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perfectly identical, are at least the representative ones of those of the northern region.
"In instituting a comparison between the species collected from the Australian deposits, and those described from the Burdwan coal-field by Professor Royle, we observe both the remarkable analogy of form of some species and the actual identity of others; from which we may probably be led to infer that the deposition of the strata containing them was not only contemporaneous, but that the conditions of the flora of some portions of the Indian and Australian continents, at that epoch, were not very dissimilar. In the Burdwan coal-field we find the Pecopteris Lindleyana, Glossopteris danceo'ides, G. Browniana, and other plants, associated with two species of a very curious form, Vertebraria indica and V. radiata. The Australian deposit also contains Glossopteris Browniana, two or three species of Sphenopteris, and the same species of Vertebraria above noticed. The Pecopteris australis of the Jerusalem basin is closely allied to, if not identical with, the P. Lindleyana from Burdwan. The Glossopteris dan&oides of the Burdwan deposit apparently belongs to the genus Tamiopteris, the veins being perfectly horizontal, and not anastomosed, as in the typical species of Glossopteris. We have previously remarked upon the absence of certain carboniferous forms in these deposits; on the other hand, if we compare some of the species with certain others, from the oolitic series of England, a striking analogy of form is at once perceptible; the Pecopteris Murrayana, P. Whitbiensis, and Glossopteris Phillipsii representing as it were the Pecopteris (Sphenopteris) akita, P. australis, and Glossopteris Browniana of the Australian strata."
"The two specimens of leaves, and another peculiar form, represented on Table VII. fig. 5, 6, 7, 7a., are from the yellowish compact limestone near Hobart Town, -which has been described by Mr. Darwin, in his work on the Volcanic Islands, p. 140. These impressions have been submitted to the examination of Mr. R. Brown, who is unable to refer them to any species known to him., although one specimen has somewhat the aspect of a Proteaceous leaf. This fact is interesting, because associated in the same limestone are two species of land testacea, a Helix and a Bulimis, which Mr. G. B. Sowerby cannot at present identify with any existing analogue. Thqse observations, taken in conjunction with the discovery by Mr. Darwin of a palmate or palm-like leaf, in the same deposit (of which no similar leafy structure has been hitherto found in Van Diemen's Land), may lead us to infer that the species imbedded in the travertin, probably represent the fauna and flora of a period slightly anterior to the present. It is to be hoped, however, that the attention of the naturalists of that colony may be directed to this subject, so that the collection of a more ample series of specimens may be submitted to still further investigation."*
The first persons who cast the eye of a botanical observer upon the living plants of Terra Australis, were Mr. (afterwards Sir Joseph) Banks, and his companion Dr. Solander, during the first voyage of Captain Cook (1770). Mr. Menzies, naturalist of the expedition of Captain Vancouver (1791), and Labillardiere, attached to the French discovery ships under Admiral D'Entrecasteaux (1792), came next in succession: all of them secured to botanical geography valuable discoveries, and opened a vast field of inquiry.
* J. MorriB, Esq.
Important as these first discoveries were, it is a matter of no ordinary congratulation, that the task of extending them should have devolved upon Robert Brown, a botanist who, fortunately, combined with the zeal of a collector those original talents for acute and scrupulously accurate physiological investigation which the study and the arrangement of a new and unclassified vegetation especially demanded.
It was in the course of the memorable survey of Captain Flinders that this eminent naturalist had the opportunity of examining the botany of the coast of New Holland; which examination was followed by that of the flora of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, after the departure of Captain Flinders for Europe.
At the time when Mr. Brown commenced his labours, the number of ascertained Australian plants amounted to 1300 species, of which 1000 had been collected for the most part by Sir Joseph Banks himself.
To this original collection Brown added nearly 3000 species; a contribution to botany far exceeding any previously made by one individual, and which enabled him to begin the Flora Australis with upwards of 4000 species.
Of these, as he himself tells us, in the Appendix to Capt. Flinders' Voyage, upwards of 2900 species were Dicotyledonous, 860 Monocotyledonous, and 4000 Acotyledonous ferns, being considered as belonging to the last-mentioned division.
According, then, to these numbers, the Dicotyledones of Terra Australis were, at that period, to the Monocotyledones, rather more than 3 to 1, or somewhat less than 7 to 2.
The collections, however, made in particular regions of Terra Australis, showed that, locally, the relative proportions of the three grand divisions of plants were somewhat at variance with the general result above mentioned. In New South Wales, about Port Jackson, Mr. Brown informs us that "the proportion of Dicotyledones to Monocotyledones does not exceed three to one. At the western extremity of the same parallel, in the vicinity of King George's Sound, the proportion is but little different from that of Port Jackson, being nearly as 13 to 4. At the south end of Van Diemen's Land, it is fully 4 to 1, with which proportion that of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and, I may add, that of the whole of the equinoctial part of New Holland hitherto examined, very nearly agrees."*
As regards the proportion of the Acotyledones, Brown states that he considers his collection of some of the Cryptogamic order, especially the Fungi, very imperfect. Such, however, as it is, that collection gives the proportion of Phenogamous to Cryptogamous as 7 to 2.
To these general features of the Australian vegetation, is added a classification of the collected plants, which are arranged into 120 groups or natural orders. For the physiological observations upon some of the families, distinguished either by their constituting the mass, or by exhibiting the most striking peculiarities of the flora, the reader must be referred to R. Brown's original essay, which is found at the end of Captain Flinders' voyage.
Suffice it to say, in this place, that the admirable tract here referred to, with the "Prodromus Florce Novce Uollandice et Insvlce" while they have raised their illustrious author to the celebrity which he so justly possesses, serve also as a frame-work or foundation, upon which his followers in the field of botany are gradually erecting, and successfully elucidating, the Australian flora.
* Flinders' Voyage to Terra Australis, Appendix.
The first addition to the flora thus commenced, was made by the late Allan Cunningham, of the Royal Gardens at Kew, sent out originally to New South Wales as a botanical collector, and subsequently attached to the hydrographical expedition of Capt. P. P. King. His collection comprised 1300 species of Phaenogamous plants. To these may be added a second collection, which the same indefatigable and deservedly lamented botanist made, in 1830, in the course of the exploration of Moreton Bay, a region of New South Wales, at that time little known; by which the Australian flora was considerably enriched. His remarks, which are inserted in the Appendix of Captain P. P. King's Voyage, relate to some of the new plants of established natural families, which he had discovered, and to the geographical distribution of others, form a most valuable supplement to the essay of 11. Brown.
The labours of Mr. Ronald Gunn next follow. His collection was obtained especially in Van Diemen's Land. As it was formed entirely by himself, and is daily enlarging, it will furnish most valuable materials towards the illustration of the botany of the island. When the writer of these pages was leaving Launceston, Mr. Gunn's collection included specimens of nearly all the vegetation of Van Diemen's Land; and, at no distant day, we may expect, from the indefatigable collector, the publication of a complete Tasmanian flora.
The contributions of the late Mr. Lawrence, Mr. Backhouse, and Dr. Joseph Dalton Hooker, referring to the eastern part of Terra Australis, and those of Leshenault dc la Tour, Reidl(5, Deputch, Bailly, and Mr. Drummond, derived from the western and north