajara. Not far from this city he descended into a wonderful barranca, or canyon, never before visited by a botanist. The account of his discoveries at this time recalls Schiede's description of his descent into the Barranca of Teocelo, near Jalapa, in the state of Veracruz. His collection of this year included about 675 species, many of which proved to be new. A preliminary report of the botanical results was quickly prepared by Sereno Watson and published in the Proceedings of the American Academy.
The following year he collected near Guaymas, the seaport of Sonora, on the island of San Pedro Martir, in the Gulf of California, and at Mulejé and Angeles Bay, on the gulf coast of Lower California. The results were also published by Watson in Vol. 24, Proceedings of the American Academy, 1889.
During June and July, 1888, he collected for the U. S. Department of Agriculture in the counties of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino, California. A list of his collections at this time, published by Vasey and Rose, is the initial paper of the "Contributions from the U. S. National Herbarium," Vol. 1, 1890. The next year he returned to Lower California, collecting at San Quentin and Lagoon Head, on the Pacific coast, Cedros and San Benito Islands, and once more on the interesting island of Guadalupe, some distance off the coast. An account of the plants collected at San Quentin and a partial report of those collected at Lagoon Head were published in Vol. 11 of the Proceedings of the U. S. National Museum, 1889. An account of the remaining plants from Lagoon Head together with those collected on the coast islands above mentioned was published by the same authors in Vol. 1 of the "Contributions from the National Herbarium," to-
- "Botanische Berichte aus Mexico, mitgetheilt vom Dr. Schiede," Linnæa, Vol. 4, p. 233, 1829.
- "List of Plants collected by Dr. Edward Palmer in the State of Jalisco, Mexico, in 1886," Proc. Am. Acad., Vol. 22, pp. 396-465, 1887.