« PreviousContinue »
The Miscellaneous Botanical Works of Robert Brown, Esq., D.C.L., F.R.S.
Edited by John J. Bennett, F.R.S., etc. Vol. I. Ray Society, 1866.
It is now more than forty years since Nees von Esenbeck published the first volume of his German edition of the collected works of Robert Brown, and this remains till now the only attempt to bring these wonderful memoirs into a compact and consultable form. Even the English student has been compelled to consult them in their German dress, for the possession of them in English necessitated the acquisition of volumes of voyages, travels, transactions, and journals, octavo, quarto, and folio, which of themselves would form a considerable library. It is surprising that an edition in the language in which they were originally published has been so long a desideratum. The Ray Society have conferred a great boon on science in supplying this desideratum, and this boon is greatly enhanced by their having obtained the help of Mr. Bennett, so long the intimate friend and colleague of Robert Brown, as editor.
This first volume contains two of the three divisions into which the editor has arranged the memoirs, viz. the geographico-botanical and the structural and physiological. The systematic memoirs and miscellaneous descriptions of plants are reserved for a second volume, and the illustrative plates will be published separately in a large quarto atlas. The papers are reprinted from the originals without change, in accordance with the express desire of their distinguished author.
The geographico-botanical memoirs consist of the appendices published with the narratives of the expeditions of Flinders and of Sturt to Australia, of Salt to Abyssinia, of Tuckey and of Oudney, Denham and Clapperton to Africa, and of Ross, Scoresby, and Parry to the Arctic regions, and of the memoir on the botany of Swan River. The systematic and physiological memoirs contain the papers on the Parts of Fructification in Mosses, on Remarkable Deviations from the usual Structure of Seeds and Fruits, on Rafflesia and Hydnora, on Kingia, on Active Molecules, on the Organs and Mode of Fecundation in Orchidee and Asclepiadeæ, on the Relative Position of the Divisions of Stigma and Parietal Placenta in the compound Ovarium, on the Plurality and Development of the Embryos in the seeds of Conifere, on the Gulf Weed, and on Triplosporite.
Della Distribuzione Geografica dei Licheni di Lombardia e di un nuoro
ordinamento del genere Verrucaria. Dal Dr. Santo Garovaglio, Prof.
di Botanica nella R. Univ. di Pavia, etc. Pavia : 1864. 8vo. pp. 34. Sui più recenti Sistemi Lichenologici e sulla importanza comparativa dei
caratteri adoperati in esse per la limitazione dei generi e delle specie.
Dal Dr. S. Garovaglio. Pavia: 1865. 8vo, pp. 34. Sugli Organi riproduttori del genere Verrucaria. Nota del Dottor Giuseppe Gibelli, Prof. di Storia Nat. nel R. Liceo di Pavia. Milano :
1865. 4to, pp. 14. Plate. Tentamen Dispositionis Methodicæ Lichenum in Longobardia nascentium,
auctore Sancto Garovaglio. Mediolani: 1865. 4to, pp. 88. 5 plates.
These four works all relate to the same subject. In the first of them, Professor Garovaglio announces his intention to publish a series of memoirs, in which he would describe accurately the several species · of Lichens growing in Lombardy, illustrated with microscopical details of their minute internal organization. The materials for this, he has collected during the past thirty years, having journeyed through every part of this singularly favoured province of Italy, which, from various concurring causes, furnishes a greater variety of Lichens than any similar country of Europe. This he ascribes to the gradual elevation of Lombardy from the lower region of the Olive and Laurel to the limits of eternal snow, affording in a circumscribed space under the same parallel of latitude, a regular succession of zones, similar to those found in passing from the tropics to the polar circles, together with the notable difference of temperature, which the varied course of the iso thermal line makes from place to place, according to this elevation.
He then enters into a detail of the principal geographical and geological features of the district, enumerates some of the rarer Lichens wbich he has collected on the several geological formations, and details the many new Lichens which his own researches have added to the general store, several of which have been named after him.
In the second work, the Professor passes in review the various systems which have found favour among different schools of lichenists in modern times; and states those principles by which he himself purposes to be guided, and which he enlarges upon more fully in the Prolegomena to his 'Tentamen.'
In the third work, Professor Gibelli narrates the result of a very ex
tensive examination, conducted with great care and accuracy, into the organization of the reproductive apparatus of the Verrucariæ. The conclusion to which that research has conducted, is this :—That the spermatigerous apparatus or the supposed male organs, are contained either in separate conceptacles, termed spermogonia, or are enclosed in the apothecium, together with the asci and spores, when they are termed spermatocalia. That when the species possess spermogonia, then the apothecium contains paraphyses distinctly visible, together with the asci and the enclosed spores, and may be termed diclinous. But that when the apothecium is destitute of distinct paraphyses, the spermatigerons apparatus or spermatocalia hangs like a fringe from the upper portion of the interior of the apothecium over the asci and spores, which occupy the lower portion of the interior, and may be termed hermaphrodite ; and that all the saxicolar species, whether with unilocular, bilocular, quadrilocular, and multilocular or muriform spores, are destitute of distinct paraphyses, and consequently hermaphrodite ; whilst the corticolar species possess paraphyses, and are all diclinous.
This interesting and ingenious discovery, Professor Garovaglio has made the basis of his arrangement of the Verrucariæ, in his “Tentamen.' He has taken a media via in his system, avoiding on the one hand the innumerable genera of the Massalongian school, and, on the other, not implicitly following the comprehensive or aggregate one, of which the celebrated Dr. Wm. Nylander is the acknowledged princeps. He excludes from his genus Verrucaria, all those species having a foliaceous or squamose thallus, such as Sagedia, Fries, Endocarpon, Ach., etc., and limits it to those species which possess a crustaceous thallus. Thus limited, his genus comprehends no less than thirty-five genera, and more than two hundred species of the Massalongian lichenists.
His own words will best explain the principles of his labours :
1. In Verrucariæ genere omnes comprehendi lichenes angiocarpos nucleo simplici et homogeneo, epithecio plerumque ad instar carbonis nigricante, præterea thallo crustoso instructos.
2. Maximi habito loculorum numero, unde spora constat, in quatuor potissimas sectiones genus omne partitus sum, videlicet, uniloculares, biloculares, quadriloculares cum quatuor ad octo loculos, una serie ad lineam superimpositis, denique pluriloculares tessellatas cum loculis collateralibus conglomeratisque.
3. Præsentia paraphysium defectiove, masculorum organorum con
ditio quoad situm quem tenent; ascorum figura, modo itidem considerato, quo in ipsis distributæ sporæ consistunt; interdumque etiam thalli variatio, apotheciorum situs, et sporarum magnitudo mihi normam præbuerunt, qua species ejusdem sectionis in secundos ordines, quos cohortes appello, disponerem.
4. Demum multiplicibus aliis modis, quos organa tum interiora tum extima offerunt, simul assumptis varieque collatis caute uti ac sobrie studui, quo speciebus diversis fines constituerem, ut pro re licuit, distinctissimos.
Each species is headed with a short diagnosis, followed by a full and lengthened detailed description of every part, a most ample synonymy, and references to all published collections of Lichenes Exsiccati, with valuable adnotationes, elucidating difficulties or contrasting affinities and diversities.
Only the unilocular and bilocular species are as yet published, and the entire work is to be illustrated with actual specimens.
Verba Nominalia ; or, Words derived from Proper Names. By R. S.
Charnock, Ph.D., etc. London. 1866. Pp. 357. The number of words in every-day use derived from proper names is very great; and from the way they have been altered through ignorance, carelessness, or the “genius” of the language, it is often puzzling to trace them to their origin. On what principle did the Italian name of the Sun-flower, Girasole, become converted into Jerusalem, as a designation for an Artichoke? How did Quince come from Cydonia, Humbug from Hamburg, and Dimity from Damietta ? Such curious derivations, and the history of them, supply Dr. Charnock with the materials for an interesting and useful volume, abounding with information which general readers are often puzzled where to find. It would be impossible to make it at once interesting to the public and valuable to those engaged in special studies. In botany, for instance, the number of generic designations derived from proper names is very great; and since Boehmer's dissertation was published, no special work has been devoted to them. The names met with in popular books can only be expected in Dr. Charnock’s volume; but even in regard to them the author would do well, when a second edition is required, to obtain for his sheets the revision of a botanist, as the classification and the information given are often very antiquated.
Dr. Seemann has been obliged to resign the office of Secretary to the International Botanical Congress, to carry out some explorations in New Segovia and other little-known parts of Central America. He left Southampton on the 2nd of March, and proceeds by way of St. Thomas and Panamá to Realejo, on the Pacific, where he will disembark. Dr. Seemann has arranged that during his absence the 'Journal of Botany' will be edited by Mr. Carruthers, of the botanical department of the British Museum. Communications should, however, be addressed as before, “To the Editor of the Journal of Botany."
The fourth part of Seemann's 'Flora of Viti,' containing the Rubiacee and Composita, has been published.
The University of Cambridge has purchased the herbarium of the late Professor Lindley (except the Orchidee, which were some time ago purchased for the Kew herbarium), for the sum of £300.
The acting committee of the Botanical Congress, to be held in May next, in connection with the International Horticultural Exhibition, consisting of a number of eminent botanists in London and the provinces, are successfully carrying out the arrangements for the meeting, which promises to be a large and important one. By permission of the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education, they have obtained the use of the Raphael cartoon room of the Kensington Museum for the meetings of the Congress. A number of distinguished foreign botanists have already notified their intention to be present, and papers have been announced from J. E. Howard, F. Mueller, Morren, Lecoq, Seemann, Masters, Van Hulle, Schultz-Bipontinus, and others. There will be two meetings of the Congress; at the first, on May 23rd, Professor De Candolle will deliver his inaugural address, copies of which will be circulated at the meeting in the English, French, and German languages. The second meeting will be held on the following day. Besides the grand banquet at the Guildhall on May 22nd, there will be two conversazioni, one on the evening of May 23rd, the other on May 25th. Botanists intending to take part in the Congress should communicate with Dr. Maxwell Masters, the honorary secretary, at the office of the exhibition, 1, William Street, Lowndes Square, London, S.W.
The third volume of the “Selecta Fungorum Carpologia' of the Messrs. Tulasne, completing the work, has just been published. It concludes the account of the Sphæriacei, to which the second volume was entirely devoted, con. taining the section Nectriei, which occupies the bulk of the volume, the remaining space being given to selections from the Helvellacei and the Phacidei. The four volumes which these authors have now published, the “Fungi Hypogæi,' and the present work, embrace all the Ascomycetous fungi, of which, however, they have only included, in the majority of cases, selected examples.
A new weekly periodical, entitled “Scientific Opinion,' is announced for April 4th. It will consist of extracts from British and foreign journals and transactions of societies, of important discoveries, and observations in the different departments of science.