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A TABLE, shewing the Highest, Lowest and Medium Heat Thermometer, for Five Years, viz. 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789 tween Eight and Nine O'Clock at Night, by Fahrenheit's at Sunrise; between One and Two o'clock, P. M.; and be

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and 1790.

A. D. 1786. | A. D. 1787. | A. D. 1788. | A. D. 1789. | A. D. 1790.

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Highest.

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Monthly and Annual number of Days on which Rain or Thunder is mentioned
in Mr LINDSAY's Meteorological Journal, to have fallen from August 1785 to
June 1792.

1785.

1786.

1787.

1788.

1789.

1790.

1791.

1792.

Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun. Rain. Thun.

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The greatest quantity of rain appears to have fallen be

tween the months of May and November. Hail is mentioned in Mr Lindsay's Notes to have fallen on the 27th and 28th of August 1791. A smart shock of an earthquake, which lasted about half a minute, happened on 21st October. Another is mentioned on 1st July 1791.

A Description of the genus Malesherbia of the Flora Peruvi ana; with Remarks on its Affinities. By Mr DAVID DON, Libr. L. S.; Member of the Imperial Academy Naturæ Curiosorum, of the Wernerian Nat. Hist. Society, &c.

THE characters and habit of Malesherbia appear to me suffi

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ciently important to establish it as the type of a distinct natural group, to which the name of Malesherbiacea may be given. The necessity of attending minutely to the structure, both of the flower and fruit, is now universally admitted; and I wish it were as generally allowed, that the object of the botanist should be rather to point out the real structure and affinities of individuals, than to attempt extensive and unnatural combinations, in the present infantine state of botanic science: for it must be admitted, that nothing is more injurious to a system, than the unnatural association, either of genera or species; and perhaps nothing has tended more to retard the advancement of systematic botany, than the fear of an unnecessary multiplication of names, thereby inducing the contracted notion of retaining entire many heterogeneous orders and genera. If we but turn our eyes over the pages of works professing to be general Systems of Plants, we will find abundant evidence of the justness of what has been advanced; and if we but consider how few individuals in any of the extensive genera or orders have been investigated with that care and precision by which the true nature of their parts, and their relative affinities, can alone be ascertained, we should not perhaps be so averse to their separation into smaller groups. The Malesherbiacea agree on the one hand with Passiflorece, and on the other with Turneraceae. They differ from the former in their erect ovula; in the insertion of the styles; in their ascending incumbent anthers; in the placentæ not extending above the separation of the valves; in their naked seeds; in their thick, fleshy, almost hemispherical cotyledons; and finally, by their great difference in habit, and by the absence of stipules at the base of the leaves. From the latter (Turneraceae), with which they agree well in habit, and in the structure of their fruit, in their erect ovula, in the structure of the anthers, and in the furrowed nature of their seed-covering; they are essen

tially distinguished by the presence of a corona, and in the persistent nature of the inner series of the floral envelope; by their incumbent anthers; by the insertion of the styles; by the placentæ being confined to the lower half of the capsule; by their straight embryo, and by the form of the cotyledons; and, lastly, by the absence of the fleshy scale (probably the rudiment of an arillus) at the base of the seed. The Malesherbiaceæ appear to be related also in a certain degree to Loaseæ, whose characters and affinities are yet but imperfectly understood. M. Auguste de St. Hilaire, in his valuable memoir on the affinities of the Cucurbitaceae, has already pointed out the affinity of Turneracea and Loaseæ to Passifloreæ.

The genus Malesherbia was established by Ruiz and Pavon in their Genera Plantarum Flora Peruviana et Chilensis, published in the year 1794, and dedicated to the memory of the unfortunate M. Lamoignon de Malesherbes, a distinguished philosopher, and a great lover of botany, who fell a victim to his zeal for the cause of justice and humanity, and for the ho nour and glory of his country, in the early part of the French Revolution. The genus was subsequently published by Cavanilles, in the fourth volume of his Icones Plantarum, under the name of Gynopleura; but what was his object in changing the name does not appear, neither is it a matter of any importance. I shall now proceed to give a botanical description of the group, which may equally be considered as that of the genus.

MALESHERBIACEÆ.

PASSIFLOREARUM genus, Juss.

Perianthium monophyllum, tubulosum, membranaceum, inflatum, coloratum, nervis decem in limbo diffusè ramosissimis, è basi sursum peragratum: faux coronâ continuatâ brevissimâ membranaceâ v. acutè dentatâ v. 10-lobâ, laciniis 2-4-dentatis, ornata; limbus duplici ordine 10-fidus, uterque persistens, patulus, æstivatione imbricatâ; interiore petaloideo, æstivatione convolutâ. Stamina 5, hypogyna, exserta, apici columnæ inserta, laciniis interioribus perianthii opposita: filamenta filiformia, glabra, compressiuscula: antheræ lineares, retusæ, biloculares, filamentis mediatè annexæ, incumbenti-erecta: loculis parallelis, margine longitudinaliter dehiscentibus, ab insertione' filamenti ad apicem ferè usque confluentibus.

Pistillum: ovarium apici columnæ adnatum, subglobosum, obscurè triangulare, uniloculare: ovulis erectis, biseriatim indefinitis, fu

niculo umbilicali stipitatis: styli 3, longissimi, capillares, glabri, persistentes, valvis capsule alternantes, et inter ipsarum bases inserti: stigmata simplicia, clavata, disco concavo pruinoso. Capsula elongata, trigona, 1-locularis, apice trivalvis, dehiscens, polysperma, basi membranacea: valvis crustaceis.

Placenta costa 3, prominentes, funiculis persistentibus seminiferis stipatæ, parieti capsulæ infra dehiscentiæ locum insertæ, axique valvarum perpendiculares.

Semina erecta, obovata, ventricosa, duplici serie ordinata, fuscescentia, funiculo umbilicali stipitata, apice strophiolâ fungosâ laceratâ, basi umbilico tuberculiformi aucta, extùs sulcis plurimis parallelis æquidistantibus longitudinalibus transversè rugulosis notata: testa duplex; exteriore crustaceâ, crassiusculâ; interiore cartilaginea membranaceâ: albumen copiosum, carnosum, aqueopallidum.

Embryo erectus, teres, axilis, lutescens, albuminis ferè longitudine: cotyledones orbiculatæ, crassæ, hinc convexæ, inde planæ, penè hemisphærica: radicula teres, crassa, obtusissima, recta, cotyledonibus longior, centrifuga.

Plantæ (Peruviæ v. Chili apricis propriæ) erecta, ramosissimæ, pubescentes, caule infernè suffruticoso. Folia alterna, simplicia, exstipulata. Flores numerosissimi, axillares v. terminales, solitarii, sessiles, lutei.

MALESHERBIA, Ruiz et Pavon, Gen. Plant. Fl. Peruv. et Chil. p. 45..

Gynopleura, Cav. Icon. iv. p. 52.

Obs. Character idem ut in ordine.

SPECIES.

1. M. thyrsiflora, foliis lineari-lanceolatis acutis sinuato-dentatis tomentosis, perianthii fauce coarctatâ, coronâ decemfidâ: laciniis 2-4-dentatis.

Malesherbia thyrsiflora, Ruiz et Pavon, Fl. Peruv. et Chil. iii. p. 30. t. 254.-Syst. Veg. Fl. Peruv. et Chil. p. 79.

Gynopleura tubulosa, Cav. Icon. iv. p. 52. t. 375.

HAB. In Peruviæ apricis argillosis provinciarum Cantæ, Huarocheri, et Caxatambo (Ruiz et Pavon, Dombey); prope oppidum Purruchuco, 18 leucis à Limâ frequens, etiamque juxta Obragillo et San Buenaventura.-Ludovicus Née. h.

Floret Aprili et Maio.

Planta suffruticosa, 2-3-pedalis, foetida, hirsutissima. Folia conferta, sessilia, lineari-lanceolata, acuta, obtusè sinuato-dentata, suprà leviter canaliculata, basi aliquantulum attenuata, 2-3-uncialia. Flores flavi. Perianthium tubulatum, sesquipollicare. Corona laciniis alternis exterioribus segmentis perianthii oppositis angustioribus, plerumque bidentatis.

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