The secret gardens of Malabar

The Dutch East India Company was formed c 1602. As the Dutch Armada set sail for the East Indies from Amsterdam, surgeons and apothecaries on the fleet were instructed by the great European renaissance botanist Carolus Clusius "to bring, laid between paper, branchless carrying leaves and fruits' foremost of commercially important spices and fruit trees but also from any "kind of trees that seem strange'. The medical fraternity was also instructed to make notes on the habitats they visited. Setting up colonies and commercial ventures in the East had a concomitant mission: gathering knowledge about