W9863c TO MATT BROMAN from his associate, A.C. Smith
Mar 6 1942
To: Matt Broman, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
From: A.C. Smith
THE ARNOLD ARBORETUM
Jamaica Plain, Mass. U.S.A.
March 6, 1942.
K.M. Broman, Esq.,1,2
Training School for Apprentice Gardeners
Niagara Parks Commission,
Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Dear Mr. Broman:
In reply to your letter of February 30th to Dr. Merrill, I have ascertained that the common name "Chili [Chile] Pine"3 usually refers to Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch. This species is more commonly known as "Monkey-puzzle". It is a member of the family Taxecase and is a relative of the pines but is not a true pine. This species is said to be the hardiest member of the genus, and is one of the largest, attaining a height of 30 meters. Araucaria and its relative Podocarpus, take the place of our northern pines in the southern hemisphere.
While all the conifers are of ancient origin and had ancestors which were thriving in the Jurassic period, it is impossible to say that any particular one was the ancestor of other forms. It is certainly incorrect to say that the "Chili pine" is "the grandfather of all pines", since its relationship to the genus Pinus is certainly not very close.
I trust that this information will be of some use to you.
Very sincerely yours,
Curator of the Herbarium
1 Matt Broman worked very closely with Thomas B. McQuesten on many of his projects in Hamilton and in Niagara. There is a plaque commemorating Matt Broman's work at the RBG near the Thomas B. McQuesten High Level Bridge. There is also a small lookout park named after him on the brow overlooking King's Forest Park in Hamilton. The series of letters beginning with "986" are all part of the Broman collection.
For more information on T.B. McQuesten see his biography.
2 This document was originally numbered 986.1.052.2 but has been renumbered for cataloguing purposes.
3 Several other letters mention this species of tree: W9862m, W9862n, W9863b, W9863d.