Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/307

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
277
SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

the illustrations — simple portraits, generally reduced as befits the size of the page — are from drawings made on the spot. The author seems to hesitate when he differs from Dr. Asa Gray, but he need not. If he has seen the Atamasco lily in bloom in May, while Gray had not the opportunity so to see it; if he finds a certain aster, supposed to be peculiar to southern New England, common in New Hampshire; if he finds colors and shadings which Gray knew not, or has a clearer vision of their distinctions; or if he knows other facts or has seen other qualities in flowers which Gray did not, he is able to add to knowledge, it is his duty to tell of it, and he deserves thanks. An alphabetical index at the end of the book gives the names, colors, and localities of familiar flowers of the United States, with a floral calendar.



GENERAL NOTICES.

The Haandbog i den Systematiske Botanik of Dr. E. Warming has long been recognized as an original and important contribution to the literature of the subject. The present translation, by Prof. Potter,[1] from the third Danish edition and from Dr. Knoblauch's German edition, has been enriched by numerous additional notes kindly furnished by the author. Besides Dr. Knoblauch's revision of the fungi, the bacteria have been revised by Dr. Migula, the Florideæ rearranged after Schmitz, and the Taphrinaceæ after Ladebeck. Instead of rearranging the orders of the Angiosperms according to the systems more familiar to English readers, the sequence in the Danish original is retained. One of the principles of this arrangement is thus defined by the author: "Each form which on comparative morphological considerations is clearly less simple or can be shown to have arisen by reduction or through abortion of another type having the same fundamental structure, or in which a further differentiation and division of labor is found, will be regarded as younger, and as far as possible, and so far as other considerations will admit, will be reviewed later than the simpler, more complete, or richer forms." In an appendix are given an outline of some of the earlier systems of classification and a more complete account of that of Hooker and Bentham. A full index is provided.

The plan and general character of Prof Vine's Student's Text-book of Botany were explained in our notice of the first half volume in the Popular Science Monthly for July, 1894. This work is completed in the second half volume,[2] now before us. The subject of classification is continued, beginning with Group IV, Phanerogamia (or Spermophyta) — the preceding groups including the Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta — and completed, and the physiology of plants is considered. The province of physiology is defined by the author as being "the study of those phenomena which, taken together, constitute the life of the plant; in other words, while morphology is concerned with what plants are, and histology with their structure, physiology deals with what they do." The performance of their functions by the organs of the plant being materially affected by various external conditions, "the object of physiology is not only to distinguish and study the various functions and to determine the relation between them and their internal structure and the external forms of the organs performing them, but also to determine what are the external conditions by which the performance of the external functions is affected, and the modes in which these conditions exert their influence." A very complete index is given in two parts, "Classification and Nomenclature," and "Morphology, Anatomy, and Physiology."

  1. A Handbook of Systematic Botany. By Dr. E. Warming. With a Revision of the Fungi. By Dr. E. Knoblauch. Translated and edited by M. C. Potter, M. A., F. L. S. With 610 Illustrations. Pp. 620, 8vo. London: Swan, Sonnenschein & Co. Price, 15s. New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, $3.75.
  2. Student's Text-book of Botany. By Sydney H. Vines, M. A., D. Sc, F. R. S. With 469 Illustrations Pp. xvi + 431-821, 8vo. London: Swan, Sonnenschein & Co. Price, 7s. 6d. New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, $2.