Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/344

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316 PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES.

nomenclature. What was wanted was a comproniisp, a set of terms which would admit of satisfactory definition from a structural point of view, and which would be of practical use to those who described plants. It was absurd to go on loading our text-books with mere terms which taught

nothing, and were never used. Prof. Lawson thought that all terms

found in books ought to be taught to students! If this were not done, they would be utterly at a loss when they came upon a term which had

never been explained to them. Prof. Perceval Wright said that

manuals of botany were regarded as too little subject to change. They

were very much open to improvement. J. Birkbeck Nevins, " On tlie

Development of the Vascular Tissue in Flowering Plants." Neil

Stewart, " An Inquiry into the Function of Colour in Plants, or into its Relationship to the Manner of their Illumination during Different Stages of their Development." The author read, this paper, which was very long, in abstract. It was difficult to obtain a clear conception of his views. He was himself in doubt as to "whether he was deluded by a hobby, or hovering on the dawn of a new botanical philosophy." His notion seemed to be that the colour (and form) of flowers was controlled

by advantage of the n flections of light from one part to another.

Dr. li. Bi-own, On the Distribution of the Flora of Xorth-west America." The chief point brought out in this paper was that, instead of one homo- geneous flora to the north of Mexico and to the west of the Rocky Moun- tains, there were several. The chief of these were, (I.) The flora to the west of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada Mountains, and (2.) the flora to the east of that range and between it and the Rocky Mountains. There were various subdivisions, but these two were the chief ones. Then there was the Arctic flora by the shores of the Arctic Sea, and until you <;ame south of ihe range of mountains which runs up the peninsula of Aliask, the Athabascan, or flora of the country to the immediate east of the Rocky Mountains, maintained its ground. There was an alpine floi-a of a similar nature on the Rocky and Cascade Mountains, though slightly varying according to the latitude. The whole north-west American is peculiar, and, as Oersted, of Copenhagen, pointed out, of a character almost insular. He diftered from Dr. Asa Gray in thinking that there were few .Japanese elements in the North-west American flora.

Amjud \hth. — Excursion to Ben Ledi, under the guidance of Professor Balfour and Mr. Sadler. About 100 persons attended this excursion. Several alpine plants were noticed, e. g. Thallctniin alplnuni, Siletie acaulis, PoJijstichnm Lonchitk, and Hymtnopliyllam Wihoni.

Section E. Geography. — Aurjnst Si-d. — Colonel Yule, C.B., pre- sided. — Captain Miles, "On the Somali Coast." The Exports from Bunder Murayah are frankincense, gum arable, ' mulig,' indigo, and mats. Indigo grows wild, and is sent to Moculla and Shehcr, where there is a great demand for it. The mats are made almost exclusively of the 'ow' or leaf of the Donm {Hyphcene) and wild Date Palms, the latter being preferred ; they are dyed of two colours only, red and black ; the red dye is a mixture of ashes, 'fooah,' saltpetre, and camel's dung, but they are acquainted with several plants that produce a red dye. ' Mulig,' or as the Somal call it ' gero,' the fruit of the Doura Palm, is a nut with a hard and thick rind ; it is cut in half, dried, and strung for export. The kernel is perfectly insipid, and requires an immense deal of mastication ; it has nothing to recommend it, but is much eaten by the natives as a

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