Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

fact she did succeed in breaking most of them, but eight were obtained uninjured. These were set under a common hen, but only one bird was hatched, and it died soon after. In the spring of 1830, the hen capercailzie laid eight eggs. Of these she broke only one, and, settling in a motherly manner on the other seven, she sat steadily for five weeks. On examining the eggs, however, they were all found to be addle. “It is to be remarked," Mr Cumming here observes, “ that in 1829 and 1830 the hen had access only to the cock that was brought home with herself.”

In the early part of 1831, three apartments were ingeniously formed adjoining one another. The hen was placed in the central chamber, between which and the enclosure on either side, each of which contained a male, there was an easy communication ; so contrived, however, that the female could have access to both the males, whilst they, from their greater size, could neither approach each other, nor disturb the female as long as she chose to remain in her own apartment. In May and June of that year she laid twelve eggs, seven of which were set under a common hen. Of these, four were hatched in an apparently healthy state, one was addle, and the other two contained dead birds. Of those left with the capercailzie hen, she broke one, and sat upon the other four, of which two were hatched, and the other two were found to contain dead birds. Of the two hatched one soon died. Both the barn-door hen and the female capercailzie sat twenty-nine days, from the time the laying was completed till the young were hatched; and Mr Cumming calls my attention to the fact, that there were birds in all the eggs of this year's laying except one.

My visit to Braemar took place about the first week of last August. I think all the five young were then alive, and although only a few weeks old, they were by that time larger than the largest moor-game. I had no opportunity of handling them, or of examining them very minutely, but the general view which I had of them, at the distance of a few feet, did not enable me to distinguish the difference between the young males and females. They seemed precisely the same at that time both in size and plumage, although I doubt not the male markings must have soon shewn themselves on the young cocks. The single surviving bird of those hatched by the mother died of an accident, after living in a very healthy state for several weeks. Two of those hatched by the common hen died of some disease, the nature of which is not known, after lingering for a considerable time. It follows that there are only two young birds remaining. These are both females, and when I last heard of them some months ago, were in a thriving condition.

The whole progeny were fed at first, and for some time, with young ants,—that is, with those whitish grain-shaped bodies, which are the larvæ and crysalids in their cocoons of these industrious creatures, though commonly called ant's eggs. At that period they were also occasionally supplied with some tender grass cut very short. As soon as they had acquired some strength, they began to eat oats and pot barley, together with grass and the various kinds of moss. They are now fed like the three old birds, chiefly on grain and heather tops, with the young shoots, and other tender portions of the Scotch fir. I am informed that the distinction between the sexes had become very obvious before the death of the young males. The plumage of the latter was much darker, their general dimensions were greater, their bills larger and more hooked. These characters became very apparent during November and December. The old males have never yet had access to the young

birds, so that it has not been ascertained whether they entertain any natural regard for their offspring, or would manifest any enmity towards them. From the continued wildness of the old birds, especially the males, it was found difficult to weigh them, without incurring the risk of injuring their plumage. However, the male which arrived in 1829, and which then appeared to be a bird of the previous year, was lately weighed, and was found to be eleven pounds nine ounces avoirdupois. Judging from appearances, it is believed that the weight of the old hen would not much exceed one half. There is, indeed a striking disparity in the dimensions of the sexes in this species.

I have not yet heard the result of this season's courtship. The intention is, as soon as some healthy broods have been reared in confinement, to liberate a few in the old pine woods of Braemar, and thus eventually to stock with the finest of feathered game the noblest of Scottish forests.

WoodvilLE, 6th June 1832.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

......

...

12

January,..
February,
March,
April,..
May,
June,
July,
August,
September,...
October,
November,
December,

[ocr errors]

Inches. Inches. Inches.

Inches. Inches. 8 4 16 3 3 10

2 3

8 29.19 30.35 29.64 52 61 56 274736 0.60 0.76
10 5 6 7 7 5 7 6 3|| 28.76 30.09 | 29.82 | 53 | 63 57 305342 3.22 3.91
14
4) 1 1 71 29 4

4 | 29.02 30.42 29.99 | 55 63 59|40|55 47 3.61 4.15
11 18 1 3 71 1 4 1 4 10 | 28.92 30.10 29.5 586360 43 58 53 1.59 1.95

4 25 2 8 2 7 2 6 6 || 29.28 30.09 29.72 ||52 68 | 60 | 42 75 60 1.33 0.90 11 19 5 3 8 1/13

29.29 30.02 29.74 | 63 69 65 | 58 73 64 2.67 2.98 11 20

2 413 3 1| 4|| 29.22 30.20 29.76 | 6372 67 59 7966 3.80 3.74 12 19

2

6 2 11 3 5 2 || 29.39 30.14 29.76 | 62 73 67 59 77 67 2.91 2.49 11 19

5 5 8 4 6 1 1 || 29.31 30.07 29.68 | 60 | 65 | 62 |57| 65 | 60 2.51 2.61 17 14 9 10 12

29.03 30.18 29.45 58 67 6351 63 57 6.49 6.70 13 6714 5 3 4 5 13

28.85 30.26 29.56 53 65 58 3455 46 5.57 5.61
17 9 5

9 2 7 3 3 7 28.38 30.38 | 29.45 55 5359 | 33 | 59 44 3.51 4.18
139 170 39 17 || 9 80 34 9335 67 2 45 | 29.05 30.19 29.67 || 57 66 61 ||44|63 53 37.91 39.98
185 109 56 15 || 18 79 35 91 55 65 7 15 | 28.95 30.13 29.51 | 54 66 58 39 59 49 | 39.51 45.04

61 2 1 2 2 30 .10 .06 .16 3 3 5 4 4 1.60 5.06 45 17 9 1

5

1830,

11 20 Description of several New or Rare Plants which have lately

flowered in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and chiefly in the Royal Botanic Garden. By Dr GRAHAM, Professor of Botany in the University of Edinburgh.

June 10. 1832. Andromeda tetragona.

A. tetragona ; foliis quadrifariam imbricatis, appressis, subtriquetris, ob

tusis, glabris (?); pedunculis elongatis, solitariis unifloris ; corollis

campanulatis.-Spreng. Andromeda tetragona, Linn. Fl. Suecic. ed. 2. No. 356.--Willd. 2. 607.

-Wahlenb. Fl. Lappon. No. 200.-Pursh, Fl. Amer. sept. 1. 290.

Spreng. 2. 289. Andromeda pedunculis solitariis lateralibus, corollis campanulatis, foliis

oppositis obtusis imbricatis revolutis. Gmel. Fl. Siberic. 4. 120. No.5. DESCRIPTION.—Stem erect, woody (about 5 inches high) naked near the

base, and marked by the origin of fallen leaves, much branched; branches suberect, the lower decumbent at the base and rooting. Leaves (two lines long) in four rows, closely imbricated, sagittate, concave in front, triquetrous and furrowed over the midrib behind, blunt, slightly pubescent, particularly in native specimens, but the degree seems to vary, as does the colour, which is bright or dull green. Peduncles axillary, solitary, at first short, afterwards much elongated, slightly pubescent, sheathed with scales at the base. Flower drooping. Các lyx 5-parted, greenish, tipped with red, glabrous, persisting, segments gibbous at the base. Corolla white, campanulate, somewhat contracted near the mouth, which is 5-cleft, the segments blunt and spreading. Stamens included, filaments shorter than the pistil, erect. Anthers yel. low, each with two slender spreading hispid bristles. Pistil scarcely longer than the stamens; stigma obtuse; style persisting, straight, slightly tapering upwards. Germen roundisb-oval, obscurely 4-lobed, depressed at the insertion of the style, and surrounded at the base by a wrinkled glandular ring. Capsule erect, nearly globular, glabrous, having 5 loculaments, the dissepiments arising from the centre of the valves, which are inflected in their apices. The seeds of this interesting little plant, which surely will yet be found

indigenous in Britain, were kindly communicated to the Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, by Dr Richardson and Mr Drummond, on the return from North America of the last expedition under the command of Captain Franklin. It flowered, for the first time, in April 1832, in the same border with, but a little later than, its beautiful compatriot Andromeda hypnoides. We have two varieties: one only has yet, by flowering, rewarded the judicious cultivation of Mr Macnab. It is the lighter

coloured, and considerably the freer growing of the two. Arbutus pilosa.

A. pilosa ; caule frutescente, procumbente, piloso: foliis ovato-ellipticis,

ciliato-serrulatis, coriaceis, apice muticis, callosis; pedunculis axillari.

bus, unifloris, elongatis, nutantibus; antheris quadri aristatis. DESCRIPTION.--Stem branching from the root, prostrate, red, twiggy, co

vered with thickset, harsh, spreading, rusty-coloured hairs. Leaves (9 lines long, 4} broad) scattered, spreading, and being turned to the light, are distichous, coriaceous, naked and shining on both sides, dark green in

The pre

front, pale behind, ovato-elliptical, with a callous tip, but no mucro, veined, serrulate, each serrature being tipped with a hair similar to those on the stem, a very few also occasionally exist on or near the middle rib behind. Petioles short, subappressed, and with rather tumid axillary buds. Peduncles sparingly covered with a few fulvous hairs, solitary in the axils of a few of the terminal leaves, of which they are equal to one. half the length. Bracteæ ovate, scattered upon the peduncle, adpressed, larger and fewer upwards. Calyx 5-cleft, persisting, white, glabrous within and without, spreading, segments ovate, acute, gibbous at the base. Corolla (3 lines long) ovate, white, 5-toothed, teeth blunt and revolute. Stamens 10, arising from a small green disk; filaments white, covered with minute pubescence, swollen immediately above their origin, and there somewhat concave on their inner surface, subulate upwards; anthers yellow, attached by their backs, ovato-oblong, each loculament with two small ascending awns, in front of which it opens by a pore. Stigma small, red, terminal, very obscurely 5-lobed. Style erect, cylindrical, included, colourless. Germen ovate, green, rather more than half the length of the style, and equal to the filaments, slightly covered with obscure pubescence, and depressed on the top, where the style is inserted. This species is nearly allied to A. mucronata, which flowered in the Botanic

Garden lately, and is figured in Bot. Mag. t. 3093., but is easily distin-
guished by the character given above. They undoubtedly belong to the
same genus, but whether they should be left as species of Arbutus, or re-
moved to Gualtheria or Arctostaphylos, or erected into a new genus, must
be chiefly regulated by the fruit, which I have not seen. I doubt whe-
ther the calyx, though persisting, will become berried as in Gualtheria,
but the anthers are, as in that genus, provided with 4 awns.
sent species is a native of Mexico, and was raised by Mr Neill from seed
received from Mr Don. From Mr Neill we received it at the Botanic
Garden. In both establishments it flowered during May, and is per-

fectly hardy. Epacris ceræflora.

E. ceræflora ; ramulis tomentosis ; foliis lanceolatis, acuminatis, patentis.

simis; floribus patulis, pedunculatis, secundis ; calycibus acutis, ci.

liatis, tubo corollæ longe brevioribus. DESCRIPTION.— Stem ercct, branched. Branches tomentous, purplish.

Leaves lanceolate, acuminate, dark green above, paler below, mucronate, subpetiolate, spreading wide. Flowers collected near the extremities of the branches, white, secund, peduncled, patent. Calyx segments lanceolate, ciliated. Corolla, tube obscurely pentagonal, thrice as long as the calyx, pitted on the outside between the calyx segments, and having nectarife. rous depressions under the corresponding elevations within, somewhat contracted upwards; limb revolute, segments subacute. Stamens subexserted; filaments alternating with the nectariferous pores, and adhering through their whole length to the inside of the corolla ; antliers dark leaden-coloured, pollen granules white. Stigma capitate, sublobate, flattened on the top. Style glabrous, somewhat thickened above its base, and again contracted, tapering a little towards the stigma. Germen green, glabrous, subrotund. Unripe capsule subturbinate, pitted at the insertion of the style.

Seeds erect, on a central placenta. This species, a native of Van Diemen's Land, was raised at the Botanic

Garden, Edinburgh, from seeds communicated by Mr Newbigging, and likewise by the Rev. Mr Craig, in January 1831. It flowered for the first time in April and May 1832, the plants being still very small. It

appears to be ripening seed abundantly. Francoa appendiculata.

F. appendiculata ; caulescens, foliis lyratis, denticulatis utrinque pubes

1

« AnteriorContinuar »