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Nancy, has recently been appointed to a position at Bordeaux. Rostafinsky has been promoted to a professorship at Cracow. During the year, no botanical expedition of importance has been undertaken. Among the changes which are worthy of note is the erection of a new building for the herbarium at Kew, which, as we learn from the last report of the director, is estimated to contain considerably over a million specimens. There has also been erected at Kew a laboratory for the pursuit of physiological studies.
PROGRESS IN AMERICA.
Descriptive. In America, the botanical publications have been principally confined to articles in the different journals. In systematic botany we have to note three papers by Professor Asa Gray in the Proceedings of the American Academy. The first, which appeared late in December, 1876, but which was not generally distributed until the beginning of the present year, is a description of the two genera of Papaveracece (Canbya and Arctomecon), both from California, illustrated by two plates by Sprague. The species of Arctomecon has a persistent instead of a caducous corolla, as is usual in the order to which it belongs. The second paper, which bears the same date as the first, contains the descriptions of new species of several different genera, including a synopsis of the North American species of Asclepias and allied genera. In this paper, the genus Steironema of Rafinesque is restored, and several species separated from Lysimachia, where they had been previously placed. A third paper, by Professor Gray, in the Proceedings of the American Academy, bearing the date of May, 1877, contains a description of the new genera — Sympetaleia of the Loasacece, and Lemmonia of the Hydrophyllacece, both belonging to California; besides revisions of Canotia, Torr.; Echidiocarya, Gray; and Leptoglossis, Benth. Mr. Sereno Watson also contributed to the same Proceedings a paper, bearing the date of June 13, in which he described a number of new species, and gave revisions of the genera Lychnis, Eriogonum, and Chorizanthe. In the Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, Dr. George Engelmann continues his account of the oaks of the United States. He also contributes two other papers-one on the American junipers, and the other on the flowering of Agave Shavii, illustrated by a plate. The second fasciculus of the “ Wild Flowers of America,” plates by Mr. Isaac Sprague and text by Professor G. L. Goodale, has appeared, and includes four species — Iris versicolor, L.; Rudbeckia columnaris, Pursh; Viola sagittata, Aiton; and Steironema lanceolatum, Gray. The drawing of the first-named species is one of the finest ever made in this country. There is announced as about to appear a series of plates of native flowers, with text by Professor Thomas Meehan, of Philadelphia, the lithograplis being furnished by Prang, of Boston.
In the department of cryptogams we must note an elaborate paper, by Professor Edward Tuckerman, on North American and other lichens, published in the Proceedings of the American Academy. The species described, besides those found in the United States, were collected by Dr. Hill during the Hassler Expedition. In an appendix are given the species collected by Dr. J. H. Kidder at Kerguelen Land during the Transit of Venus Expedition. New species of American fungi have been described in various publications. We may particularize, in this connection, articles by J. B. Ellis and Baron von Thümen in the Bulletin of the Torrey Club; by W. R. Gerard in the Proceedings of the Poughkeepsie Society; by M. C. Cooke in the Bulletin of the Buffalo Society, where a synopsis of American species of Hyphomycetes is given; also articles by the same botanist in Grevillea; and, lastly, by C. H. Peck in the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth reports of the Botanist of the State of New York for the years 1873 and 1874 respectively. The two last - named reports are illustrated by plates of fungi, and not only contain accounts of the fungi and other cryptogams of New York State, but also notes of newly discovered localities of flowering plants. Californian species of fungi, principally from the collections of Dr. Harkness, have been given by Plowright, Philips, and Rev. Mr. Vize in Grevillea. Additions have been made to the marine flora of the United States in a paper by W. G. Farlow published in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Boston. In the same Proceedings Professor D. C. Eaton describes a new species of Nitophyllum. There has also appeared the first fasciculus of a set
of algæ of the United States, prepared by Professor Farlow, Dr. C. L. Anderson, and Professor D. C. Eaton. In the higher cryptogams there have been new species of mosses and Hepaticce described by C. F. Austin in the Torrey Bulletin, and an illustrated paper on some ferns of the Western country has been prepared by Professor D. C. Eaton for the report of the Wheeler Expedition. The first set of a series intended to include all the species of ferns found in the United States—the text by Professor D. C. Eaton, and plates by Mr. Emerton-has appeared, and the execution is all that could be desired.
Physiological. It is a subject of congratulation that the number of articles on vegetable physiology and the minute anatomy and development of different groups is increasing in this country; and there seems a probability that, at no distant date, important work in this department will be done by American botanists. As might be supposed, the interest of our botanists has been especially turned to the subjects of cross-fertilization and insectivorous plants. On the former subject, notes have been published by Professor Gray, in the Naturalist, on the fertilization of Gentiana Andrewsii, which, he thinks, is generally fertilized by insects, although occasionally it is self- fertilized. In the Torrey Bulletin the same opinion is advanced by Mr. W. W. Bailey. On somewhat insufficient grounds another writer, in the same journal, considers the flowers of Gentiana Andrewsii as cleistogenic. In the Naturalist for May, Mr. H. G. Hubbard relates his observations on Aristolochia clematitis, made while travelling in Jamaica. The flower, which is shaped like a German pipe, is divided into three chambers, by constrictions and valves, furnished with backward-pointing bristles, the whole forming a trebly guarded fly-trap. The outer chamber alone gives out the carrion odor which attracts insects to enter, and these cannot escape on account of the backward - pointing bristles. Mr. Hubbard shows, however, that, as the flower withers, the constrictions disappear, and the insects readily escape, loaded with pollen. In the same journal, a review of the literature with regard to the cleistogenic flowers of different species of Viola is given by Professor Goodale. With regard to the insectivorous properties of Sarracenia variolaris, Dr. J. H. Mellichamp, of Bluffton, S. C., has made experiments which show that the sweet secretion of that plant acts simply as a lure, and has not, as some have supposed, an intoxicating effect on the insects which feed upon it. The observations of Dr. Mellichamp were confirmed by Mr. B. M, Watson, of Cambridge. Professor C. E. Bessey has published, in the Naturalist of August, the result of some careful experiments to ascertain the cause of the peculiar position which the leaves of the Silphium laciniatum (compass plant) assume. The first gives tables of the variation from a line passing north and south which he observed in plants of different ages and sizes; and the comparatively slight variation from the meridian is quite striking. In seeking for the cause of the peculiar position of the leaves, he finds that the relative position of the stomata on the upper and under surfaces of the leaf does not determine the real cause of the polarity. In a later note, Professor Bessey states that, what is known as the “palisade tissue,” which is usually found only on the upper surface of the leaf, is in Silphium laciniatum, distributed throughout the whole leaf.
In General. During the past year no new botanical work has been attempted in connection with the different Western surveys; although it is understood that progress has been made by Professor Rothrock in working up the plants collected by him during a previous expedition. We must not, however, omit to mention the botanical work by Professor Macoun in connection with the survey of Canada. An event of interest has been the visit to this country of Sir J. D. Hooker, who, in company with Professor Gray, Professor Leidy, and others, spent nearly three months in the Rocky Mountains and California. In the way of new publications we would mention the first Bulletin of the Illinois Museum of Natural History, containing botanical articles by Fred. Brendel, M.D., and T. J. Burrill; and also a volume of the Proceedings of the Ann Arbor Scientific Association, containing articles by Mr. V.M. Spalding and Miss Almendinger. During the year very little change has taken place in the management of the botanic gardens, or the botanical chairs, in the country. Dr. J. T. Rothrock has been appointed Professor of Botany in the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Thomas Meehan has accepted a similar position in the Agricultural College
of Pennsylvania. W.R. Dudley, of Cornell, has been pro· moted to the position of Assistant Professor of Botany;
R. W. Greenleaf has been appointed Assistant in Botany at Harvard, and B. M. Watson, Jr., Instructor in Horticulture at the Bussey Institution.
Classification of Palms. In the Botanische Zeitung, Dr. O. Drude proposes a modified classification of the palms, the basis of which is the separation of the New and Old World forms, based upon the facts that no species of palm is indigenous both in America and the Old World; no genus is common to both worlds; and even the tribes are almost limited by the same laws of distribution. The arrangement is briefly as follows:
1. Calamece.—Tropical Africa, Asia up to 30° N. lat., the Sunda Isles, and Australia to 30° S. lat.
2. Raphiec.--Equatorial Africa, Madagascar, Mascarenes, and Polynesia.
3. Mauritiece.-Tropical America from 10° N. to 15o S. lat.
4. Borassinc.—Africa, Mascarenes, Seychelles, and Western Asia to 30° N. lat.
5. Cocoinec.—America, 23° N. to 34o S. lat.
7. Chamodorinece.— America, 25° N. to 20° S. lat.; Madagascar, Mascarenes, and Seychelles.
8. Iriartec.—America from 15° N. to 20° S. lat.
9. Caryotinece.—Asia to 30° N. lat., Sunda Isles, Australia to 17° S. lat.
10. Coryphinece.—All around the world from 40° N. to 35° S. lat.
Roots of the Banian Tree. The most remarkable evidence of the extraordinary power of the pendent roots of the banian has been lately exhibited in the celebrated temple of Juggernauth. The great Hindoo temple of Juggernauth is notorious throughout the world. Built at a cost of half a million sterling, it is black with age.