Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/38

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30
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

bowstring hemp, or the fiber of a species of Sansevieria that grows in rank luxuriance thoughout the subtropical region of the State. The fiber is finer and softer than Sisal hemp, though not so fine as pineapple fiber, and would command in price a figure between the two. The yield is about sixty pounds to the ton of leaves. Many other textile plants might be named that have been experimented with by

PSM V54 D038 Plant of new zealand flax.jpg
A Plant of New Zealand Flax.

the Government or through private enterprise, but the most important, in a commercial sense, have been named.

There is a considerable list of plants, however, which are the subject of frequent inquiry, but which will never be utilized commercially as long as other more useful fibers hold the market. These for the most part produce bast fiber, and the farmer knows them as wild field growths or weeds. They are interesting in themselves, and many of them produce a fair quality of fiber, but to what extent they might be brought into cultivation, or how economically the raw material might be prepared, are questions the details of which only