Edward S. (Edward Samuel) Farrow.

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constitute a race ; he evidently looks upon the extreme fonns, say of
Quercus Rohur^ as having thus originated ; and on this ground, inferred
from transitional forms, and not from their mutual resemblance, as we
suppose, he includes them in that species. This will be more apparent
should the discovery of the transitions, which he leads us to expect, here-
after cause the four provisional species which attend Q. Robur to be
merged in that species. It may rightly be replied that this conclusion
would be arrived at from the likeness step by step in the series of forms;
but the cause of the likeness here is obvious. And this brings in our
• motif philo9ophique,^

Not to insist that the likeness is after all the variable, not the con-
stant, element, — to learn which is the essential thing, resemblance among
the individuals or their genetic connection, we have only to ask which
oan be the cause of the other.

In hermaphrodite plants (the normal case), and even as the question is
ingeniously put by DeCandolle in the above extract, the former surely
cannot be the cause of the latter, though it may, in case of crossing,
oflfer occasion. But, on the ground of the most fundamental of all things
in the constitution of plants and animals, ** the fact incapable of farther
analysis, that individuals reproduce their like, that characteristics are
inheritable,'** the likeness is a direct natural consequence of the genetic
succession, — and it is logical to place the cause above the effect

We are equally disposed to comb^it a proposition of DeCandolle's about
genera, elaborately argued in the Oiographie Botanique^ and incidentally
re-afSrmed in his present article, viz., that genera are more natural than

res, and are more correctly distinguished by people in general, as is
n by vernacular names. But we have no space left in which to
present some evidence to the contrary.

Here we must abruptly close our long exposition of a psper which,
from the scientific position, ability, and impartiality of its author, is likely
at this time to produce a marked impression. We would also direct
attention to an earlier article in the same important periodical (viz : in
the BihL Univ, for May, 1862), on the European Flora and tlie Config-
uration of Continents in the Tertiary Epoch, a most interesting abstract
of, and commentary on, the introiluctory part of Heer's Flora Teriiaria
Helvetia!^ as reedited and translated into French by Gaudin, with addi-
tions Jby the author. a. o.

3. Flora Capensis; by Dr. Harvet and Dr. Sonder; vol. ii, 1861-62.
The second volume of this excellent work extends from the Leguminoscs
to the LoramthacecB inclusive, that is, it concludes the Poljpetalous orders.
Almost half the volume is devoted to the Leguminosas^ elaborated by
Dr. Harvey, and much the greater part of the other half is occupied by
the BruniaceaSy by Dr. Sonder (who assigns no definite character to
separate them from Hamamelidece)^ the Crassulacea, by Dr. Harvey, the
MesembryacecB by Dr. Sonder {Afesembryantkemum counting 300 species,
including 7 not sufficiently known), and the UmbellifercB, by Dr. Sonder.
Montinia is transferred by Dr. Harvey from the Onagracea to the Sazi-
fragacece. The close affinity of the latter order to Rosacecs is recognized
by placing it and its immediate allies next after Bosactas in the aeries.

▲• o.

* See this Jonroal, vol. xxix, [2], March, 1860, p. 165, for the eDunctation of this
obviotis principle.

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Botany and Zoology. 445

4. Flora of Canada. — Flore Canadienne^ ou Descripiioni de Umtet le$
Planien des Forkts^ ChampM^ Jardina et Faux da Canada^ <kc — Par
rAbb6 L PROVANoaBR, Cur6 de Portneuf. Quebec : Joseph Darveau,
1862. 2 volj«, 8vo. pp. 8*2. — It is pleasant to find that Botany is attract-
ing so much attention in Lower Canada as to call into existence a Cana*
dian Fiora in the French language ; and it is much to tliH credit of tlia
Abb6 Provancher, for zeal and enterprize, that he should have produced
such a work ba this, in so good a form and so neatly printed. It is of
course substantially a compilation ; and the author is evidently a neo-
phyte, of limited acquaintance with the plants around him; but he makes
a fair beginning, in a work which may for the present very well serve
the eduimtional end in view. The critical Flora of Canada and the other
Provinces is yet to he written, and will be of a different order.

The wood cuts, ** over 400 in uumber,'' which illustrate the orders, and
which here appear in such novel guise with their French environroenti
arc every one taken from Gray^s Botanical Text Book, except five of the
Ferns from the Manual, — a preference which speaks more for the good
taste of the Abb6 than does the omission to mention the source.

A. o.

5. The Tendrils of Virginia Creeper terminating in flat ettpantione or
diski^ by means of which this climber readily ascends smooth trunks and
walls, appear to have attracted Mr. Des Moulin's attention, at Bordeaux, as
a great curiosity. They are described at length by him in the Tran$action$
of the lAnnaan Society of that city. Before publishing, however, he had
become aware that this peculiarity was described in the Manual of Botany
of Northern States in 1856. We can give him earlier dates ; i. e., Torrey
A Gray, Flora of N, America, i, 245 (1838); and the venerable Dr.
Darlington's Flora Cestrica, 2d ed., p. 158 (1837). Probably there is still
earlier mention of it; as the fact has been familiar to us from boyhood.
These disks are figured in First Lessons in Botany, p. 38. We may add
that on the same plant may often be seen these disk-bearing tendrils and
others which act in the ordinary manner. Although we have never seen
atrial rootlets also, to verify the character **caule radieando-scandente" in
Michaux, yet these ar^ mentioned by Dr. Darlington, who is generally very
correct, and are not unlikely to appear under favorable conditions, as they
do in the Southern Muscadine Grape. a. o.

6. Vites Boreali-AmericancB, par. E. Dukakd, de VAcademie des Sd"
ences Naturelles de Philadelphie, etc Memoire pricidi dune Introdue*
lion par M. Ch. Drs Mouuns, etc — In response to demands from the
French Society for Acclimatisation, and from Mr. Des Moulins on the
part of the naturalists and vine-growers of Bordeaux, the excellent Mr.
Durand of Philadelphia, along with other practical information, commu-
nicated a condensed but very careful monograph of the North American
species of Vitis. This monograph, — a most laudable attempt to illustrate
an extremely difflctilt group of specie^ — is published in tne Actes de la
Sociiti LinnUne de Bordeaux, vol. xxiv, issued at the close of the last
year, greatly amplified in bulk by the garrulous introduction, intercala*
tions and notes of its French editor. Seven pages of this introduction
are devoted mainly to a criticism of the two words by which the present

Am. Jour. Sci. - Seoond Sbbibs, Vol. XXXV, No. 106. - Mat, 1868.

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446 Scientific Intelligence.

writer distinguished the genus Ampelopsis, viz. : ^ disk none.*^ The sub-
stance of the whole is, that Mr. Dos Moulins admits that no disk is to be
found in the flower of Ampelopsis, but thinks that he finds under the
forming fruit something wbicii, jf it developed, would become a disk:
then stating, in effect, that the disk in Ampelidea is nothing more than
a development of the common receptacle of the flower (to which we have
no present occasion to object), he insists that this disk equally exists
^pluA ou moinsfori^ in Ampelopsis where it is not developed at alL A
reexamination enables us to say that Mr. Spragne^s figured in the Genera
Am. Bor, III,, ii, pi. 162 are correct, and that there is no disk at all de-
veloped in Ampelopsis, Such are the facts. If now it be argued thai
this genus should be united to Vitis in spite of this difference, we could
not well object, knowing how variable the disk is in different species of
Vitis (including Cis8us)y and that a Brazilian species of the latter is
hardly distinguishable from our Virginia Creeper except in its strongly
developed disk. Bentham and Hooker fil, we observe, have recently made
this reduction ; but still upon an unfounded hypothetical basis. They
write : ^^ Ampelopsis .... exhibet discum cum ovario omnino confluentem ;"
— a view which we can no more confirm by observation than we can
that of Des Moulins ; but it has the immense advantage of being stated
in fewer words than the latter requires of pages. a. o.

7. Vegetable Productions of the Feejet Islands,-— A "Blue Book,"
entitled " Correspondence relative to the Fiji Islands^ May, 1862, gives
a full and official account of the arrangement between the British Consul,
Mr. Pritchard, and Ebenezer Thakombau, claiming to be king of the
Fiji Islands, for the cession of the latter to the British crown, and of the
appointment of Col. Smytbe as a commission to visit these islands and
to report whether the acquisition would be desirable, — whereupon the
commissioner visited the islands, accompanied by Dr. B. Seemann, who
was instructed to explore and report upon their vegetable productions
and resources. Col. Smythe very sensibly reported that Thakombua,
although perhaps the most influential of the independent chiefs, had no
claim to the title of king of Fiji, and that it was inexpedient to accept
his offer. What most interests us is the appendix, containing Dr. See-
mannas elaborate Report on the Vegetable Productions and Resources of
the Vitian or Fijian Islands. Tliis treats, 1, of the climate, soil, and flora
in general of these islands, and, 2, of the Colonial Produce, so-called, such
as sugar, coffee, tamarinds and tobacco, which they may be expected to
yield, as also certain oils and fats, farinas, and spices. 3. The staple food
of the people. This *' is the same all over Polynesia, being derived, with
the total exclusion of all grain and pulse, from the yam, the taro, the
banana, the plantain,. the bread fruit, and the cocoa-nut; but the bulk of
it is furnished in the different countries by only one of these plants. In
the Hawaian group the taro takes the lead, whilst the cocoa-nut is looked
upon as a delicacy, from which the women were formerly altogether cut off
In some of the smaller coral islands the inhabitants live almost entirely
upon cocoa-nuts. The Samoans place the bread-fruit at the head of the
list Again, the Fijians think more of the yam than of the others, though
all grow in their islands in the greatest perfection, and in an endless
number of varieties." Of edible fruits there is a long list, the bread-fruit

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' Botany and Zoology. 447

afid bananas being thd most important, and the account of the /vt, {Tno*
curpui edulis), is the most interesting, now that its botanical relationship
has been detected by Mr. Bentham. 4. Cannibal vegetables, the vegeta-
bles eaten with human flesh, — formerly an important part of Fijian diet-
etics, and not yet entirely obsolete, — form the subject of a separate section.
Human flesh, it appears, is extremely difficult to digest, and, perhaps on
this account, was eaten with the leaves of three vegetables which were
thought to assist the process, viz : of Trophic anthropopkagorum and
Solanum anthropopkagorum of Seemann, and of Omalantkue pedicellor
tus^ }3enth., an Ekiphorbiaceous plant 5. National Beverages, Like the
other Polynesians, they prepare an intoxicating drink from the root of
Piper methysticum, ** In order to prepare the beverage, it is necessary to
reduce the roots to minute particles, which, according to regular Polyne-
sian usage, is done by chewing, — a task, in Fiji, devolving upon lads who
have sound teeth, and who occupy a certain social rank towards the man
for whom they perform the office .... Some Fijians make it a point to chew
as great a quantity as possible in one mouthful ; and there is a man of
this sort at Veratra, famous all over the group, who is able within three
hours' time to chew a single mouthful sufficient to intoxicate fifty per-
sons.'' Although the Fijians drink the natural liquor of young cocoa-nuts,
they were not acquainted, nor were any Polynesians acquainted, with the
art of extracting and fermenting toddy from the cocoa-nut palm. From
^hich it is inferred, that, if the Polynesians are of Malayan origin, they
must have left the cradle of their race before the extraction of toddy from
the cocoa-nut tree, or even the tree itself, was known there. Indeed, this
palm itself is thought to have made its way by the drifting of its fruits
across the Pacific from east to west, through the Polynesian Islands, and
to have reached Ceylon within what may be called historical times.
6. Vegetable Poisons. Under this head is an interesting account of the
kau-karo (literally Itch-wood^, the Oncocarpus Viiiensis A. Gray, which
acts like the Poison Rhus of North America and of Japan, only with ten-
fold virulence. Indeed, a drop of the juice, falling upon the hand of one of
Dr. Seemann's companions, " instantly produced a pain equal to that pro-
duced by contact with a red-hot poker." The Excoecaria Agallocha^
known through the East, is equally virulent with its ally the Manchineel
tree. The smoke of the burning wood is used by the Fijians to cure
leprosy, — a terribly severe, but sometimes an efiectual, remedy. 7. Med-
icinal Plants, None of real importance are brought to light. 8. Scents
and Perfumes, These are used for scenting the cocoa-nut oil which the
natives profusely apply to the hair and to the naked body. Besides that
obtained from several flowers, from the fruit of P armarium laurinum
and of Eugenia (Jambosa) neurocalyx A. Gray, and from the bark of a
species of Cinnamomum, the most famous is that yielded by the Sandal-
wood of the islands, which, formerly abundant at Sandalwood Bay, is
now almost annihilated. 9. Materials for Clothing. The tapa, made of
the bark of the Paper Mulberry, mainly furnished what scanty clothing
was needed, until the introduction of cheap cotton cloth by traders. Suc-
cessive sections discourse of Fibres used for cordage ; of Cotton^ several
sorts of which have been introduced and run wild in these islands, and
the better sorts are now cultivated with success ; of Timber^ the most

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448 Scientific InteWgence.

important being a kind of kowrie-pine or Dammhra, and Calophyllum
inophyllum. The wood of the latter, abundant by the sea-aide, is used
for canoes and boats, while its seed yields an important-oil, but the most
valued wood is that of Afzelia bijuga A. Gr., which is almost indestruc-
tible. Palms, Sacred Groves, Ornamental Plants^ dec, occupy the re-
maining section<9.

Having submitted his economical report. Dr. Seemann is now turning
his attention to the scientific botany of the Feejee Islands, where he made
a collection second in extent and interest only to that of the U. S. Explor*
ing Expedition under Commodore Wilkes. The Flora Vitiensis which he
has announced as in preparation, is to be a royal quarto volume of about
400 pages of letter press, and 1 00 colored plates by Mr. Fitch, — to be
publi^h^ by Lovell Iteeve and Co. In form and extent it will therefore
equal his well known Botany of the Voyage of the Herald ; and it can
not fail to be interesting and important

A Synopsis Plantarum Vitiensium, or List of the Fijian Plants at pres*
ent known, has just been issued by Dr. Seemann, corrected up to date.
We note that he has overlooked Mr. Sullivant's folio, of the Ifusci of
Wilkes* Expedition, in which fifteen mosses not in his list are enumerated .
or described from these islands, and six of them are figured. The Lichenes
by }^r. Tuckerman, the Alga by Prof. Harvey and the late Prof. Bailey,
and the few Fungi, by Messrs. Curtis and Berkeley, also published, but
sparingly difiused, may also add something to the list a. o.

8. New Edition of Oray*s Manval of the Botany of the Northern
United States, — We copy the Advertisement to the revised edition, 1863.
— "The additions and alterations of the Revised Edition of this work, now
issue<l, are mainly the following:

" 1. The addition of an entirely new part, entitled GxaDEif Botakt, av ls»


see pp. xxix-lxxxix. By this, the common exotics, no less than the wild plants,
are made available for botanical classes, which will be a great convenience in
many cases. Most of these cultivated plants are evei^ where common, and
ffenerally at hand for botanical illustration ; and it is desirable that they should
be scientifically known and rightly named. And there is no great diflSculty
in studying them, if double flowers, and those which are otiierwise in a mon*
•trous or unnatural condition, he avoided, at least by beginners. It is obvi-
ously absurd and hi^rhly inconvenient to mix in the cultivated with the wild
plants m such a work as this. But a separate account of the common exotics,
annexed and subsidiary to the Botany of the Northern United States, especially
in the School Edition, will doubtless be popular and useful. Directions for
the us^ of the Garden BoUmy will be found on n. xvii and p. xxix.

**2. The Analytical Key, p. xvii, upon which the pupil so greatly de*
pends, has been altogether revised, much simplified, adapted to tlte Garden
Botany as well as to the Botany of the Northern States, and printed in a larger

^ 3. Numerous corrections in particulars have been made throughout the
body of the work, whenever the required alterations could well be effected
upon the stereotype plates. Many others, suggested by acute and obliging
correspondents, or by my own observation, are necessarily deferred until the
work can be recoroposed.

*^ 4. The plants which have been newly detected within our limits, and one
or two.which were before accidentally omitted, are enumerated and character-
ized in the Addemda, p. xc.

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Botanical Necrology. 449

^ 5. Eifffat plates have been added, crowded wHh fiffvuree, illuetratiDg all the
ffenera [w in number) of Grasses. They are wholly original, having been
drawn from nature and engraved by Mr. Sprague. They will be of great
assistance in the study of this large, difficult, and important family.

''The flattering success which the Manual has met with stimulates the
author's endeavors towards its continued improvement; — in regard to which
ht still solicits aid from his correspondents."

0. Botanical Necrology^ 1862. - Of the three botanists of Holland
who all died in the earlier weeks of the year 1862, viz.: Blume^ Van
den Bosch, and De Vrieae, a brief record was made in this Journal for
May last.

Prof. M. JV. Blytt, of the University of Christiania, the most distin*
gnished Norwegian botanist, died on the 26th of July last, aged 70
years. He had amassed vast materials for the illustration of Scandina-
vian botany, and bad commenced the publication of his Norges Flora^
the first volume of which appeared in 1861.

Wm. Borrer, Esq.y of Henfield in Sussex, England, one of the vene-
rable cotemporaries and botanical friends of Sir James E. Smith, and
whose name has long been intimately associated with English botany,
died on the 10th of February, 1862, in the 8l8t year of his age.

Dr. James Townshend Mackay, the author of the Flora nibemica,
long the director of the Botanic Garden of Trinity College, Dublin,
died Ave days later, viz : on the 1 5th of February, at an age little less
venerable than that attained by Mr. Borrer.

Dr. D. O, von Kieser, the late President of the Imperial German
Society of Naturalist^ and who has been Professor of Medicine at the
University of Jena ever since 1812, died on the 11th of October, aged
63 years. He is to be honorably mentioned among the botanists, on
account of two early essays on the anatomy and physiology of plants,
one of which, in the year 1812, took the prize offered by the Haarlem
Academy; and for his Elements of the Anatomy of Plants, the earliest
German treatise of modem times, published in 1816.

Dr. Joachim Steetz, of Hamburg, died on the 24th of March, 1862,
in the 67th year of his age. He was a medical practitioner, who de-
voted his leisure hours with assiduity and much success to systematic
botany, and especially, in his later years, to the Composites.

Mr. John Tweedie, a Scotch gardener, who visited Buenos Ayres to
make botanical collections on the LaPIata, the Parana, and the Uru-
guay, &C., more than thirty years ago, and became so fond of the coun-
try that he made it his home, died at Santa Catalina, near Buenos
Ayres, on the first of April, 1 862, at the age of 87. To him we are
mainly indebted for the original of the Verbenas which adorn our par-
terres, and for many other ornamental cultivated plants.

Turning now to our home circle, we have to record the honored
names of four of the older cultivators of our science who have been
removed from our thin ranks within the last few months : —

Benjamin D. Greene, Esq., of Boston, died on the 14th of October
last, at the age of 69 years. He was bom in 1793, was graduated at
Harvard University in the year 1812; he first pursued legal studies,
partly in the then celebrated school at Litchfield, Connecticut, and was
duly admitted to the Bar in Boston. He then took np the study of

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450 Sctentific InUlHgenoe.

medicine, and completed his medical course in the schools of Scotland
and J^aria, taking bis medical degree at Edinbargh in the year 1821.
The large advantages of such a training having been enjoyed, Mr.
Greene did not engage in the practice of either profession. An ample
inheritance, which rendered professional exertion unnecessary, conspir-
ing with a remarkably quiet and contemplative disposition, and a re-
fined taste, led him to devote his time to literary culture and to scien-
tific pursuits. His fonduess for botany, which early developed, was
stimulated by personal intercourse with various European botanists, and
especially with his surviving friend, the now venerable Sir Wm. Hooker,
then Professor in the University of Glasgow, to whom he naturally be-
came much attached, and by whom ho was highly appreciated.

In botany, as in everything else, Mr. Greene sought to be silently
useful. He never himself published any of his discoveries or observa-
tions. The few species to which his name is annexed were given to
the world at second-hand. But his collections were extensive, his
original observations numerous and accurate, and both were freely
placed at the disposal of working botanists. He early saw that the
great obstacles to the advantageous prosecution of botanical investiga-
tions in this country, and especially in New England, were the want of
books and the want of authentic collections ; and these desiderata he
endeavored, so far as he could, to supply. He gathered a choice bo-
tanical library, he encouraged explorations, and he subscribed to all the
large purchasable North American collections, — beginning with those
of I)rummond in the Southern United States and in the then Mexican
province of Texas. These, being distributed under numbers, among
the principal herbaria of the world, and named or referred to in mono-
graphs or other botanical works, were of prime importance as standards
of comparison. Such collections and such books as Mr. Greene brought
together were just tbe apparatus most needed at that time in this coun-
try ; and now, when our wants arc somewhat better supplied, we should
not foi^et the essential service which they have rendered, nor the dis-
interested kindness with which their most amiable and excellent owner
always placed them at the disposal of those who could advantageously
use them. Mr. Greeners botanical library and collections have been, by
gift and by bequest, consigned to the Boston Society of Natural History,
of which he was one of the founders and the first President, — ^and by
which they will be preserved for the benefit of future New England
botanists, by whom his memory should ever be gratefully cherished.
The genus Oreenea, established by Wight and Arnott upon two rare
Rubiaceous shrubs of India, barely anticipated a similar dedication by
his old friend Mr. Nuttall, of a curious Grass of Arkansas and Texas,
and will perpetuate his name in the annals of the science which he lov*
ingly cultivated.

Dr, Asahel Clapp^ of New Albany, Indiana, died on the I7th of De-
cember last, as has already been announced in the current volume of
this Journal (p. 306). We are not informed of the particulars of his

Online LibraryEdward S. (Edward Samuel) FarrowThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 57 of 61)