Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/237

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SHORT NOTES AND QUERIES. 215

the lower branches are plentifully furnished with spines. What is very remarkable is the late period — the beg-inninf^ of May — at which it flowers, corresponding as to this, not with our Pears generally, which are in blossom quite a fortnight or three weeks before, but with the Apple and Crab, or being a few days later than the last in unfolding its petals, which are often prettily tinged with pink on the outside. This spring it has bloomed very freely, and 1 have secured a supply of specimens for the next distri- bution by the Club. The elongation of the rachis of the cyme, mentioned by Dr. Boswell Syme, seems a constant character, as well as the densely woolly calyx. Although this occurs in a hedgerow away from houses, yet I do not regard it, or any other form of Pyrus communis growing about Plymouth, as indigenous, for I have never met with the Wild Pear in a wood or copse ; and even when it occurs in hedgerows, it is often as a single bush. It is, moreover, uncommon ; for a dozen years' botanizing in the neighbourhood of Plymouth has revealed it to me at only about as many stations. — T. R. Archer Briggs.

Stratiotes ALOiDES IN CENTRAL CHESHIRE. — A curious instance of the appearance, diffusion, and sul)sequent extinction of Stratiotes occurred on Taljley Lake, near Knutsford, the history of which may be worth put- ting on record, as bearing upon the question of the nativity of this local species in Britain. A shallow arm of Tabley Lake was, some twenty-five years ago, completely choked up in places with the Water-soldier. The passage of the pleasure boats was much impeded, and fishing rendered difl^cidt. This lake is an artificial piece of water, covering many acres, made early in the present century. It was originally stocked with fish from many of the surrounding pits and meres, — a natural enough way for Stratiotes to have arrived also, since the plant is widely, though thinly, dis- tributed through all the adjacent district. At Booths, Alderley, and Winchara I have personally observed it, while local Floras increase tliis list of contiguous stations. Any one, therefore, who wishes to investigate the claims of Stratiotes to be a native of this country, will do well to visit the plain of Central Cheshire. AVith regard to the Tabley Stratiotes, the plant was forty years ago so obnoxious that the trustee of the property, an ardent angler, caused an iron grating about 30 feet wide to be erected at a point where the lake runs through into a piece of water of lower level, — these expensive precautions being taken solely to prevent plants of Stratiotes being washed tiirough and populating the lower water to the same extent which they had already done the upper ; a submerged " Water-pine " being an enemy most formidable to fishing lines. But I suspect that, as far as my memory reaches, — that is, some twenty-five years back, — Stra- tiotes, though still very abiuulant, had begun to wane in Tabley Lake. Fifteen years ago it had become scarce, and about ten years l)ack the very last plant disappeared. I have reintroduced it into two of the park ponds. In each case some sixty or fughty plants have been the result in two years from some half-dozen imported specimens. This summer 1 have had no op- portunity of visiting these ponds, which lie on each side of the " Serpen- tine " bridge ; but any of your Manchester readers who are passing in that direction will probably find them full enough just now of Stratiotes in flower. I think tlic local name " Water-pine " fidly as felicitous as the more classicd " Water-soldier." — J. L. Warken.

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