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MONTHLY BOTANICAL REPORT.
OWING at one time to the indisposition of the Reporter, and at another to the necessity of noticing other works, our obfervatmns on the periodical botanical publications have fallen behind hand; we shall now attempt to pay our arrears.
The Tour last numbers of the Botanical Ma<ra%we contain, in Mr Oawler*s department, a, white-flowered variety of' Iris tibirica as it is here- called; we have som^ doubt, however, whether St be not really a distinct, though a very nearly relaed, species There is some difference in the form of the internal petals, which arc more dilated upwards, and contracted into a, narrower claw below j they are likewise less erect and blunter pointedi but whether these differences are constant, we cannot positively decide— Ornithogalum tbyrsoidrt, drawn from a specimen containing so few flowets as hardly to drserve its name of tbyrie-jlewerivg*—* Lilium coneolar, a lily of very modern introduction from China, the country ol splendid flowers.—Wachendorha brev'ifslia differs from birsuta especially, but not solely, in the colour of its flowers, which are singularly lurid.—Ami'yllis crista, here called crimson and'white amaryllis, a name certainly nut very appropriate to the coloured figure, in which the flowers are striped with a dark purple. Mr. Gawler has seemingly with reluctance renounced his former opinion, that this, and the white flowered arn.iryllis from Sierra Leone, are the same species; though no cultivator doubts of their being really distinct. In these very natural families, the lines of Jemarkation, both between the genera and the species, are often so very faint, as to elude the eye of the botanist, or rather the touchstone of his dehnkionsj the differences consisting m^rc in innumerable little points, than in marked botanical characters; yet trfe^e points of difference, from their great number, may be equal in value to a lew more decided distinctions.'It not unfrcquently happens, from this circumstance, that the botanist is puzzled ro find a difference where a common observer scarcely sees any similarity.-—■ Antholyza JEtbi^Ua^ the smaller vaiiety, and Ixia erect*) var. lutea adurjta, both stand in the same predicament, though considered by the botanist as mere varieties, the cultivator, who attend; more to the Ut' ensemble than to le^itimat^ characters, would not hesitate to decide that they wcie essentially different. In the latter planr, besides the fragrance of the blossom, vhich is without fount in rhe oiher vaiiettes of the Iicia erecta; the tube of the corolla is longer in proportion to the limb, the ftignias are more erect, and the whole plant is far mo e robust than in the white. Amaryllis revoluta is a very fine figure of a species before published in the Magazine from a less perfect specimen.—Of Sanseviera Gulncensh, and Dracseoa, +vatar we should have nothing to say, were it not to correct an error of the press, which will mislead the unskilful. The former should have been numbered 1179, and the latter tlSOj these numbers being reversed, the name of the one is of1 course applied to the other. It may be remarked, however, that.Dracaena ovata has never been before defcrihed or figured; it was difcovered by Afzeliua in Africa.—A pink-coloured variety of Scilla (commonly Hyacjnthus) sstotinaj to make amends for giving us a mere variety, one however which has n^ver been before described, Mr. Gawler his here given us a synoptical table of Scilla, ijvacinthus, and Muscari, considered as one pen us, divided, for convenience only, into three—Narcissus hi front) before considered by Mr. Cawler as a mere variety of N. calatbinuSf but now raised into a distinct,species. The author, however, surmises that it may probably ■be a hybrid production between JwauiUa and calatbinus.-— Narcissuy btcohrt nearly related to N. Puudo-narcisius and N. ttalkus, heretofore considered by the writer himidf as a variety of P. f'ttftyraceus.
We have thought it be;t to place together the plants belonging to the natural orders of ensitie and iiliacea?, tiie letter-press to which is written by Mr. Gawler. And, although, w; doubt not but that many of the purchasers of the Botanical Magazine are dissatisfied with having so large a proportion of the work;, as o.ie hall, occupied hy these orders exclusively, yet we cannot but express uur hearty approbation of the plan. These plants have been more cultivated than most others, and far less understood by botanists, of whom they may justly be. deemed the opprobrium. The French botanists have had the same view of the'matter, ami a very munificent work in folio lias been for some time publishing in Paris on these orders, contained under the denomination of Li/tae/es, Rut whoever will t-*kc the pains to compare this work with the L'otanical Magazine, will at once perceive how much the best botanists are at a loss in this dvpaumenti and how much more luminous and satisfactory is the information contained in the latter work. We proceed now to enumerate the other plants given us by the editor in Number 261, 265, "266, and S6?.—Celastrus pyracantbus: this is a good drawing from a remarkable fine specimen which grew in the open air, a^ninst a southern wall in the garden of Edmund Granger, esq. ol Exeter. Dr. Sims, by shewing how this shrub varies with regard to its foliage, and in being with or without spines, lias j^one a good way towaids reconcdmg the very contradictory accounts of botanists respecting it,—Trilolium cancu:**: a plant hardly known to botanists nut by Tourncfort's name, introduced from Mount Caucasus by Mr. Loddiges —f>t»\*\h pitta, a new species of a eenus so elaborated by the. late Mr. Masson. Jacquin endeavoured to convince Linusus that the njtural order of Asclepiadeas properly belonged to phe dais Decandria, instead ot Pcntandria, where he had placed these plants: and mor« lately, Dr. Smith has asserted that the same arc really gynjnCrouJ, Both tlietc opinion* aic corjttuVMtcd by Dr. biou j who dcici.a- Linasu, ;idou tte ground) thai alt
anther* anther* consist of two lobrs; that these lobes are more or less approximate, and frequently, as in this order, quite distinct. But though the lobes are distinct, Di. Sims considers thcru as composing one anther only. With respect to Dr. Smith's rematk, Dr. Sims observes, that a perpendicular 3ectton of the flower shews that the suinens ^re nor irally attached to the true germen, but to certain processes of the corolla \ and that these plints do not therefore belong to the class Gynandna.—Epacris fukbell*, a valuable acquisition to our list of New-Holland plants, gratifying at once thcr sight and the srmll —Ktooium bynenoda, ^)nc uf the hardy species of Geranium, or more properly HeronVbill. As Northern Africa is little distant from Europe, so this species, a native of the former ro'intry, approaches much nearer in affinity to the Kuropean species, than those from the southern exrrcmity of Africa.—Cytisus twfPurcuit we have some doubts whether this be really a distinct species from CytUua tuttnui.—Podalyr'ia alba: a hardy perennial, of easy culture, and deserving a pUce in every extensive collection. Mr. Salisbury has, in the Linuian Tiansactions, dlviJed bophora into several distinct genera, applying the name of Podalyria to the Capi: species, which arc fruticoce. In this Dr. Sims has not thuught fit to follow him, although he appears to approve of the division. If Mr. Salisbury's genera should be in /uture adapted, and the name of Podalyria be applied at he has done, Dr. Sims recommends that of lluniiop-is (Lupin-face) for the American specie3, which are herbaceous, and alike in their haMt: Thermos hnng a Creek name for Lupin, which these plants so much resemble —Two spreirs of Asclepias, the v'rvta and va/itgata, both characteristically figured j but the former having only or.e terminal umbel, hardly represents the general habit of the plant; nor is the snowy whiteness of the nectaries, from which it has its name, sufficiently expre^ed.—Prntea sptcbta.—Stapclia tfezanx.— Nymphsea versicolor, a verjf ^ne figure of a new species of water-lily from the East Indies, whence it wis introduced by Dr. Roxburgh, and is cultivated with great success at; Mr. Vere's, Kensington Gore. This species belongs to Mr. Salisbury's Casulia, and is nearly allied to, though distinct from, N. Lotus—Viminaria denudata; nne of the pretty papilionaceous tribL fiom New South Wales.—Gloxinia mocuUta, formerly known by the Dame of Martynia pcrennist and inserted under both names by Protc.sor Maicyn in his neve ediilon o! Miller's Dictionary. It appears by the observations here mad-, that the arrangement of this plant, and some of it. relatives, according to their nitural affinities, has been attended with fome difficulties, which has occasioned the establishment of a new natural order.
The Ri-tanist's Repository, No. 11 '2, contains, what is here called Protea tpeciosa varietal pains which is undoubtedly a distinct species from the V. speciosa of the Botanical Magazine.—Mimosa pudica \ or the sensitive plant. It is here said that its "shrinking from the touch it supposed to be owing to its being strongly s^tur-ited with oxygen gas, which it disengages upon the slightest provocation, and its place for a short time is supplied by the atmospheric air." We do not know upon the authority of what experiments this supposition ii founded, ror do we see huw the hypothesis can account fur the phenomena at all satisfactorily.—Protea abrotanifAia varietas *doret&\ a good figure of a very elegant little shruLs the more valuable us its Mowers are fragrant.—Monarda punctata a very beautiful species from the collection of Messrs. Whitley and Braiue, worthy of cultivation, but far more uncommon than some of the less ornamental species.—Pii>iit\orA perfoliat a from the collection, of the Com t esse de Vandes. Wildenow describes the segments of the calyx as being shorter hy half than the petals; while in this drawing both parts are equal.
So. 112 contain^ a very fine figure of Cucumis Dudaim, from the collection of Aylmer Bcuike Lambert, esq. This plant says the author was named Duduim by JJu.ireus, "from the fantastical idea that it was the fruit mentioned in the Bible by the name o; mandrake, with which Jacob's ncgle&ed wife purchased her hufband's favours for one night of her rival.'* Now whether Linnxus supposed the fruit of this species of melon to be the real Dudaim or nor, the name was very properly applied, because some learned men had inrn^ined it to be so, far however " fantastical," it was no new idea of his And in our opinion there has heart no more probable guess made amongst all the '* fantastical ideas" that have been cnteitiii.ed upon this subject j for the oujectii-n that Hitler, who imagined the mandrake* were chemes, nude to it, that Duuaim is u*ed by Jeremiah for a vessel (or in our translation a basket) containing figs, may be explained fully as probably as his notion that they were howls turned out of the cherry tree. For Diidaim might perhaps be as general a word as gourd, and we know there are gourds no bigger than orange*, and others so larjje that capacious vessels are made of them. The fruit of the Cucumis Duduim is a beautifully striped round melon or gourd, admired for its very fragrant smell, and is probably a native of Syria, which is muili more to the purpose, than whether it he of Egyptian origin or not, Egypt not being the country of Jacob. Pascalia g!auca of Ortega, a n^tivt of Chili, from the aarnc collection.— Hermann)* jUmmca of J\>cquin*s Hon us Schoenbruncnois, a native of the Cape, taken at Air. Knights in the King's Road, the possessor o( Mr. Hubert's late collection. A new species of Lopeaia, lh£ corottata native of South as the next (Hypericum virginicxm) is of North America.
In No. 114 we have Lobelia assurgens, a very scarce plar;t communicated bv A« B. Lambert, e»q. from hu stove at Boyton, where it is remarked that the powers died awav without praiutinj seeds, whith perhaps might be owing to its being u fated with Loo mtKh warmth,
being being according to Swarte a native of the coldt-r regions of the mountains in Jinuici. To the successful cultivation of plants, a knowledge of the elevation at which tiicy occur is fully as necessary, as that of tnc latitudc.^-Volkameria aiaintifjlia, supposed to be a native of the Isle of France, communicated by Mr. Donn, eurat .rot the botanic garden at Cambridge. In h.ihit this shrub appears to approach very near to the simple-leaved jasmins.—Z.ngiber Cbjford'nna, so named in honor of Lady de CiisforJ, an amatcurjof botany and collector of Curious and rare plants.—Pancratium amtenum. 'The author says that this plant is certainly distinct from P. caribteum, but as far as wi can judge f/ona the figure, not by any means a got'd one, it is a mere variety; and was brought by Lord Sei forth from the West Iuoles under the latter name, and presented to Mr. Lambert in whose stove it flowered in March 180S. —Periploci afiicana, a rare plant which flowered at Messrs. Whitley and Brame's Old Brompton, industrious cultivators of rare plants from every part of the world, and obligingly communicative of their treasures to inquiring botanKt:.
Our limits will not permit us to proceed further for the present, we ate obliged therefore to postpone the consideration of the two latter numbcis of the repository to another opportunity, when we shall also again take up our account of the English botany, of which we are several numbers in arrear.
NATURALIST'S MONTHLY HEI'ORT.
. • As yet the trembling year is unconformed
And winter oft at eve refumes the breer.e Chills the pile morn, and bids his driving fleets Deform the day. T"iVJ RING the whole of this month the weather has been perfectly feafonable, pirticular*~^ ly when we confiderthe tremendous fall of rain that we had during the month of January, and nearly till the middle of February. The farmers, who, about fix weeks ago, were making fad forbodings refpecting the failure of the corn cropi of the enfuing feafon, arc now perfectly fatisfied that the country at large has fultained very little injury. During the lalt two or three days of the month the wind has been eafterly, and very cold. Hitherto this yearwe have not had any violent gales, if I may except tlsofe in the month of j'jnuary: in the prefent month we have had none whatever; To that I hope we may for once efcaye the tempells of the vernal equinox.
March ift. A falmon was this day caught, which weighed two and twenty pounds. It ■was one of the finelt that has been remembered for many years, as taken fo early in the feafon. . g
March 4th. Rooks ate beginning to prepare their nefts.
The fallow begins to Ihow the yellow anthers of it) catkins'. The whitlow.grafs, (Jrala verna) in flower on the tides of dry gravelly and f.miy hanks. Yew trees are in flower.
March icth. Qi'tulio niger crawls al>out the walls ot' old bu Idin^s. The jumping f/iier (aratua scenlcti) is fecn on rhe funny w:ills and pales of gji.lens -nd fields.
I have, in the coorfe of the prefent month, picked uponthefea beach a great many hard lV-nes, that are perforated to the dei>th or' about the eighth of an inch, in narrow and f»mewbat oblong "holes. 1 am at a lol's to conjecture by what fpeciei of animal thefe could have been formed No ihrils were found in any of them, ant h id they been tlt= work of fome minute kind of teftacea, fuch or fragments of fuch, would certainly have remained. If any of your correfpondents «re poflelfed of information 011 this fubjeft, it would be an acceptable fcrvice to the fcience of natural hiftory, to lay it before the public in your Magazine. March Jtth. Pheafants are heard to crow.
The CfrKtr ftiFKel.s is to be feen in tiir fplalhes on gravelly parts of the roads ; and in the fame places the hair or whe worm is moving about in its flow aivi tortuous manner. A4rUtprescarabtui, Cbrywntlti ttiahusia,anJ Cbrywinth cz■ uris, erawl about in the hedge bolt >ms. March 20th. Two white rats were killed this day. Tliey bad each red eyes, as is common in all the white varieties of the murine fpecies. What it by no means a ufual occurrence in a county fo far fouth as Harrpfhiie, a perfectly white wceaol has feveral times been obferved about the premif'sof a farm yard in the neighbourhood (ioti which I am writing.
The field crickets, (Cry//»i campcjiils of Linnxus) begi 1 to cpen their holes on the fides of funny banks, and to come out 01 them in the middle of the day, when the heat of the fun is moft powerful. An obferver may Ice or.-, of them at the orifice of each hole if he approach gently and with great caution; but th-y run in on the Icaft alarm. They have out yet began to chirp, or creak, as it is called in fome parts of this county; nor perhapi will they be heard to do this till about the begmniug of May.
CruWs.rnagi'its, wood-pigeons, as well as numeious kinds of fmall birds, are occupied la forming their nffts. (
I am informed that a fuflil tortoise or turtle in a very perfect ftate, has lately been dtiar out 1.1 the ground, upwards ot fixty Icet below the surface, at iv.aor.age in DorfetuWr. Much joth. A fpesimen of the wart? luatd of i'canant ijxtrut'bjhh of Liniveus),
wis th's day brought to me, which had been found, al^n^ with fever il others, in fome bua*iles of thatch that hid lain near a pond fince the latter enJ of autumn. The animal had taken ihelter in thefe a* a retreat tor the winter. 1 have never before fcen any of th=fe animals in this gravelly neighboured ; and although I arri informed that there are alfu fro^t in Come places, yet it is more thin rtx year? fince 1 li\v one here.
1 he flower-buds of the black or floe thorn, begin to appear and feveral of the wall-fVwiT trees are in bloom. The eaiterly winds and frofty nights have huwevcr greatly checked th^ progrefsof the Latter.
In the lait week of this month a Tery targe salmon wa* caught by an angler, with ar, aitiftcidl fly. The river trout, as well as the roach and dace begin to feed, and flay about the fuiface of the dreams and rivers. Ham£ shire.
MONTHLY AGRICULTURAL REPORT.
HTHE check which the young wheats have received during the present month, has 1»e*n extremely beneficial in preventing the over luxuriance which the fineness or" thr preceding month had caused in all thofe which had been put in at an early period. It has likewise had a good effect on those which were late sown, which on the whole look well. Jn England and Wales, Wheat averages 9ls. lOd. per quarter; Barley, 44s. lid.; and Oats, Sis. 6d.
The badness of the weather, and the snow which har, fallen in many parts during this month, has much retarded the business or the field, in different situations, much less seed-grain having been got into the ground than would otherwise have been the case. In many places the lands have been so soaked and saturated with water, that it has been quite impossible la sow them.
The grazing stock of all kind*, hi«, however, gone on well, as much food had been procured by the warmth of the weather in March. Grass Lunib is just getting plentiful in r.'ie country as well as town markers. The p'ices of all descriptions of fat stock however still keep up.—In Smithfield Mirket, Eeel' fetches from 5s. to 6>. 4d. per stone o:" 81b. j Mutton, from 6s. 4d. to 6s. Bd.; and Pork, from 6s to 7s.
There are plenty of Potatoes for setting this season; but the extent'of land which has been planled with them this month, has nut been nearly so great as usual, probably'from the badness of the season.
The business of repairing the fences, ar.d of dressing and rolling the grass lands, ha> in many places been ,well performed.
[n Smilhrield Market, Hay laches from 51. to 61. 10s. per load; Clover, from 61, 10-'. to 71. 16s.; and Straw, from 11. 143. to 11. 18s.
MI-. 1 EOROLOGICAL REPORT.
Observations on the State of the Weather, frnm the 24th of March, to the 2Uh
oj A/ml, 1805,'inclusive, Four'Miles N.N.W. of St. Paul's.
The quantitv of rain fallen since our last report of it is equal to 5.32 inches in d-pth The average heat of the month is little more than \P, nearly the sam.- as it was for March Four or five weeks since, the Spring was looking remarkably toward; it is now exceedingly backward. The frost has more than once been very severe, and t..c ice from half an inch to an inch thick. On five or six days we have had snow j but the fall on Thursday and Friday, the 20th and 21st, was deeper than wc have ever known it so late
'" Th ".wage height of the harornetcr for the month has h-en 2?.54; of course we have had much rain. Our leaders will remember that we an: ciuated rain, at the time we closed our last rewort: the barometer led to the expectation, but we had a very srni.l quantity ti.l Chi beginning of the month. Oa the 14th, we had a. violent tiiundex-storm, acco.npamed with large hail-stones, which cut every thing to pieces in the garden. This, we have reason to believe, was paiti.il; at Islington and Hi.eligatc it wn slight, in comparison of what wau> experienced at Holiuway, where the weight of a cloud seemed to rush down with tremendous violence.
We can reckon hut seven or ei^hr orilliant days out of the thirteen ; and on sixteen we have had rain, snow, or hail j and on the ltth was a violent hurricane, that brought to the ground the newly-built nests of the rooks, which, as yet, are wholly undefended by the opening leaves.
The wind has blown chiefly from the Easterly quarters.
According to our Cnirespondent in the Isle of Wight, the average temperature for the fu:t three months of the present year is as tollows:
lanuary, 40'22 "J -r.. , , c..,
February, 4500 £ rh,s account "?» ,aUcn at bll'(le•
filuch 43- nearly. \ at" NcwPort'
ASTRONOMICAL ANTICIPATIONS. The new moon, or change, will be on the 14th, at four minutes past twelve, noon; and the opposition, or full moon, on the morning of the 29th, at 18 minutes past eight. On the evening of tl.e 2cith will take place another occultation of the star v in the constellation of the Scorpion, by the moon, and is the last of this star that will be visible in (ireat Britain, tor several years. The immersion will be .:t the eastern side of the moon'o disk at 4l| minutes past ten, apparent time; ana the st.u will emerge from behind her western edge at 54 minutes past eleven, after been occulted Ih. 9|m. Ac the time of the immersion, the stir will be lour minutes, and at.the emersion three minutes, tothe north of the moon's centre. At the time of the above phenomenon the clock will be 3 minutes 7 seconds behind the sun dial. The planet Herscle, or Geor^ium Sidus will be above the horizon almost the whole night. On the morning of the 1st, lie srts at 43 minutes past four, five minutes after sunrise, on tlir morning ot the Kith, at 44 minutes past three ; and on the morning of the 31st, at 45 minutes past two. On the 1st he may be found with the telescope 4° 53' to the west in longitude, .ind about 7 minutes to the north in latitu*:, of the bright star in the balance named a. On the Kith their difference of lonpitude will be 5° 30', and of latitude 7 minutes; and on the 31st their difference of longitude will be 6° 3', the star being still about 7 minutes to the south of the planet. Saturn will be a fine object for observation this month. He will be in opposition to the sun, or, which is the same 'hing, in his perige, on the morning of the 22d at four o'clock. The quantity of his re;roi?raJe motion for the month will be 2° 4'. On the morning of the 3d, he will come into conjuction with the v in the Scorpion, a s'ar ot the fourth magnitude, when their difference of latitude will be 32 jninutei, the :tar b'ing to the south, and On the morning of the 23J he will be in the same longitude with the $, a star of the second magnitude in the same constellation, the planet in this instance being V 3' to the north. Jujnter will be a rrorning st3r, lising an hour or two before the sun. Mars will be up in the evenings. Till the 20th his apparent motion in lcniiitudc will be retrograde. He will be stationary in 8" 54' of the anastrous sign Libra, 1° 24' in the west of the y in rhe Virgin, a star of the third magnitude. For the remainder of the month he will move direct, or according to the order of the signs. Venus will be an evening star till the 24th when she becomes a morning star. Her inferior conjunction happens on the morning of the 24th, at 40 minutes past seven. On the 1st her elongation from the sun, will be 3(1° 14', on the 4th 27° it', on the 7th 21" 2', on the 10th 20° W, on the 13th 16" 'to, on the 16:h 12° 5', and on the lllth 7" S5'; after whicli she will not be readily seen with the na^ed eye, on account of her then near approach to the sun. The telescopic appearance ot this planet will be extremely interesting this month. On the 1st, the will resemble the moon when she is about 3\ days old, or more correctly, like the moon when she is 4t| degrees !rom the sun. Till her inferior conjunction, the quantity of hcrilluminau'd disk which is turned to the earth will rapidly decrease. About the middle of the month she will become a very fine crescent, similar to what the moon pnos on, on her earliest appearance after a conjunction with the sun. Mercury, for the three first weeks, will be too near the sun to be observed without the aid of the telescope. On the evening of the 25th, about an hour after sun set, lie may be r.een nearly in conjunction with the northern horn of the bull, a star of the second magnitude, named likewise 0, their difference ol latitude being 3" 22', the planet being to the south. On the 22d Mercury sets at 12 n.inulti past nine ; on the 25th, at 32 minutes past nine; on the 2oth, at 18 minutes past nine; and on the 3lst, at or.e minute before ten. That singular star in the head of Medusa, characterised oy the Greek literal 3, may be observed twice at its ^ast brightness; vi«. on the morning ot the 1 jth, at 51 ruinutci past two; and on the evening of the 15th at 40 mibUUl jatt eleven.
Emla —In the Astronomical Anticipations for April, Line 3, for'■ south," rwr north; line V7, for " m.. litine," rtiul matutine: line 53, for "between 3 and 4 degrees," rc.ij bctwe;n 2 and 4 degrees.