AMES TELLS OF HARVARD BOTANICAL WORK IN CUBA
Botany Professor Says Accomplishments Are Practical--Supervised Taking of Pictures
"The work being accomplished at the Harvard Biological Laboratory and Botanical Garden in Cuba is of an eminently practical nature and is having valuable results," was the statement made to a CRIMSON reporter by Oakes Ames '98, professor of Botany, upon his return recently from the southern voyage on which he has been for the past four weeks. Part of this time he was investigating conditions in the laboratory, and, when not occupied in this way, was supervising the shooting of some 7,000 feet of film which are to be incorporated into several new reels for educational purposes.
"Our biological station," continued Professor Ames in explanation, "is situated on a large plantation comparatively close to sea level. Within an hour's reach, however, is the range of Trinidad Mountains which rise about 3,000 feet and thus furnish us with the high, cool, and dry habitat where our experimenters can grow plants not common to tropical regions.
"At the botanical garden itself are represented all the tropical plants of economic importance. We test them out, determine which are best adopted to the Cuban climate, and try to find out if any could be transplanted successfully to other regions. In addition, we make constant exchanges with other similar establishments, notably that of the United Fruit Company in Honduras.
"One of our most important tasks is to seek to improve the plants we find growing naturally in this region. There are thousands of varieties of sugar cane, for example: we see what conditions of soil and culture are most favorable to each. One which we have been developing, "Harvard 12029," is so successful that it is being planted in wide areas and bids fair to supplant the present species.