What is most commonly recognized in Colombia as guaco, or Vejuco del guaco, would appear to be Mikania Guaco (Humboldt and Bonpland, Pl.
The odour alone of guaco has been said to cause in snakes a state of stupor and torpidity; and Humboldt, who observed that the near approach of a rod steeped in guaco-juice was obnoxious to the venomous Coluber corallinus, was of opinion that inoculation with it imparts to the perspiration an odour which makes reptiles unwilling to bite.
1 They are particularly important in that they counteracted the popular and interestingly written books of Max Muller: for instance, Muller, like Renan and Wilhelm von Humboldt, regarded language as an innate faculty and Whitney considered it the product of experience and outward circumstance.
Humboldt, for example, defined his view of the scope of plant geography as follows:
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the first modern geographer to become a great traveller, and thus to acquire an extensive.
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