pbs Digest, Vol 86, Issue 32

David Ehrlich idavide@sbcglobal.net
Thu, 25 Mar 2010 12:28:22 PDT
I was taught that Mexico is part of North America; it has always been part of the North American continent; it did not attach like the rest of Central America.  As to fauna, I believe the major migration was from North America southward. 

From: "Lysne, Mark (Wyle)" <LYSNEM@ONR.NAVY.MIL>
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Fri, March 19, 2010 5:47:43 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] pbs Digest, Vol 86, Issue 32

Message: 13
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:41:06 -0400
From: "Jim McKenney" <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com>
Subject: Re: [pbs] Native N American crops
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <6FCE6BF68FB44DDD81C5574016E506A8@Library>
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Well Leo and Alberto, I think the answer to this one depends on how you
divide up the Americas!

For those who divide things up into North America and South America,
both of you are right. 

I was thinking in terms of North America, Mesoamerica and South America.
That division is I think more common in biological discussions because
the huge differences introduced by the Mesoamerican fauna. 

I'm pretty sure corn is known only as a cultivated plant; it is assumed
be of southern Mexican origin (Mesoamerican in my division of the
and thus not North American to my thinking).

Tobacco is trickier. More than one species of Nicotiana has been called
tobacco. There is a species native to North America, N. rustica, which
been used for smoking. But the tobacco of modern commerce is derived
from N.
tabacum, a plant of South American origin. 

Alberto mentioned cocoa and manihot. I would use the same argument for
( or vanilla or Capsicum) as I used for corn: Mesoamerican in origin
of the Capsicum might have originated farther south), not North

Manihot (Manihot esculenta, tapioca, cassava, yuca - not to be confused
yucca) is believed to be of Brazilian, or at least tropical South
origin. The USDA Plants Profile map shows it naturalized in AL, FL, HI,
TX, PR and the VI. 

As long as one accepts the division of the Americas into north, meso-
south, then I?m on firm ground. 

Jim McKenney

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