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It is with unusual pleasure that I offer my annual address to the readers of the 'Phytologist.' Fully aware of the cordial good feeling that exists among British botanists towards this journal, I am confident they will receive with satisfaction the announcement that the sale has considerably increased: the amount produced by the sale during the half-year ending the 30th June, exceeded that of any previous half-year; and I learn, although the accounts are not yet made up, that the half-year ending the 31st December is likely to exhibit a still further increase. This satisfactory state as regards finance is accompanied by one equally satisfactory as regards contributions : these have been so numerous as to compel me to publish a third sheet on two occasions, making forty-eight pages instead of thirtytwo. I hope this abundance of matter will still continue to flow in, as I shall never object to the extra cost of printing: indeed, if the press of matter required it, I should have great pleasure in seeing the work permanently enlarged, for I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that the present price of the 'Phytologist' will not bear comparison with that of the popular periodical literature of the day; and can only be justified by a reference to the extremely limited section of the reading public that feels an interest in the annals of British Botany; and when the purchasers are few the charge must be comparatively high.
The papers have been rather of a general than particular character, and the additions made to our botanical knowledge greater than those to our list of species. Among the former I need scarcely remind the reader of Dr. Planchon's admirable paper on Ulmus (Phytol. iii. 34), Mr. Watson's on two allied species of Malva (iii. 221), on the Filago germanica of Linneus (iii. 313), &c., and Dr. Bromfield's on the
Plants growing wild in Hampshire, still in course of publication. Among the latter the following may be enumerated, although it must be observed that many of them are rather additional names than additional species: they are mostly forms, which have been either confused with more familiar species, or only distinguished from them as varieties. Those which do not come under this category may be referred to that of the introduced plants.
Trifolium elegans (Phytol. iii. 47) is recorded by Mr. Hewett Watson as having occurred in clover-fields in Surrey, doubtless introduced with imported seeds.
Filago Jussiai (Phytol. iii. 216) is announced by Mr. G. S. Gibson as a British species, occurring in the counties of Cambridge and Essex. Subsequently Mr. Hewett Watson explained that it is identical with the F. spatulata of Presl and Jordan, which he finds in various parishes in Surrey (Phytol. ii. 313). Apera interrupta and Orobanche Picridis (Phytol. iii. 269) are mentioned in a Report from the Botanical Society of London, Mr. G. S. Gibson having presented specimens of the two plants to that Society; the former discovered near Thetford, by the Rev. W. W. Newbould, and the latter found by the same botanist, at Comberton, near Cambridge.
Alsine rubra, var. media (Phytol. iii. 321). Under this name Mr. F. J. A. Hort records the discovery of a plant in the counties of Devon, Dorset and Pembroke, which is supposed likely to prove a species distinct from A. rubra, and which has, indeed, been described as such by Fries and others. Melilotus arvensis (Phytol. iii. 344) is recorded in a Report from the Secretary of the Botanical Society, as having been presented by Mr. G. S. Gibson, from the neighbourhood of Saffron Walden, in Essex.
Potentilla mixta, Mercurialis ovata, Carex Kochiana, Triticum biflorum and Fumaria agraria (Phytol. iii. 328) are announced as British plants by Mr. Mitten, in the 'London Journal of Botany,' for October; and particulars respecting
them may be seen in the 'Phytologist' for the succeeding month, as above referred to.
Carex bryzoides has been reported wild in Britain, but no sufficient notice of its locality has hitherto reached the 'Phytologist.' Nor, indeed, can we say whether there is anything better than newspaper authority for its existence with us.
The following additional localities are of considerable interest:
Adiantum Capillus- Veneris. Phytol. iii. 11. Mr. H. E. Smith records this fern as growing on the Peak of Derbyshire. This inland habitat is very singular, and I should be much gratified at receiving confirmation of the fact.
Linaria supina. Phytol. iii. 29. Mr. Westcombe records the occurrence of this species at Hayle, in Cornwall, thus adding a second county to its geographical range in this country.
Filago gallica. Phytol. iii. 48. Recorded by Mr. Watson as found by Mr. Varenne near Berechurch, Essex. Long recorded as British, but few botanists had ever seen a British specimen.
Carex punctata. Phytol. iii. 57. Phytol. iii. 57. Found near Charlestown, Cornwall, by Mr. Westcombe. Recorded only from Caernarvonshire and Guernsey previously.
Filago apiculata. Phytol. iii. 269, 310, 317. The first notice of this plant as a distinct species, appeared in the 'Phytologist' for 1846 (Phytol. ii. 575), with a description by the Rev. G. E. Smith, to whom English botanists are indebted for having their attention called to its claims to specific distinction. The correctness of Mr. Smith's view appears now in a fair way towards being generally recognized and admitted. The plant occurs in various counties, although reported only from Yorkshire previous to 1848.
In conclusion, I beg again to offer my warmest thanks to those
contributors and subscribers to whom I am so much indebted, and without whose cordial co-operation my exertions would be altogether futile. Far be it from me to insist on the value of these exertions, or to claim any kind of merit for the display of botanical acumen in my selection of papers for this journal. My motto has ever been "the smallest contribution thankfully received," and on this principle have I uniformly acted, accepting with eagerness the humblest addition to the stores of science. I firmly believe that this is the true principle of progress; and I hope that no British botanist, from John O'Groat's to the Land's End, will hesitate to record his observations in the fear that they may be judged unworthy of insertion.
9, Devonshire Street, City, December, 1848.
Note on the British Rubi, 181; Occur-
Variety of the Garden Primula, 128
Note on Alsine rubra, var. media, Bab.
of Leicestershire, with Addenda
Note on the Death of Mr. William