Transactions of the Linnean Society of London/Volume 10/On a remarkable Variety of Pedicularis Sylvatica
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V. On a remarkable Variety of Pedicularis Sylvatica. In a Letter to Alexander MacLeay, Esq. F.R.S. and Sec.L.S. By James Edward Smith, M.D. F.R.S. P.L.S.
Read February 7, 1809.
I have lately been favoured by the Marquis of Stafford with a specimen of a remarkable variety of the Pedicularis sylvatica, gathered by his lordship last summer on his estate in Sutherland. It consists of a solitary flower of that plant, which, instead of its proper ringent form, with two long and two short stamens, has a salver-shaped regular corolla, with six stamens, four of which are longer than the others. There is also what appears to be the style partly changed to a petal, and yet bearing a membranous expansion like one side of an anther. I conceive therefore that this is really an attempt at a seventh stamen, though become partly a petal. There is however no other sign of a style. The Marquis sought in vain for another specimen; but it is remarkable that Mr. Hooker and Mr. Borrer found one resembling it in the same neighbourhood this very season.
This specimen is very interesting to me, as being another instance of the same kind of variety as I have noticed in Galeopsis Tetrahit at Matlock. See Flora Lapponica, ed. 2, 201. I have also had in my own garden some regular salver-shaped flowers of
|228||Dr. Smith on a remarkable Variety of Pedicularis Sylvatic||a.|
Chelone barbata on the very same branch with the proper ringent ones. Such accidents are frequent in various species of Antirrhinum and Bignonia. They should be kept in mind by all students of systematical arrangement, as a warning not to expect that our artificial rules can keep pace with the intricacies of nature.
|I remain, &c.|
|J. E. Smith.|
Norwich, February 4, 1809.