Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/431

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425
A ROUND-THE-WORLD BOTANICAL EXCURSION

Other things might he mentioned to show that in the strenuous material development, the humanities have not been forgotten.

Naturally, as soon as I arrived in Sydney, I went to Professor Maiden, the director of the Botanic Gardens, well known to botanists by his work on Eucalyptus, the most characteristic of all Australian trees. I had expected to get from him some information and advice, but I was entirely unprepared for the splendid hospitality and generous assistance which I received and am still receiving, for he not only gave me valuable material from the garden and sent a competent collector to accompany me during my trips in the vicinity, but he has had the histologist of the gardens prepare some of my material for future use.

In many ways, the gardens at Sydney surpass any I had ever seen, and I have seen the gardens at Kew and Berlin. Palms from Mexico, Chili, the West Indies, the South Sea Islands and other places, grow as well here as they do in their native haunts (Fig. 5). Here, too, are tree ferns and other ferns, and gorgeous flowering trees like the flame tree (Poinciana regia) with its flaming red flowers, and Jacarandra mimosæfolia, a Brazilian tree fifty feet high and bearing great clusters of lilac-colored flowers before the leaves appear. Characteristic of all the Australian gardens are the various species of Araucaria and Agathis. Most of these beautiful trees, shrubs and ferns are too large to be grown effectively in a greenhouse and can not be grown out of doors in our latitude on account of the cold winters, so we can never hope to see in this country a garden like that at Sydney.

In addition to the botanical display there are numerous statues. The judgment displayed in their selection is beyond criticism, for you see no crude productions of local genius, but classics, like Castor and Pollux, the Farnese Hercules, the Discobolus, and others of equal merit.

An excellent museum and a large herbarium, devoted principally to Australian material, add to the scientific value of the gardens.

Three genera of cycads grow in Australia, Cycas, Macrozamia and Bowenia, the first ranging from Japan to Australia, and the other two being confined to Australia. The cycads in the gardens include all the genera of the family, except Microcycas, and the collection of Macrozamia is, beyond doubt, the finest in the world. After studying this splendid collection and spending a day at Avoca, where Macrozamia spiralis forms such dense thickets that one can hardly crowd his way through, I went to Brisbane, 725 miles north of Sydney, but still 100 miles south of the Tropic of Capricorn.

Here, again, I sought the botanical gardens, and at once met Mr. F. M. Bailey, the government botanist, author of the Queensland Flora. Although more than eighty } r ears old, he is still at work and was able to describe accurately the habitats of all the Queensland cycads. His