Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/244

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New Publications.

Mycological Illustrations, being Figures and Descriptions of New and Rare Hynunomycetous Fungi. Edited by W. Wilson Saunders, F.R.S., F.L.S., and Worthington G. Smith, F.L.S., assisted by A. W. Bennett, M.A., B.Sc, F.L.S.

This is a work which will be cordially welcomed by all British mycologists. The authors propose to publish a series of coloured figures of British Hymenomycetous Fungi, to be confined principally to such as are new or rare, but to include occasionally other species which, although well known, may not have been hitherto satisfactorily figured. This first part consists of 24 plates, containing figures of 30 species, of which 18 belong to the genus Agaricus, 6 to Cortinarius, 1 to Lactarins, 1 to Coprinis, 1 to Gomphidius, 1 to Cantharellus, and 2 to Boletus. To those who are acquainted with the artistic powers of Mr. Wilson Saunders and Mr. W. G. Smith, it is hardly necessary to say that the figures are excellent. Of the 30 species drawn, 14 have not been figured before, and some others only in works by no means easily accessible. There is little to be said by way of criticism. A few remarks only have suggested themselves in looking through the text and plates. Cantharellus radicosus {pl. 1) shows, in a marked manner, how deceptive a character size may be without the examination of a large series of specimens. This plant was described in the 'Annals of Natural History' (1866) as having a pileus three-fourths to one inch across. The pileus of the largest plant shown on this plate is nearly three inches in diameter, and the authors state that some specimens found in Epping Forest were much larger than any they have figured. The pure glutinous white of Agaricus nucidus can hardly be shown in a drawing. Specimens occasionally occur having the dark tint shown in plate 5, fig. 2; but the foxy tinge of the pileus, stem, and ring in fig. 1 leads to the supposition that the drawing was made from specimens past their prime. The same remark applies to A. lignatilis (pl. 6, fig. 4), the cold dead white of which is as difficult to represent as the slimy pileus of A. mucidus. Some of the fungi figured are of considerable beauty, and of these the most striking are, perhaps, Gomphidius glutinoses var. roseus, Cortinarius dibapkus and carulescens, and Boletus calopus. Coprinus lagopus also is extremely elegant. A few places will be found in which the text and the plates are not quite in accord, and to which it may be worth while to call attention. The gills of Agaricus sinapizans and Cortinarius stillatitins are described as emarginate, but the sections (plates 2 and 3) do not exhibit this structure, and the same remark applies to Cortinarius caninns (pl. 15). The stem of Boletus pachypus, as shown in the drawing (pl. 17), cannot be called reticulated. In Agaricus dispersus (pl. 24) the stem is described in the text as about two inches long, but if the stems in the drawing are measured, they will be found to be very nearly seven inches in length. It may be doubted whether the pileus in A. hydrophilus is not rather too darkly-coloured; but it is stated that the specimens were gathered after much rain, which may account for a departure from the normal tint. In conclusion, it is much to be hoped that this most useful and interesting publication may meet with sufficient support to enable its energetic editors to issue further parts in quick succession. F. C.