Author: Alexander Tschirch
Publisher: Berlin, R. Gaertners, 1892
First edition. 128 plates of individual photographs of tea and coffee, cocoa, rice, papaya, tamarind, cinnamon plantations and plants yielding other spices and commodities such as vanilla, indigo, betel, coconut, gutta percha &c in Ceylon and Java.
8vo., original brown clothe with black borders and gilt lettering on spine and upper cover, a little chipping to front free endpaper otherwise a very good bright copy.
Alexander Tschirch was a German-Swiss pharmacist born in Guben.
He received pharmacy training in Dresden and at the Berner Staatsapotheke (Bern state apothecary). From 1878 to 1880 he studied at the University of Berlin, earning his PhD at Freiburg in 1881, followed by a degree in botany from Berlin in 1884. In 1889–90 he took a study tour of India, Ceylon and Java. From 1890 to 1932 he was a professor of pharmacy and pharmacognosy at the University of Bern, serving as rector in 1908–09.
Tschirch is known for his studies in plant anatomy and for his research of resins and anthraquinone glycosides. He made significant contributions towards the fourth and fifth editions of the Pharmacopoeia Helvetica. He was the author of twenty books and numerous journal articles — among his written works is "Die Harze und die Harzbehälter mit Einschluss der Milchsäfte", a highly regarded reference book on resins and other plant extracts.
The useful plants of India mainly focusing on spices, beverages and edible plants but with some medical and other ones, with detailed surveys of how to grow and harvest them. Obviously there is a focus on tea and coffee but many other commodities are covered in detail.