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Greatly to my regret, a failure to prepare the illustrations in time, prevented my inserting in my annual report for 1889 an account of some of the typical races of cocoons raised in Europe. As I there stated the great bulk of French eggs is produced in the department of the Var. The typical race of that department is large and of coarse texture (Plate I, Fig. 1), more so in fact than is found profitable by silk reelers who prefer to go to neither extreme, either in size or texture. As a result this race has largely been used in crossing. In the Oriental Pyrenees we find the small, fine Roussillon race (Plate I, Fig. 3), also rarely reared commercially. The crossing of these two, however, produces a robust, healthy variety, of good rendition and pleasing to the reelers. It is shown at Plate I, Fig. 2, between the other two, so as to be easy of comparison.

The improvement of races is also frequently accomplished by a change of climate. Such a change has produced from the coarser Var a cocoon like that shown at Plate II, Fig. 1, when reproduced in the Oriental Pyrenees. The Cevennes race, again, is of the desired mean, both in size and texture. It is shown at Plate II, Fig. 2. The effect of climate is perhaps most strongly shown in the white Bagdad cocoons illustrated at Plate III, Figs. 3 and 4. The former was obtained from M. Marcy, of Grasse, Var, and had been raised by him but one season since the arrival of the original eggs from the Levant. The race shown in Fig. 4 had been several times reproduced in France, though of the same origin as the first mentioned. It will be seen how a change of climate and careful selection have toned down the rugosity of its surface and brought its shape to that more ordinarily found among European races.

AG 90—18

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Early in the spring, long before the mulberry leaves were budded in Washington, there reached us through the State Department, from the consul general at Teheran, two lots of silk-worm eggs, already hatching. They had been obtained by him from Sabzawar (Persia) and Herat (Afghanistan). They were raised as well as possiblé, first 'on lettuce, and later on mulberry leaves, received daily by mail from Florida. They did fairly well under the circumstances, the two races showing no difference in the cocoons. These were in each case deep yellow and white mixed and were covered with a large quantity of floss. The sizes of the cocoon with and without fioss are so different that I have thought it interesting to show them. They are illustrated at figures 1 and 2 of Plate ÎII.

. The pointed ends, it will be noticed, are in great contrast with the ordinary rounded cocoon of Europe.

A few years ago there were obtained by M. Natalis Rondot, from Persia, two races called the Shazevar, green and yellow. M. Rondot considers them, as nearly as possible, the primitive races of the country, as are the White Cina of China. When received they showed a good deal of pébrine, and in fact eggs of this race that we obtained in 1889 from Padua did not give a single cocoon.

We were more successful, however, in 1890, receiving a pinch each of yellow and of green eggs which did excellently. The cocoons are very large, as shown in Plate II, Fig. 3. We have saved some healthy eggs of each race and made some experiments in crossing, upon which I shall report next year.

Another type of cocoon is shown at Plate III, Fig. 5. It is of Cyprian origin, raised one year in Italy and one in Washington. The cocoons are proportionately longer than most well-kuown races, pointed at the end and of rather coarse texture.

All of the cocoons shown are of the natural size.


In my annual report for 1887 I described the process of raising mulberry trees as practiced in the Cattaneo nurseries, in Italy. It will be seen from that account and from the two plates which accompany it, that the tree described is one of the kind called “standard," that is to say that it is allowed to branch at a point 6 feet from the ground. The main object of cultivating a tree as high as this is to permit of another crop being planted in the orchard, and it is customary in Italy so to plant corn or wheat, leaving a passage along each row of trees so that the leaves can be picked without injuring the surrounding grain. The picking of leaves from a tree like this requires the use of a double ladder, and this, among American women, will alone operate to the disadvantage of this style of pruning.

We have, on the Department grounds, a row of dwarf mulberry trees such as is shown in Plate IV of this report. The tree there shown was first made to fork at 1 foot from the ground, a second time at about 6 inches higher, and still a third time 6 inches higher yet. It will require but one more “crowning, as this pruning is

" called, to get the tree into proper shape; then all that will be necessary will be to cut back the shoots once in two years in order to obtain a suitable supply of leaves. As the tree was photographed its foliage (Fig. 2) weighed 6 pounds. It was 7 feet high and 8 feet across the branches. To allow for suitable growth these trees should be planted about 10 feet apart and make an excellent form for setting along a fence line.

Another manner of pruning is shown in Plates IV and V, copied from photographs of a half-standard tree. This tree is of the same age as the other but has been pruned but twice. It is 3 feet from the ground to the lower fork, and, as was the case with the dwarf, 6 inches more to the upper one. The tree was 7 feet across and 9 feet high and might be planted in the same manner as the other. It furnished 14 pounds of leaves.

It may be well to add that the foliage of both of these trees will probably be three times as great next year as it was last, and further, that the trees were of the seedling white variety (Morus alba), of which the leaves are small and much indented. A rose mulberry tree of the same age and size would probably furnish more than twice as great a weight of leaves, and these leaves in turn would give half as much more silk per hundred pounds as those of the seedling. Assuming these facts to be true, as they essentially are, rose mulberry trees of the form described above and at the age when they should be definitely formed (that is to say four years old) would give for the dwarf 36 pounds of leaves, and for the half-standard 84 pounds. From this it can be estimated how many trees would be necessary to furnish the foliage needed to feed the worms coming from an ounce of eggs, it being remembered that it takes 1,600 pounds for that purpose.

It will be recalled that these figures refer to four-year-old trees which are really about as small as are usually commercially employed. The trees grow rapidly from that age, and assuming the weight of leaves which such a tree will give to be 100 per cent, the quantity of foliage will augment, according to Gobin,* in somewhat the following ratio.

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4 years old..
5 years old..
6 years old.
7 years old..
8 years old.
9 years old.
10 years old..
11 years old.
12 years old.
18 years old.

100 157 225 287 373 423 463 566 605 658

14 years old. 15 years old.. 16 years old.. 17 years old, 18 years old. 19 years old.. 20 years old. 21 years old. 22 years old.

805 827 816 361 868 877

* Muriers et Vers à Soie, Paris, 1874, p. 93.


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PLATE I, Fig. 1. Cocoons of the large Var race (France).

Fig. 2. Cocoons of Var crossed with Roussillon.

Fig. 3. Cocoons of the Rousillon race (France).
PLATE II, Fig. 1. Cocoons of the Var race reproduced in the Oriental Pyrenees

Fig. 2. Cocoons of the Cevennes race (France).

Fig. 3. Cocoons of the yellow Shazevar race (Persia).
PLATE III, Fig. 1. Cocoons of the Sabzewar race (Persia) with fioss.

Fig. 2. The same with the floss removed.
Fig. 3. Cocoons of the white Bagdad race raised one season in France.
Fig. 4. The same raised several seasons in France.
Fig. 5. Cocoon of a race from Cyprus, raised one season in Italy and

one in Washington.
PLATE IV, Fig. 1. Half-standard mulberry tree before pruning.

Fig. 2. The same after pruning. PLATE V,

Half-standard mulberry tree with foliage.
PLATE VI, Fig. 1. Dwarf mulberry tree with foliage.

Fig. 2. The same without foliage and before pruning,
Fig. 3. The same after pruning.

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