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more particularly the question of " variability " on which so much
depends for the correct co-ordination and subordination of forms.
The notes we have on this point from collectors and others who
have had opportunities of observing the oil-grasses in their natural
stations or in cultivation are few and extremely meagre.
Systematically conducted experiments there are none. When
this is the case the taxonomist has generally' to fall back on his
' tact * ; but valuable as this somewhat ill-definable quality in
certain circumstances may be, conclusions based on it cannot be
accepted as final so long as they have not been confirmed by
extended and direct observation in the field and by experiment.
Work of this kind must therefore necessarily be more or less
incomplete and preliminary. Nevertheless, it is a conditio sine
qua non for systematically conducted field-work and experiment.
It provides field-workers with a starting basis and with the means
of checking the identity of the plants under observation. In return
it will no doubt one day receive its corrective from that quarter.
In discriminating and defining the species which are here under
consideration I have so far relied on external characters. They
might, and certainly will, in the future be supplemented by
anatomical characters. I have not carried my investigations in this
direction far enough for publication, but sufficiently far to see
that they promise especially the possibility of greater precision in
the description of some of the external characters. For naming
purposes the anatomical characters will hardly be required in cases
where complete material is at hand; but they may be of value
where, for instance, as is sometimes the case, barren plants have
to be determined.

How far they may influence the classification of the oil-graFses
it is premature to say ; but I would quote Hackel's* observation on
the taxonomic value of anatomical characters in Andropt^goneae

* Andropogoneae in DO. Monogr. Phaner., vol. vi., p. 17.
26295 A 2

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generally. Having examined the leaf -structure of more than one
fourth of all the Andropogoneae described in his monograph to
see how far the anatomical characters coincide with the morpho-
logical and can be used for the definition of the natural groups,
he says : " The result is absolutely negative. Neither is it possible
to distinguish anatomically the Andropogoneae from the allied
tribes or even the remote tribe of Ghlorideae^ nor is there any one
character or combination of characters which is confined to one
genus. Even the sub-genera possess a uniform leaf -structure only
in some cases when they comprise less than ten species. The
species, however, are, with the exception of such as are very poly-
morphous, mostly well characterised by their anatomy." It must,
however, be remarked that the leaf is probably more plastic than
any other organ in grasses and might therefore a priori be
expected to exhibit the phenomena of epharmosis in a prominent
degree. The study of the anatomy of the glumes and fruits would
possibly yield a different result. However this may be, an in-
vestigation into the anatomy of the oil-grasses, and particularly
into the development and distribution of the oil cells, is highly
desirable. With the exception of a very valuable description of
the oil cells of " Andropogon Schoenanthus " by Professor F. von
H6hnel,* nothing is known in this direction. Yet it is quite
obvious that to know the seat of the oil-yielding tissues, their
properties, the time and conditions of their formation and the
changes they subsequently undergo, must be of considerable
importance for the rational development of the grass-oil industry,
just as it is, from the standpoint of pure science, necessary for the
complete understanding of the organisation of those grasses.

In so far as organisation means correlation of structure and
function, new problems await us on that ground, but they are
problems for the physiologist. Some are of a general nature, as the
question of the genesis of the grass-oils and the place of these in the
economy of the plants which produce them; others are more directly
connected with the practical side of the subject, such as the problems
of the changes in the yield of oil according to the season, its reduc-
tion in old plants, the variation in the chemical constitution of the
oils in morphologically indistinguishable races, and the apparently
capricious limitation of some forms, particularly suitable for in-
dustrial exploitation, to certain geographical areas. Remote as the
relations of physiology to the taxonomy of the oil-grasses may
appear to be, there is one problem which touches the latter directly.
This is the question of purely physiological races : how far they
actually exist, what they are, and what place they ought to be
given in the 'system.' Other physiologitjal problems are inti-
mately connected with 'variability,' and so have a distinct
bearing on taxonomy. Beyond this it is at present probably
impossible to indicate in detail the help which in this, as in similar

* F. Yon Hohnel, in Sitz. Ber. Akad. Wissendoh. Wien, Mathem-Natorhist. 01.,
vol. Ixxxix., part. i. (18S4), pp. 14, 16. — I have put the name Andropogon
Schoenanthus between inverted oommas becanse the author obviously intended
to deal with the anatomy of the grass yielding the Palmarosa oil, viz., the
Andropogon Scltoenanthw of most Indian botanists, whilst he actually described
the structure of the original Llnnaean Atidropogon SohoenanthtM or the A, laniger
of Desfontaines. Such are the pitfalls of a confused nomenclature.

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cases, the taxonomist may expect from the physiologist. Bat
there will always be that general and fandamental relation which
results from the rational conception of the ultimate task of the
taxonomist, namely, to classify, not the dry and dead specimens
of a herbarium, but through them the infinite diversity of forms
in which plant life manifests itself.

In making these observations I may seem to have gone somewhat
out of my way ; but I shall perhaps be pardoned if I say that it
appeared to me useful to show, in a case which is typical of the
possibilities of applied botany, what the term * botany' really
means ; to fix within its compass the position, the claims and the
limits of taxonomy, and to emphasize the interdependence that
exists between taxonomy, anatomy and physiology.

I have to add only one other observation in this place; it
concerns the limitation of the genus Andropogon, Hackel's*
definition is well known. It is wide enough to take in, not only the
Andropogon of Bentham and Hooker's *Qenera Plantarum,' but also
their Heteropogon, Chrysopogon and Sorghum, Hackel enumerates
193 species. This was in 1889 ; since then over 100 species have
been added. But the genus is not only large, it is very heteroge-
neous. The author himself leaves no doubt as to that. He divides
it into 13 subgenera, most of them very homogeneous groups.
Their affinities are, however, admittedly! such, that some of them
exhibit much closer relations to genera left outside the genus
Andropogon than to the other congeneric subgenera. The result
is a lack of synmietry in his system which is not only felt by the
theoretical taxonomist, but also by the practical worker who has
to sort and name Andropogoneae. Reaction was unavoidable, and
it has already set in. Rendle:^ in England, Britton and Brown§ in
America, Husnotf in France, have, more or less, returned to
Bentham's exposition of the genera of Andropogoneae^ and
Sir Joseph HookerIF has expressed himself in favour of a similar
course, whilst Nash** has even gone a step farther and re-
established Schizachyrium and Vetiveria, Although convinced of
the desirability of some change in this direction I have so far
hesitated to accept it on account of the great number of alterations
in nomenclature thereby entailed and of the difficulty in deciding
what should be left in Andropogon. The latter objection does
not, however, affect the grasses with which I have to deal in this
paper. The subgenera Gymhopogon and Vetiveria^ to which 11
out of the 12 oil-grasses belong, are sufficiently distinct to be
recognised as genera, whilst the position of the remaining species
in the reduced genus Andropogon is, whatever its exact limits
may be, equally well assured. This being so, and considering the
general tendency towards the recognition of less bulky and more
homogeneous genera, it is clear that the change is bound to come.
I have therefore decided to introduce it myself on this occasion,

* Hackel, Andropogoneae in DC, Monogr. Phaner., vol. vi., p. 869.

JHaokel, l.o., pp. 860-361, and tab. 2.
Rendle, in Cat Afr. PI. Welwiteoh, vol. ii., p. 142.
§ Britton and Brown, 111. Flora, Northern States and Canada, voL i., p. 100.
I HnBnot, Gramin^ de France, etc, pp. 15-17.
5 Hooker, in Trimen, Fl. Ceylon, vol. iv., p. 227.
** Nash, in Small, Flora, South^East United States, p. 60.

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the more so as other changes had to be made in any case. I am
alluding to the circumscription of the species Andropogon Nardus
and A. Schoenanthua of HackePs monograph. They have become
overloaded with subspecies and varieties just as the genus
Andropogon has become overloaded with subgenera. Theoretically
there is little or no objection to the subordination of those forms
under a group of higher rank ; but it appears to me inexpedient
to introduce those theoretical conclusions into what I may call
our everyday nomenclature, which should be short, plain and
direct. The species as I have defined them are with few
exceptions, geographically, morphologically, and as far as we can
see at present, also physiologically tolerably well defined, and
those which are in cultivation have proved remarkably constant.

The complexity of the historical and argumentative part of the
matter has obliged me to extend the volume of the paper so
much that it is desirable to divide it into two parts. In the
first part I attempt to give a circumstantial account of the botanical
and economical history of the oil-grasses. The second is more
of the nature of a resume with the addition of such data as either
result directly from the conclusions arrived at («.^., most of the
synonyms) or have been thought worth including as a further
help in the identification of the oil-grasses {e,g.y the enumeration
of herbarium specimens and vernaculars). 1 have not thought it
necessary to describe the species at length, as descriptions already
exist, although in several cases the describers have treated some
of the grasses merely as varieties. It has seemed to me, however,
useful to add an expanded key to the species. This contains all
that Js essential for naming purposes ; references to more extensive
descriptions may be found under the heading ' Descriptions.'


All the oil-yielding grasses of India belong to the tribe Andro-
pogoneaCy which is, on the whole, rich in more or less aromatic
species. No attempt has been made to treat them comprehensively
from that standpoint, and practically nothing is known of the nature
and distribution of the oil-containing tissues and their functions.
The oils themselves have been examined in a few instances and
their chemical constitution and physical properties ascertained ;
but even in those cases a renewed examination is desirable as the
botanical identification of the material examined is not always
above suspicion.

The aromatic character of some of those gi*asses is so pronounced
as to have attracted the attention of man at a very early period of
his history. They found a place in the performance of religious
rites, among domestic medicines, in the dispensaries of the
medical practitioners, and in the department of spices and
perfumes. The " Schoenanthus " of the Ancients, the " Viranam "
of the Vedhas and the "Sereh" of the Malays are illustrative
instances, and there is very little doubt that the much discussed
tc&XafWQ dpwfMiTiKdQ of the Greek writers was a plant of the same
category although we have not so far succeeded in fixing the

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species. With the discovery of more powerful or more pleasant
aromata these oil-grasses gradually lost their importance or even
fell out of use. But in our own day the highly perfected art of per-
fumery has seized on them again, has revived the taste for their
odours and created that demand for their oils which has found its
response in the development of a regular oil-grass industry in Ceylon,
India, and to a less degree in the Malay Peninsula and in Java.
Out of the 12 grasses treated here, only four are worked commer-
cially ; but there is no doubt that others are to be found,
particularly among their African congeners, which might be
equally serviceable and probably place new essential oils at the
disposal of the manufacturers of perfumes and perfumed articles.

The genera to which those 12 species belong are Gymhopogon
with 10, and Vetiveria and A^idropogon with one species each.
The following paragraphs contain an account of their history,
botanical as well as economical.

1. Cymbopogon Schoenanthus, Spreng.

(Andropogon Schoenanthus^ Linn., not of most authors.)
Camel-Hay— Izkhir (Arab.)— Khavi (Hind.).

" Hbrba Sohobnanthi," the foundation of the species.—
Andropogon Schoenanthus was established by Linnaeus in the
first edition of his Species Plantarum, p. 1046, in 1753. As is so
frequently the case, his diagnosis is utterly insufficient for identi-
fication. It consists of the specific phrase of the La{^uruSy No. 465,
of his Flora Zeylanica (1747). On the other hand, his references
leave no doubt whatever that he meant the " Herba Sclwenanthi "
of the earlier herbalists and the pharmacopoeias of his time. He,
moreover, states this expressly in his Materia Medica (1749), p. 31,
where he also indicates A^bia as the native country of the species.
In his Species Plantarum, it is true, he added " India " to the dis-
tribution area of Andropogon Schoenanthus. He cannot have
known of the extension of this species into North-Western India ;
the reason for the addition must therefore be sought somewhere
else. As this addition has led almost from the very beginning to
great confusion, it appears necessary to examine the circumstances
that may have guided Linnaeus. Was it the inclusion of the Ceylon
Lagunis into the synonymy of the species, or did he possess
specimens from India wMch he thought were identical with the
Arabian " Herba Schoenanthi^' the foundation of his species ?

I take the case of the Flora Zeylanica first. There the passage
concerned, and referred to above, is made up of diagnostic phrases
of the ^ Herba Schoenanthiy' of a citation from Burmann's
' Thesaurus Zeylanicus,' p. 107, and of another from Hermann's
'Museum Zeylanicum,' p. 66. Burmann himself, I.e., quotes
Plukenet, Aim. p. 175, 1. 190, f. l,and Hermann. Neither Plukenet's
text and figure, nor the original which is still preserved in his
herbarium at the British Museum leave us in doubt as to his
having the officinal " Herba Schoenanthi " in view. Concerning
Hermann, however, this is what he says : '^Kalanduru : Gramen
Dactylon Zeylanicum radice tuberosa, aromatica, dulci, odorata."
Kalandura is a name still in use in Ceylon, and applied to

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Gyperus roiundus^ with which Hermann's description agrees. It
is evident that the " Herba ScJwenanthi " found its way into the
Flora Zeylanica through Burmann's careless interpretation of
Hermann's Kalanduru^ and that Linnaeus was wrong if, indeed,
his term " India " was meant for Ceylon.

The next question is, did Linnaeus possess specimens of
A. Schoenanthus (in the sense of the " Herba Schoenanthi ") or
any other Indian specimens which he considered representative
of his A. Schoenanthvs ? Munro* has stated that there are in
Linnaeus's herbarium two specimens of "-4. laniger^^ (that is
^^ Herba Schoenanthi'^), one in the cover containing Avena, the
other placed with Festtuxi and written up as ^^ Nardua spuria
OangitiSy LobJ*^ In both cases he was mistaken. The specimen
in the Avena cover is without any name or other note. When
and whence Linnaeus got it, and even whether he himself placed it
there, will probably never be known. In my opinion it is a sample
of A. marginattis, Steud., from South Africa. The other sheet
contains a couple of leaf -tufts, or rather their bases. They belong
probably to Otenium ameri^xinum, Spreng., an aromatic grass which
was figured and described by Parkinsonf first (p. 115), as " Nardus
gangitis spuria Narbonensis," and then (p. 1688) as "Nardo
gangiti spuriae Narbonensi similis planta Virginiana." But
MunroJ also pointed out that there was a specimen of "A. Schoe-
nanthuSy L." in the Linnaean herbarium, and he says of it :
"A. Schoenanthus, L. From India and Arabia. This is the
plant generally called ^ A, Martini,^ Roxb., ^ A. pachnodes,
Trin., and many other names. It is quite distinct from Wallich's
A. Schoenanthus, Linnaeus's specimen is remarkably well
figured by Ventenat, Cels. t. 89." The only T^ord on the sheet is
^^ Schoenanthus,^'^ written by Linnaeus. The specimen itself
consists of the upper part of a culm with a few leaves and a
panicle. One thing is at once clear. ' It is not " Herba Schoe-
nanthi.^^ Nor is it A. Martini (or A, pachnodes), unless this
name is made to include the whole of HackeL's A. Schoenanthus.
It is indeed very similar to Ventenat's figure, cited above ; but
this was made, as I shall have to show later on, from p specimen
raised from seeds collected in Mauritius, and represents A.prui-
nosus, Nees ex Steud. The Mauritius specimens, placed side by side
with Linnaeus's " Schoenanthus" do not exactly match it. The
latter is a slender plant with narrow leaves, slightly rounded at
the base, rather narrow reddish spathes and small spikelets, such as
are characteristic of the Chinese specimens enumerated by Rendle
under ' Gymbopogon Schoenanthus, Spreng., var. caesius Hack.'
This, I believe, gives the clue to the origin of the Linnaean
specimen. We know that Osbeck, who was in Canton in 1751,
on his return to Sweden in 1752 gave Linnaeus a complete
set of his collection (" Pastor Osbeck gave me one of every species
he found in China and Java").§ We further find in Osbeck's
"Voyage to China and the East Indies," vol. i., p. 346, this
passage : " Among the hay which was given to our cow in the

* Munro in Journ. Linn. Soo., vol. vi. (1862) pp. 46, 48.

t Parkinson, Theatmm Botanioom (1640).

t Munro in Joum. Linn. Soc., vol. vi. (1862), p. 52.

§ B. D. Jackaon in Proceed. Linn. Soc., Sess. 1887-88, p. 21.

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factory (in the subnrbe of Canton) I found the following scarce
grasses . . . Andropogon Schoenanthusy^^ and later on in his
Flora Sinensis (vol. ii. p. 364) " Andropogon 1. SchoenanthusJ^^
This by itself is conclusiTe evidence for the assumption that the
specimen named '^ Schoenanthus ^^ in Linnaeus's herbarium is
Osbeck's, and therefore of Chinese, not Indian, origin. More-
over, Mr. B. D. Jackson pointed out to me that a specimen named
" A. Schoenanthus " appears already in a manuscript catalogue of
Linnaeus's herbarium drawn up about 1754. This date includes
Osbeck's collection whilst it excludes all contributions of Indian
plants, which Linnaeus may have received, with the exception of
the small set which Olaf Toren .sent him from the west coast of
the peninsula in 1751. Linnaeus may, of course, have had
Osbeck's specimen in his mind, when adding " India," using that
term in a very vague way as often was the case in those times.
But, however that may be, the determination of Osbeck's specimen
as A. Schoenanthus and its presence under that name in the
Linnaean herbarium only proves that Linnaeus also made mis-
takes. The supposition that the sheet written up by Linnaeus as
" Sclwenanthus " was really intended to serve as the " type " of
his A, Schoenanthvs is in the circumstaiices untenable, and it
is therefore only reasonable that the name Schoenanthus be
restored to the species which for 2,000 years had been known
by it.

History op "Herba Schobnanthi."— When in 1881 Emil
Brugsch Bey discovered the tomb of Deir-el-Bahari in the
necropolis of Thebes, the secret vault which contained the coffins
of so many illustrious kings also yielded a remarkable profupion
of botanical treasures : funeral wreaths which the kings of the
20th or 21st Dynasty (between 1,200 and 1,000 B.C.) had de-
posited on the sarcophagi of their predecessors, offerings of fruits,
lichens, bundles of a grass (Desmostachya hipinnata) and quanti-
ties of the straw of another grass which Professor Schweinfurth*
recognised as " Ghymnantlielia lanigera " (a rarely used synonym
of 0. Schoenanthus). Some of the inflorescences were still in
excellent condition. Even " the odour of the grass was preserved
to a certain extent in the mixture of the offering." So early
begins the history of the grass. Then the grass was found under
similiar conditions in the tombs of the cemetery of Hawaraf in
the Fayum, again associated with Desmostachya hipinnata. Accord-
ing to Professor Flinders Petrie some of the tombs were probablyj
of the 20th, 26th and 30th Dynasties, but most were Ptolemaic.
According to Loret§ the grass is also frequently mentioned in
hieroglyphic perfumery receipts as *Aethiopian cane,' 'rush of
the Sudan,' and ' Cyperus of the West.' Whether all of these names
actually refer to C, Schoenanthus or not, the finds of Deir-el-
Bahari and Hawara afford in any case indisputable proof of the
high place which was assigned to the grass 3,000 years ago.
To-day G. Schoenanthus does not grow in the neighbourhood of
old Thebes or in the Fayum ; it haa in fact, with one exception,

* Sohweinfnrth in Nature, vol. zzriii. (1883), p. 113.

t Newberry in Flinders Petrie, Hawara, Biahma and Arsinoe (1889), p. 58.

X Flinders Petrie, Lc, p. 8.

§ Loret, Flore Pharaoniqne, (1887), p. 11.

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never been observed in the Nile valley north of the Bainda
Desert (IG'^-IS® N.), the exception being some specimens
collected by Bove* in the desert near Cairo in 1829. Schweinf urth
identified the Andropogon of Deir-el-Bahari more particularly
with the article which nowadays is brought down from the Sudan
and sold in the bazaars of Cairo as a medicinal drug under the Arabic
name * Mdhareb.' We shall, however, hear presently that the
African Schoenanthtis was considered by the ancients to be of very
inferior quality, and it is therefore more likely that at least a part
of the supply for Thebes and Hawara came from the Arabian
trade emporia on the Red Sea; so far indeed as the Ptolemaic
period is concerned we know this for certain.

It has been suggested that the 'Kaneh bosem* or *Kaneh
hattobh,' the ** good " or " fragrant " reed of the Bible was also
(7. Schoenanthus. It may, of course, be assumed that the old
Hebrews knew the grass ; but how far it answered to those terms,
is difficult to say, considering the vagueness of the passages in
which they occur. The first Greek translators of the Bible, however,
rendered them as " KaXa/ioc h^iatutriKOQ^^^ which was very generally
put down as a product of India.

The early connections which existed between Egypt and
ancient Greece, possibly also those with Phoenicia, may have
made the Greek doctors familiar with C. Schoenanthus at a
remote date. Hippocrates (460-357 B.C.) knew it as *a\oivoQ'\
jcar' i^ox^y^ or in connection with the epithets if^voafioc^ evoa/io^
and tvw^rjc.X He does not attempt to describe it. It was
evidently an article familiar to those of his contemporaries
for whom his treatises were written. It is only gradually
that we learn more about it until at last we have undisputed
evidence of the meaning of those terms which were handed
on, mainl}' in prescriptions, from generation to generation.
Theophrastus§ (390-305 B.C.), mentions cxoiyoc among the
aromata, and he makes the first attempt to fix its origin. He
indicates two localities as its home. One is " on the other side
of the Libanon " in the marshes of a lake which can easily be
identified as Lake Huleh (Lake Merom of the Bible) in Galilee.
So far, he is no doubt wrong, for C. Schoenanthtis is not a
marsh plant and has never been observed there. Its nearest
station is some 270 miles north-east of Lake Huleh, on the
Euphrates. The other habitat mentioned by Theophrastus is

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