Monday, 13 October 2014

Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. draft version for proof purposes only. 2010).

 Ethnobotanical notes from Daniel Rolander’s Diarium Surinamicum (1754–1756): Are these plants still used in Suriname today? Tinde van Andel,1 Paul Maas2 & James Dobreff3 1 Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis, National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands 2 NCB Naturalis (NHN), Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands 3 Latin Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Box 201, 221 00 Lund, Sweden Author for correspondence: Tinde van Andel,

Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. INTRODUCTION The Swedish biologist Daniel Rolander (ca. 1723–1793) was selected by his teacher Carl Linnaeus to travel to Suriname in the company of Carl Gustaf Dahlberg, a Swedish mercenary officer in Dutch service who had married a wealthy widow with several plantations in this Dutch plantation colony. Rolander was nominally hired as a tutor to Dahlberg’s daughters, but soon dedicated himself entirely to the study of the flora and fauna of the region (Dobreff, 2010). Rolander’s journey was in fact a one-man natural history expedition, although he was probably assisted by Dahlberg’s African slaves during his work. Rolander departed from Sweden on 21 October 1754. His stay in Suriname lasted seven months: from 20 June 1755 to 20 Janu- ary 1756. Working every day but Sundays, he gathered plant and animal specimens during the day, while in the evenings he recorded his observations in detail, prepared plant specimens for preservation in his herbarium and processed his zoological collections. When Rolander returned to Stockholm on 2 Octo- ber 1756, he became the fifth of nine Linnaean ‘Apostles’ to see their homeland again. His return should have been a great victory, but his relation with his former teacher quickly soured. Rolander refused to share his specimens with Linnaeus, as he was determined to use his herbarium, insect collections and his diary (then still in draft form) to leverage himself an academic position or some sort of suitable employment. His efforts seem to have met with no success (Dobreff, 2010). In 1762, Rolander was destitute. His clothing, books, manuscripts and extensive Surinamese herbarium had been impounded due to outstanding debts. The German Professor Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein (1723–1795) agreed to pay Rolander’s debt and provide food and lodging, if Rolander would complete the last draft of his expedition report. When he had finished it in 1763, however, Kratzenstein failed to find a publisher for it. The original holograph, a 700-page Latin manuscript, remains in the library of the Danish Botanical Museum in Copenhagen. It bears its title in Rolander’s hand: Diarium Surinamicum, quod sub itinere exotico conscripsit Daniel Rolander (Dobreff, 2010). The Danish botanist Christian Friis Rottbøll (1727–1797) purchased Rolander’s Diarium Surinamicum and a portion of his herbarium, presumably from Kratzenstein

Abstract The recent English translation of the diary of the Swedish naturalist Daniel Rolander (written 1754–1756) reveals the earliest written records on useful plants of Suriname. Since he did not grant Linnaeus access to his specimens, Rolander never received credit for his work, part of his collection was lost, and his diary never published. Here we compare Rolander’s notes with recent ethnobotanical data from the Guianas and discuss how plant use has changed in the past 250 years. All spe- cies names in the diary with (potential) uses were updated to their current taxonomic status by using modern and historical literature, digitized Rolander specimens, herbarium collections and online nomenclatural databases. Rolander’s diary lists uses for 263 plant names (228–242 spp.). Major use categories are medicine (109 spp.) and food (107 spp.). About 86% of these species are still used in Suriname today, 54% similarly as in the 1750s. Greatest correspondence was found among cultivated food crops, timber and ornamental species. Living conditions in Suriname have greatly improved since 1755, so much ancient famine food is now forgotten; while then popular fruits have become ‘emergency food’ today. Although ideas about health and illness have changed over the past centuries, uses have remained unchanged for 36% of the medicinal species. Rolander’s diary contains first-hand observations on how plant uses were discovered, and how this knowledge was accumulated, transferred or kept secret in an 18th-century slave society. It represents one of the few historical sources that document the transfer of ethnobotanical knowledge among Amerindians, Europeans and Africans, as well as the trial-and-error process by which the enslaved Africans learned to use a new, American flora. Keywords African diaspora; botanical history; ethnobotany; Guianas; Linnaeus; medicinal plants Supplementary Material Tables S1 and S2 (in the Electronic Supplement) are available in the Supplementary Data section of the online version of this article (
Page 2
2 Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. 2010). Rottbøll published several plant descriptions based on Rolander’s diary and plants, quoting medicinal uses and col- lection information (e.g., Rottbøll, 1778). After Linnaeus had spread the word that his former student was unqualified and mentally ill, Rolander never received recognition for his work. In 1793, he died impoverished and in poor health in Lund, Sweden (Dobreff, 2010). The Bergius Herbarium in Stock- holm, Sweden (SBT) has at least 197 Rolander collections, listed under 360 different scientific names (www.bergianska .se). The Botanic Museum in Copenhagen (C) preserves at least 10 specimens collected by Rolander in Suriname, while a hand- ful of specimens is stored at the University of Helsinki, Finland (H), the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm (S), Uppsala University, Sweden (UPS), and at the Linnean Society of London (LINN) (De Moraes, 2012). The French taxonomist Fusée Aublet (1720–1778) is gener- ally considered as one of the “founding fathers of Neotropical ethnobotany”, as he published the first detailed indigenous uses of South American plants (Plotkin & al., 1991). Rolander preceded Aublet by 20 years, but even though some of his col- lections and drawings were selected as type specimens, like Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) Maas (Maas, 1977) and Ficus per- tusa L. f. (Berg, 1992), the existence of his unpublished Latin diary was until recently unknown among (ethno-)botanists specialized in the Guianas (De Moraes, 2012). Rolander’s diary is preceded in Suriname only by Maria Sibylla Merian, who published her famous paintings of plants and insects in 1705. Rolander, like many of his contemporaries, did not only focus on the taxonomy of plants and animals, but also showed a keen interested in the Surinamese society, their inhabitants and their use of plants. The publication of the English translation of the Diarium Surinamicum by Dobreff and co-workers (Rolander, I have put all what was obviously quoted from printed m a-terials into double quot. m arks - check if all are correct 2008) has revealed that Rolander’s writings represent one of the earliest written records on useful plants of Suriname. Apart from the few ethnobotanical notes made by Hendrik Meijer (ca. 1689) in the Hermann Herbarium (Veldman, 2012), Merian (1705), Stedman (1988), the descriptions of useful plants by Fermin (1765), the unpublished catalogue of the collections made by Rolander’s host Dahlberg (n.d.), and Linnaeus’s work on Dahlberg’s collections (Linnaeus, 1785), there exists only scanty information about plant use in 18th-century Suriname. What makes Rolander’s diary interesting from a historical viewpoint is that it is a first-hand report of a highly trained Linnaean naturalist, who was not only suddenly submerged in Suriname’s rich flora and fauna, but also became an unexpected eyewitness of an 18th-century Dutch colonial society. The diary is much more than a scientific description of plants and animals. It also provides an ornate portrait of how European plantation owners earned fortunes from coffee, sugar and cocoa. Rolander contrasted the self-indulgent lifestyle of the Dutch planters with the dreadful conditions endured by their black servants (Pain, 2007). He was shocked by the brutal punishments inflicted on the slaves, sometimes for committing only a slight mistake like the breaking of a saucer. The “repeated lashes of whips hissed daily throughout the city homes […] a type of punishment that is horrendous to hear and wretched to view”, he wrote in his diary on 1 July 1755. Rolander arrived in Suriname just as a growing army of escaped slaves were fighting a successful guerilla war against their former owners. Their frequent attacks on planta- tions terrified the white population, and military expeditions were sent out to find the blacks and to destroy their settlements (Stedman, 1988). Most of these actions were unsuccessful, and Rolander describes their failures in detail. During his travels around the city of Paramaribo and along the Commewijne and changed to genitive Fig. . Rolander and Dahlberg on expedition in Suriname. Drawing by Jamaer (1935), using a wrong date. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 1 2 3 4
Page 3
3 Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. lower Suriname River, Rolander met white planters, Portuguese Jews, Amerindians, Creoles and African-born slaves (Fig. 1). He describes their physical appearance, food habits, agriculture, rituals and herbal medicine. He dined with “fine white ladies”, peeked inside a newly arrived slave-ship, entered an Amerindian dwelling, met an escaped African slave who had become the chief of an Indian tribe and had six wives, and was present when slaves celebrated their holidays with traditional African music and dances. For all the plants he saw during his seven-month journey through Suriname he composed detailed Linnaean de- scriptions, and recorded how the Indians, Europeans or African slaves used them as food or medicine. Historical documents report that slaves were often allowed a space to cultivate food in their spare time, but prior to the publication of Rolander’s diary, we hardly knew which crops they planted, what dishes they ate or which wild fruits they gathered from the forests bordering the plantations (Price, 1991; Carney & Rosomoff, 2009). Nor did we have a clear idea on what ecological knowledge they exchanged with nearby indig- enous communities, and how they became familiar with the alien landscape surrounding them (Voeks, 2009). Rolander’s diary provides some answers to the following questions: What plants were being used by whom in Suriname during the 1750s? Which species were cultivated in gardens and which ones col- lected in the wild? In this paper, we compare Rolander’s diary with recent ethnobotanical data from Suriname, and discuss what plant uses have remained the same, changed or disap- peared, and speculate on the reasons why. MATERIALS AND METHODS We traced back the species names for useful plants men- tioned in the English translation of Rolander’s diary to their current taxonomic status by using De Moraes & al. (2009, 2010), De Moraes (2012), Rottbøll (1778), Uittien’s hand- written copy of Dahlberg’s unpublished catalogue (of which the original is held by the Linnaean Society in London) and Alm’s dissertation on Dahlberg’s alcohol collection (Linnaeus, 1785; De Moraes, 2012). We also consulted the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project website ( research-curation/research/projects/linnaean-typification/, last accessed 23 March 2012), studied Rolander’s digitized speci- mens from the Bergius Herbarium website (www.bergianska .se/index_samlingar.php, last assessed 23 March 2012), the Flora of the Guianas and Suriname, and the botanical check- list of the Guiana Shield (Funk & al., 2007). Plant names that did not appear anywhere in the literature were traced back by comparing Rolander’s Latin descriptions with the NHN her- barium collection (L), which houses 215,000 specimens from the Guianas. To compare Rolander’s ethnobotanical records with more recent plant use data in the Guianas, we used the database (ca. 3300 uses of ca. 450 species) compiled by the first author during fieldwork in Suriname (partly published in Van Andel & Ruysschaert, 2011), and additional information from Aublet (Plotkin & al., 1991), Stahel (1944), Ostendorf (1962), Van Andel (2000), and DeFilipps & al. (2004). Apart from URL not working - check is this a book? website? the eight species that were annotated by the second author in 1985, we were unfortunately not able to examine Rolander’s original plant collections. In this paper, we will only focus on plants mentioned by Rolander during his stay in Suriname. These include both native species and plants introduced from elsewhere. Species that were mentioned by Rolander during his travels in Europe or the Antilles were not part of our study. RESULTS Plant names and uses. — Most of Rolander’s observations and collections were made around Paramaribo and along the Commewijne and lower Suriname River, in the surroundings of the plantations Capoerica (Dahlberg’s property), Woesingia, Wajamo, Klein Chatillon, Overbridge (Owerbrugg), Salem, Scroeder, and the Jew’s Savannah. There are some 614 plant names listed in the diary, which belong to approximately 570 species. Information is provided on the (potential) uses for 263 plant names, corresponding to 228 to 242 species (Table S1 in the Electronic Supplement). Four plant names we could not trace back to a reliable generic level, and for one name even the family remains unknown. Of the 242 useful plant species (including the ones that remained unidentified or had non-specified uses), 109 species (45%) had medicinal applications, 107 (44%) were used as food plants, 16 (7%) as ornamentals, 15 (6%) for construction, and 46 species (19%) for miscellaneous purposes (e.g., poison, household equip- ment or rituals). About 40% of the useful plants represented introduced, domesticated species; the remaining 60% were native South American plants. Unfortunately, Rolander was not always well-informed on the geographical origin or the domestication state of the plants he observed. He must have considered the introduced tuber crop Colocasia esculenta to be a local weed, as he remarked: “Arum esculentum, an herb no les common along ditches and in damp, clayish meadows than it is pleasing to white residents […] thus it is also cultivated in most vegetable gardens” (10 September 1755). On the other hand, Rolander’s observations show us how fast species that were introduced to Suriname escaped from cultivation. He saw, for example, that the introduced African herb Leonotis nepetifolia “grew frequently on the edge of the visible forest”, suggesting its status as a wild plant. Some plants that Rolander saw being grown in vegetable gardens (e.g. Cynodon dactylon, Waltheria indica) now only survive as weeds in Suriname. At the beginning of his stay (June 1755), Rolander did not understand the Dutch Creole (‘Sranantongo’), that still serves as a lingua franca in the country today. A month after his arrival, however, he mentioned the first translations, while in September 1755, he addressed people in the “Black English tongue”. Despite the fact that he had learned to communicate in Sranantongo and Dutch during his stay in Suriname, he listed only 43 local names in those languages and two (coenatepie and acajou) in the Arawak Indian language. More than half of these names are presently still in use for the same species (Table S1). About 208 (86%) of the 242 useful plant species listed in the diary are also used in one way or another today (Table S2 m ultiple uses possible? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
Page 4
4 Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. in the Electronic Supplement). At least 131 (54%) of Rolander’s plants have one or more uses today that correspond to those of the 1750s. The greatest match was found among ornamental (13 spp., 81%) and timber species (11 spp., 73%), followed by domesticated food crops (51 species, 72%) and medicinal plants (39 spp., 36%). Of the 131 species that have similar uses today, 36 (27%) are wild plants native to Suriname, 26 (20%) are New World crops domesticated by Amerindians (e.g., Bixa orellana), 28 (21%) are species introduced from Africa (e.g., Hibiscus sabdariffa), although some might have an earlier origin in Asia, and 21 (16%) are species that were introduced by Europeans (e.g., Brassica oleracea). In the following paragraphs, we will illustrate several remarkable differences and similarities be- tween present-day and 18th-century plant uses. Forgotten foods from the s. — In the first weeks of his stay in Suriname, Rolander wandered around Paramaribo and visited the city’s spacious gardens and several plantations in its outskirts. He observed how the white residents tried to grow European spices, vegetables and fruits in their gardens, with mixed success. Many of these species (e.g., dill, chervil, parsnip, chicory, European fig, grapes, thyme) are nowadays not grown anymore in Suriname, while some (e.g., parsley, white cabbage, carrots) were cultivated until recently (Stahel, 1944) and others are now imported from Asia (e.g., anise seed, black pepper, fennel seed). Rolander was apparently not famil- iar with tomatoes. He remarked that the “entire herb’s odor is fetid and nauseating. The Jews and blacks eat the ripe fruit, both raw and cooked, and suffer no ill effects from it” (23 December 1755). Nor did he fancy the “pompelmoes” (Citrus maxima), which were “so sour and bitter, that they cannot be eaten by the whites”. On the other hand, he was surprised by the little esteem the locals had for oranges, which were so abundant that they were left to rot under the tree. He discovered that the reason why people refrained from eating these “nearly divine fruits” was the misconception that their daily consumption “scrapes away the mucus of the intestines and induces ileus, dysentery and other diseases” (24 June 1755). In 1755, rice was not the important plantation crop as it is today, but was imported from the United States. Rolander discovered some rice culms (Oryza sativa) “by chance” be- tween the coffee shrubs on a plantation, “though the residents didn’t even know its name” (13 September 1755). At present we know that African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.) must have been cultivated on a small scale by slaves and runaways in that period (Carney & Rosomoff, 2009; Van Andel, 2010), but this apparently escaped Rolander’s eye. Most of the tropical tubers, fruits and vegetables that were cultivated in the 1750s (e.g., cas- sava, Colocasia, papaya, bananas, Citrus fruits, sweet potato, pineapple, pumpkin) are still part of everyday diet in Suriname. Rolander gave a vivid description of a “sweet, gelatinous (okra) soup” favored by “fine white ladies” and said to provide “ex- traordinary health benefits to convalescents and underweight seniors […] revitalize those exhausted by sex” and “generate mild humors, energize the entire body and increase the quantity of semen” (15 July 1755). Okra soup is nowadays considered as a typical element of the Creole kitchen. Surprised about the native people’s eating habits, Rolander noted that “bitter in original text or by you for explanation? vegetables, even poisonous ones, seem to aid these peoples (Indians and blacks) to extend their lives” (16 August 1755). Little seems to have changed since that time: bitter vegetables were listed among the most popular traditional herbs for health promotion and disease prevention among Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands in 2007 (Van Andel & Westers, 2010). Some tropical species that were commonly grown for food in Rolander’s time are no longer found in gardens today (Table S2). The cultivation of Merremia dissecta, of which the roots were boiled like sweet potatoes, is now only known from Argentina (Austin, 2007). It has been forgotten in Suriname, although the plant is still a common weed in agricultural fields. The African herb Cleome gynandra was commonly grown and eaten raw or cooked like spinach in 18th-century Suriname. This plant is not eaten anymore, but is naturalized as a weed in Suriname and French Guiana (Funk & al., 2007). Still a popular vegetable in West Africa (, C. gynandra might be one of the ‘forgotten foods’ that was introduced to the New World by means of the slave trade. The same accounts for the West African food plants Phoenix reclinata, Solanum inca- num and S. rudepannum. Other food plants of African origin mentioned by Rolander, such as pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan), sesame (Sesamum indicum) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), are still commonly grown in Suriname. The mamee apple (Mammea americana) often appears in the diary, both as a popular fruit crop on plantations and growing wild along the rivers. The reader is warned that eat- ing too much of this large, musky-smelling fruit would cause headaches, diarrhea and dysentery (23 July 1755). Mammea americana, however, is not indigenous to the Guianas, so all mamee apple trees that Rolander saw must have been planted. The other two observed ‘species’ of this fruit (‘M. alternifolia’, ‘M. asiatica’) do not occur in the Guianas (Funk & al., 2007), so it is likely that these must have been wild species of fruit-bearing trees of the Clusiaceae (e.g., Platonia insignis or Moronobea coccinea). Mamee apple is now hardly grown anymore in Suriname (Van Andel & Ruysschaert, 2011). Several other ed- ible fruits mentioned in the diary are not eaten anymore today. Seeds of Triplaris weigeltiana, once “ground and boiled down into a tasty porridge” (29 September 1755) are not consumed anymore in Suriname. Fruits of Vismia spp., Annona glabra, Bromelia karatas, and coffee berries have also lost their edible function. In the 1750s, some fruits were only eaten occasion- ally by Amerindians and fugitive slaves “when extreme hunger compels them”, like the “fiery, bitter fruits” of the common swamp plant Montrichardia arborescens (26 July 1755). Still devoured by Stedman’s soldiers some decades later (Stedman, 1988), M. arborescens fruits are no longer consumed anywhere in the Guianas. The berries of the various Melastomat aceae shrubs, popular in Rolander’s time, are still eaten by Amerin- dian children in the interior of Guyana, although despised by their parents as “bird food” (Van Andel, 2000). The capsules and seeds of Renealmia alpinia provided both food and medicine to the Amerindians, as they were said to “excite Venus, recall lost appetite, strengthen stomach and forestall contagious diseases” (3 November 1755). Rolander’s collection of R. alpinia is kept at the Bergius Herbarium (Fig. 2A, B). He suggested rolling them renum bered 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57
Page 5
5 Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. Fig. A. Infructescence of Renealmia alpinia, collected by Rolander (specimen SBT — Picture: Bergius Herbarium, Stockholm. renumbered do you have permission to use all figures?
Page 6
6 Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. in sugar to enhance their flavor and export them to Europe. More than 250 years later, people only use the fresh aril around the seeds to color their rice dishes. In the 18th century, the starchy rhizomes of Canna in- dica were cooked and eaten by Amerindians. The crop was also planted in great quantities to feed the slave population. Runaway slaves used the hard, globular seeds of this plant as ammunition for their guns. Rolander mentioned that “hos- tile blacks industriously cultivate Canna at the mountain foot to have many seeds”. Nowadays, C. indica is an occasional ornamental in Paramaribo gardens, but, just as C. glauca, mostly considered a weed, as it blocks ditches and waterways. The Maroons, however, descendants of the runaway slaves, still hold these plants in high esteem. They grow C. indica to make porridge from its rhizomes, and employ the seeds of both C. indica and C. glauca in ritual herbal baths to protect themselves against their enemies. The ancient function of the seeds as ammunition to shoot the whites has now changed into a magic medicine. Experimenting with the flora of Suriname. — The most striking of Rolander’s ethnobotanical observations are the numerous cases of poisoning. “Indeed, nothing is considered more dangerous than to explore the powers of plants in this part of the world by mastication. To be sure, innumerous mor- tals have hastened their own demise by heedlessly licking or eating such plants; the result is that people have learned to deal cautiously with plants here”, he remarked on 21 January 1756. Rolander’s first account of such a ‘trial and error’ incidence was given even before he crossed the Atlantic Ocean. On 30 December 1754, when he was traveling with his patron Dahl- berg through Germany on their way to Amsterdam, he wrote: “The black slave accompanying us on his journey from Swe- den to Amsterdam tasted the scarlet berries of Ilex aquifolium L., assuring that they tasted well and that he had eaten them many times in Suriname. Having swallowed a few berries our arrogant jester, misled by the color, got a headache and started vomiting.” Unfortunately, the diary does not reveal with which Surinamese fruit the toxic holly fruits were confused. Rolan- der described two cases of black children that were poisoned by mistaking the red fruits of ‘Doliocarpus volubilis’ (prob- ably D. major) for coffee berries. Although the fruits had a pleasant taste at first, the children contracted a high fever and their bodies swelled up. One of them recovered after receiving an “emetic antidote” (vomiting agent), the other was restored to health by an infusion of Aristolochia trilobata. This vine was used by Amerindians as an antidote to poisons of all sorts, including snakebites, contagious diseases, and incipient fever (1 November 1755). The poisonous leaves of Dieffenbachia seguine had caused several victims who mistook them for the edible Colocasia esculenta. People sometimes just ate the wrong part of the plant. The edible fruits of Annona muricata were devoured by those who knew them. The consumption of the fleshy flowers of this tree, however, had killed several black children who mistook them for fruits (11 July 1755). African slaves were not the only ones that experienced the drawbacks of trying out a new flora, as was illustrated by the description of the shrub Solanum mammosum, common along the Surinamese sea shore. Its orange, fleshy, but poisonous berries were confused with Citrus fruits by the hungry, newly arrived sailors and soldiers. In no time these individuals would swell up and “discharge body fluids from both fore and aft”. If they had consumed the fruits in considerable amounts, they usually breathed their last breaths in a short time. Although newcomers were warned by the natives to abstain from all orange fruits growing near the coastline (24 June 1755), this advice was apparently not very effective, as identical poison- ing cases with S. mammosum were reported a few decades later by Stedman (1988). Fig. B. Label belonging to Rolanders collection of Reneal- mia alpinia. — Picture: Bergius Herbarium, Stockholm. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 1 2 3 4
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
12 Van Andel & al. • Are Rolander’s plants still used in Suriname today? TAXON — 18 Jun 2012: 12 pp. This is a draft version for proof purposes only. Van Andel, T.R. 2010. African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.): Lost crop of the enslaved Africans discovered in Suriname. Econ. Bot. 64: 1–10. Van Andel, T.R. & Havinga, R.M. 2008. Sustainability aspects of commercial medicinal plant harvesting in Suriname. Forest Ecol. Managem. 256: 1540–1545 Van Andel, T.R. & Ruysschaert, S. 2011. Medicinale en rituele planten van Suriname. Amsterdam: KIT Publishers. Van Andel, T.R. & Westers, P. 2010. Why Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands continue to use medicinal herbs from their home country. J. Ethnopharmacol. 127: 694–701. Veldman, S. 2012. The forgotten Hermann Herbarium: A historical collection of useful plants from Suriname (ca. 1689). M.Sc. thesis, Leiden University, the Netherlands. Voeks, R.A. 2009. Traditions in transition: African diaspora ethno- botany in lowland South America. Pp. 275–294 in: Alexiades, M. (ed.), Mobility and migration in indigenous Amazonia: Contempo- rary ethnoecological perspectives. London: Berghahn Publishers.