Imágenes de páginas

grayish specks, and the leaves are of medium size, dark shining green, with very wavy margins.

Size, medium, about two inches in diameter, and two and a half long: Form, obovate, regular, tapering towards the stem, below which it is slightly contracted : Skin, fair, smooth, lemon yellow when mature, considerably russeted around the stem, and on one side: Stem, short, about half an inch long, rather slender, slightly knobby, and inserted with scarcely any cavity by the side of a slight projection : Eye, medium size, open, and slightly depressed in a small basin; segments of the calyx short, broad, and apparently united : Flesh, yellowish, fine, melting and juicy : Flavor, rich, sugary and delicious, with a peculiar delicate aroma : Core, medium size: Seeds, large, long, and nearly black. Ripe in October, and keeps some time.

ART. II. The Strawberry Question. By the EDITOR.

Start not, dear reader! We do not intend to open anew the whole subject of the strawberry question which has been agitated for several years, and now so satisfactorily settled. Our object is merely to notice the opinions of some writers in regard to our Seedling, and to show how little they know of its true character.

In our last volume, (XII. p. 359), we fully discussed the subject of the fertile and sterile character of strawberries, and stated that a series of carefully conducted experiments had convinced us that the blossoms never change their form. If pistillate or staminate, they forever remain so. We also stated, in reply to Mr. Saul, of the Highland Gardens, (p. 455), that every cultivator who found staminate plants in his beds of Hovey's Seedling might rest assured that he did not possess the True variety.

Mr. Downing, who ought to know our strawberry without looking at the blossoms,--for we have scarcely a gardener in our grounds who cannot pick out Hovey's Seedling by the leaf alone, among a dozen other sorts,--has stated that his beds of plants change from staminate to pistillate, and from pistillate to staminate, according to the age and vigor of the plants. So convinced had he become of this being a "fixed fact,” that, with becoming modesty, he offered to prove his doctrine by sending to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, in 1847, twelve plants, in pots, of the staminate Hovey's Seedling

Now mark the result. Agreeably to his statement, Mr. Downing did send twelve plants to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in June last, for the Committee to examine and substantiate his views. But judge of the disappointment which followed this liberal offer to prove his theory. The plants duly came to hand, and the committee were totally surprised at the result. Was it possible so great an error could be committed by a nurseryman and an author ? In the place of Hovey's Seedling, which every cultivator could detect at once, some spurious variety was received, having no resemblance to the original whatever, the foliage being small and narrow, and the trusses of flowers of an entirely different form. So apparent was this, that the plants did not need examination, and those who saw them could not conjecture how a pomological writer could venture to send such plants until he had taken some pains to ascertain their genuineness by some other mode than the staminate blossoms: for it argued that the true variety, though now spread all over the United States, was quite unknown to Mr. Downing.

Such is the basis of his modified theory that "some perfect blossomed sorts have a tendency to vary into barren forms”; and these twelve plants are evidence, introduced by himself, to show that a little observation, and the least practical knowledge of the subject would have long ago convinced him of its utter absurdity.

We might notice some of the statements which are occasionally made, that individuals who procured their plants of Messrs. Hovey & Co. have found some staminate sorts among them: those who are conversant with the habits, character and cultivation of the strawberry are aware that seedlings are constantly springing up from the berries which partially decay on the vines: if there are any who do not know this, they are referred to English writers, and we may here allude

to an article in the Transactions of the London Horticultural Society by Sir George Stuart Mackenzie, (Vol. VII. p. 342). He states " that many berries decay and are passed over, and inferior ones are not gathered. The seeds from these drop, and new sorts come up, and if runners from these are taken, of course they are not the true kind.” This accounts for the staminate plants, which, after a year or two, spring up, and if, in making new beds, the plants are not selected by those who know them by some other way than the “staminate flowers,” the error will be perpetuated, and inferior sorts be the result.

Not long since, we noticed that some western cultivators had purchased staminate Hovey's Seedlings of some of the Eastern urserymen, who had found such in their beds, and supposed they were the original form of the variety: and notwithstanding we have repeatedly asserted that the original plants were the same as they are now-imperfect, having the stamens, but few or no anthers-still they imagine that their short acquaintance with the variety is better than the testimony of the originator, before whose eye they have constantly been for thirteen years. It would be quite useless to argue the question with those who hold such absurd notions.

We may, therefore, repeat that Hovey's Seedling, when true, must have some staminate variety to impregnate it, and, for this purpose, we use exclusively the Boston Pine, which is fully equal to it in every quality but size; being a week earlier, the most productive of all strawberries, of delicious flavor, and only about one quarter less in size than Hovey's Seedling, averaging four inches in circumference.

ART. III. On the Transplantation of the Coniferous Forest

Trees (Pines, &.c.), of New England to the Southern States. By Dr. A. MITCHELL, Portland, Me. In a Letter to the Hon. H. A. S. DEARBORN. Communicated by Gen. Dearborn.

Since my last communication to you, I have received a letter from Dr. Bacon, informing me that he has been suffering



from a severe attack of rheumatism, which has prevented him from making a full report on the culture of the Arrow Root; and promises to do so as soon as he recovers. In my previous communications to you, I hinted at making a few cursory observations on the difference of success in the cultivation of plants, and transplantation of trees, from altitude of mountains and elevated lands in the same line of latitude, and those taken from a similarity of soils, more on a level with the ocean in adverse latitudes, whether high or low. It appears you have communicated my previous letters, which were published in the Boston Magazine of Horticulture, edited by C. M. Hovey, Esq., of which I acknowledge the receipt of May and July numbers. I was truly pleased with the perusal of a paper so admirably adapted to the wants of this country, eliciting so much valuable and practical information, which should meet the most sanguine wishes of every lover of Horticultural pursuits and Botanical science: liberal favors should be extended to such a work as the present, and also the one to be published on the Fruits of America, which, we hope, will meet with a large share of public patronage.

In the autumn of 1840, I suggested to several gentlemen of Charleston, S. C., the probability of success in the transplantation of some of our coniferous forest-trees, to their region. They replied to me that the experiment had been tried for several years, and had invariably failed; although every thing had been tried to crown their efforts with success. Notwithstanding this discouraging answer, I was determined to try the experiment, and impose on them the enterprise; knowing that many of their specimens were taken from the elevated table-lands of that State, or the swamps of our country-with the roots denuded of earth, often shipped in the spring-arriving there withered by exposure. With these hints of the supposed cause of failure, I accordingly selected a soil in this country, as our sandy plains in exposed situations, to take up my trees, having in view the similarity of soils in Carolina, in which I was to transplant them; they were principally the Balsam-fir, intermixed with varieties of the Spruce, amounting to some hundreds, varying from one to six feet in height, taken up the latter part of October, with a large ball of earth on their roots, and packed in crates. They arrived there safe

with the exception of some of them being heated and spoiled by remaining too long under the hatches, and would have been liberally purchased, had there not been a popular clamour against them, that they would not live; yet I suggested the propriety on the plan proposed of a gradual acclimation, by not placing them at first in too exposed situations. I, however, succeeded in distributing them for a small remuneration; and, as a lone solitaire of the Balsam--fir was said to exist in the precincts of the city, I busied myself in hunting it up. On finding the tree alluded to, it proved to be a species of the white pine, (Pinus Strobus), growing in the garden at the neck, belonging to the Hon. Joel R. Poinsett, a gentleman well known in the science of Horticulture, as well as his able compeer, the Hon. Thomas Bennett. Some weeks elapsed, and I made an excursion into the country, and, when visiting a plantation belonging to Mrs. Lynah, 1 accidentally discovered a tree of the Balsam-fir growing in this lady's garden on the banks of Stone River. This tree was thriving luxuriantly in the most exposed situation, under the direct rays of the sun, on an elevated sandy ridge; this native of my hills had undergone, by acclimation, a remarkable change, its acerose leaves nearly twice as large, presenting a brilliantly varnished appearance, with its foliage of a rich deep-green, and a healthy structure throughout. The lady informed me that a gentleman from Massachusetts presented this tree to her some time in the fall-six years previous. This encouraged me as to the future success of those I had transplanted; and I had the satisfaction of seeing many of them without much care pass through the first and second summer in a thriving condition, as, out of the city in some places, five out of seven succeeded ; since that, I can give no farther information concerning them, but have not the least doubt that success would have been certain had the trees been younger, or seeds had been obtained from trees growing in exposed situations in soils similar to those of the south.

The surest way for the collection and arranging of facts, in the acclimation of plants, is to devote our attention to Botanical Geography. Thus, plants or trees of the same family do not thrive nor succeed so well when transplanted from elevated and mountainous regions to the plain, however contiguous

« AnteriorContinuar »