« AnteriorContinuar »
how this then supposed fish is amply provided with mammillary glands! In the back-ground we have incidentally introduced some of the dangers to which the frail whaling-vessels of the time were exposed. An infuriated whale is seen capsizing a ship. In lig. 41 another busy scene is represented, copied from the same work, showing men engaged in extracting metals from the ores. In some of the small wasbings carried on by miners in Derbyshire on their Fig. 42. Horse-baiting, from a 13th century M3. in the British Museum. own account, we have almost the counter-part of this picture.
and 'general interest of the book we have briefly Where an outlay of capital is required, and brought before their notice. cannot be obtained, it is surprising how long primi. tive appliances maintain their ground. M. Lacroix's How to Polish SHELLS.-Having some "green magnificent work is crowded with instances of this snail” and “Manilla pearl” shells, and wishing to kind, and every now and then we come across an polish them myself, I should be greatly obliged by outlier that has remained in the same condition for being informed through your columns as to the five hundred years at least. We have said enough, best books to be had on the subject of shell polishhowever, to indicate to our readers the high merit ing.-Querens.
who have botanized thereabouts, and have been A GOSSIP ABOUT RARE PLANTS.
answered with the negative. The attractions of BESIDES the plants - spoke of in a former Llandudno have doubtless drawn thither some of article, other specialities may well claim the
the botanical readers of SCIENCE-GOSSIP, who may attention of any botanist who makes Anglesea the
be able to make an authoritative response, and I ground of his rambles. There is Potamogeton lan shall feel obliged if any can and will do so through ceolatus, which grows in the river Lligwy, a small your pages. stream that has its exit near to Moelfra, the scene
On the Aberffraw Common, near Llyn Coron, the of the deplorable Royal Charter wreck. This Pota little Viola Curtisii grows in large quantity; it is the mogeton was sent to Sir J. E. Smith by the Rev. same form as that found at Braunton Barrows, furHugh Davies, author of "Welsh Botanology," and ther north on the English coast, and is a different was doubtless gathered in the above locality, form to that which used to grow on the sandhills at although Smith vaguely mentions “Lakes in North New Brighton, and passes under the same name. Wales." After a lapse of more than half a century
Callitriche autumnalis is also a good Anglesea we find that Dr. Syme (than whom no higher autho- | plant, first found by the late Mr. Wilson in the rity can be quoted on such a matter) repudiates all outlet of Llyn Maelog, and this celebrated botanist other British localities recorded for this "most also discovered the true Carex punctata near Beaudistinct” species; and he does not with certainty maris. In the spring and early summer Knappia identify this Lligwy plant with anything known agrostidea—to give it the best-known title amongst from the Continent or elsewhere; thus rendering English botanists, of its many aliases,-is common our Anglesea locality the sole source of this pond on Aberffraw Common, and Euphorbia Portlandica, weed. The species stands, in fact, as a pure Welsh Inula crithmoides, Blysmus rufus, Erodium mos(Anglesea) product; and truly it grows in a most chatuum, E. maritimum, Anthyllis Dillenii, Utricu
dim sassenach” quarter of the island. Here and laria minor, &c., are all gatherings the collector will there, along the full course of the above-named probably appreciate. stream, specimens may easily be obtained and in Another rarity occurs to me to write a few words plenty, but the plant in fruit has never yet been about, although it is not in reality a plant of our met with, so that the fruit remains unknown, Mona," but the history of the plant associates although flowers in plenty are produced. Either to with Anglesea botany. I refer to Erythræa latifolia, procure the fruit, or to show the why and the concerning wbich so much misunderstanding has wherefore of its absence will be appreciated work arisen, and an Anglesea specimen incorrectly named for a botanist to accomplish.
as such, is the cause of the bulk of the said misLong years ago there was found on the Anglesea understanding. The species E. latifolia was insticoast the Diotis maritima. The celebrated naturalist tuted by Sir J. E. Smith, and we are informed by John Ray thus mentions its occurrence in his Dr. Syme that specimens from the neighbourhood 'Synopsis :”—“Gnaphalium maritimum C. B., of Liverpool are existent in the Smithian Herbarium maritimum multis J. B., marinum Ger., marinum at the Linnean Society. It was, no doubt, in one seu Cotonaria Park; Sea Cud-weed or Cotton of Smith’s several visits to his particular friend, weed. We found it plentifully on the sand near Mr. Roscoe, at Liverpool, during the first decade Abermeney Ferry, in the isle of Anglesea, where of the century, that he became acquainted with the the common people call it Calamus aromaticus." plant through Dr. Bostock and Mr. John Shepherd, Although in plenty and well recognized when Ray had it not been for the contrary statement in the made his itinerary, it does not, as far as I know, ' English Flora," namely, that he had never seen occur in subsequent records as having been met the living plant. One would bave surmised, from with, and Anglesea is now judiciously bracketed the very exact diagrams assigned to it, that Dr. with the lost habitats on the south of England Smith bad both seen and studied it in the growing coast, as it is not likely that so conspicuous a plant state, and probably, I should have suggested, under would be overlooked by any botanist. Still, a per the direction of Mr. Shepherd, who was the then son in the neighbourhood would do well to institute
able curator of the Botanic Garden at Liverpool, as inquiries and explorations. Personally I bare not
he was highly thought of by the doctor, and accomidentified the locality given. Another rare com.
panied him in his botanical rambles during his posite, the Linosyris vulgaris, or Chrysocoma Lino. sojourns at Liverpool. The plant is referred to in syris, also hails from the Anglesea seaboard, I
the Addenda et Corrigenda” of “Flora Britanunderstand, in some old records, and if so, requires nica" (1904), as a marked variety of E. centaurium, recent confirmation, as it is hardly likely to occur, and it is only in Smith's later work, his “English being a limestone-loving species; the plant has Flora” (1828), that it is raised to the rank of a been well authenticated from the not far-distant ! species. It had not been included in the issue of Orme's Head: whether it is to be found in this English Botany which was published up to 1814; latter station now is a question I have asked some but some short time after the untimely death of
Sir J. E. Smith, in 1828 (I say untimely, for his Club (Mr. H. F. Hailes, of London) makes use widow is still alive, and attained the somewhile dis of the sand-blast for the purpose of perforating puted longevity of a century last May-a fact that or excavating cells (of various depths and diamewas duly celebrated), a supplement to Smith and ters) in the ordinary shape. The former require a Sowerby's national work was commenced. In the disc of thin glass cemented over the aperture, and second volume of this supplement, t. 2719, is given
the cell thus formed can be used for either transus a representation of E. latifolia ; but it is not E. parent or opaque objects : the latter are only adapted latifolia at all, it is merely a figure of a stunted and for opaque objects. For fluid mounting he says, unusual-looking specimen of E. centaurium, and the
“I find it desirable to varnish the bottom of the specimen from which this drawing was made vas,
cell with white, hard varnish,' which obliterates as Sir W. J. Hooker's accompanying text informs
the sandmarks and dries in a few minutes.” The us, gathered in Anglesea. Subsequently, many
cost of the perforated or excavated slips is about English and foreign botanists, led astray from the
double that of an ordinary one.-F. Kitton. true plant by this faulty plate, have been in the EBONITE CELLS. I do not think Micro. Hull practice of calling E. latifolia, some abnormal, will find any cement that can thoroughly be debroad-leaved, squat-growing examples of the com
pended on for fastening ebonite cells to glass. I mon species; and not until Dr. Syme, in the third have many objects in my collection mounted in edition of “English Botany," what I may term re ebonite cells fastened as follows:-I roughen the established the true plant, has the confusion promul- smooth surfaces of the vulcanite ring with sandgated through the blunder I have specified been
paper, and fasten it to glass with that marine glue prevented for the future. The bonâ-fide plant bas which is of about the consistency of india-rubber. not been found in Anglesea, and, so far as is known, I bought some once which was quite hard and is still confined to grassy places in the valleys brittle, and it did not stick a bit. Lately I have amongst the sandhills north of Liverpool. There, used tin cells, which stick very firmly, and are quite too, it is very uncertain in its appearance and to be depended on.-U. quantity, and it is ten years since more than a few
MOUNTING LEAVES OF Moss.—“H. W. S.” will odd specimens have been found. About that time back, I remember the pleasurable satisfaction of
find the following plan as good as any :-Wash the coming across a plentiful growth amongst the sand
moss well, drain off superfluous water, lay it on the hills, three to four miles south of Southport. Mr.
centre of a slide, and put on a thin glass cover. Wilson was in company on the occasion, and he
Secure this with a brass clip, and take hold of the then stated that our find revealed a new plant to
slide with another clip. Now let a little melted him, that it was characteristically different to any.
glycerine jelly run under by capillary attraction, and thing he bad met with before, and that he should
boil the slide over a spirit-lamp with a small flame, judge it worthy to rank as a species. I am almost
moving it about so that, being heated equally all certain, he also said, that he bad never been satis
over, it may not crack. When cold, all air-bubbles fied with the integrity of the English botany plant,
will disappear if the jelly used be not too stiff. which, as I have already stated, was figured from
Clean the slide and varnish with gold size. I have an Anglesea specimen (our culprit above indi
mosses prepared in this way which have been cated) gathered by Mr. Wilson; himself near Holy
mounted three years, and the colour bas not faded
in the least. Glycerine jelly can be bought at any head.
F. M. WEBB.
opticiau's, but if “H. W. S.” wishes it, I will send him the recipe by which I make mine. It costs
about four times as much to buy it ready-made. I MICROSCOPY.
think that the empty fruit-capsules and the peri. SAND-BLAST.—The discovery of the erosive power
stomes look better in glycerine jelly than when of sand when impelled with great force against a hard
mounted dry, for the colours are better preserved.surface, might at first sight appear to have little
H. M. J. U. interest to the microscopist in connection with his favourite instrument. This new power has, how.
ZOOLOGY. ever, been made to serve his purpose ; as most of the readers of SCIENCE-Gossip are probably aware DEATH OF PROFESSOR AGASSIZ.-All lovers of that the impact of sand has been made either natural science will regret to hear that one of the slightly to abrade the surface of glass, marble, or worthiest of its followers, Professor Agassiz, bas just other hard substances, or to make deep excavations passed away. This celebrated naturalist was born in in them. (I have seen a piece of glass about $ of 1807, in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Since an inch in thickness with a pattern cut into it 1846 he has been professor at Harvard College. As nearly # in depth, and which was done in two or a geologist he is best known as first propounding the three minutes.) One of the members of the Quekett Glacial theory; as an ichthyologist, on account of
his celebrated classification of Fishes. Recently he arm attached to the body of the fish, so that its has been engaged in deep-sea explorations along the original length must have been thirty-five feet. A American coast, and the last object of his attention clergyman assured Mr. Harvey that when he resided was the establishment of a large aquarium, on the at Lamaline, on the Southern coast, in the winter of same principle as that of Dr. Dohrn, at Naples. 1870, the bodies of two cuttles were cast ashore,
measuring 40 and 45 feet respectively. GIGANTIC CUTTLE-FISHES.—The Rev. Mr. Harvey has just made a communication to the Natural CAN ANIMALS COMMIT SUICIDE ?-Some time History Society of Montreal, respecting the occur ago this question was raised in the pages of SCIENCErence of a huge cuttle-fish a few miles from St. Gossip, and the following paragraph would seem to John's, Nowfoundland. It was seen by two fisher favour the idea that animals really do sometimes men, on October 26th, floating on the surface of the put an end to their own lives.-"A cattle disease of sea, and by them was supposed at first to be a por. so disagreeable a nature that it causes the animals tion of some wreck. On reaching it, one of the affected by it to commit suicide, has broken out on men struck it with his "gaff," when immediately it the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, and has been showed signs of life, reared a parrot-like beak, with officially reported at Constantinople. Is is characwhich it struck the bottom of the boat violently. terized by frothing at the mouth, running from It then shot out from about its head two huge livid the eyes and nose, a total loss of appetite, great arms and began to twine them round the boat. One heat, and a thirst so insupportable that some of of the men seized a small axe and severed both the beasts attacked by the illness cast themselves arms as they lay over the gunwale of the boat; beadlong into adjacent rivers and streams, and are whereupon the fish moved off and ejected an im drowned. The disease, it is stated, has been in mense quantity of inky fluid, which darkened the existence for upwards of a month in several villages water for two or three hundred yards. The men between Beïcos, on the Upper Bosphorus, and saw it for a short time afterwards, and observed its Scutari. It attacks bullocks and cows exclusively, tail in the air, which they declare was ten feet across. and is believed to have been introduced from AdaThey estimate the body to have been sixty feet in
Baza, beyond Ismidt.” length, five feet in diameter, of the same shape and colour as the common squid; and they observed
STENOCEPHALUS AGILIS.-Replying to the rethat it moved in the same way as the squid, both
marks of Mr. E. C. Rye in SCIENCE-Gossip for backwards and forwards. One of the arms which January, the words in my paper were upon referthey brought ashore was unfortunately destroyed, as
ence to several, not all, published works on “Ento. they were ignorant of its importance; but the mology,” for at that time I was fully aware of the clergyman of the village assured Mr. Harvey it was
valuable one of Messrs. Douglas and Scott on ten inches in diameter and six feet in length. The
“British Hemiptera.” Unfortunately microscopists other arm was brought to St. John's, but not before
and naturalists in the country have not that facility six feet of it was destroyed. Mr. Harvey heard of
of book reference as those residing in the Metroit, and took measures to have it preserved. It polis. In whatever light Mr. R. may think or
fancied I have erred, my simple aim has been entirely cartilaginous, tough and pliant as leather, accomplished by bringing before the readers of
SCIENCE-Gossip the structure of “ovipositors ” in and very strong. It is but three inches and a half
general: the numerous applications for mounted in circumference, except towards the extremity
slides of these organs fully justify my inference.where it broadens like an oar to six inches in cir
J. O. Harper, Norwich. cumference, and then tapers to a pretty fine point. The under surface of the extremity is covered with BOAR-FISH (Zeus aper).—This fish was not long suckers to the very point. At the extreme end since supposed to be very rare, and the occurrence there is a clustre of small suckers, with fine sharp of a single specimen worthy of note. The ichthyteeth round their edges, and having a membrane ologist placed it among the élite of his museum. stretched across each. Of these there are about 70. Now they present themselves by thousands occaThen come two rows of very large suckers, the sionally, as this note will show. Is this owing to movable disk of each an inch and a quarter emigration to "fresh scenes and pastures new," in diameter, the cartilaginous ring not being found necessary in the sea as on our earth, or to denticulated. These are twenty-four in number. the growing interest taken by us in the observation After these there is another group of suckers, with and study of natural objects ? "All nature is so denticulated edges (similar to the first), and about full," says Gilbert White, “that that district profifty in number. Along the under surface about duces the greatest variety which is most examined.” forty more small suckers are distributed at intervals, If this fish is stationary on our coasts it is gregarious, making in all about 180 suckers on the arm. The and very local in its habits. In December, 1973, men estimated that they left about ten feet of the thousands of fishes were washed on shore at St.
Martin's, one of the Scilly islands. They were of form of a decoction, and sometimes as a powder. a sort new to the inhabitants, four or five inches in Some authorities state that it possesses the same length, and gave rise to some conjecture. Not only | febrifuge properties as cinchona bark. The taste were they wondered at, but experimented on, and of the bark, and especially tbat of the inner layer, found to be excellent eating. The species was is intensely bitter. The leaves also have a bitter identified by Mr. Cornish, of Penzance, an excel taste. The seeds yield a large quantity of oil, which lent ichthyologist, as Zeus aper.-T. Q. C.
has also a strong and bitter taste. The roots are stated to have vermifuge properties. This bitter
principle consists of a neutral resin, which may be BOTANY.
obtained by exhausting the bark with alcohol.
The leaves contain a small amount of bitter subMEDICAGO ARBOREA.–Attempts are being made stance of a similar nature, but more soluble in at Brighton to find some shrubs sufficiently hardy water. and well adapted to bear the exposed spray and winds of the new Undercliff road, but as yet only CALLA PALUSTRIS IN SURREY (p. 277).-Calla two (the Euonymus and Tamarisk) have been found palustris was originally planted in North Surrey so to stand the variations of heat and cold of that spot. far back as 1861, and is now quite established. I Some years back I suggested to Mr. Spary, the
have no doubt that this is Mr. Gardiner's station. Brighton florist, that the Medicago arborea, being It is also one of the plants recommended by Mr. entirely a seaside plant, though a Southern one,
Robinson for naturalization :-“It is thoroughly would be likely to stand the climate of Brighton, hardy, and tbough often grown in water, likes a and he in consequence procured some seeds and moist bog much better. In a bog, or muddy place raised several plants, which are now grown to large
shaded by trees to some extent, it will grow larger shrubs, and which may be seen in his garden, green
in flower and leaf, though it is quite at home even all the year round, and for the greater part of that when fully exposed. Those having natural bogs, time bearing pretty yellow flowers; it is a remark &c., would find it a very interesting plant to introably handsome and very bushy shrub, and being a
duce to them, while for moist spongy spots near seaside plant, and growing so luxuriantly near the the rock garden, or by the side of a rill, it is one of sea, it would in all probability thrive on the Under the best things that can be used.”—(Robinson, cliff road, not only as a standard, but particularly “Alpine Flowers,”; p. 162.) Its occurrence in also if trained up against the cliff wall : it may
Surrey is noticed in the " Journal of Botany," vol. be seen growing eight feet high against the ii. N. S., p. 339.-R. 4. Pryor. southern aspect of Mr. Balchin's cottage in his
FERTILIZATION OF FLOWERS.—The Scrophularia garden at Hove, as also against the north wall
is, I find, satisfactorily recognized as protogynous. opposite; at Florence it forms beautiful hedges
In the same connection has any one observed what close to the sea. The Tamarisk, it will be remem
species of insects haunt the unattractive-looking bered, was many years back introduced as a seaside
Mercurialis perennis ? The female plants too seem plant, and though only indigenous in the south of
very generally to come into flower when the males Europe and along the coast of the Mediterranean, is found to stand the winter and grow freely
are almost past blossoming ; thus presenting an ad
ditional obstacle to their successful pollenization, by the seaside in England, and there is no reason
but are they usually infertile? I do not know why the Medicago should not flourish there also. I whether, as in M. annua, male flowers are occasiontrust that this notice in SCIENCE-Gossip may induce ally intermixed.—R. A. Pryor. the authorities of Brighton, who are expending large sums in planting all over the town, especially on the ROYAL BOTANIC SOCIETY.--It may be interestUndercliff, where nearly all the trees so lately ing to notice that specimens of the Eucalyptus planted there are dead, to try the Medicago there, globulus, described in SCIENCE-Gossip, December, which, if it succeeds, as I verily believe it will, 1873, are to be seen flourishing in the Economic cannot fail to be an attractive object and a most House at the Regent's Park Gardens.-R. H. L. B. desirable addition to the shrubs of Brighton.T. B. W., Brighton.
CHANGES IN THE VEGETATION OF SOUTH AFRICA.
-Dr. Shaw has communicated a paper to the LinBARK OF THE AZADIRACTA INDICA. Mr.
næan Society showing the changes which have been Broughton has recently communicated the result of caused in the flora of South Africa by the introan examination of this bark to the Transactions of duction of the merino sheep. He says that the the Pharmaceutical Society. The Azadiracta indica original vegetation of the colony is being in many is commonly known as the “Nim-tree," and the places destroyed or rapidly deteriorated by overuse of its bark is very general throughout India, as stocking and by the accidental introduction of a tonic and febrifuge. It is generally used in the various weeds. Among the most important of the