which there are nearly a score of species growing on dry hills and sandy plains in Colorado and Wyoming. According to Pellett, in Colorado they yield nectar freely and an average of 40 pounds per colony has been obtained from this source. The honey is light amber-colored and poor flavored. O. virgata grows on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. A minor honey plant.
PALM. — The palm family (Palmaceae) is represented in Florida by 15 species, not including the cultivated date palm. There are in the world 130 genera and over 1000 species of palms which are nearly equally divided between the tropics of both hemispheres. Palm trees, with their slender, unbranched columnar trunks surmounted with a crown of immense fernlike leaves, are among the most stately and graceful of trees, and occupy an important place in both story and history. The individual flowers are small, stemless, and usually white or greenish-colored; but they are borne in enormous branched spikes or flower-clusters. The largest flower -cluster in the world, which is 40 feet in length, is produced by the Talipot palm of Ceylon. The natives of the tropics utilize every portion of the palm for food, wine, clothing, medicine, and dwellings. A part of the palms are pollinated by the wind and a part by insects, although in some species both methods occur. In Florida the cabbage, scrub, and saw palmettos, and the royal palm are valuable sources of nectar. The cocoanut palm is reported to yield a surplus, but further observation is desirable. The date palm is wind-pollinated and the flowers are nectarless, but honeybees often in large numbers gather the pollen.
The cocoanut palm (Cocos nucifera) grows in southern Florida, and throughout the West Indies and the tropical regions of both worlds. It has been reported to yield an amber-colored honey with a flavor resembling horehound honey. On Key Biscayne, on the east coast of Florida, the cocoanut is said to be practically the only source of honey, but in Porto Rico it is not considered a good honey plant. When the stalks of the great flower-cluster, 3 to 6 feet long, are wounded, a sweet sap flows freely, which in the East Indies is collected and evaporated into a crude sugar.
The royal palm (Oreodoxa regia) grows in southern Florida, Cuba, and Porto Rico, is pollinated by insects and is nectariferous. (Fig. 93.) The tree has no regular time of blooming, but the flowers appear at intervals throughout the year, and there may be fruit of four different ages on the trees at one time. The tough buds open with a sharp cracking sound, exposing the clusters of flowers, which are 3 or 4 feet long and consist of hundreds of yellowish-white, strong-scented blossoms. It is not usual to get a surplus from this palm, although once in a while a strong colony will store a pound a day; but it is a valuable honey plant since it yields during the summer when there is no other honey. In localities where the royal palm covers large areas a small amount of honey may be placed on the market. The honey is light amber, very thin, and has a strong flavor. (Roystonea regia.)
PALMETTO, CABBAGE (Sabal Palmetto). — The cabbage palmetto, so called from the cabbagelike terminal bud, which is boiled and eaten like a cabbage, is found in the sandy coast regions from North Carolina to Florida, and also occurs in Cuba and the Bahamas. It grows from 20 to 50 feet tall, and is abundant along the east and west coasts, on the banks of rivers, and in hammocks throughout southern Florida. The erect trunk is gray-colored and bears a crown of fan-shaped leaves, about 5 feet in length and almost equally broad. The flowers have three sepals, three petals, six stamens, and a three-celled ovary. It is a picturesque tree and is widely planted for ornament. The drooping flower-cluster, which is three or more feet in length, consists of a central, much branched axis, bearing on the ultimate smaller branches hundreds of small, white, stalkless flowers. They exhale a strong fragrance as pronounced as that of apple blossom. (Fig. 94.)
In the extreme southern part of Florida the cabbage palmetto begins to bloom about the first of July, but in the northern portion of the state not until August. The flowers are very sensitive to the weather: too much dampness blights, and a dry hot atmosphere blasts the bloom. According to Baldwin it is on an average a good yielder only one year in three — for example, 1907, 1909, and 1912. In a