Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/91

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Plants of the Northern Suburbs of London, 1870. — The vegetation of tlie outskirts of London includes a curious collection of waifs and strays. It is often exceedingly puzzling to trace their source, though sometimes the c'ue seems more obvious. This was the case with a new road near South End Green, Hampstead, which had been made but never used. The flint ballast with which it had been covered was almost hidden by the rank-growing plants, amongst which were some large and conspicuous bushy individuals oi Atriplex marina, L. Although this has been recorded for Middlesex by Petivcr (see ' Flora of Middlesex,' p. 236), it is usually so exclusively a littoral species that it makes the presump- tion very strong that the road had been made with shore-ballast. The Kev. W. M. Hind's locality for A. Bahiur/totiii, Woods, between Kilburn and Kensal Green (vide 'Flora of Middlesex,' p. 238), was on sea- gravel. With A. marina, L., there was a curious assemblage of plants. Heliunthus annuiis, L. ; Linaria minor, Desf., abundant and of a large size (this has otherwise seemed quite confined in Middlesex to the western half) ; Scrra/alciis secaliii/is, Bab. ; S. arvei/sis, Godr. ; Jjolinm temulentum, L. A very handsome Folygonmn seems to me to be the true P. Pensylvanicmn, L., though ]Mr. Watson, to whom T submitted a per- haps hardly sufficient scrap, prefers to call it P. lapatJiifolium. The colour of the perianth, a bright deep pink, gave the plant a gay appear- ance, suggesting an exaggerated state of P. Fersicaria, from which, how- ever, the abundantly glandular peduncles at once separate it. From F. lapatldfoliiim it is easily distinguished by the erect racemes and exserted stamens ; but, of course, if P. Persicaria and P. lapathifoUum were united as is done by Mr. Bentham, the aggregate species would have to include P. Pensylvanicum also. Besides the irrepressible Atri- plexes, Chenopodiums, and Polygonums of London suburbs, there was a tall-growing Chenopodium which, although very near C. opulifolium, Schrader, seems quite distinct from it, not having its rhomboidal obtuse, almost 3-lobed leaves. I am inclined to think it a more generalized type of that segregate of C. album, L., of which C. candicans, Lamk., is a rather abnormal state, certainly owing something of its habit to growing with cultivated crops. My plant was a good deal branched with long leafy branches, the leaves sparingly mealy, ovate-rhomboidal deeply- toothed, and exceeding the short axillary spikes of mealy flowers. Except that the foliage was greenish rather than glnucous-white, this agrees on the whole with the G. album, L., of Boreau (Fl. du Cent, de la Fr. 2078). The cornfield plant, which is the C. album of the Linnsean herbarium, has the toothing of the leaves shallower. Syme must have had some such plant as mine in view when he speaks of candicana reaching three feet in height, and being " rarely much branched." (E. B. vol. viii. p. 14.) C. opulifolium has a glaucous mealiness over a rather dark green surface, which comes out through it in drying. When growing, it has besidfes a pecidiar fades, from the branches being mostly long and simple, and rather sparingly supplied with foliage. It is a plant making its way steadily into notice in the environs of London.

Chenopodiums sometimes present themselves in a very anomalous guise, and perhaps the most puzzling form I have come across is a state of C. rubrum, L., from near Cricklewood, Middlesex. I speculated at first on the possibility of this being a hybrid, but the plants were stunted antl some of them injured, which may account for the peculiarities. Tiic

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