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THE FRUIT OF THE MELLORI.
BY THE PRESIDENT.
As far as we can determine the class and order of a plant from a mere delineation of its fruit, we may safely pronounce, that the Léram of Nicobar is the Cádhi of the Arabs, the Cétaca of the Indians, and the Pandanus of our botanists, which is described very awkwardly (as KOENIG firft obferved to me) in the Supplement to LINNAEUS: he had himself defcribed with that elegant concifenefs, which conftitutes the beauty of the Linnean method, not only the wonderful fructification of the fragrant Cétaca, but most of the flowers, which are celebrated in Sanferit, by poets for their colour or fcent and by physicians for their medical ufes; and, as he bequeathed his manufcripts to Sir JOSEPH BANKS, we may be fure, that the publick fpirit of that illuftrious naturalift will not fuffer the labours of his learned friend to be funk in oblivion. Whether the PANDANUS Léram be a new species, or only a variety, we cannot yet pofitively decide; but four of the plants have been brought from Nicobar, and seem to flourish in the Company's Botanical Garden, where they will probably blossom; and the greatest encouragement will, I trust, be given to the cultivation of fo precious a vegetable. A fruit weighing twenty or thirty pounds, and containing a farinaceous fubftance, both palatable and nutritive in a high
degree, would perhaps, if it were common in these provinces, for ever fecure the natives of them from the horrors of famine; and the Pandanus of Bengal might be brought, I conceive, to equal perfection with that of Nicobar, if due care were taken to plant the male and female trees in the fame place, instead of leaving the female, as at present, to bear an imperfect and unproductive fruit, and the distant male to spread itself only by the help of its radicating branches.