Page images

Feroes and the Shetlands, yet the former presents upon its mountainsides all the gradations from a north temperate clime to an arctic one. This will account for the greater predominance of boreal species in the Feroes, the flora of which is certainly an appendix to the Icelandic group ; whilst that of the Shetlands appertains to the Scottish flora.

The flora of Feroe numbers 292 species, 198 of which form part of the Shetland vegetation ; of these-

1. Appertaining neither to an arctic nor to an alpine-boreal type of vegetation. The following are common to Feroe and Orkney, and are certainly desiderata to the Shetland list. These are :-Nasturtium officinale, Oxalis Acetosella, Geum rivale, Epilobium tetragonum, Myriophyllum verticillatum ?, Hieracium Pilosella, H. murorum, Galeopsis Ladanum, Salix caprea, Potamogeton pusillus, Scirpus fluituns, Lastrea Filix-mas, Cystopteris fragilis, Asplenium Trichomanes.

2. Appertaining to an alpine-boreal type. The following, also common to the Orkneys and Feroes, are not so decidedly desiderata to the Shetland list. These are :--Draba verna, Geranium sylvaticum, Dryas octopetala, Saxifraga hypnoides, Pinguicula alpina, Oxyria reniformis, Salix arbuscula, S. glauca. Further :-

3. Appertaining neither to an arctic nor to an alpine-boreal type. The following are absent in the Shetlands and Orkneys, and are certainly desiderata to the lists of these two botanical districts. These are:-Ranunculus auricomus, Cardamine amara, C. impatiens, Cochlearia Anglica, Brassica campestris, Hypericum dubium, Geranium pratense (probably native in Shetland), Potentilla verna, Epilobium roseum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Carduus acanthoides, Apargia Taraxaci, Vaccinum Vitis-Idæa, Pyrola minor, Myosotis palustris, Limosella aquatica, Mentha arvensis, Orchis Morio, Scirpus maritimus, Eleocharis acicularis, E. pauciflorus, Carex pallescens, C. stricta, C. acuta, C. riparia, Lemna polyrrhiza, Isoetes lacustris, Equisetum hyemale.

Then again there are those-

4. Which are alpine-boreal, existing at the same time in boreal Europe and on the Scottish mountains and the Swiss Alps, but not known in Orkney and Shetland, as Draba rupestris, Cerastium alpinum, C. trigynum, Epilobium alpinum, Alchemilla conjuncta, Sedum rillosum, Saxifraga stellaris, S. nivalis, S. rivularis, S. cæspitosa, Cornus succisa, Hieracium alpinum, H. Lawsoni, Bartsia alpina, Veronica alpina, V. saxatilis, Salix lanata, Juncus trifidus, J. biglumis, Luzula spicata, Kobresia scirpina, Carex atrata, Aira alpina, Poa alpina, P. cæsia, Polytrichum Lonchitis.

Others not British, as Ranunculus glacialis, R. montanus, Arabis alpina, Lepidium alpinum, Alchemilla fissa, Epilobium nutans, Orchis sambucina, Carex Lyngbyei.

And, finally, those that are eminently boreal :- Ranunculus nivalis, Papaver nudicaule, Draba Lapponica, Saxifraga tricuspidata, S. palmata, Angelica Archangelica, Konigia Islandica.

The flora of the Orkneys numbers 390 species, 312 of which are indigenous to the Shetlands; there are, therefore, 78 Orcadian species not known in Ultima Thule; 22 of these, given in lists No.1 and No. 2, are common to the Orkneys and the Feroes, and the remainder thus attain their northern limit of distribution, through the chain of the isles of Great Britain, in Orcadia. By reference to the catalogue of Shetland plants, 60 indigenous species and 1l varieties are indicated as unknown in the Orkneys, though present in the more northern province. Of the varieties, Cerastium latifolium, ß. Edmonstoni, and Lathyrus maritimus, B. acutifolius, are peculiar to Unst. It is to be noted that the former species belongs to the alpine-boreal type; and the variety has been referred to a no less eminent alpine-boreal species, C. glaciale.

The flora of Shetland, in its present revised form, numbers 364 indigenous species, and 14 marked indigenous varieties. With the following exceptions, all are generally distributed throughout Central Europe, and are found in Great Britain. The exceptions are Cerastium Edmonstoni, Lathyrus acutifolius, which are restricted to the island of Unst; Arenaria Norvegica, also confined to that island (the most northern and eastern of the Shetland group), but elsewhere only known in Scandinavia. The only boreal plants are Cherleria sedoides, Arenaria Norvegica, and Saussurea alpina ; Geranium phæum is doubtfully native. Even alpine forms are poorly represented in these isles, and the majority of these are confined to Ronas Hill. Of the six Saxifrages, S. stellaris, S. nivalis, S. rivularis, S. cespitosa, S. oppositifolia, and S. hypnoides, which range from Scotland to the Feroes, Iceland, and Greenland, only S. oppositifolia is a Shetland plant (yet occurring at the opposite extremities of the mainland).

I will conclude this paper by a correction rendered necessary by a better acquaintance with the floras of the Shetlands and Orkneys, of

than those of Iceberoe species by tus of the

what is now an error in the Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist. vol. vii. p. 542, where Professors Balfour and Babington state, “ The Ferns of the Shetlands are less numerous than those of Iceland or Feroe; while those of the Long Island, Hebrides, exceed the Feroe species by 4, and are exactly equal to the number found in Iceland.” The census of the Filices is now-Orkney, 17 ; Shetland, 15 or 16; Hebrides and Iceland, 14 ; and Feroe, 10.

The Shetland Isles possess an extinct flora, the most characteristic species of which is Betula alba ; but a consideration of the agents which have brought about the extinction of such is not quite in keeping with the descriptive character of the present paper, and may possibly appear as a separate communication.

In conclusion, I would acknowledge the assistance rendered me by Professor C. C. Babington, in determining Gnaphalium Norvegicum, the Hieracia, and Chara aspera, and also for his critical notes, which are appended to the species they refer to. I have also to thank Messrs. C. W. Peach, Adam White, F.L.S., and J. Gatherer, for submitting to my examination many Shetland plants, collected by him in 1864, from which I have been enabled to add one new Fern, and several additional localities of interesting species.

[A Plantago, collected by Mr. Tate, was thought to be P. alpina, but, ou closer examination, it turns out to be some broad-leaved form of P. maritima, or, at all events, it is better considered so until more evidence has been adduced.—EDITOR.]


BY JOHN SMITH, Esq. I beg to make a few remarks in reference to Dr. Hance's article on the name and affinity of Brainea insignis given in the Journal of Botany, Vol. III. p. 341. First, as regards the name. In 1851, Mr. C. J. Braine, on his return from Hongkong, brought with him a collection of living plants, which he presented to the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew; amongst them were several epiphytal Orchids artificially attached to stems of Tree-Ferns about a foot or 18 inches in length, and about a foot in circumference. The fronds of these stems were closely cut away, and their apical axis was gone; they were considered to be dead, and appeared to be those of Lomaria Boryana, Sadleria cyathoides, or some analogous species. They were placed with the Orchids on them in the hothouse, and in about two years after, I was much surprised to find that two of them had pushed out a lateral bud, which in due time were transferred into pots, and ultimately became fine plants. About the same time, the late Sir William Hooker had received specimens of this Fern from Sir John Bowring, and, finding it to be the type of a new genus, he dedicated it to that gentleman, (Kew Miscellany of 1853,) under the name of Bowringia insignis, giving Sir John Bowring, instead of Mr. Braine, the credit of having introduced the living plant to Kew. Some time after, whilst engaged in drawing up an enumeration of the Ferns of Hongkong, for Seemann's ‘Botany of the Voyage of the Herald,' I found that Mr. Bentham had previously applied the name Bowringia to a Leguminous plant. Bringing these facts to the notice of Sir William Hooker, I proposed to re-name the plant Brainea, and this name I adopted in the · Botany of the Herald,' and also in my · Catalogue of Cultivated Ferns,' in 1857, with my name affixed as the authority.

The next point I have to notice is Dr. Hance's opinion of the affinity. After showing the views of Pteridologists on that point, he proceeds to say, “ I certainly think Gymnogrammeæ the true and natural station for Brainea," and "that it would be difficult to produce a more perfect instance of parallelism between two tribes (Lomarieæ and Gymnogrammeæ) than that shown in the following diagram in which the opposite genera exactly correspond :" that is to say, that Blechnum corresponds with Gymnogramme, $ Coniogramme, Sadleria with Brainea, and Woodwardia with Gymnogramme Dictyogramme. Now, I admit that Sadleria and Brainea are a perfect instance of parallelism, but I must confess, in all my study of the relationship of Ferns it never came into my mind that there was any connection between Blechnum and Gymnogramme, or Woodwardia and Dictyogramme. The reason which has led Brainea to be placed in alliance with Gymnogramme seems to rest solely on the character of the sori, but by too strict adhering to that organ Sir William Hooker was led to place such a very heterogeneous mass of species under Gymnogramme, that even Brainea might have been included as a species of that genus. If the Darwinian theory of the origin of what is called species from antecedent species be admitted

as a guide to assist in determining affinity, then the Cycad-looking stem of Brainea should be compared with that of humble Gymnograms. But, surely, many forms have yet to be discovered before Brainea can be said to have originated from Gymnograms, or the latter from Brainea. On the other hand, it is easy to see that Brainea, Sadleria, Lomaria, and the whole of Blechnum, are of the same lineage, and quite unconnected with Gymnogramme. The absence of an indusium in Brainea does not reason against this view, being analogous to the want of indusiæ in closely-allied species of Phegopteridia.

Dr. Hance also brings to notice the relationship between Polypodium and Acrostichum, on which, at some future time, I may offer a few remarks.


CEIVED JUNE 21st, 1865. ?? From W. G. M Ivor, Esq., Superintendent of the Government Chinchona Plan

tations, Dotacamund, to C. G. Master, Esq., Secretary to the Government Revenue Department.

Ootacamund, 3rd May, 1865. Sir,--I have the honour to forward by baughy a box containing a further supply of Chinchona bark, as per memorandum annexed, for transmission to the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for India, in order that it may be submitted to Mr. Howard for analysis and report. The bark now forwarded was removed from the plants in the early part of April last, or as the sap begins to rise, as at this season the bark separates freely from the wood. Specimens Nos. 2 and 3 are renewed barks; these attain extraordinary thickness in a short period of growth ; and if they contain a proportionate quantity of alkaloids, this system of treating the plants appears to offer greater advantages than the other methods proposed. I may observe that further observation seems to establish that this system of removing strips of bark from the stems of the plants can be practised without injury, provided the wound is instantly covered with damp moss; inattention to covering the wounds having produced the bad effects detailed in my letter of the 17th March, 1864.

vol. IV. (JANUARY 1, 1866.]

« PreviousContinue »