Botanical Gazette/V09/Schweinitz and American Hepaticea

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Schweinitz and American Hepaticae
by Lucien Marcus Underwood

Published in the Botanical Gazette, Vol. 9 (1884), p. 63.

Schweinitz and American Hepaticæ.— The paper which Schweinitz as a mycolologist, in the February Gazette, suggests his relation to the study of American Hepaticæ.   Michaux was the earliest writer on this group, describing 13 species, five of which were new (Flora II, 276-280), but Schweinitz published the first work devoted entirely to the hepatics.  The work is now rarely seen, having been printed at Raleigh in 1821.  Its full title is as follows: "Specimen Floræ Americæ Septentrionalis Cryptogamicæ sistens Muscos hue usque in Am. Sept. observatos."  As its title indicates, the work is entirely in Latin, and contains in its 27 pages descriptions of 77 species of which 12 are regarded as new, if we include Targionia orbicularis,1 which had been partially described by Michaux as Jungermannia orbicularis.  Of thes, 58 belonged to the single genus Jungermannia, not broken up then as now, into so many genera.  Of the eleven described as new, one, Riccia lutescens, has remained unchanged; one Jungermannia clypeata, remains as Phragmicoma clypeata, Sulliv., while the remainder, viz., Jungermannia ciliifera, J. ditans, J. bipinnata, J. platyphylloidea, J. transversalis, J. oblonga, J. sinuata, Anthoceros lacinatus and A. jungermanioides are consigned to the fellowship of other synonyms which so sadly mar(k) American botany, representing, as they do, an over ardent ambition unaccompanied by sufficient patient investigation. — Lucien M. Underwood, Syracuse University.

[Note. — In this connection it seems appropriate to say that Mr. Eugene Rau writes that Schwinitz was born in 1780, not 1794, as the February Gazette has it. — Ed.]