David Prain.

Contributions to Indian botany: reprints from periodicals, 1902-1906 online

. (page 35 of 40)
Online LibraryDavid PrainContributions to Indian botany: reprints from periodicals, 1902-1906 → online text (page 35 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


various parts of Indo- China. There is also a solitary record of
its occurrence in Java. It has been already referred to in the
Kew Bulletin [1888, p. 74] under the provisional name PUctran-
thus Patchouli.

An examination of the herbarium material of this species shows
that it was first collected in the Eastern Naga Hills, Assam, by
Griffith about 1889, was shortly afterwards collected by Jenkins

407



Digitized by VjOOQLC



12

in some part, not specified, of Assam, and was again collected, in
1845, by Zollinger, in Java. No one appears to have met with it
again till Clarke obtained it in 1871 in the Ehasia Hills, Assam ;
Clarke's field note says "cultivated in Ehasia and said to be the
true Patchouli." In 1884 the species was collected in Kwang-tung
by B. C. Henry, and in 1885 it was met with by Clarke in Mani-
pur, a small State situated between Assam and Burma. Since then
it has been obtained in Tonkin by Balansa, in the Burmese Shan
States by General Collett, and in the Shan States of Siam by Lord
Lamington.

The small local demand for Patchouli in Calcutta is said at one
time to have been met by supplies from the Ehasia Hills. The
Ehasia Patchouli has, however, been replaced in the Calcutta
market by the Malayan article. Clarke's note of 1871 and a sub-
sequent note by Mann, in 1887, of the occurrence of Microtcma
cymo8a as a cultivated plant in the Ehasia Hills shows that the
practice of growing it had long survived the loss of an outside
market. The plant is not wild in the Ehasia Hills, and Clarke
has noted that even in Manipur he suspects that it may have been
originally planted. This suspicion extends not only to the Assam
records of Griffith and Jenkins, but to the Shan records of General
Collett and Lord Lamington, and to one out of three records of
the plant from Tonkin. There is hardly room for doubt that
Zollinger's record from Java points to M. cymosa as an intro-
duced species in that island ; during the past 60 years it has not
again been reported from Malaya.

In two Tonkin localities recorded by Balansa, the nature of his
notes and the character of his specimens point to the plant being
there a wild species ; the same is true of some of the specimens
collected in Kwang-tung by B. C. Henry, and subsequently by
Ford. There is, therefore, hardly room for doubt that the isolated
record of the Ehasia Patchouli from Java may be explained by its
introduction to that island by Chinese settlers, and there are good
grounds for supposing that its occurrence in the Shan country and
in Assam is due to its having spread thence as a cultivated plant
from South- Western China or Tonkin.



408



Digitized by VjOOQLC



From the Journal, Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LXXIII, Part II,

No. 4, 1904.



188



On Dioscorea birmanioa — a new species from Burma — and two allied
species. — By D. Prain & I. H. Burkill.

[Bead 3rd August, 1904.]

We find to be nndescribed a yam which is in Burma, through the
moister parts of that province, almost the commonest of all, so that its
very abundance entitles it to attention. It is a climber in the open
forests, where the rainfall is 50 inches and more, and in the 10 — 15 feet
high scrub which often covers waste lands. It seems to avoid the den-
sest forests ; and it is quite absent from dry Central Burma where the
rainfall is small.

Its distribution makes the letter Q round the dry focus of Burma,
as it is common in the northern forests, common in the southern forests,
is found down a connecting strip on the west in the Arakan Yomas and
down another on the east in the Shan States ; the tail of the letter lies
in Tenasserim.

In the northern forests it grows both over bushes in the chequered
shade under the tall Dipterocarps, and also climbs over bamboos and
bushes getting a considerable amount of sun where the Dipterocarps no
longer exist. About Eatha, where red-soil forests and black-soil forests
meet, it is more prevalent perhaps on the red-soil ; at Bhamo it is quite
common on black-soil. On the east, in the northern Shan States, it is
very common about Hsipaw (Thibaw), and thence to Lashio, on red soil
and black soil. Southwards we know it to occur in the state of Mong-
kung (Maingkaing), and about Taunggyi and Fort Stedman. On the
west we know it to occur in the Gangaw valley and again near Kan on
the Arakan Yomas, in the latitude of Minbu. In the south we know it
to be very plentiful all along the railway line from a little south of
Taungu to Nyaunglebin in the Pyinmana forests, on a yellowish-grey
soil ; and we know it to grow quite abundantly on the hills close to Prome.
Southwards again it may be seen in the bamboo jungle which clothes
any slight elevation rising above the otherwise uninterrupted stretches
of rice-fields. It is readily found close to Pegu, and as near to Rangoon
as Hmanwi. Towards Taungu it grows in savannah land, in the

409



Digitized by VjOOQLC



184 A new species from Burma,

Pyinmana forests it grows over the bushes that are mixed with teak ;
at Prome it grows in deciduous forest of Mgle Marmelos, bamboos, etc.,
and, as already said, it grows about Pegu in bamboo thickets.

In Tenasserim, near Moulmein, it is excessively common on laterite
in 10 feet jungle of Combretum. To the east of Moulmein it is absent
from the high evergreen forests of the Dawna range, but re-appears be-
yond them in the thinner forest of Thingan-nyi-naung, and continues
right up to the Siamese frontier at Myawadi on a clayey grey soil.

The tuber of the plant is very woody, and has a hard skin cracking
rather rectangularly like the carapace of a tortoise ; in shape it is very
irregular, with blunt processes lying just under the surface of the soil.
Wiry roots arise from the surface, which bear low warty thorns, and dy-
ing may themselves almost constitute thorns. The flesh is yellowish-
purple and unpleasant to the taste. Even the wild boars seem to leave
the root altogether alone. One stem arises from each tuber, and usually
bears strong prickles; at the base of each leaf in the position of
stipules are two or four downwardly directed small thorns. When young
the stem ia pubescent ; when old, with the hairs rubbed off, it becomes
shining and has dark blotches on it. The leaves are very like those of
Dioscorea fasciculata, but are larger ; and the rows of prickles which
generally line the main-nerves serve to distinguish them. When young
they are pubescent ; when old they are glabrescent, especially above.
The inflorescence, which is produced in the month of May, is a long
drooping spike : in the male the flowers are arranged on it in small scor-
pioid cymes ; in the female they are solitary. This type of secondary
inflorescence has hitherto never been described in any Asiatic Dioscorea,
though there are at least two others which share the character. The
young cymes are recurved ; but after flowering they are found to be
quite straight. The young ovaries, after flowering is over, begin to
turn upwards, and long before the fruit reaches maturity have come to
be parallel to the rhachis, their tips looking upwards. At maturity the
fruits are imbricated, all directed away from the earth : dehiscing, they
hold the seeds until some sudden puff of wind blows them away. It is
when in fruit that the plant is most easily recognised ; for the long
spikes, sometimes over 40 cm. long, and with 40 capsules, are very con-
spicuous and distinctive.

The root is too woody to be fit for use as food, but we have heard of
a very quaint use of it in southern Burma as a reputed antifecundative
taken by the male before coition.

The plant is widely known in Burma as Hkadhkyo, pronounced
Ehatcho, or at Prome as Ginbeekpya ; it is called Katak in the Northern
Shan States.
410



Digitized by VjOOQLC



A new species from Burma. 185

We proceed to give a diagnosis of the plant and a list of localities.

Diosoorea bibmanioa. BMzoma informe, borizontale hypog®um,
came luteo-livida lignosum amarum, corticis rimis test© testitudinis
similius. Caulis armatus, e radice singulus, in dumetis sinistrorsum
ita volubilis ut sarculos ultimos tangere pedite non licet; sarculi
saBpissime pubescentes, sed sarculi (preacipue vetustiores) glabri
tamen nonnunquam occurruntur : caulis vetustus semper glaber. Folia
membranacea, alterna, cordata vel late cordata sinu aperto, caudato-
acuminata, vel modo caulium primo pubescentia dein supra glabres-
centia vel glabra, infra ad nervos primarios spiculis recurvis armata,
11-16 cm. longa, 7*6-16 cm. lata, nervis primariis 7-11 (extremis bifur-
catis) infra prominentibus supra distinctis, nervis seoimdariis supra
infraque distinctis, reti anastomotico indistincto : petiolus pubescens
vel puberalus vel glaber, armatus, 4*5-9 cm. longus. Spica depen-
dentes, ad axillas foliorum singulae vel binae, 85-45 cm. longae. Spica
mascula rhachi prater basin sterilem 1-8 cm. longam flores in cymis
scorpioideis 5-10 mm. distantibus gerentes: cymro 6-6-floraB, 1 cm.
long®, apicem spicaB versus spectantes : bracteae bifariaB, altera®, fere
glabra, 1-5 mm. longae, brunneolineolataB ; bracteol© 0. Perianthii
masculi campanulati lobi marginibus exceptis externe villosi, brunneo-
lineolati, exteriores lanceolati acuti cymbiformes, interiores ovati acuti
marginibus retrorsi. Stamina 6, aequalia, perianthii lobis breviora,
filamentis quam antheris longioribus. Spica feminea flores 20-40 ses-
siles alternatim gerentes : bracteee et bracteolaB adsunt. Perianthii
feminei lobi iis floris masculi similes. Ovarium densissime pubescens.
Fructus stipitatsB, stipite 4-5 mm. longo, imbricated, mox ad caelum
versus spectantes, glabrescentes, maturae tamen semper glabraB : alas regu-
lariter semiorbiculares vel irregulariter oblongea, 2-8 cm. long8B, 10-15
mm. lataa, apice retusaa, basi truncataa vel cuneataa. Semina ala mem-
branacea inaBqualiter circumcincta. — Dioscorea spinosa Wall. Cat. 5108,
pro parte; Hook. fil. Fl. Brit. Ind. VI. 291 pro parte; Collett and
Hemsley in Journ. Linn. Soc. xxviii. (1890) p. 187.

Burma. Hukung Valley near the Assam border, Griffith, 5545,
E.D. Bhamo District ; Bhamo, on land above flood level, Burkill
in Herb. B. E. P. 22770 ; hills east of Bhamo beyond Momouk, Burkill
in Herb. R. E. P. 21520, 21646. Katha District; Katha, Burkill in
Herb. R. E. P. 22499, 22640, 22657, 22659. Northern Shan States ;
Lashio, Burkill in Herb. R. E. P. 22584, 22578; Manpwe, Burkill in
Herb. R. E. P. 22504; Hsipaw, Burkill in Herb. R. E. P. 24059,
24187; between Hsipaw and Mankang, Burkill in Herb. R. E. P. 24140.
Southern Shan States ; without precise locality, Abdul Hug ;

411



Digitized by VjOOQLC



186 A new species from Burma.

Mong-Kung, 2500-4000 ft., Craddock, 27 ; Fort S ted man, Collett, 704 ;
Taunggyi, Abdul Khalil. Pakokku District; Gangaw Valley, Millar
in Mus. R. E. P. 20684. Minbu District; below Kan on the Yomas,
Aubert and Gage. Prome District; hills South of Prome, Burkill in
Herb. E. E. P. 28824. Pegu District ; Kyauktaga, Burkill in Herb.
E. E. P. 21978, 22119 ; Sittang side, Kurz, 2629 ; Bank of Sittang, Kurz,
488 ; Pegu town, in bamboo thickets, Burkill in Herb. E. E. P. 21960.
Myaungmya District ; Hmanwi, Burkill. Amherst District ; Moulmein,
Wallich, 6108 C; on the south-east of Moulmein, Burkill in Herb.
B. E. P. 28917 ; Thingan-nyi-naung on the east of the Dawna range,
Burkill in Herb. E. E. P. 24885; Myawadi on the Siamese frontier,
Burkill in Herb. E. E. P. 24448. Tenasserim, without exact locality,
Heifer, 6644.

A very closely allied species is found in south-west China, which
we here describe.

Diosoorea tunnanbnsis. Bhizoma deest. Caulis sinistrorsum volu-
bilis, dense pubescens, teres, inarmatus (saltern quoad surculi). Folia
membranacea, alterna, subreniformi-cordata vel oordata, sinu angus-
tiore, apice parum acuminata, supra glabrescentia viridia, infra dense
albo-pubescentia, inermia, 7-9 cm. longa, 11-12 cm. lata, nervis prima-
riis 9-11 (extremis bifurcatis) infra distinctis supra vix distinctis, ner-
vis secundariis supra infraque indistinctis, reti anastomotico vix visibile :
petiolus dense pubescens, inermis, 8-8 cm. longus. Spica dependentes,
ad axillas foliorum singul® vel bin®, mascul® 18-20 cm. long®, femine®
5-20 cm. longaa. Spica mascula rhachis prater basin sterilem 1-8 cm.
longam flores in cymis scorpioidiis 4-10 mm. distantibus gerentes: cyme
8-5-flor®, 5 mm. long©, apicem spic® versus spectantes ; bracte® bifa-
ri®, altera®, extus dense glabrescentes, intus glabr®, 1-5 mm. long®,
brunneo-lineolat® : bracteol® 0. Perianthii masculi campanulati lobi
brunneo-lineolati, sub®quales, ovato-acuti. Stamina 6, oqualia, peri-
anthii lobis breviora ; filamenta antheras subaquantia. Spica feminea
flores 6-12 sessiles alternatim gerentes; bracte® extus dense pubes-
centes : bracteolas non vidimus. Perianthii feminei lobi iis floris masculi
similes. Ovarium densissime pubescens, 8-6-oostatum. Fructus matur®
ignot®, post anthesin teste ovario gravido ad c®lum versus respicientes.

China : Yunnan ; Mengtze, in woods at 4,600 and 5,000 feet. A.
Henry, 9288 and 9288 A.

This species differs from D. birmanica in the more pubescent
leaves, in the equal perianth-segments and in the filaments.

Dioscorba sp. Another apparently nearly related plant has
412



Digitized by VjOOQLC



A new species from Burma. 187

been once collected by Scortechini in Perak, who gives no precise
locality.

It is distinguished, as far as the sterile plant is concerned, by the
main stem being densely beset with very large compound prickles
which have two to six cusps. The smaller stems have simple prickles
fewer and smaller than those on the main stems, but even the prickles on
these are larger than the priokles usually met with in corresponding
situations on D. birmanica. The petioles are prickly as in the Burmese
plant and have the same basal stipular thorns; but the leaves them-
selves are rather differently shaped, being ovate-cordate, 20 cm. long by
11 cm. broad, and having no thorns on the veins : the younger leaves
have hairs beneath towards the base. The plant, which is probably an
undescribed species, deserves to be looked for.



From the Journal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LXXIII, Part II,
Supplement, 1904.



On Dioscorea deltoidea, Wall., Dioscorea quinqueloba, Thunb., and
their allies. — By D. Prain and I. H. Burkill.

In the following paper we describe eleven species of Dioscorea —
three Indian, three Chinese, and five Japanese. They are all allied
plants, with many characters in common : and as it may perhaps con-
duce to clearness, we give the common characters as a preliminary.

Characters which these Yams have in common.

I. Tubers as f ar as known inedible, not lying deep in the soil, at times

growing like rhizomes parallel with the surface.
II, Stems always twining to the left.

III. Leaves cordate (or truncate below), constricted more or less towards the

middle, or else lobed, with 5-9 palmately arranged nerves.

IV. Male flowers generally two or more together.
V. Female spikes pedulous, with recurved fruit.

VI. Wings of capsules with a tendency to be quadrate.

VII. Seeds winged all round but irregularly so, apparently distributed as
from swinging censers by the movement of the flezuous slender spikes
in the wind.

The species group themselves naturally in a way that more or less

accords with their distribution. The first little group contains four, —

J. ii. 1 413



Digitized by VjOOQLC



2 On Dioscorea deltoidea, etc.

Dioscorea deltoidea, D. sikkimensis, D. Prazeri, and D. pavthaica which
are found in the lower Himalaya and mountains east of it : they are
all closely allied. Next stands rather alone D. acerifolia from Central
China. Thirdly come the three closely allied Japanese species D. sep-
temloba, D. nipponica and D. quinqueloba. Lastly stand two species
from Japan, D. tmuipes and D. Yokusai, associated with D. enneaneura
from Central China. Uline, who has recently done valuable work
upon the genus Dioscorea, refers some of the species to a section whioh
he names Stenophora; but it is not clear to us if he would so refer all.
We therefore leave undiscussed for the present the question of sections.

Dioscorea biimanica, which we described in a recent paper, is allied
to the yams under discussion ; but, with the horizontal inedible rhizome
and dependent female inflorescences and the censer mechanism for seed
distribution, it combines leaves not constricted or lobed, as well as a
robustness which is foreign to all except, it may be, D. acerifolia;
moreover none are thorny to the degree that it is, and none have pre-
cisely similar cymules of male flowers.

The following is a key to the species which we shall forthwith
describe : —



Anthers not didymous : —




Leaves quite smooth beneath : —




Male flowers not pediceUed


Prazeri.


Male flowers pedicelled.


sikkimensis.


Leaves with hairs or papilla beneath : —




Male flowers sessile : —




Male inflorescence slender, little branched


. . deltoidea.


Male inflorescence much branched, subthyrsoid


. . panthaiea.


Male flowers Btalked : —




Male inflorescence long and rigid


. . acerifolia.


Male inflorescence slender : —




Leaves 7-lobed, lobes acute


. . septemloba.


Leaves 8-5-lobed, lobes obtuse : —




Capsule longer than wide


. . nipponica


Capsule as wide as long


. . quinqueloba


Anthers didymous : —




Perianth segments equal


tenuipes.


Perianth segments unequal : —




Male flowers in cymules, larger


Yokueai.


Male flowers solitary or in pairs, smaller


enneaneura.



Dioscorea Prazeri. Bhizoma crassum, aliquanto informe, parum
hypogeeum, venenosum, carne albo. Caulis e radice singulus, glaber,
sinistroi*8um volubilis, teretiusculus, inermis, viridis, bulbifer. Folia al-
terna, chartacea, utrinque glaberrima, 6ubtus glauca, pellucide punctata,
414



Digitized by VjOOQLC



On Dioscorea deltoidea, etc. 8

late cordata vel sursum ovato-cordata, acuminata, apice minutis-
8ime mucronulata, basis sinu lato vel latissimo, margin e nonn,unquam
plus minusve undulata, 7- vel 9-nervia, nervis extimis profunde bifidis,
nervulis secondariis retioulatis utrinque distinctis, plurima 8-12 cm.
longa 10-16 cm. lata, nonnunquam tamen ad 20 cm. longa lataque :
petiolus glaber, sulcatus, 4-7 cm. longus. Spica mascula simplices
(rarius singula s®pius 2-6-n®) vel paniculate, axillares; flores glo-
merati, 2-3 -ni, sessiles in rhachi trigona sparsim sed fere prorsus dis-
positi : pedunculus glaber : bracte® sub ramulis panicularum lanceo-
late 3 mm. long®, sub glomerulis florum ovato-lanceolat® : bracteol®
ovato-acuminat®, naviculari-concav®. Perianthii masculi lacini®
ovat®, obtus®, sub®quales et subsimiles, patentee. Stamina 6, ®qualia,
filamentis ®quilonga: anther® filamentis multo breviores. Spica
feminea axillares, solitaries, simplices, ad 12 cm. long®, dependentes;
flores ad 10-12, sessiles, deorsum spectantes, circiter 1 cm. remoti:
bracte® et bracteol® adsunt. Capsula sessiles, assurgentes : al®
matur© pergamentace®, irregulariter subquadrato-semicirculares, 2-5
cm. long®, 1*5 cm. lat®, stramineo-corne®, glaucescentes. Semina in
loculo quoqne gemina, ovato-oblonga, # 85 cm. lata, 1*25 cm. longa
circumcirca alata, rufo-brunnea.

Nobthern Burma. Upper Chindwin District: Sittaung, Prazer.
Bhamo District: Bhamo, Burkitt in herb. R.E.P. 21587 ; Momouk, east
of Bhamo, Burkill in herb. B.E.P. 21507, 21509, 21514. Katha Dis-
trict: Katha, in forests on black soil, Burkill in herb. R.E.P. 21557,
22498, 22494, 22495, 22496, 22652, 22658, 22664, 22665.

In the districts of Bhamo and Katha this Dioscorea occurs in the forests of Dip-
terocarps.

Dioscorea sikkimensis. Bhizoma crassum, aliquanto informe, parum
hypog®um, venenosum, carne luteo-albo. Caulis e radice singulus,
glaber, sinistrorsum volubilis, teretiusculus, inermis, purpureo suffus-
us, bulbifer (an semper?). Folia alterna, chartacea, utrinque glaber-
rima, subtus laete viridia"; pellucide punctata, subdeltoideo-ovato-cor-
data vel late cordata, acuminata, apice minutissime mucronulata, basis
sinu lato vel latissimo, margine nonnunquam plus minusve undulata,
7- vel 9-nervia, nervis extimis profunde bifidis, nervulis secondariis
reticulars utrinque distinctis, plurima 9-16 cm. longa, 7-9 cm. lata
nonnunquam tamen usque ad 20 cm. longa lataque: petiolus glaber,
sulcatus, 4-7 cm. longus. Spica mascula simplices, vel rarius pani-
culate, singula vel bin® vel tern®, axillares : flores glomerati, 2-8-ni,
breviter pedicellati, glomerulis in rhachi trigona 2-4 mm. distantibus :

415



Digitized by VjOOQLC



4 On Dioscorea deltoidea, etc.

peduneulus glaber: bracte© sab ramulis panicularum lanceolate, 3
mm. long©, sub glomerulis ovato-lanceolatte pedioellos sub&quantes:
bracteol© ovato-acuminat®, naviculari-concava, pedicellis dimidio bre-
viores. Perianthii masculi lacini© ovat©, subacute, subfflquales
et subsimiles, patentes. Stamina 6, ©qualia, filamentis ©quilonga:
anther© filamentis breviores. Spica feminea axillares solitari©, sim-
plices, ad 12 cm. longaB, dependentes; flores ad 10-12, sessiles, deor-
sum spectantes, ciroiter 1 cm. remoti: braote© et bracteol© adsunt.
Capsula sessiles, assurgentes : alee matures pergamentace©, irregulariter
subquadrat©, 2 cm. longaB, 1 cm. lat©, stramineo-corne©, livido
suffus©, glaucescentes, majores ad 275 cm. longaB, ad 1*6 cm. lataB.
Semina in looulo quoque gemina, complanata, subquadrata, -85 cm.
diam., ala membranacea alba in©qualiter circumcincta. — Dioscorea
deltoidea, Hook, f., PI. Brit. Ind. VI., (1892), 291, partim.

Eastern Himalaya. Sikkim : without precise locality, 1000-5000,
feet, J. D. Hooker, No. 7, Herb. Ind. Or. ; Herb. Griffith, 5555 ; Great
Rungeet, 1800-2500 feet, T. Anderson; Rungeet Valley, Kurz; Run-
geet, C. B. Clarke, 8986; Rungeet Valley, 4000 feet, Gamble, 9764;
Dikiling, 2000 feet, C. B. Clarke, 9682; Naksabari, Gamble, 822 D;
Tukwar, 8000 feet, Gamble, 9799; Pashok, 7000 feet, Lister; Mungpoo,
Hartless, Gammie, Dungboo, 2000 feet and 8500 feet, King; also 600-
8000 feet, King; Restrop, Prain's Collector; Silake, Prain; Nagree,
8000 feet, T. Anderson; between Richi and Rinchingpong, 2000-2500
feet, T. Anderson. Western Duars : Haines, 4187. Nepal : Scully, 84.

Dioscorea sikkimetuU is the Kencheong or Kiikur Turul of Sikkim. It was
included in D. deltoidea in the Flora of British India by Sir Joseph Hooker. It is
indeed closely allied to that species: but it differs markedly in the absence of the
short crisp simple hairs that are so abundant on the veins and nerves of the under
surface of the leaf of D. deltoidea. There are besides other differences : the rhachis
of the inflorescence in both sexes of D. sikkimensis is distinctly angled, while that
of D. deltoidea in the male is terete and in the female only slightly angled : the
fruit is also slightly different in shape ; it is sessile and destitute of purple lines
or dots in D. sikkimensis, while that of D. deltoidea is distinctly pedicelled. It is
to be noted that both D. deltoidea and D. sikkimensis occur in Central Nepal, which
is the eastern limit of the one and the western limit of the other.

More closely allied to D. sikkimensis than D. deltoidea, is D. Prazeri. The chief
differences between the two are (i) in the male flowers, which in D. Prazeri are
sessile and in D. sikkimensis are distinctly pedicelled, (ii) in the seeds, which are
of a different colour and shape, and (iii) in the foliage which is chiefly composed of
wide cordate leaves in the Burmese plant, though there are leaves on the ultimate
branches which are longer than broad as is the usual condition in the Sikkim plant.
In D. sikkimensis such leaves as there may be, which are as long as they are broad,
are confined to the lower part of the main stem. The male plant of D. Prazeri is
often bulbilliferous : this is a rare condition in D. sikkimensis. The bulbils of both
416



Digitized by VjOOQLC



On Dioscorea deUoidea, etc, 5

when present are smooth with a silvery skin : the specimen of D. Prazeri collected
by one of us at Momouk, east of Bhamo, close to the Chinese frontier, had such
silvery bulbils, slightly verrucosa, and Haines notes on the ticket of his Duars
specimen that it hore bulbils with a silvery smooth skin.

We have had the two species in cultivation, side by side, at the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Sibpur, where they flowered simultaneously, but at the end of September
the leaves of D. Prazeri were in full defoliation, while D. sikkimemie was still in



Online LibraryDavid PrainContributions to Indian botany: reprints from periodicals, 1902-1906 → online text (page 35 of 40)