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Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 online

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George Harrington ; James Upton ; R. H. Wheatland.

Letters were read from N. S. ^^'haler of- Newport, Ky.;
A. E. Verrill of Norway Me. ; Connecticut Historical Soci-
ety ; Trustees of Newburyport Public Library ; Maine His-
torical Society ; John C. Holmes of Lansing Mich.; State
Historical Society of Wisconsin r C. M. Tracy of Lynn ;
R. Phillips of Topsfield ; William Merritt of Salem ; Smith-
sonian Institution ; W. B. Trask of Boston ; J. Colburn of
Boston ; M. A. Stickney ; E. 0. Proctor ol South Danvers ;
Morris Spojfford of Groveland.

The Chair introduced the exercises by some remarks on
the history and purposes of the Institute, calculated to
awaken an interest in the Institution in those who might
thus learn its nature and objects.

John M. Ives of Salem, observed that this was not the
first visit of this society to the town of Topsfield. ' Indeed,
the first public meeting of the Essex County Natural His-
tory Society, one of the parents of the Essex Institute, was
held here, at the old hotel, in 1834 ; and the first Pield Meet-
ing under the present organization was also held here, in
<lie Academy Building, some four years ago. But he had frejsh
proof to-day that all our own territory was not yet com-

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pletely known, nor a perfect acquaintance had with its
productions ; for he had to-day found the Painted. Cup ( C4w-
tUleia coccinea) growing profusely in a neighboring meadr
ow, when he- did not suspect its existence in.the town. Thkk
is a beautiful plant, making a notalde feature in the la^ch
ficape wherever it flourishes.

Dr. R. H. Wheatland of Salem, mentioned that he hs^
been tolerably successful in securing specimens to-d^, lpta\p»
ing found four species of fishes, four of frogs, three of tui^
ties, and one of snakes ; and he proceeded to oflFer remarks
upon their structure, growth, and habits. The animals ef
our own region are not less interesting than the rarest for-
eign species, though every country and climate has its pecu-
liar grade* and style of animal life. He proceeded to illus-
trate the correspondence between animals and the situations
they are formed to inhaj)it, by "some specimens of the cu-
rious " Blind Pish," so often heard of, from the Mammoth
Cave of Kentucky, and also a fresh water crab QAstactis
fluviatilis) from the same locality. These specimens were
brought from thence by Mr. B. 0. Putnam of Wenharn.

The Chair gave some descriptive observations on a ^ci-
men of the " seventeen-year-locust " handed in by Mr. FeH.
These are said to do but little harm singly, but the immense
multitudes in which they often appear, commit great devas-
tation wherever .their track happens to be. In the timely
destruction of such pests, lies the usefulness, too little ad-
mitted, of such birds as crows and robins. The cultivator
can see that these attack his &uit, and he therefore judges
them his enemies, but he does not see, and rarely stops to
inquire, what incalculably greater good ti^y do in their v^
ilant pursuit of these insect destroyers, more than repaying
the loss of a few handfuls of berries in a season*

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Samuel Todd of Topsfield, invited attention to the gravel
pits in the yicinity. The general formation in this place i6
sandy, but in the midst of it appear three knolls of gravel,
evidently originating somewhere else, and probably brought
from the far north by drift currents. Dr. Kane tells us of
Ted gravel covering the polar ice for miles, an4 it would
seem that such agencies are even yet at work breaking
down the solid rocks and scattering the debris southward.

The Chair pursued the subject in some remarks, regi-eft-
ting the absence of our Geological member, B. P. Mudge, of
Ijynn, lately removed to the West.

C. M. Tracy of Lynn, summed up the results of the bo-
'tanical rambles of the day, having found the following,
among many more common plants:

Bulbous Arethusa, (^Arethusd bulbosa.')

Purple Avens, (^Geum rivale.')

Painted Cup. ( Castilleia coccineaJy

' The two first from a meadow north of the village, and the
last from one about half a mile to the east. It makes a gor-^
geous appearance there, coloring the herbage, as it were, for
Biany square rods. This is a peculiar variety having thef
bracts a deep orange color, instead of the fine scarlet com-
monly seen* If this plant could be cultivated, it would be
a choice thing for the garden, but it is thought to be para-
'Sitic by the roots, like the Oentians, which would render its
igrowih impofisibie, except in spots of its own choosing.

Mr. Osgood Perley exhibited and presented to the Cabi-
Bet one of the interesting concretions taken from the stom-
ach of iiie Ox. It consisted, evidently, of hair licked from
the animal's coat and swallowed, after which, by the motion
of the stomach, it became ^' felted" and hardened together
into a solid ball.

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. 16

The Committee on Field Meetings announced that the
next would be held at (rrovelaud, Wednesday, -June 27, if
favorable weather.

The thanks of the Institute were then voted to the propri-
etors of the Methodist Cliurch lor their kindness in admitting
us to their commodious hall ; also to Messrs. Phillips,
Adams, Merriaim, Holmes, Peabody, Leach and others, for
their polite and gratifying attentions to the members this
day. Adjourned.

There were on exhibition outside the Hall, two beautiful
living specimens of ornithology ; one of the White Headed
Eagle belonging to Eleazer Lake of Topsfield, captured iu
December, 1858; the other of the large White Owl, taken in
December last, and owned by G-eorge Killam of East. Box-
foid. This did not appear to be the Snowy Owl, but rather
an albino of some other species. Both were liealthy and
attracted much attention.

Wednesday^ June 27, 1860.

Field Meeting at Groveland. — The Institute visited
this place in September last, and most of the local features
of interest may be found noticed, in the account of that oc-
casion. To-day the rendezvous was at the same spot as
before, viz : Balch's Grove, whose owner, William Balch, is
still living, having reached the age of ninety-three, with
faculties almost unimpaired. On the walk from the station
to this place the party were led to notice a hill whose loose
soil, now overgrown with rye, anciently served for an Indian
burial ground. The bones of the red men are not yet
wholly wanting on the spot, being now and then disturbed
by the unthinking ploughman; and more than once, it is
said, the frost has gradually lifted the remains till the skele-

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ton emeri^d from its resting place ia tiie same sitting pos-
ture in whieh it was first interred.

There was no lack of pleasant entertainment for the ex-
plorers to-day, who spread about in various directions ac-
cording to the demands of their differing fancies. Some
Tisited the huge bowlders on the land of Mr. Abel Stickney,
heretofore mentioned ; others examined the river-banks and
their productions, as well as those of the ancient stream it-
self. A Ibw took ferriage across to the flourishing town of
Haverhill, which boasts so much of historic interest and
modem enterprise, and Aere passed the forenoon in re-
searches into the matters pertaining to the place, both new
and did.

The afternoon meeting took jdace at the Independent
Church, at 3, P.M. The Chair was occupied by Vice-Presi-
dent Russell, who favored the meeting with remarks suffi-
ciently extended to atone for the want felt by reason of the
absence of other speakers.

The following donations were announced, as received
since the meeting at Topsfield.

To the Library — ^from Ohio Mechanics' Institute, Cincin-
nati ; N. J. Lord ; Alfred Poor of Haverhill ; Wm. Stearns ;
H. M. Brooks ; N. Y. Mercantile Library Association ;
Chicago Historical Society ; Samuel Green of Boston ; S.
0. Jackson of Andover ; E. Hervey Quimby ; Philadelphia
Academy of Natural Science ; N; Y. State Library ; J, L.
Russell ; Jeremiah Colbum of Boston ; Mrs. N. Ingersoll ;
Or. F. Read ; Geo. Andrews ; Congregational Library Asso-

To the Cabinets — from Arthur M. Merriam, Topsfield ;
Osgood Perley of Topsfield; R. H. Wheatland; B. F.
Browne ; S. Lewi^ jr.; Miss M. G. Wheatland ; C. H. Nor-


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ris ; Geo. Dodge of Wenham ; Jason Wilkins ; Caleb Cooke ;■
Mrs. W. B. Johnson of Oohasset ; N. B. Baker of Clin-
ton, Iowa.

Letters were read from Trustees of Newburyport Publie
Library ; Smithsonian Institution ; Trustees of Boston Pub-
lic Library ; Massachusetts Historical Society ; M. Spoflford
of Groveland ; W. Merritt ; A. Ordway of Boston ; M.
Miles of Flint, Mich.

The Chair proceeded to give a pleasant account of his
own rambles during the day, and the various objects of in-
terest which had become known to him thereby. The study
of botany, always a favorite with him, was far from being-
without value to others — ^to all, even the scientific and some-
what technical forms of it. No farmer should be destitute
of this knowledge. " Here" said he, " is a plant from New
Zealand, a sort of Spinach, raised by one who bought the
seed under the supposition that it was parsnip seed. A lit-
tle accurate knowledge of botany would have certainly pre-
rented a blunder so very awkward and troublesome."

He further exhibited various other plants, among them
the Tephrosia^ known commonly as " Catgut," for its long
and tough fibrous roots, or sometimes as " Hen and Chick-
ens." It is a pleasant looking denizen of the damp boggy
lands, and belongs to the great Pea family.

The Tulip Tree (^Liriodendron) had been brought up from:
Danvers by Dr. Osgood. This fine tree is native as far
north as the interior of Massachusetts, penetrating further
in this direction than almost any other of the Magnolia
tribe. Its beauty is not to be questioned, and its utility is
scarcely less ; its wood being soft and light, and valued by
wheelwrights andjoiners, who use great quantities for pan-
eling, under the name of Whitewood. Many specimens of
our beautiful Kalmia or Mountain Laurel, were also shown ;
and proceeding from this, he remarked that the beauty of

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'Our own plants was far superior, in general, to that of the
European. Neither could Europe vie with us for variety
and diversity of vegetation. The whole number of species
< of native trees, of all kinds, now to be found in Great Brit-
ain, was not as great as the number of oaks alone described
•.as belonging to the United States.

Jacob W. Reed of Groveland, author of a genealogical
history of the Beed family, gave a synopsis of the facts and
speculations to which he has given much attention, as to the
topographical history of the Merrimac River. The abrupt
angle by which the stream turns, a little above Lowell, from
its nearly southerly course, to one almost northeast, has oc-
casioned much thought among those interested in such
changes. " Now the fact is," said he, " that from this bend
a valley extends southward, in very nearly the primary di-
rection of the river, and terminates in Boston harbor. Had
the river been stopped back by obstructions across its pres-
•ent bed at Lowell, it would have continued on through this
valley and flowed into Boston harbor instead of where it
now does." He thought this was anciently the case, and
iihus the Merrimac has lent its aid in the formation of
iiiat harbor. But this natural dam having once given way,
the waters turned northeasterly until some other and simi-
ilar stoppage took place, sending the current southward
again. This seems to have happened several times and in
one instance the stream had its outlet in the harbor at Sa-
lem. At a point near " Rocks Bridge" the latest obstacle
seems to have existed. The Indians formerly had a tradi-
tion, that the mouth of the Merrimac was near that of Par-
ker River, thus leaving Newbury on the northern side.

Mr. R. further gave some interesting statements as to the
Indian remains found at " Ridge Hill" before spoken of.

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Bev. Mr. Wilhon of Salem, ofiered some brief remarks on
the Talue of knowledge, even that little which has been styled
a dangerous thing.

On motion, the thanks of the Institute were then pre-
sented to the proprietors of the Independent Church for the
use of their house, also to Messrs. Spofford, Parker, Savorj,
Reed and others citizens of the town for their kind atten-
tions during the day, and the meeting then adjourned.

Monday y July 16, 1862.

Field Meeting at West Gloucester. — ^This place became
the locality of the third of these pleasant occasions this sea*
son. It is not a very large or populous village, and a slight
survey is enough to show that not a large amount of travel
passes this way, at least to make any stay in this vicinity.
Yet it is certainly not for want of pleasant scenery, and local
matters attractive enough to the eye and heart, but not, per-
haps, to the money-seeking enterprise of the present day.

The town of Gloucester may rank as one of our oldest
daughters of Essex, having been incorporated originally in
1639, three years before it received its present name. The
West Parish dates back in its corporate existence, to 1716,
when Rev. Samuel Thompson was settled as its minister ;
but the old meeting-house, which was only taken down within
some ten years, had the date of 1713 on its soimding board,
and the ornamental carving, with the year upon it, is yet
preserved in a beer store in the village. The meeting-house
was about forty feet square, and stood about two miles from
where the Institute assembled, on a spot which the forest
has now overgrown.

A company of liberal magnitude attended the meeting

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to-day, though, as usual, not all coming at the same time,
ot by one route. One division had started early, and gone
by a more extended road to explore the ever-famous Magnolia
swamp, not far away. This spot always figures prominently
in the attentions of the members, when anywhere in its
neighborhood, but not every one, who visits it, brings away
full satisfaction or dry feet. The magnolia is certainly there,
genuine and lovely, but the plants are grown scrubby
through rude and frequent breakage, and the blossoms
never abundant, are made rarer yet by unscrupulous rang-
ers, who bid fair to destroy the bushes in their eagerness for
a two-penny traffic in the half-opened flowers. Still the
Magnolia Swamp will not answer to be neglected by the
botanist, for it contains many rare and beautiful plants
beside that for which it is named. The Inkberry (^Prinos
glaber or Ilex glaber) a close relative of the Holly, revels in
the bogs in profusion, its bright evergreen foliage alike
cheerful in summer and winter. The White Fringed Orchis
( O. blephariglottis) lifts its spikes of pure white flowers
here and there, and the Clintonia, named after the worthy
DeWitt Clinton of New York, here and there fills large
spaces with its broad leaves of brightest green, and adorns
them with its little golden lilies first, and blue berries after-
ward. The structure of this swamp appears peculiar, for
very little earth or soil of any kind is to be met after leaving
the margin, but instead, one level expanse, crowded and
packed with Sphagnum or peat moss. This, growing con-
tinually at the surface and decaying below, preserves its
condition of a soft, compact, elastic cushion, full of water,
but free from mud, green as grass at the top, and furnishing
axi excellent foothold for all kinds of vegetation.

The morning party being thus engaged with this and other
notable spots at some little distance from the rendezvous,
the latter, and more thoroughly pleasure-hunting company

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turned their cai*e to otiier objects. Some started for the
other villages of Gloucester to evoke whatever historical
wonders might be slumbering about them. Still more, and
in fact nearly all the residue, set ofiF to climb the tallest emi*
nence in the town, known as Thompson's Mountain. This
eminence, noted by Babson as 255 feet high, has had lis ce«
lebrity finally established by being made a signal station by
the United States Coast Survey. After a warm and rather
weary walk, the summit was reached, and from the stern and
almost naked rock which forms it, the party looked about
on a prospect of admirable diversity and extent. Immedi-
ately about the foot of the mountain lie the dense woods
that occupy all the western part of the town. Beyond are
seen the goodly buildings of the Harbor Parish, or Glouces-
ter proper, toward the southeast ; the more scattered ones
of the old Town Parish on the east ; with Annisquam (or
Squam, familiarly) on the northeast, and Essex, nearly in
the west ; all making up a charming picture of the homes
and haunts of Cape Ann, backed in the distance by Plum
Island, Coffin's Beach, and the blue surges of the broad
Atlantic. Par away, the eye catches in the northwest, the
lofty swell of Holt's Hill in Andover, and still further, the
blue and ghostly peaks that represent three more of New
England's sisterhood of states, Agamenticus in Maine, Gun-
ptock in New Hampshire, and Beaconpole in Rhode Island.
These are all signal stations of the survey, and here the
company found Mr. Hassler, the assistant in charge, who
witli his instruments, was very polite, and ready to add
what he might to the pleasure of his visitors.

After the reuniting of the various divisions, and the dis-
cussion of the refreshments made doubly acceptable by Iho
invigorating jaunt, the afternoon meeting was called to order
by Vice President Russell, under the shadow of a spreading
^pple-tree on the grounds of a West Parish farmer.

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Donations to the Library and Cabinets were announced
as follows:

To the Library-^lrom the Trustees of the New York
State Library ; C. B. Richardson of New York City ; Boston
Society of Natural History ; Thomas Fettyplace of Mobile,
Ala. ; Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield ; Henry M. Brooks ;
Nathaniel Paine of Worcester ; George C. Chase ; N. Y.
Mercantile Library Association ; Connecticut Historical So-
ciety; Mrs. N. D. Cole ; George F. Read; R. H. Wheat-
land ; Henry P. Shepard.

To the Cabinets — ^from H. M. Brooks ; Thomas Fetty-
place ; F. H, Lee ; J. C. Lee ; R. S. Rogers ; James Bartlett
of Wenham ; Joseph True ; Richard H. Wheatland ; Chas*
H. Price ; Benjamin F. Morrison of Nantucket ; L. E.
Evans ; Chas. H. Norris ; EUiot F. Smith ; WiUiam Clough.

Letters were read from the Trustees of the New York
State Library ; Smithonian Institution ; B. F. Morrison of
Naatucket ; F. B. Perkins of Hartford, Conn. ; Jeremiah
SpofTord of Groveland.

The chair, on opening the exercises, recounted some of
his excursions and adventures during the day, and added a
pleasant description of several species of plants.

S. P. Fowler of Danversport followed, with a further dis*
cussion of the flora of this peculiarly fertile region, fertilo,
at least in vegetable rarities. Mr. F. went somewhat largely
into the consideration of those plants which had come under
his notice in this day's rambles.

Rev. C. C. Beaman of Salem, had gleaned a few facts of
interest concerning the old meeting house and had also paid
ft visit to the parsonage, another ancient institution of the
place, on which he based some entertaining remarks* He
further spoke of several notable localities in this region in-

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eluding that known as Hog Island, the birthplace of the
Hon. Rufus Ghoate.

A. B. Almon, of Salem, responded briefly to the call
of the chair, alluding to the various events and cilrcum-
stances of the occasion in a very agreeable manner.

Prof. A. Crosby of Salem, went into some account of the
excursion to Thompson's Mountain, of the characters of that
eminence and the fine view commanded by it ; also, of the
operations of the Coast Survey in this locality, and the ex-
planations of the same given by Mr. Hassler.

S. P. Fowler of Danversport, followed with some remarks
on the habits of our native birds, and the changes which
these habits appear to be undergoing, principally in conse-
quence of civilization, and the new state of things continually
introduced by man.

John M. Ives of Salem had read some curious and inter-
esting observations on the same subject, a few of which he
recounted to the meeting.

George F. H. Markoe presented the following Catalogue
of Plants, observed by him, in flower or fruit, during the
excursion in the vicinity of the place of meeting.

Thalictrum cornuti^ Meadow Rue.
Ranunculus bulbosuSj Bulbous Crowfoot.

" acris, Tall Crowfoot, Buttercups.

Aquilegia canadensis. Wild Columbine, flower and fruit.
Magnolia glauca. Small or Laurel Magnolia.
Perberis vulgaris j Com. Barberry, fl. fr.
Nymphwa odorata, Sweet-seeoted Water Lily.
Miplmr advena, Yellow Pond LUy.
.Sarraceniapurpureaj Pitcher Plant, fV.

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Chelidoniam mcgtiSy Celandine.
Papaver somntferum^ Com. Poppy.
Sinapis ni^a^ Black Mustard.
Capselia Bursorpastoris^ Shepherd's Pixrse.
Sisymbrium officinale. Hedge Mustard.

Drosera rotundifolia. Round Leaved Sundew.
^' longi/olia^ Long Leaved Sundew.

Hypericum perforaiiim. Com. St. John's* Wort.

Silene inflata^ Bladder Campion.

^^ noctijl )ra, Night Flowering Catchfly.
Stellaria media. Com. duckweed.
Cerastium vulgatum. Mouse-ear Chickweed.
Malca rotundifolia, Com. Mallow.
Tilia Efuropma, European Linden.
Oxalis stricia, Yellow WoodSorreL

BJius typhina, Staghorn Sumach,
" glabra. Smooth Sumach.
^^ venenata, Poimti Sumach or Dogwood.

Ceanothus Americanos, New Jersey Tea.

Trifolium arvense, Stone or Rabbit Foot Clover.
" pralrnse, Re«l Clover.
" repens. White Clover.
" procunibens, Low Hop Clover.

SpiroBa salicifolia. Com. Meadow Sweet.

^^ tomentosa, Hardback.
Gevm album, White Avens.
Potentilla Norvegica Floribunda.

^^ Canada nsis. Com. Cinque foil.

*' argentea. Silvery " "
Rubus villosus, High Blackberry.
Jtosa Carolina, Swamp Rose. ,

" lueida. Dwarf Wild Rose.

<< micrantha, Small Fl. Sweet Briar.

JEpilobium angustifolium, Great Willow Herb.


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(Enothera biennis^ Com. Evening Primrose.
Aralia nudicaulis^ False Sarsaparilla, fl. fr.
Cornus Canadensis, Dwarf Cornel, fr.

Sambucus Canadensis^ Com. Elder.
" pubens, Red Berried Elder.

Mitchella repens^ Partridge Berry.
OLdenlandia cosrulea^ Bluets.
Eupatorium perfoliatum^ Thoroughwort.
Rvdbeckia hirta, Rudbeckia.
Leticanthemum vulgare, White Weed.
Leantodon autumnale^ Fall Dandelion.
Taraxacum dens-leonis, Dandelion.
Lobelia spicata. Pale Lobelia.
Gaylussacia resinosa^ Black Huckleberry, fr.
Vaccinium macrocarpon^ Cranberry.

" vacillans, Low Blueberry, fr.

" corymbosumj Swamp Blueberry, fr.

GoMUheria procumbenSj Checkerborry.
Clethra alnifoliaj White Alder.
Kalmia latifolia^ Mountain Laurel.
" angtistifolia, Sheep Laurel.
Pyrola rotundifoliaj Round Leav. Pyrola.
Chimaphila umbellata^ Prince's Pine, Pipsissewa.
Monotropa unijUyra^ Indian Pipe.

Plantago major, Com. Plantain.
" kmceolaia.

Lysimachia stricta, Bulb-bearing Loosestrife.

" quadrifoliaj Four Leaved Loosestrife.

Verbascum ihapsus, Com. Mullein.
Linaria Canadensis, Wild Toad Flax.

" vulga/ris. Toad Flax. Butter and Eggs.
Veronica scutellata. Marsh Speedwell.
Melampyrum Americanum, Cow Wheat.

Mentha Canadensis, (M. borealis) Wild Mint.

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Sedeoma pvhgioides, American Pennyroyal.
JSfepeta cataria. Catnip.

" glechoma. Ground Ivy. Gill.
JBruneBa vtdgaris, Self Heal or Heal All.
Leonurus cardiaca. Motherwort.
Ccdystegia septum, var, repens, Hedge Bindweed.
Solanum dtdcamara, Bittersweet.
Apocynum (mdroscemifolium. Dogbane.

Mdepim comuti, (A, St/riacaJ Milkweed.

" phytolaccaides, Poke "

Phytolacca decandra, Poke. Garget.
iPoh/gonumpersicaria, Lady's Thumb.

aviculare. Door Weed. Goose Grass.
Rumex okustfoltus, Bitter Dock.

" crispus. Curled Dock.

" acetoseOa, Field or Sheep Sorrel.
Sassafras officinale, (Laurus Sassafras) Sassafras.
Oorylus rostrata, Beaked Hazel Nut.
Mf/rica gale, Sweet Gale.

" certfera, Bayberry, Wax Myrtle.
Comptonia asplenifoUa, Sweet Pern.
Sagittana vanaUUs var. sagiuifolia. Arrow Head.
Pogonia ophioghssoides, Pogonia.
Cahpogon pulcheUus, Calopogon.
Iris versicolor, Blue Flag.
Sisyrinchium Bermudiana, Blue Eyed Grass.
SmUax rotundifolia, Com. Greenbriar.
Mium Pkiladelphicum, Philadelphia Lily.

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