Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/267

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


SHOKT NOTES AND QUERIES. 245

were unexpanded, and of a solid, globular form ; and we, at first, supposed they were buds that would eventually open out into double flowers, such as are not uufrequently met with in Cardamine pratensis. On examination, however, this abnormal development was found to be due to the attack of minute insects, small yellow grubs, very similar to the larvfe of the Wheat Midge {Cecidomya Tritici), that are so often found amongst the chafF scales of wheat. Each flower contained a dozen or more of the parasites. The flowers themselves had become strangely altered. The sepals were thickened and otherwise somewhat enlarged, green and persistent ; the petals pei-- sistent, unaltered iu texture but purple in colour ; the filaments mur-h swollen, but the anthers quite unaltered ; and tlie pistil considerably enlarged. The peculiar thickening of the pai'ts of the flower was, no doubt, due to the puncture of the parent insect when she deposited her eggs, as is the case in- all kinds of galls, rather than to the efl'ect of the larvae feeding on the juices of the flower. In fact, the flower was partially converted into a gall, — a nidus for the young brood of insects ; but it is sti-ange that an injury of this kind should have caused such a very marked change in the colour of the petals. — Robert Holland.

��Stellakia umbrosa, " Oj)itz." — I found this well-marked and striking form of Stdlaria media in June last, growing abundantly in and near Morley Wood, near Mobberley, Cheshire, as well as in one or two other places in the neighbourhood. It is stated in Eng. Bot. ed. 3. ii. 95, to be of rare occurrence, and to be " most probably a sub-species," in which opinion I concur. Besides the characters there given, the size of the flowers — about midway between those of typical S. media and S. nemorum — would at once attract the attention even of a casual observer. — James Britten.

��Dracocephalum tiiymiflorum, L. — T am not aware that this plant has been previously recorded as an introduction ; but have lately received a specimen gathered in a clover-field near High Wycombe, Bucks. I am informed that there were several large plants of it in this locality ; and from the same field I have since YCceyvitAFarsetia iticana and i\\\ Authemis, probably A. tinctoria, but the specimens were too young for positive determination. The Dracocephalum. is a north and east European species. — James Britten.

��Economical Use of Scirpus lacustris and of S. maritimus. — It may be worth notice that the soft culms of S. lacustris are largely used in the manufacture of casks for the purpose of caulking the spaces between the staves and between the boards of the heads of the barrels. Another Scirpus, S. maritiiims, may be mentioned as supplying from the tubers of its rhizome a part of the food during winter of the grev-leg wild goose, Anser ferus. My frieiul Mr. Basil Brooke found in the crops of some of these wild geese, which he shot during the past season near the Murragh of Wicklow, a quantity of the tubers of the Scirpus, which abounds in this locality. Withering tells us that the roots of S. maritimus dried and ground to powder have been used instead of flour in times of scarcity. — A. G. More.

�� �