Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/41

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37
THE CINCHONA BOTANICAL STATION

Two miles north of Cinchona and at the same level, 5,000 feet, there is a notch in the main mountain range known as Morce's Gap. As one passes northward through this gap one sees the aspect of the vegetation change with surprising suddenness from that characteristic of the immediate neighborhood of Cinchona. Here, on the windward side of the mountains, everything reeks with moisture, for during most of the year clouds or mist drift through these gaps continuously from the cool north side of the mountains. Rain falls almost daily for much of the year,

PSM V86 D041 Berries and flowers of coffee.jpg

Berries and Flowers of Coffee.

and even when it is not raining the clouds form and float through these dark forests. Ferns are in their glory here in this dense montane rain forest. There are scores of tree ferns, of half a dozen species, with stems three to six inches thick and ten to thirty feet high. Their straight slender trunks contrast strikingly with the forked, twisted branches of the Podocarpus, prune and other trees among which they are scattered. Most of the trees on some half-acre patches are tree ferns of the genera Alsophila or Cyathea. Their beautiful umbrella-like crowns are seen best from a hillside above them, or when their delicate plumes are outlined against the sky. Under these ferns and the other