Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/388

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


The si2;nifieation of some names is often very obscure; in other names it is easy to be found, e. g., kntoe-ioemjkoel (pron. katootoongkool), tlie name of a species of Polygala of the subgenus Chamcchiixm. Toeuylcod signifies to Imn over; ka is the prefix for the passive form ; /oe a very common reduplication. The whole name is derived from the fact that the pericarp is leaning over the seeds ; the seeds are thus considered passive, and the plant named after the seeds. I am persuaded that, by a careful study of the Sundanese language and of the names of plants, it will be easy to find other similar interpretations.

I cannot agree with Mr. Motley, when he says that the Sundanese do not possess a written language. They employ characters which are nearly similar to the Javanese ones. Their literature is not very extended, but they possess some manuscripts.

It would be very desirable that a general manner of spelling were adopted for all the vernacidar names ; for, as all the botanists have written them after their own pronunciation, a comparison is hitlierto impossible. To prove this assertion, I might cite the Malayan names, collected by English and Dutch botanists. The importance of this remark is very obvious in comparing the vernacular names of Palms, given by Griffith.


Professor Babington was so obliging, a year or two ago, as to send me a sketch of an arrangement of the British Willows, based upon the methotl of Dumortier.* Duiuortier's writings I have not seen ; but Fries in his Novit. Fl. Suec. Mantiss. prima, p. 37, anno 1882, refers to two ar- rangements suggested by that botanist, of the former of which, taken from the nectary, he says that it is " omni atteutione iligna." I may remark that Koch, in his ' Commeiitatio de Salicibus Europaeis," anno 1828, did not fail to notice that characters are to be derived from the nectary ; and constantly refers to the proportion between the pedicel and the nectary in the different species, apparently knowing nothing of Dumortier's observations ; and even Seringe, anno 1815, remarks that " Les glandes Horales ou nectaires presentent aussi quelques caractcres." Both Fries and Dumortier, it would seem, from Professor Babiuiiton's paper, adopt pretty much the same subgenera. I hope an old-fashioned observer of Wdlows may be pardoned for thinking that, in a natural genus like Salix, it is inadvisable to distract the student's attention by the introduction of new subgeneric names, if it can be avoided ; and es- pecially of names which do not carry an obvious useful meaning on the face of them, but are rather a burden upon the memory.

With a view to contribute something, so far as I am able, towards establishing clear and workable characters in this difficult genus, I wouhl now beg to be permitted to make a few remarks on the sectional cha- racters proposed by Mr. Babington in his interesting paper.

Section 1. FUisalix, Dumort. Mr. Babington says, Catkins and their leafy stalk deciduous together. Nectary of two pieces ; vernation convo- lute. The peduncle (the leafy stalk) of the catkins in the Pentandrce, Fra-

  • Published iu this Joiu-iial, Vol. I. (18G3), pp. 167-172.

�� �