Rodolfo Amedeo Lanciani.

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a responsibility much beyond what was counted on. They might
well msist that the new mode of citation was misleading. More-
over, if " Centrostegia A. Gray, mss.," so published in Bentham's
EriogonecB contributed to DeCandoUe's Prodromus, is briefly to
be cited " Centrostegia Thurberi Benth. in DC. Prodr," must not
Eriogonura Douglasii and a score of other such species on the
same principle be cited as JE Douglasii Alph. DC, Ac. ? for we
should search the works of Benth am in vain for these names,
losing much time and pains. It will of course be said that the
" auctor Bentham " at the top of the page explicitly indicates the
actual author; but so equally does the "A, Graymss." at the
head of that article. To take another instance : upon this plan we
may be required to write ^^JEliottia Elliot" (Sketch, 1, p. 448).
Elhott himself wrote ^^EUiottia Muhlenberg," adding, "I have in-
serted it, as requested by Dr. Muhlenberg, under this name." He
adds to the specific name " Muhl. Cat," mdeed. But the context
shows that the second edition of Muhlenberg's Catalogue was not



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276 Scieniific Intelligence,

then published ; it is doubtful if it was so when that part of Elli-
ott's first voliune was issued ; and if it were, the enumeration in the
catalogue, according to the Code, is not tantamount to publica-
tion. There are other well-known cases of a similar sort, in which
an author would become liable to the imputation of dedicating a
genus to himself.

When we consider how punctilious the elder DeCandolle was in
this respect and others of a similar sort, and how generally he has
been followed, we must regard the change proposed in the code
and exemplified in some (but not all) of the later volumes of the
Prodromus as an innovation rather than the declaration of an exist-
ent common law, or a natural development of it. The laudable end
sought, however, in this and in article 42, is to obviate or diminish
grave and growing inconveniences which arise from imperfect pub-
lication and merely recorded names in collections and herbaria.
And here we do not com j)lain that the rights of publication through
the distribution of specimens, conceded in art. 42, are seemingly
very much restricted by the new commentary. The duty, or
perhaps comity, of respecting imperfectly published or unpublished
names is only one of miperfect obligation, as the moralists would
say, and therefore not to be fixed by law but governed by discre-
tion. Legal rights begin only with publication, no matter by
whose agency. We would only urge that subsequent citation,
purporting to indicate the origin, should not in effect misquote the
record.

BaUlon^s Histoire des Plantes^ briefly noticed in our January
number, goes on well We have received two more monographs
published since the year began ; one of the FroteacecB, the other
and much larger one of the Papilionaceous Leguminosce, The
paper and print are most excellent and attractive : so also are the
wood-cuts, as is usual in French publications of this kind. We
notice that an English translation is announced. Considering the
high price and generally limited sale of botanical books in England
we should not expect it would pay. But, if it could ever be finished
upon the plan adopted, it would be aproper companion and com-
plement to LeMaout and Decaisne's Traiti General de Botaniqve,
of which an English edition is now in preparation under the best
auspices. The latter copiously illustrates the families, and barely
enumerates some of the principal genera. The former illustrates
the tribes, Ac, by a general history of the structure of some lead-
ing representatives, cast in a popular and readable form, and adds
the characters of the genera, in the ordinary technical form and in
the Latin language.

An attempted Improvement in the Arranaement of Ferns and
in the Nomenclature of their Sttbdivisions, is the title of a pam-
phlet by the Rev. Prof Hincks of the University of Toronto and
President of the Canadian Institute; a popular account of the
structure, fructification, and fertilization of this group of plants,
which he regards as an alliance (FilicaUs)^ containing the three
orders, Osmundacece, Cyatheacoe^ and Poli/podia^cece^ founded on



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Botany and Zoology, 277

the sporangia, the OphioglorBOcece being excluded by their
"straight aestivation" [vernation] and referred, as is natural, to
the IJycopodiaceoe, The tribes of the first two filical orders three
each, of the Polypodiaceoe four times three, or three for each
division or subdivision, founded on the sori For genera he is
disposed to make more of the venation than is the present mode,
ana less of stipes and articulation, and so discards JPhegopteris.
Finally, he takes up the questions relating to Aepidium^ both as
to generic comprehension and nomenclature, and proposes to keep
Lastrea and Polyatichum as genera.

The Oenvs Mydrolea is reviewed by A. W. Bennett in the 63d
number of the Journal of the Linnean Society (May, 1870), and
the species are brought up to thirteen, of wmch three' are here
established. That M. ajfinia^ described in the last edition of
Gray's Manual, should have been overlooked is not to be won-
dered at ; but specimens of it doubtless occur in the Kew herbaria,
probably confounded with H, qtuzdrivcUvis. Mr. Bennett sides
with Choisy in keeping up the order HydroleacecB^ as distinct
from HydrophyUa^cecB^ " most clearly," on account of " the bilocu-
lar manynseeded ovary, axile placentation, and leaves invariably
simple." These characters come down to two, the indefinitely
numerous ovules and the two-celled ovary. But the new Califor-
nian genus Draperia Torr. stands in the gap, having the two-celled
ovary as well as the habit of Nama, with the geminate ovules of
proper Phacelia,

Tampico Jalap has within the last few years come into the
markets as a distinct sort, and " although less rich in resin and
less purgative than true jalan, yet on account of its lower price it
has found a ready sale." Mr. Daniel Hanbury has traced the
article to its source, in the root of a new Ipomceay I, simulans
Hanbury, described and figured in the 53d number of the Journal
of the Linnean Society, wmch Inhabits the Sierra Gorda, etc., in
Mexico.

A JRevision of the Flora of Iceland is the title of an extensive
paper in the same Journal, by Professor Babington. The cata-
logue of Phfienogamous and Acrogenous plants reaches 467 species.
Although Iceland touches the arctic circle and is largely occupied
by mountains, " many of which rise to the height of 6000 feet and
are covered through fully their upper half witn perpetual ice and
snow, from whence extensive glaciers descend almost to the level
of the sea," yet the climate is rendered so mild comparatively by
the influence of the Gulf Stream which washes the coast, and the
rain-fall and prevailing cloudiness in summer are so great, that,
while on the one hand there is no proper forest, on the other "only
62 species are found which do not form part of the British Flora,"
and not more than three are decidealy arctic, viz., Qentiana
detonsa^ Pleurogyne rotata^ and Epilobium latifolimny All
three of these come down to comparatively low latitudes and low
levels in North America. A plant of much interest, and which
should be thoroughly compared with that so named in North



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278 Scientific InidUgence,

America, is Platanthera hyperborea^ of which the present writer
craves Icelandic specimens.

Uie Fertilization of various Flowers by Insects is the title of an
originjd paper, contributed by Dr. Wm. Ogle to the April number
of the Popular Science Review. Of the various mechanical con-
trivances described, as also of the views suggested, some are not
novel, the writer, as he states, not bein^ familiar with the botani-
cal literature of the subject (and this is most evident) : but the
whole article is well worthy of much attention, and would have
been most interesting to the general reader — ^the narrative being
remarkably clear — except that it is so disfigured by typographic^
errors as to be almost unintelligible to ordinary readers ; indeed,
the proofs would seem not to have been revised at all. The most
interesting and original portion is that which relates to the fertili-
zation in the Heath family, and to the use of the awns or appen-
dages on the back of the anthers in Heaths, Uva-Ursi, Vaccinium,
Ac, by which the bee in sucking the flower topples or moves the
anther, so that the pollen falls out of the terminal openings upon
the insect's head, feean-flowers and their fertilization, as also in
related papilionaceous blossoms, are well described; and it is
noticed that, while some bees have learned to get at the nectar
feloniously by making a hole in the side of the calyx-tube, and
others enter the regular way, and so do their proper work, an
individual bee, visiting a succession of bean-flowers, keeps persist-
ently to the one or the other plan. " It would thus appear that
the habit is not an instinct, belonging by inheritance to the whole
species, but is in each case the result of individual experience. As
with the same experience some bees have acquired tne habit and
others have not, we must admit not only tnat these insects are
intelligent, but that they differ from each other in their degrees
of intelligence, some bemg slow in acquiring knowledge, others
quicker." Perhaps the knowing ones have inherited the knack, in
which case it b instinct in them, after all. Instinct, briefly defined,
is congenital habit.

Elements de ^otanique et de Physiologie Vigkale^ suivis Pune
petite Flore simple et facile pour aider d dicouvrir les nonts des
JPiantes les plus communs du Canada : par l'Abb6 Ovide Bbunkt,
Prof. Bot. k FUniversit^ Laval. Quebec, 1870. — A very neat little
book, prepared by Prof Brunet, as a sort of first book in Botany
for Lower Canada, where French is still the language of instruc-
tion. It is illustrated by wood-cuts mostly from very good draw-
ings by the author's own hands ; and the structural and physio-
logical part, and also the little flora, seem to be as clear as they
well can be in the diminutive space they occupy ; excepting that
Abies Canadensis is put with Balsam-Fir into a genus in which
the scales are said to mil from the axis, which is an obvious over-
sight. It is curious to see what the plants are which are taken as
the commonest in Lower Canada, and what the popular names are.
For instance, Sarracenia is known as " Petit-cochons ;" Wood-
sorrel as " A1161uia ;" Impatiens fkdva as " Chou-sauvage ;" Hernia-



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Botany and Zoology, 279

mdU as " CaflS-du-Diable ;" Cranberry as '*Atoca,** but Vacinium
Vitia-Idcea as " Pommes-de-terre."

The Herbarium of the late Von Martius has been purchased for
30,000 francs by the Belgian Government, to form the nucleus of
a national collection at Brussels.

2%e Michavx Orove Oaks, — This name is to be applied to a
collection of Oaks to be planted in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia,
" in which, if practicable, shall grow two oaks of every kind that
will endure the climate," in commemoration of the vounger (F. A.)
Michauz, author of the Sylva Americana, and his rather, author of
HUtoire dea Chines de VAmerique. The grove is to be main-
tained by the income of a legacy of $6000 bequeathed by the
younger Michaux to the American Philosophical Society, in trust
for arboricultural purposes, which legacy is now devoted by the
Society to this use.

Otto BoBckeler is publishing in the current volume of the Lin-
ncea^ a full account of the Cyperaceee of the Rojral Hebarium of
Berlin, which now, in the fourth fasciculus reachmg the ScirpecBy
is becoming of consequence to United States botanists. He describes
several supposed new species of Cyperus and a few of JSleochaHs^
&c., and identifies several of ours with older species, making some
changes of nomenclature. By what may be a good hit he refers
the inner squamula of Hemicarpha to an abortive stamen, and so
refers the species to Scirpus, ours becoming 8, micranthvs VahL

Generis Astragali Speries GentogcBce pars altera. — The first
part of this monograph by Prof. Bunge of the Old-World species
(almost a thousand in number) of the great genus Astragalus^ was
mentioned iii our January number. We have now received the
completion, containing the systematic enumeration of the species,
with characters and descriptions of most of them, and the synonymy.
The work is published hj the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburgh,
this pait being the initial number of the 15th volume of its Jb8-
moires^ pp. 254. — ^The succeeding number, of over 800 pages, con-
sists of part first of

Flora Cattcasiy by Rupprecht, with six plates. It carries the
work from JRanuneulaceoe down to Vitace(e, The species are
described or annotated at large, but not by definite technical
characters, and vast observation and learning are exhibited, along
with a liking for multiplication of genera. Dr. Rupprecht consi<£
ers the name Viola umbrosa of Fries (1828) to have precedence of
Viola Selkirkii Pursh ex Goldie, 1822, on the ground that the
latter name was not published until 1838 by Hooker. But in
Goldie's paper (which indeed was drawn up by Hooker) there is a
good Latin diagnosis of the species followed by almost half a page
of detailed description in English ; in fact, hardly any species has
been more effectually published.

Mr. Bentham^s Presidential Address at the anniversary meeting
this year is somewhat briefer than usual, but not less likely to at-
tract attention. It is mainly devoted to two topics : 1, the results
obtained ^m the recent explorations of the deep-sea ^siunas ; and



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280 Scientific Intelligence,

2, those from the investigation of the tertiary deposits of the arctic
regions, "tending both of them to elucidate in a remarkable
degree one of the most important among the disputed questions
in biological history, the continuity of life through successive
geological periods." After briefly indicating where the principal
data are recorded, Mr. Bentham continues :

" It would be useless for me here to retrace, after Dr. Carpenter
and Prof Verrill, the outlines of the revolution which these marine
discoveries have caused in the previously conceived theories, both
as to the geographical distribution of marine animals, and the rela-
tive influences upon it of temperature and depth, and as to the
actual temperature of the deep seas, or to enter into any details of
the enormous additions thus made to our knowledge of the diver-
sities of organic life ; and it would be still further from mv province
to consider the geological conclusions to be drawn from them. My
object is more especially to point out how these respective dips
into the early history of manne animals and of terrestrial forests
have afforded the strongest evidence we have yet obtained, that
apparently unlimited permanency and total change can go on side
by side, without requiring for the latter any general catastrophe
that should preclude the former.

" There was a time, as we learn, when our chalk-clifb, now high
and dry, were being formed at the bottom of the sea by the gradual
growth and decay of Globigerinae and the animals that fed on them
— amongst others, for instance, BhizocrintM^ and Terebrattdina
caput-serpentis ; and when, at a later period, the upheaval of the
ground into an element where these animals could no longer live
arrested their progress in that direction, they had already spread
over an area sufficiently extensive for some part of their race to
maintain itself undisturbed; and so, on from that time to the
present day, by gradual dispersion or migration, in one direction
or another, the same Rhizocrinua and Terebratulina have always
been in possession of some genial locality, where thejr have con-
tinued from generation to generation, . and still continue, with
GlobigennsB and other animals, forming chalk at the bottom of the
sea, unchanged in structural character, and rigidly conservative in
habits and mode of life through the vast geological periods they
have witnessed. So also there was a time when the hill-sides oi
Greenland and Spitzbergen, now enveloped in never-melting ice
and snows, were, under a genial climate, clothed with forests, in
which flourished Tcuxodium distichum (with Sequoi<Bj MagnoUoe^
and many others) ; and when at a later period these forests were
destroyed by the general refrigeration, the Taxodium already
occupied an area extensive enough to include some districts in
whicn it could still live and propagate ; and whatever vicissitudes
it may have met with in some parts, or even in the whole, of its
original area, it has, by gradual extension and migration, always
found some spot where it has gone on and thriven, and continued
its race from generation to generation down to the present day,
unchanged in character, and unmodified in its requirements, in



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Botany and Zoology. 281

both cases, the permanent animals of the deep-sea bottom and the
permanent trees of the terrestrial forests have witnessed a more or
less partial or complete chanee in the races amongst which they
were commingled. Some of these primitive associates, not en-
dowed with the same means of dispersion, and confined to their
original areas, were extinguished by the geological or climatologi-
cal changes, and replaced by other races amongst which the per-
manent ones had penetrated, or by new immigrants from other
areas ; others, again, had spread like the permanent ones, but were
less fitted for the new conditions in which they had become placed,
and in the course of successive generations have been gradually
modified by the Darwinian process of natural selection, the survival
of the fittest only among their descendants. If, in after times, the
upheaved sea-bottom becomes again submerged, the frozen land
becomes again suited for vegetation, they are again respectively
covered with marine animals or vegetable life, derived from more
or less adjacent regions, and more or less diflTerent from that which
they origmally supported, in j)roportion to the lapse of time and
extent of physical changes wnich had intervened. Thus it is that
we can nerfectly agree with Dr. Duncan, that * this persistence (of
type and species through ages, whilst their surroundings were
cnanged over and over again) does not indicate that there have
not been sufficient physical and biological changes during its
lasting to alter the face of all things enough to give geologists the
right of asserting the succession of several periods y but we can,
at the same time, feel that Dr. Carpenter is in one sense justified
in the proposition, that we may be said to be still living in the
Cretaceous period. The chalk formation has been going on over
some part of the North Atlantic sea-bed, from its first commence-
ment to the present day, in unbroken continuity and unchanged in
character."

A portion of this address will probably astonish the vegetable
paleontologists, excepting perhaps, Mr. Lesquereux, whose cautious
language, and his statement in this Journal that, properly speak-
ing, no species can be established from leaves or mere fragments
of leaves, are commended. For the President of the Lmnsean
Society avows himself wholly skeptical as to the "New Holland
in Europe'' of eocene times, denying the existence of a single
specimen out of the nearly one hundred supposed tertiary species
which a modem systematic botanist would admit to be Proteaceous,
unless received from a country v/here JProteacem were otherwise
known to exist. The grounds of this opinion are given in detail.

The Studenfs Flora of the British Islands^ by J. D. Hooker,
C.B., &c,y just issued by Macmillan & Co., comes to take the
place of Hooker <fc Amott's British Flora, now out of print and
antiquated, as that took the place of Sir William's British Flora
which did such good service in its day and in its five editions. In
these a goodly octavo, then a thick duodecimo, it now becomes a
compact l6mo, a very " handy book," which may be carried in the
Am. Joub. Sci.— Second Scries, Vol. L, No. 149.- Sept., 1870.
18



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282 Scientific Intelligence.

pocket ; but this compactness is not at the expense of either clear-
ness or fullness. " The object of this work," so the preface opens,
'^ is to supply students and field-botanists with a fuller account of
the plants of the British Islands than the manuals hitherto in use
aim at giving." The body of the volume, exclusive of SynopsiB
and Index, is contained in 474 pages; the species appear nearly to
average three to the page. We are glad to see that orthodox
specific characters are kept up, and that they are specific charac-
ters, diagnoses, not descnptions. Descriptive matter follows and,
with habitat, range in elevation, and distribution in general, forms
a secondary paragraph of much greater extent than the diagnosis ;
and then '' euthspeciee " are numerous and fidly characterized, as
are occasionally varieties of second order under them. The
species are naturally arranged, under sections when needful ; bat
keys to the species are not given, the author '' finding from expe-
rience that such keys promote very superficial habits amongst
students," — which they certainly do. As the book is wholly new,
and the descriptions all at first nand, from living plants and dried
specimens, a good many slips and oversights are inevitable. With
the longest experience and great painstaking these cannot be
avoided, but have to be weeaed out at leisure. Here where a
British Flora is only incidentally used, we have no call to point
out such as we have noticed, most of which are sure to be rectified
in the new edition, which must needs be promptly called for. But
we will venture to find fault with one typographical blemish, as
we think it, viz., the insertion of the accent mark between the
letters in generic and specific names, so as to display an unsightly
cletl in the middle. Surely the London printing-houses have, or
can have, the vowels with accents cast upon the type ; and there
are ways of indicating whether the vowel be long or short, if that
be worth the while. This whole business of accentuation is, no
doubt, of secondary consequence, and plainly is not so much con-
sidered by English botanists of the present day as by those of a
past generation. But ordinary students and amateurs may fairly
ask lOT guidance; and those who have occasion to coin many
botanical names are bound to consider in advance how they must
needs be pronounced. Artificial keys to the natural orders are
liable in some degree to the same objection as are keys to species;
but they are almost indispensable to youne students ; only they
must be made with extreme care, and every deviation or exception

Provided for. A synopsis of the natural oraers, such as Dr. Hooker
as prepared, guarded by mention of exceptions and qualifications,
has its own advantages, and where the number of orders is not
larger than in Britain may perfectly serve the purpose. a. a.

llie American Entomologisty now published at St I.ouis, has
this year added the words ^^ and Botanist " to its title, and Dr.
George Vasey has taken charge of the Botanical Department
He has .entered upon his duties with promising vigor, and is pro-
ducing a series oi popular botanical articles which are Ukely to be
widely read throughout the western country and to be very useful



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Botany and Zoology. 288

In the combined 3vXj and AugoBt number the editor has a spirited
article upon the Ongin of Prairie Vegetation, which is mainly a
criticism of the writings of Prof Winchell upon this subject in his
" Sketches of Creation." If it is seriously maintained in that work
that seeds buried in diluvial deposits may have retained their
vitality during the glacial period, and by their germination after
it " reproduced the flora of the prae-glacial period," we can only
wonder that this immense extension of the hypothesis of the indefi-
nite vitality of buried seeds should have been made at a time when
most biologists probably doubt whether any seed ever preserved
the power of germination for a century or two. a, g.

2. ^ Carbolizirw Birds ;■ by H. W. I^abker. (Conmiunicated by
the Author.) — The following methods, carefully studied for two
years, with results noted, are recommended for the saving of birds
in warm weather until the operator finds time to skin them ; for



Online LibraryRodolfo Amedeo LancianiThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 85 of 109)