Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/276

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254 PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES.

been separated Ijy British botanists into Geum, elegans, dentnta, Idrsuta, ■nmljrusa, pimctata, and serrata. It has been stated that those of the Pyrenees are jjeculiarly distinct, and that the forms found in Irehind are by no means identical or possessing the same characteristics ; that the truly blunt crenate-leaved variety does not exist in Ireland. The anther considered that all the forms of the Eobertsonian saxifrages found in Ireland, in the south-west parts at certain elevations, were identical with those of similar ranges of elevation in the Pyrenees, and on the mountain ranges of Portugal. The singuhir fact of the peculiarly distinct varieties of form of the saxifrages may arise from their proximity to each other. In testing experiments with the seeds of vmhrosn, he had found that the greater number of the seedling plants assumed the Geum form. All the varieties retained their characters permanently when cultivated from otf- sets. In the second edition of the ' British Flora,' by Sir William Hooker, the subject of the saxifrages, although fully given, is cautiously dilated on, especially with reference to the hypnoid group ; and the observMtions of subsequent years have verified the views that were cer- tainly then formed, — that the opinions of botanists were very variable as to what is and what is not a species. The connnon form of Saxifraga umbrosa of the western parts of Ireland varies much from the true umbrosa of the Pyrenees, the former having the leaves obovate, with sharp cartila- ginous notches, the latter with the leaves bluntly crenate. All the forms of Geum found in Ireland are identical with those of the western parts of Spain and Portugal. Among the forms exhibited was a very fine species of Geum, found in the Great Blasket Island, coast of Kerry, at the extreme western point of that island, exposed to the western gales and sprays of the Atlantic. The drawing of the plant was taken from a spe- cimen in full flower by the late George V. Du Noyer. This beautiful saxifrage is remarkable in having a series of glands of a rich rose colour, surrounding the base of the ovary, which gives a remarkal)lc appearance to its iuHorescence. Mr. A. G. More has noticed at the entrance of Dingle Harbour, exposetl to the spray of the sea, remarkably large and strong forms of Gtmn. The author continued : — " Another form [^S*. Andrewsli\ I wish to exhibit, in order that botanists in their excursions in this coun- try may recognize it by its form of leaves. It has already been described by the late Dr. Harvey, and although so distinct from other forms of vmhrosa in the foliage, yet in that variable group no specific sepai-ation could be formed on such characters. It is in the floral organs that the distinction is maintainable, and these are so remarkable that it would puzzle botanists to assert with certainty how hybridization could have produced characters of the ovary, which cause its affinity to plants whose periods of flowering and perfecting their seeds are at an early and late period of the season. This, as Mr. C. Watson expresses in the ' Cybele Britannica,' is a botanical puzzle, and one that renders it very dithcull to withdraw from its botanical distinctness. I have lately given Mr. A. G. More the exact locality of this rare form, and fully expect that in the course of this summer he will be able to verify this as he has done other of my discoveries. I may refer to some remarkable specimens oS. Saxifraga stellaris obtained on moist rocks in one of those wild mountain retreats near Loc Coomeatheun, county Kerry. It appears very distinct from the more hirsute and more compact forms met on the Connor Cliffs opposite the Brandon range. The floweriii"; stems are of far luore elongated

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