Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/261

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


289

ON THE GENUS FALLOPIA, Lour. By H. F. Hance, Ph.D.

In his ' Flora Cochinchinensis,' published at Lisbon in 1790, Loureiro described, under the name of FaUopia nervosa, a small tree which he referred to the Linngean class and Order Polyandria Monogynia, with the following generic character: — " Calyx communis 12-phyllus, foliolis lan- ceolato-linearibus deciduis, continens 3 flosculos. Perianthium proprium nullum. Petala 5, ovata, subpatentia, calyce longiora. Nectariuin foliolis 5, ovato-oblongis, parvulis, erectis, sequalibus. Starainum filamenta 50 circiter, filiformia, iufequalia, receptaculo inhserentia ; antherse subrotundse. Germen subrotundum, siiperum ; stylus crassus, subulatus, brevior slami- nibus ; stigma simplex. . Bacca subrotuuda, 1-locularis, 4-sperma. Se- mina subrotunda." He states it to inhabit waste places around Canton, and to be about eight feet high, with spreading branches, a tenacious hemp-like bark, ovate-lanceolate nerved subserrate smooth leaves, and white flowers in small terminal clusters.

Willdenow, who republished the work at Berlin three years later, added notes, with a view to correct the faulty determinations of Loureiro, and to reduce to their proper places as synonyms the many genera erroneously described by him as new. Since, however, he passes over FaUopia with- out any observation (i. 109), it is evident he could make nothing of it. Nor do subsequent botanists appear to have been more successful. I have searched for it in vain in De Candolle's ' Prodromus,' Bartling's ' Ordines,' Eeichenbach's ' Conspectus ' and ' Repertorium Herbarii,' Perleb's ' Clavis,' Endlicher's ' Genera ' and ' Enchiridion,' Lindley's

  • Natural System ' and ' Vegetable Kingdom,' Meissner's ' Genera,'

Dietrich's ' Synopsis Plantarum,' and Bentham and Hooker's ' Genera ; ' and I believe I am correct in saying that it has escaped the notice of all modern systeraatists, and so to say, slipped out of memory, being found neither as a received genus, a synonym, or even relegated to the limbo of " plantae incertse sedis," in any classification of the vegetable kingdom. The only reference to it with which I am acquainted is in the ' Cliinese Chrestomathy ' of the late Rev. Dr. Bridgman, published at Macao in 1841, where it is mentioned (p. 458) as growing wild on the islands near Macao ; and it is added that the leaves are gathered by the Chinese as a substitute for tea.

I had long been greatly perplexed as to the shrub intended, and had for several years made from time to time fruitless efforts to discover it ; and it is only quite recently that inquiries instituted by friends amongst the Canton herbalists have resulted in Grewia Mlcrocos, L., being pro- duced as the plant known by the Chinese name given by Loureiro. The characters assigned to FaUopia, through a misconception of the floral structure, by Loureiro, would have scarcely led one to suspect this to be the plant intended by him, but I have no doubt such is the case ; and, when these characters are properly interpreted, they will be found to agree very well. Thus, the 'calyx communis' is the involucre, the number of whose component bracts is not mentioned by De CandoUe, Koxburgh, Wight and Ariiott or IMiquel, but stated by Dietrich (Synops. Plant, iv. 238) to be 7, and by Bentham (Fl. Hongk. 42) to be 3 to 6, but which I find 8 to 10, and some of these not unfrequently laciniate or

�� �