Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/250

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228 THE FLORA OF HYDE PARK AND KENSINGTON GARDENS.

doors, and studied without the help of a railway-ticket. This list may also prove acceptable as an attempt to throw together the floral records of our chief London breathing-place, and as a means of bringing up to a modern date the occurrence in Hyde Park of many species, uncon- firmed there since early in the present century or even an anterior one. All notice of trees is omitted in the present list. It might be interest- ing to give a list of such of these as have produced seedlings, as many have done ; but it would hardly come within the scope of this paper to do so. In many flower-beds seedling Rubl occur, a curious commentary on an idea once held that Ruhus was seldom propagated thus. There are also to be found in the ' Flora of Middlesex ' some curious notes on the age and species of several trees in our limits. Saynbiicns nigra and Salix viminaUs, S. frnr/ilis and S. triandra, occur in the gardens, but their claims are slender to admission in our Flora. Hedera, Cratagus, Digitalis, etc., occur, but all clearly through human agency. The most interesting plants in Hyde Park grow mainly in two pieces of ground. One is a strip of turf, of no great extent, beginning north of the Magazine and lying between the King Road and the ditch bounding Kensington Gardens on the west. Here Trifoliiim glomeratum, Ornifhopus, Carex mnricata, etc., gi'ow, and here Moenchia and Ciiscida used to be found. . I call this ground " the strip " sometimes for brevity in my list. The other noteworthy slip of turf begins at the end of a black wooden wall which runs south of the bar- racks to near the Humane Society's Receiving House and the Deputy Ranger's House opposite the Serpentine. It consists of the site of a road now grassed over, and runs west towards the Magazine, say, for about two hundred yards. Here Sagina ciliata, Plantago Coronopus, Festuca bromoidcs, and Trifoliiim filiforme may be found without much trouble.* It is most important in the present flora to specify, if the species was gathered in the open and apparently original turf, or whether it grew within the limits of artificial enclosure, in a flower-bed, in the circular hurdles used to pi'otect the trees from sheep, or in newly-sown grass- land. Plants in the first category alone (excepting, of course, the aquatics) ought •prima facie to be reckoned natives in this list, though plants which nearly always follow horticulture, like Solanum nigrum, may be just as native (or un-native) in a Kensington Garden flower-bed as in a Devonian cottage garden. What is meant may be shown by an example : — Chrysantheumm Leucanthemum within our limits is seen about thrice in open turf, twenty or thirty times under suspicious circumstances. Hence, without wishing to dogmatize, I incline to the opinion that this species is generally a casual in Hyde Park, however common a native it may be elsewhere. In fact, I would much rather, if possible, have omitted all notice in the present list of these flower-bed casuals, and newly-sown turf ephemerals, if I may use the expression. The plants of the genuine open park herbage are really the important matter in this record. What species, imported with garden-mould or grass-seeds, may manage to sur-

  • During a former residence in Cheshire, I made a careful list, through many

years, of every species found within a mile radius of my dwelling-place. It is worth mention that several plants belonging to the present list were absent from my Cheshire enumeration, — Tr if uliion glomeratum, Koeleria cristata, Sagina ciliata, Hordeum mnri//iim, Hordeum pratense, Senebiera Coronopics, and Arenaria serpylli- folia. The first three absences are likely enough, but the last four may surprise many a south country reader.

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