Pandanus Odoratissimus. The Keura Tree, sketched from nature in Guzerat. 1780. Copied on stone
Plate seventy-nine from the third volume of James Forbes' "Oriental Memoirs". Forbes (1749-1819) was a keen observer of nature, often making drawings of every interesting plant or animal he came across during his travels in India. The subject of this plate is the 'exotic' plant known as the Fragrant Screwpine, Barbadoes Aloe, Kewra(Hindi) and Kewoda(Gujarati),is found wild in South India and the Western Coast, and cultivated in Orissa and Bengal. A perfumed oil may be extracted from the flower bracts and the plant has many uses in medicine and toiletry. Forbes was interested in lithography, a fairly new method of producing images during his times and some of his natural historical studies such as this one was such an experiment.