The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

New World Cultivation and Sacrifice (details): Exotic American Plants

?Anaiou, cashew (Anacardium occidentale)

Coca (Erythroxylum coca) (imag. rendering)

Balsa (Ochroma lagopus)

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) (imag. rendering)
?Guaiacum sp., syphilis remedy
Maguey (Agave americana)
Sanguis draconis, Dracaena sp.
"Flor," maize (Zea mays)
Balsam (Myroxylum sp.)
Tuna (Nopalea coccinellifera)
Sweet-gum (Liquidambar sp.)
Cassia sp.
Plantain (Musa paradisiaca)
Cacao (Theobroma cacao)
Pineapple (Ananas sativus)
These depictions are variably accurate, but many are based on the best illustrations then available; quite a few of the source-illustrations for Valades' plant-panorama are included in chap. 7 ("Flora") of Ernst and Johanna Lehner's classic volume of early New World graphics, How They Saw the New World, ed. Gerard L. Alexander (New York, 1966). The odd fountain-like tree near the front of the scene seems to be the imagined Arbor Santo "which always drops water from its leaves," also pictured in Girolamo Benzoni's Historia (Venice, 1572); illustrations for this book (repr. in History of the New World, tr. W. H. Smyth [London, 1857], 88, 149, 263) may also support different ways of deciphering the first and the fifth of the species-names given above, as mamei and guaiaua, respectively.
Related Links:
Rampant Prickly-Pear (Tuna var.) -- Banana (Musa) with Fruits -- Guatemala / Cacao -- New World Trees Besieged, with a coco palm
Petum or Tobacco (N. Y. Public Library) // Hovia / Hobos, from Gómara / Lehner // Return to New World Cultivation and Sacrifice