Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/256

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can Phylloxera upon the tender European varieties of grapes. These injuries became so serious that in 1872 the trouble was known not only in France, but in Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and England, and the entire grape and wine industry of Europe was threatened with annihilation. Riley became much interested in the problem of controlling the pest and finally hit upon the plan of grafting the susceptible European varieties upon roots of the resistant American species. This simple expedient undoubtedly saved the grape industry of Europe and also incidentally prevented a tremendous loss of money.

The second case was one of purely scientific value and interest. Dr. George Engelmann had noted that the character of the pollen of Yucca indicated that pollination of the flowers must be accomplished by some kind of an insect. Riley took up this hint and finally, with the aid of his assistants, discovered that the pollination was actually performed by the Pronuba and Prodoxus moths. This line of work was continued for twenty years, and a series of publications upon it issued at various times during this period.

Incidentally his work was of interest to botanists in many other cases, but these two seem especially noteworthy. He won an enviable reputation among entomologists the world over. He died the latter part of the year 1895.

Because of her botanical work, as well as her association with Dr. Eiley in working out the pollination of Yucca and other problems. Miss Mary E. Murtfeldt deserves mention. In 1885 Professor S. M. Tracy, then of Columbia, Missouri, published a list[1] of the plants of the state. In this list one finds many species from the vicinity of St. Louis credited to "Murtfeldt" as their collector. These specimens were collected by Miss Murtfeldt not long before the publication of the "Tracy" list and are still in her possession, forming a collection of about 500 numbers. Miss Murtfeldt's first scientific work was in botanical lines, but this later changed to entomology, her botanical knowledge being indispensable in following out the life histories of new or little known insects upon their host plants. Many of her later botanical specimens are of much interest from the entomological standpoint and were prepared for that purpose alone. Miss Murtfeldt is well known among entomologists for her work, which has been mostly of this nature.

In 1874 Mr. Henry Eggert, as he was known, came to St. Louis, went into business, and began the study of the local flora and the formation of an herbarium which probably represented the flora of that vicinity at the time of his death, the best of any in existence. Eggert came to America from Prussia when about thirty years of age; he had already collected and studied the plants of different sections in Europe,

  1. Tracy, S. M., "Flora of Missouri," Mo. State Hort. Soc. Report (Appendix), 1-106, 1885.