This is the eleventh book of the first part of the Natural and General History of the Indies, Islands, and Mainland of the Sea; it deals with the herbs and seeds brought from Spain to this island of Hispaniola, others that have been discovered here and are endemic to these parts, and other things related to their history.
Translated by Frederick Anderson ‘19
Hitherto some things may have been mentioned that in this Book XI will be dealt with in more detail, or I will explain in a more organized way. In order to avoid altering the style of these materials, in this chapter I will only return to topics that have already been discussed if what is presented here adds further information on the same topic for the reader. So, as we continue with this Natural History, the first chapter will be general and address those herbs and seeds that were brought from Spain to this island of Hispaniola at the beginning of the Christian conquest and settlement, and which of them are cultivated, grown and found readily. This said, I will address other herbs that are naturally found in these parts as well as those that bear some similarities to those from Castile. Finally, I will speak about some medicinal and beneficial herbs that nature produces on this and other islands and the Mainland (placing them in their proper place or on the land where they grow), which are not present or are not known in our Spain. I will relate the properties of these plants and herbs that have come to my notice, explaining for which remedies we know them to be appropriate (still asserting what I have said about them before and what I attest to here). In the continuation of this Natural and General History of the Indies we will always reveal and add many novelties and secrets, both in the things written by me and in the particularities of new plants and herbs that time and nature will continue bringing to our attention. All will be explained in its proper place, placing each in the specific land where they belong. I will continue to do this as long as I am able and there is life within me, so that with every new topic and subject matter additional thanks may be given to God our Lord, for in all he does we are His debtors.