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Mr. Tuffen West, London.-“ On the Structure of the Testa of the Seed of Solanacea.”
Details a series of microscopical observations on the outer covering of seeds. Mr. West describes the peculiarity in the cell structure of the testa in different genera, and shows that such structures atford constant characters. A peculiar structure is present in the testa of many Solanacea. It is a form of barred tissue, constituting a support to the lateral walls of the cells ; in which por. tion of the cells the primitire membrane is found in mature seeds to have disappeared more or less completely. The inner walls are greatly thickened by horny and eren crustaceous deposit ; in addition to their (usually) very sinuous outline, the edges of the inner walls are also elongated by undulation ; from these edges processes arise which form a fringe having the appearance of hairs. By examination of numerous examples this structure proves to be a form of barred tissue, which, by various intermediate conditions, passes in S. Indicum and S. jasminoides into a reticulate tissue. The author is very desirous to procure seeds for microscopic examination, the results hitherto obtained promising to possess interest and value in proportion to the extent to which they are systematically carried out.
Dr. Wight, Reading.–“ On the Phenomena of Vegetation in the Indian Spring."
We cannot close the record of this singularly successful Congress without re. ferring to the other events of the week, in which the members of the Congress took an active part. First of all there was the flower show, which was a magnificent success. The grouping of the plants on the winding turf terraces produced a marvellously beautiful effect, while the rarity, excellence, or quantity of the individual specimens has never been equalled. The public thoroughly appreciated the extraordinary exhibition, and every day thronged it. Instead of four, the exhibition was kept open for nine days. A great banquet was held at the Guildhall on Tuesday, presided over by the Lord Mayor, to which one hundred foreign guests were invited. On the Wednesday evening the extensive suite of apartments at the Kensington Museum was crowded with a fashionable company, among whom were all the foreign visitors to the exhibition and Congress. On Thursday upwards of five hundred gentlemen dined at St. Martin's Hall, under the presidency of Lord Henry Lennox; and the President and Council of the Linnean Society invited the most distinguished foreign visitors to the anniversary dinner of that Society on the same day. The gardens of the Zoological and of the Royal Botanic Societies were freely opened to all who had Congress tickets. Special facilities were given to the members of the Congress for visiting Kew Gardens, and a large number were hospitably entertained by Dr. Hooker, the Director of the Gardens. But it would be impossible to enumerate all the more or less public and the private entertainments which will cause the week to be long remembered alike by British and foreign botanists, for the amount of pleasure and business, of hospitality given and hospitality received, which was compressed into it.
ON LEUCOJUM PERNUM, Linn., AS A BRITISH PLANT.
BY J. C. MANSEL, Esq.
(PLATE XLIX.) In consequence of a communication from Mr. Hardy, of Manchester, I made an excursion, in the beginning of March this year, in the neighbourhood of Bridport, Dorset, in search of Leucojum vernum, Linn., which had not hitherto been recorded as growing wild on this side of the English Channel. I was successful in my search, and found it in great abundance. To substantiate its claim to be considered as a British plant, and not one artificially introduced, it may be well to consider its local position in Dorsetshire in connection with its distribution on the Continent. Here it grows on the banks and sides of a thick hedgerow on the declivity of one of the various Greensand heights which, as usual in that part of the country, overlie the Lias. The surrounding lands are arable, the soil being loamy from its admixture with the Greensand, and the drainage is conveyed by a watercourse which follows the line of hedge on which the Leucojum grows. At the bottom of the valley, the hedge merges into a narrow belt of copse, where the showy corolla of this rare plant mingles with Chrysosplenium oppositifolium. I traced it, in more or less profusion, for upwards of a quarter of a mile by the side of the same watercourse, to the termination of the cultivated land. Its sudden disappearance is probably owing to the change of soil, which here becomes a thick, impervious, stubborn clay. I cursorily examined a small wood on the opposite side of the valley, but found there no traces of the plant. There is no reason, however, for concluding that it is confined to this remote valley, where no vestige of human habitation occurs, except two modern labourers' cottages near the summit of the hill, and which are not likely to have been the artificial cause of its introduction. The plant grows in sufficient abundance to resist the onslaught of an army of Vandal invaders, who, alas ! too often ruthlessly extirpate rare and moice plants. It grows robustly, and appears to be surrounded with conditions most favourable for a healthy and vigorous propagation. With regard to its European distribution, Germany is pre-eminently its centre; from thence it radiates in all directions, preferring apparently the subalpine regions. It is profusely distributed through
VOL. IV. (JULY 1, 1866.]
out Switzerland, and penetrates into the north-eastern provinces of France, as Alsace and Lorraine. It is recorded by Brebisson in his • Flore de la Normandie,' as having been found at Auvillars-en-Auge, which, pointing in the direction of Dorsetshire, gives a colour of probability to its British claim. It is not unfrequent further north, in the Belgic provinces.
Not many years since, the Simethis bicolor, Kunth, was found for the first time near Bournemouth, and the Gladiolus Illyricus, Koch, near Lyndhurst, Hants. Although no other English stations are recorded for these plants, they are both justly adopted by botanists as true additions to our flora, and their geographical distribution entirely favours this opinion, as they are frequently met with on the opposite side of the Channel.
Leucojum æsticum, Linn., is entered in Mr. Watson's Cybele Britannica’ as a Dorsetshire plant, probably on the authority of the late Dr. Salter, who specifies it as growing within eight miles of Poole, but gives no locality. After a careful study of the Dorsetshire flora, I am bound to say, although Dr. Salter's list is most valuable, it it is not altogether to be relied upon. I have not seen Leucojum æstioum growing in the county.
The following description will assist in determining the new plant from L. æstivum, from which, however, it obviously differs in having only one flower on the scape :
Leucojum vernum, Linn. Flower solitary, large, and drooping ; spathe linear-oblong, as long as the included pedicel; perianth-segments obtusely mucronate. Style terminating in an apiculate club.
(Concluded from page 167.)
** Bractea truncato-peltata. P. subflavum ; foliis brevissime petiolatis ovato-lanceolatis apice acuminatis acutis basi inæqualiter cordulatis utrinque et subtus