Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/92

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leaves, except a few slightly hastate with ascending lobes, are naiTOwly lanceolate, entire, and obtuse. The inflorescence, instead of forming dense leafy spikes, consists of small distant axillary cymes. Anything more unlike normal C. riihrmn it is difficult to imagine,

A curions point about London introduced plants is the general preva- lence of some one species during a single year, and its only sparing recur- rence afterwards, in 18G7 it was impossible to examine a waste bit of ground without coming sporadically ujjon Setaria viricUs, Beauv. Last year Lepidium rtiderale, L., seemed to be eqnally widely dispersed ; within a short time I met with it at Highgate, Hampstead, aiid Teddington. It is not improbable that the grain used for feeding horses may each year, from market contingencies, come mainly from some one source. It seems qnite likely that the liorsebags of horses belonging to builders, cab- drivers, etc. may be a quite important means of distributing small exotic seeds in the environs of large towns. — W. T. Thiselton Dyer.

��Barometric Plants. — Linnaeus, in his 'Flora Lapponica,' writing on TrifoJium repens (274), states that is a common practice to predict (tanquam e Barometro) a coming storm by an inspection of this plant ; for when the air is hot then the leaves hang down, whereas when there is moisture in the air the leaves are erect. This holds, he remarks, not only for the Trefoil, but also for most plants which have declining stamens i^' dadinata, deorsum inflexa instar Carinas Naviculae." Phil. Bot. 1770, p. 219 ; cf. Babington, sub voce). All the flowers, too, generally con- verge (connivent) when a shower is impending, as though they knew that the water would interfere with the fertilization of the plant, for Avheu the fertilization has been effected no sucli convergency is exhibited (" quasi scientes aquam actum generationis turbare, coagulando vel diluendo fari- nara genitalem, cum actu generationis celebrato nulla conniventife signa ostendant"). He instances Mimosa, Cassia, Bauhinia, and their allies, as plants whose leaves converge every evening, even though there be no diminution of temperature. He concludes by asking what is the cause of this sensitiveness, and what change there is in the night air beyond the absence of light and heat? Dr. Hooker ('Student's Flora,' p. 79) states that the leaflets of Oxalis are pendulous at night, and often sensitive to light. Of Anagallis arvensis he remarks that the corolla opens in clear weather, and other plants besides those specified doubtless obey the same law. I would wish to repeat the question given above of the great botanist, in the hope that some reader of the Journal will be able to give an explanation of tliis curious phenomenon. Will the same explanation account for the perhaps more singular circumstance that the Trayopogon pratensis, L., closes at noon ? — Robert Tucker.

��Accent in Botanical Names. — Mr. H. C. Watson, on pp. 3 and 69 of vol. i. (1847) of his ' Cybele Britannica,' gives " for the benefit of lady readers or others who are not familiar with Greek and Latin names," his pronunciation of the word "Cybele." Dictionaries are on Mr. Wat- son's side, yet one Virgil, no mean poet, required for his verse, not Cyb-ul-e but Cyb-e-le. (See also Cyb. Brit. vol. iv. (1859), and 'Com- pendium,' preface, p. vi. (1870).) Now this word is one for which there are two pronunciations, I think, fairly allowable, if a Latin author may be cited as a good authority for his own language ; but what amazes me and

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