previous next

The South a tea-growing country.

Some years ago, says the Atlanta Commonwealth, of Monday, a gentleman who had long resided in China and witnessed and made himself familiar with the cultivation of the tea plant, and the mode of preparing tea for market, settled in South Carolina and commenced a plantation. Before complete success crowned his efforts he died, and we have seen it stated that his secret, if, indeed, there was any, died with him.

Recently we have seen favorable mention made of some tea grown in North Carolina. The last notice we have seen is that in the Washington (N. C.) Dispatch, and is as follows:

‘ "Selby Spencer, Esq., of Lake Comfort, Hyde county, has presented to us some more of the green tea which he has been successful in growing. The seed was given to a neighbor of Mr. Spencer's by an English Captain some years ago. Mr. S. procured some, and has succeeded very well in cultivating it. The past year he planted about the 10th of an acre and gathered 10 or 12 bushels.

This experiment, it seems, demonstrates that green ten--the veritable China tea — can be successfully grown and matured in the latitude of North Carolina. This is, therefore, an invaluable discovery. Let it be tried in every part of the State. We suppose that seed can be procured of Mr. Spencer. We will send small packages of the leaf — the tea — to any editor in the State, if he will signify to us a desire for it and prepay the postage. The tea is excellent. Try it."

’ In a Louisiana paper we find the following testimony in reference to the successful cultivation of the plant in that region, which seems to promise very flattering result:

‘ Va Union Landing (78 miles from New Orleans,) is the plantation of our enterprising and worthy fellow-citizens, Col. S. H. Peck, who has been for the last two years giving his leisure moments to the cultivation of tea. Col. Peck received from the Patent Office Garden, at Washington, about two years ago, several of the finest tea plants, and has since been experimenting in raising tea. It is found that the plant will stand frost, and that it grows luxuriantly in this climate, but requires to be well watered, as it will not stand drought. The leaf resembles that of the cape jessamine, and on the third year it is fit to be picked. Col. Peck expect to give his neighbors a cup of real Louisiana Souchong tea next year. What if Louisiana should rival China in teas, as the South rivals the world in cotton?"

In addition to the above, we would state that a gentleman of this city, well and favorably known all over the State as one of its most intelligent and successful horticulturists, has a number of tea plants now nearly, or quite two years old, which he represents as being very promising indeed. From his observation he believes that the three o'clock sun, in this latitude, is too hot for it, as it is partial to a cool, moist atmosphere. Hence it is inferred that a Northeastern exposure, or a partially shaded situation, is best adapted to its successful cultivation.

Our recollection of the result of the investigations of the gentleman first alluded to — whose name, if our memory is correct, was Junius Smith — is, that he decided that the soil, climate, latitude, and exposure prevailing in the region of Greenville, S. C., were best suited to the tea plant. If we are right, and the experiments in progress in North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana, prove as favorable as they promise, there is an extensive belt of country in the Confederate States adapted to the cultivation and preparation of this valuable plant and favorite beverage.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Selby Spencer (3)
S. H. Peck (3)
Junius Smith (1)
English Captain (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: