Report of the botanist ..., for the year ..

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Material Information

Title:
Report of the botanist ..., for the year ..
Alternate Title:
Report of the botanist for the year ..
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
United States -- Division of Botany
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher:
G.P.O.
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:
Frequency:
annual
regular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Botany -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )

Notes

Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began with 1869; ceased with 1901.
Numbering Peculiarities:
Report year ends June 30.
Numbering Peculiarities:
No report printed for 1871, 1873, 1875, 1877.
General Note:
Title varies slightly.
General Note:
"Author's edition."
General Note:
At head of title: 1889- U.S. Department of Agriculture.
General Note:
Vols. for <1888-> are the Author's edition. From the Annual report of the Department of Agriculture for the year ... ; vols. for <1899-> are reprinted from the Report of the Secretary of Agriculture.
General Note:
Description based on: 1888.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 026605373
oclc - 11386272
Classification:
lcc - QK1 .U58
System ID:
AA00025957:00001

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.&UTIIOR'S EDITION'.


FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
AGRICULTURE FOR THE YEAR 1886.


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REPORT


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?HE


BOTANIST


DR. GEO.


VASEY,.


FOR


THE


YEAR 1886.


WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.


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WASHINGTON:
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
1887.


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REPORT OF THE BOTANIST.

S
SIR: There is in agriculture a conservative tendency to follow in the
beaten path of precedent. Hence it is that so small a number of plants
are known in cultivation. Very few of the great mass of laborers can
afford the time for and the risk attending experiments on a large
scale, yet there are very few who cannot devote a little care to the trial
of new plants, especially in localities where the ordinary kinds do not'
prove wholly satisfactory. For instance, the common red and white
lovers came to us from Europe, and are almost the only kinds known
in cultivation, whereas we have many native species which seem to
have the qualities of hardiness, vigor, and size, which would probably
render them valuable for the purpose of cultivation.
In those parts of the country where these clovers occur it would
not be difficult for farmers or others to make an extended trial of one
or more of such kinds, and report the result to this Department or to
some agricultural paper for the benefit of others. As a help to such
trials, we present herewith a paper on some promising native species
of clovers, with such figures and descriptions as will serve to identify
them.,
As much loss and injury to crops result from the presence of per-
nicious weeds, as a guide to their recognition and destruction, we pre-
sent a paper on some of the more important and common weeds of
cultivated grounds, with instructions as to the means of eradicating
them; this practical part of the information being from the pen of
Mr. A. A. Crozier, the Assistanu Botanist.
A history of the Division of Botany and an account of its work is
also presented, for the information of the public and of all such as
are interested in knowing what are its purposes and aims.

HISTORY OF THE DIVISION.

Soon after the completion, in 1868, of the building for the Depart-
ment of Agriculture it was found necessary to have an experienced
Botanist to complete the working force of the Department. It was
recognized, also, that one of the first requisites for the use of the
Botanist was a herbarium, in which should be represented, as far
as possible, botanical specimens of all the plants of the country. An
appropriation for a Botanist was.made by Congress, and an arrange-
i met was made between Hon. Horace Oapron, then Commissioner of
A dgriatve. and Prof. Joseph Henry, Secretary of the Smithsonian
wtittiom, by wich the botanical collections then in the possession
O f tht instittion were transferred to the Department of Agricult-
ure ias a beginning toward the formation of an herbarium. Those
C collections were chiefly made under various surveys and explorations
S.t. h GovenmeBt, as t hose of Commodore Wilkes, those of the
ic bou ry, Of ifiof Railroad surveys, together
wot.wa thu.a t ign governments. To these have
4e .n d thIe plntt odflwled under the different Geological
(89)
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70 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.

Surveys, and large quantities obtained by purchase from various
botanical collectors in different parts of the country, and important
additions by exchanges and contributions.
The herbarium has now grown to be one of the largest and most
valuable in the country, and contains a representation of nearly all of
our 12,000 native phsenogamous plants, as well as large numbers from
Mexico, South America, and other countries. These specimens are
a necessity to the Botanist, in order that he may be able to distinguish
and determine the names o)f the plants which are constantly being
sent from all parts of the country to the Department for determina-
tion and investigation. It is, in fact, a kind of reference library, to
be consulted whenever occasion requires. Well prepared botanical
specimens are for purposes of comparison almost as useful as the liv-
ing plants, so that the herbarium gives nearly all the advantages of
an arboretum and botanical garden, accessible at all times, and much
fuller in species than it is possible to have living collection. The
rapid development of this vast country is constantly bringing to light
new kinds of plants, respecting which information is sought, and
which has to be obtained through the medium of the herbarium.
The herbarium is also often consulted by teachers and professors
of science, who avail themselves of the opportunity here afforded of
studying plants from all parts of the United States. This advantage
is also participated in by educated foreigners,, who, in visiting the
capital of the country, expect to find centered here a full represen-
tation of its various productions. Natural history collections are a
necessity of the present age, and every country of the world, which
is advanced in intelligence and science, makes its capital the head-
quarters for information relating to its resources and productions,
thus fostering that spirit of research to which the progress of the
world is so much indebted.
EXPOSITION WORK.
In 1876 the various Departments of the Government were called
upon to contribute toward making a suitable display of their func- *
tions and operations at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. -As
a proper representation of the work of the Botanical Division the
Botanist made an extensive exhibit of large sections of the various
kinds of forest trees of this country, embracing between 300 and 400
different species, brought from all portions of the Union, the largest
and best display of the kind that had ever been made in the United
States. This collection was afterward returned to the Department
and subdivided into smaller sets, most of which were distributed to
our agricultural colleges and institutions of learning, and to foreign
Governments which desired them.
The division has also been called upon to assist in making displays
at other important expositions, as at Louisville, Cincinnati, and New
Orleans, particularly at the last-named city, where a large collection
of the grasses of the United States was displayed, intended to show
how extensive are the resources of the country in' this important ele-
ment of wealth.
WORK ON GRASSES.
Investigations of the grasses of the country have been conducted for
maay years by the Botanist, with the purpose of bringing to view and
into cultivation new kinds which might prove useful additions to the







REPORT OF THE BOTANIST. 71

agriculture of the country. In connection with this subject several
special reports on our native grasses have been published by the De-
Spartment and distributed among farmers and others. The principal
of these reports, called the "Agricultural Grasses of the United States,
with their chemical composition," is a pamphlet of 144 pages, with
120 full-page plates.
Another, entitled a "Descriptive Catalogue of the Grasses of the
United States," containing 110 pages, was published in connection
S with the grass display at the New Orleans Exposition.
Recently a special bulletin, or report of an investigation of the
i grasses of the arid districts of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado, has
been issued. :.
There is yet urgent need for investigation of our native grasses,
Sparticularly in the line of thorough and protracted experiments, to
determine their productiveness and adaptation to peculiar climatic
conditions.
In a country so extensive as ours, embracing such a variety of soil,
surface, and climate, it cannot be expected that any one kind of grass
will be adapted to cultivation in all situations. But private experi-
ments of the kind needed are attended with much expense, and very
few persons have the means or the time to prosecute them. But it is
in the power of the Government to conduct investigations which will
probably result in greatly'extending our agricultural resources and
contribute to the happiness and wealth of the people. Particularly
in the arid regions of the West new kinds of grasses are needed,
adapted to the peculiar conditions there existing.
We present here, from a mass of correspondence, extracts to illus-
trate the nature of the inquiries which are constantly received by this
Department.
A correspondent writes from Alabama as follows:
I find in this vicinity a grass growing about residences and along roadsides, in.
bunches and patches, the value of which I would like to learn more about. From
Sthe places where I find it it would seem to be an important grass just getting a start in
our lands. It grows well under trees, and in the shade equally as well as in the
open ground, and, owing to the number and strength of its roots, it grows in hard
and dry grounds. I find it green now, after an unusually long drought, when almost
S all other grasses are burned up. Its rooting capacity is very great: a man can only
pull up a small bundle witji his hands. I wish to know what is the name of the
grass, and its probable value as a grazing grass.
The grass referred to was the Sporobolus Indicus, described on
page 50 of the "Agricultural Grasses of the United States," and fig-
ured on plate 50. It deserves attention from Southern farmers.
From Texas comes the following:
I send you herewith a package of grass for which I have no name. This grass I
consider the most valuable of all the grasses that I am acquainted with. It is per-
ennial and grows hLere all the year round, furnishing excellent green feed for stock
at all seasons of the year, except that the green blades freeze in our very coldest
'weather, perhaps two or three times a winter, and then they grow out again in a
few days. It increases rapidly from seeds, and also reproduces itself from suckers,
1 which sprout from the nodes of the culm after the first crop of seeds ripens. I have
*I sen te suckers remain green six or eight weeks after the old stalk was as dead
and dry as any hay, and then they take root and form new plants. It grows well in
Mi* all kinda of dry land. The plants from roots from one to two or three years old form
arl ge stools from 12 to 18 inches across and have very strong roots, and grow in the
.. lon.. gest drought almost as fast as when it rains. I am anxious to prove which are
ti:h e mot valuable grasses for cultivation, because I am confident that they are des-
*.i gad 4b ^tiu ecome one .of our most profitable crops.
SThei i'gibmntioned was Paspalum dilatatunm, which is highly
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72


REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRIO3LTURE.


recommended for cultivation in the South. It is described in tu
"Agricultural Grasses of the United States," at page 24.
Another, writing from California, says: .l
I find that there is an intense desire among farmers here to obtain a grass cO
ble of resisting the intense heats of our summers, and also, if possible, meti
should grow on poor soil. There is no grass known here that will thrive through
dry summers and autumns, affording grazing for cattle during that period. yIf=
could be had it would simply revolutionize California agriculturally, as many dfie4
tricts are fast becoming worthless for want of some such resource. This arises from'
the system of continuous wheat cropping, to which the land has been subjected for!l
the last thirty years without relief from rotation of crops, so indispensable to properI
farming. |
A correspondent, of Lampasas County, Texas, writes:
The Texas blue-grass, which you recommended, I have found in my yard. I ob-::
served it closely last winter, not knowing what kind it was until it bloomed. Now:1
it has spread, by means of underground stolons, until I have quite a quantity of it.
I also found it growing luxuriantly in the Colorado bottoms, about 20 miles from":
here. It spreads very rapidly, almost equal to Bermuda or curly mesquite. This, I1
think, is just the grass I have been looking for. We want grasses that will take care,:
of themselves, and I think Bermuda for summer and Texas blue-grass for winter
will answer every purpose. Of native grasses we have two kinds that excel alli
others. One is Buchloe dactyloides, known as curly mesquite, running mesquite, fine
mesquite, and buffalo-grass. It is a good summer grass and fair for winter, as it is
only partially killed by frost. The other grass is the Stipa setigera, known as bunch
mesquite, winter mesquite, and big-bearded mesquite. It is, pre-eminently, the win-
ter grass of a large portion of Texas, but of no value for summer. It is biernial, but
usually thought-to be perennial. This grass is found with the live-oak. For cult-
vated land Johnson grass, alfalfa, and Texas millet succeed well here. The Texas:
millet (Panicum Texan m) is undoubtedly the finest forage grass in existence.
Horses, cattle, and sheep prefer it to any other kind of hay. It is a sure crop, and
produces 2 or 3 Ions per acre.
From Camden, Del., we have the following: '
Inclosed please find a sample of what is here called an air plant. We have always
been finding small patches of a few square yards in our clover fields, but that
amounted to nothing, but in a lucerne patch it is very destructive. My own hay
this year was absolutely unfit for bedding for stock. As the man who cut it re-
marked,-you could stand at one end of the lot and move the grass at the other, so:
completely was it matted. I suppose it must have come in seed procured in Cali-:
fornia. How is the plant disseminated? What is it? Is there any prevention or
remedy?
The plant spoken of above is a species of dodder (botanically, Cus-
cuta). It is a parasite, which first germinates in the ground and.:
sends up a slender stalk, which attaches itself at once to greenplants
in its neighborhood, and thereafter draws its support from them by
means of small suckers, which adhere closely to the surface. There'
are many species of dodder, some of which are parasitic upon only
one particular kind of plant, as the flax dodder, the clover dodder,
&c. In California there has been much trouble in fields of alfalfa
from the presence of a kind of dodder, which, it is stated, was intro-
duced with alfalfa seed from Chili, and this is probably the kind
above complained of. The only prevention of the pest is to make
sure of sowing only pure seed. The cure, when it gets into a field,
will consist in cutting the crop before the dodder matures any seed,
and repeating the process as long as the dodder makes its appearance.
From Chicago, Ill., comes the following inquiry:
I have heard of a strong-growing beach-grass that they have used with success in
staying the shifting sand-dunes in the north part of Germany and Holland. We
have some similar land at the south end of Lake Michigan on which we would like
to experiment, if we knew the kind of seed and where to get it; something with
strong roots, that would grow in pure sand, surviving strong winds and winter
storms, would be a blessing to a large section of this country.







I There a several grasses employed in Europe for the purposes
above indicated, but chiefly the one which is botanically called Am-
A mnapkil, arundinacea. It grows on the seacoast in Europe, and
also in North America. It has no agricultural value, being quite too
Coarse for food for cattle. But the widely creeping and matted root-
S&toc]p serve to bind the sands and resist the encroachment of the
I; waves.. This grass has also been used at Provincetown, or Cape Cod,
fr 'the above purpose, and the harbor at that place was long pre-
served from destruction by the care which was taken in setting out
tbis grass, through a committee appointed for that purpose.
1 A correspondent from Walsh County, Dakota, says:
.. .The question of what is the best variety of grass to replace the native grasses,
.i. wbieh are fast disappearing in this country, is one of vital importance to us. Clover
j6iaa been a failure with us thus far; the frost destroys it so effectually that not a
i blade can be seen min the spring. Timothy has been only partially successful; a fair
t'rapiie has been obtained the first year, but the second year it appears to get choked
itit by weeds and foul stuff. What we need is some variety that will stand the
. severe frosts of winter, produce a good crop of hay, and make a good, permanent
.pasture.
| There is a very great and important necessity, not only for Dakota
Sbut for many other portions of the country, that experimental sta-
t ions should be established for the testing of all kinds of grass and
H'-forage plants, in order to obtain such for cultivation as are proven
Sto be adapted to the existing circumstances.
SFrcm Uvalde, Tex.:
SInclosed fizd a&stalk of a wild grass which has made its appearance in Western
xas within'a few'years. It is a perennial grass, comes up in early spring and
Smatures about the middle of May. It seems to be adapted to this dry climate.
This is a native grass, growing in most of the Southern States, in
|Texas, and extending west to California. In California it is known
as California timothy, but is not there esteemed of much agricult-
ural value. In the Southern States it has been cultivated to some
extent, and is known in some localities as Gilbert's relief grass.
S.Doctor Phares says that Mr. Stewart, of Louisiana, prefers this grass
t to others which he has tested, for quantity and quality, for winter and
spring grazing, and for soiling for milch cows. There is much favor-
able testimony respecting the grass- in the South, and it is deserving
of extended cultivation.
Again, from Texas:
'We send you,this day, by marl, a bundle of grass. It is a true winter grass,
ooming up with the fall rains in October and November; is fine pasture all winter
f or hoses, cows, sheep, hogs, &c. No freeze affects it here whatever. Seed ripens
in April; it dies in May, and remains so until fall. Stock do pot seem to relish it
much until after frost. It forms a very thick mat or sod, and is spreading fast
o wer our grounds. It kills out weeds that usually come up in the spring. Such a
w..- is worth millions to Texas for winter pasturage.
S This is Bromus unioloides, which is sometimes called rescue grass,
or Behrader's grass. A full account of it is given in the "Agricult-
ual Qrass6s of the United States." Respecting this grass also an-
othber Texas correspondent says:
fh::" nsmuich as Western Texas is the great stock-raising section of the Southwest
.ii ad o d in g the fact that pasturage is scanty, particularly in February, thus
:2 tuh growth of young cattle, this grass seems wonderfully adapted to supply
.... whaiI geatly wanted, both for milch cows, calves, colts, and ewes; and, be-
t t g wero n nl on the thinnest soil and crowds out weeds, while not interfering
p^ir~ mesquite. I therefore regard it as a wonderful and most important




. .. .... ... ".'.:..... :. ..






74 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OFAGRICULTURE.

From Putnam County, Arizona, we have the following:
This country contains millions of acres of land that seems adapted to no other
earthly purpose than grazing, but the grass is so thin ujpon the ground that it takes
many acres to maintam one cow, and cattle must be distributed very thinly along
the water-fronts in order to have them thrive, because when feed is scarce they are
obliged to travel too far, and are, consequently, poor in flesh and stunted in growth,
whereas if all the land was well seeded to thrifty grass the same land could maintain
three times as many cattle. We want to know if there are not some kinds cf
imported grasses that are good for our purpose, and that will grow in our climate,
between 32 and 85 north latitude on the Pacific Slope. There is in this latitude rain
only twice a year. The land is fertile, but lacks the proper kinds of grass to furnish
sufficient pasturage. Are there not some kinds which might be imported from
Arabia, or some country with a similar climate, which would be an improvement?
There are millions of acres of arid lands, of the character of the
above described, for which the great need is the establishment of ex-
periment stations in the arid districts, where many kinds of grasses
and forage plants could be thoroughly tested on a large scale and
under skillful and intelligent managers. Such experimentation
would, undoubtedly, result in important practical benefits.
A correspondent, of Taylor County, Texas, writes as follows:
I have a body of land lying north of Fort Worth, in the black, sandy soil, also
another in the Panhandle country, along the Upper Red River, among the red
lands, which I am improving for agricultural and stock-raising purposes. I desire
to obtain information as to what are, or would be, the best grasses for these regions,
as the short, curly mesquite and sedge-grasses which abound, while being very nu-
tritious are not of sufficient growth, and are not suitable for hay-making, nor will
they support the number of stock to the acre that the soil would warrant.
Such inquiries as the above can only be partially answered at the
present time for the want of proper investigations and experiments.
By devoting a portion of the land to the cultivation of summer crops
of such grasses as Hungarian, Texas millet, and sorghum it could be
made safe to keep twice the quantity of stock. At the same time ex-
periments should be made with permanent grasses, such as Johnson
grass, Texas blue-grass, orchard-grass, and any others that give
promise of utility, including even some of the thriftier and more pro-
ductive native grasses of the region, as blue-joint and some of the
Panicums.
From Savannah, Ga., we have the following:
In your "Descriptive Catalogue of the Grasses of the United States," page 11, it is
stated that Panicum maximum (Guinea-grass), seldom matures seed in this country,
and is usually propagated by division of the roots, and that it is too tender to be cul-
tivated, except in the very warmest portions of our country. Doctor Phares, in his
valuable book of grasses, states that whenever it has had proper care the crop is
enormous, and in Jamaica, where it is cultivated extensively, it is held next to sugar
in value of crop, and that the roots are easily killed by frost and must be protected
in winter. For the information of your Department I beg to state that specimens
of this grass have been growing in a garden here for several years; that the roots are
uninjured by our frosts, and that the plants have borne seeds freely, and have been
extensively propagated from these seeds.
Probably this valuable grass will prove hardy in the southern por-
tion of the Gulf States and throughout Florida.
A correspondent from Missouri sends a specimen of plant, and says:
This morning a gentleman brought me a sample of a plant he found in a garden
here that he suspects to be the Canada thistle. I inclose it for your inspection. We
have considerable excitement about the Canada thistle, as many farmers are afraid
it will get introduced. We have a law against allowing it to grow, and I am the
prosecuting attorney, and wish to have information in regard to it.
In this case the plant sent was what is called sow-thistle, an annual
spiny-leaved plant, but easily killed, and not inclined to spread.






.. REPORT OF THE BOTANIST. 7t

The introduction of the Canada thistle may well be dreaded in any
arcultural district.
7rmi Inyo County, California, a correspondent writes:
O: ^cattle often eat something that is poisonous, and I am inclined to think that
the past I send herewith is that which poisoned them. The cattle swell up and
die soon after eating the poison.
The plant sent was a species of Cymo pterus, of low growth, akin
to what is called poison parsley, but of its properties we know little.
The same kind is frequently sent from Idaho and Wyoming, with
the same complaint of its poisonous character. It makes its appear-
ance early in the spring, before grass has become plentiful, and cattle
eat it from hunger and not from choice. It is so abundant that its
etermination would be difficult. If cattle were well provided with
hay or fodder they probably would not touch it. Probably it pro-
duces oven, like the effect of over-feeding on green clover.
From Bakersfield, Cal., comes the following respecting a poisonous
plant known there as "loco":
It prevails quite abundantly over an extent of 150 square miles in this valley, and,
I am informed, is found in other valleys of the State, and also in Arizona. This year
the army-worm and a minute insect, which destroys the seeds, have killed a great
Seal of it; but, if not molested, it will soon flourish to as great an extent as ever.
I think very few, if any, animals eat the loco at first from choice; but, as it resists
the drought until other food is scarce, they are at first starved to it, and, after eat-
Sing it a short time appear to prefer it to anything else. Cows are poisoned by it as
Swell as horses, but it takes more of it to affect them. It is also said to poison sheep.
As I have seen its action on the horse, the first symptom of the poisoning is halluci-
nation. When led or ridden up to some little obstruction, such as a rail or bar,
'I' lying in the road, he stops short, and, if urged, leaps as though it were 4 feet high.
SNext he is seized with fits of mania, in which he is quite uncontrollable, and some-
times dangerous. He rears, sometimes even falling backward, runs or gives several
; leaps forward, and generally falls. His eyes are rolled upward until only the white
I can be seen, which is' strongly injected, and, as he sees nothing, he is as apt to leap
Against a wall or a man as in any other direction. Anything that excites him ap-
i pears to induce the fits, which I think are more apt to occur when crossing water
Than elsewhere, and the animal sometimes falls so exhausted as to drown in water
Snot over 2 feet deep. He loses flesh from the first, and sometimes presents the ap-
Spearance of a walking skeleton. In the next and last stage he only goes from the
loco to water and back; his gait is feeble and uncertain; his eyes are sunken, and
j have a flat, glassy look, and his coat is rough and lusterless. In general, the animal
i appears to perish from starvation and constant excitement of the nervous system,
but sometimes appears to suffer acute pain, causing him to expend his strength in
Stunning wildly from place to place, pawing and rolling, until he falls and dies in a
Sfew minutes.
S We invite further information from those acquainted with the
plant and its poisonous qualities.
The plants sent were those of Astragalus lentiginosus, locally called
"rattle-weed" and "loco." It belongs to the order Legunminosce, and
is somewhat similar to lucern in appearance, and produces bladdery
pods, in which the seeds rattle when ripe. Hence the name "rattle-
weed."
In Colorado and New Mexico the same disease among horses and
cattle is produced by the Astragalus mollissimus and other allied
plants. The losses of stock from the eating of these plants has been
very great.
Prom Wellborn, Fla.:
JIclosed I send you, for identification, a forage plant called here "beggar-weed."
Iti ansance in our cotton fields, yet all our planters are anxious to get it into
theiids. It grows from 1 to 6or 8 feet high. All kinds of stock eat it with greedi-
| and iatten on it,nd d can work daily with nothing else. It has large, spread-
kqrt' and I thik it would enrich the ground as much as clover if plowed under.
t go 0 miles to strip the seed to get a start.
iiiiiii! iii..:. ......, 0 ."'... .

iii: ii~iiii~iii::ii.# .::....'.... ..: ....... .
.. : ....

.. .. : .... .





76


REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.


This plant is a species of Desmodium, several kinds of which grow
throughout the country, and are commonly called "beggar-lice," from
their appearance and from adhering tenaciously to the clothing of
passers-by. The species sent would not probably be hardy in the
Northern States.
From Gainesville; Fla.:
Vanilla beans are quoted in New York at from $7 to $12 per pound wholesale.
Can you inform me if the climate ahd soil of Florida are adapted to their growth?'
From Tucson, Ariz.:
During the past year I have discovered tobacco growing wild in the mountains of
Arizona. Have you any record of the existence of wild tobacco in this region?
Several species of wild tobacco were cultivated by the Indians.
One species (Nicotiana rustica) was cultivated by the Indians in
New Mexico and Arizona, as observed by Dr. Ed. Palmer. Another
species (Nicotiana quadrivalvis) was cultivated by the Indians from
Missouri to Oregon. One or two other species are recorded as having
been cultivated in California.
From Philadelphia, Pa.:
I wish to utilize a strong, white fiber which is furnished by the plant called
bear-grass," which grows in the Southern States. To do so economically and profit-
ably requires that the plant should be found in large quantities in some particular
locality. Can you inform me of any place where it grows in sufficient quantity for
that purpose?
From Savannah, Ga.:
Can you give me the botanical name and description of the inclosed plant? It
grows in a wild state in Brooks County, Georgia, and is known among the negroes
as "poor man's salve," and a wonderful efficacy is claimed for it in curing old sores
and indolent ulcers.
The plant is a species of Croton, which grows commonly in the
Southern and Western States.
From Norfolk, Va.:
I send a few cork-oak acorns, grown on a tree produced from an acorn planted
about 1860 or 1861. The original acorns came from Washington Patent Office, I
think, and being planted just before the war were neglected, and only three of the
five have lived, and they being too close together to develop. The largest tree is
about 14 inches in diameter and about 20 feet high. This is the first year I have
ever seen acorns.' The cork is about 1J to 2 inches thick, and too porous for use.
A large quantity of these cork-oak acorns were distributed in the
Southern States about the time mentioned above and many of them
grew. Reports concerning such have been received from South Car-
olina and Georgia, where trees are probably still growing. No bark
has yet been produced of sufficient thickness and compactness to be
serviceable for the manufacture of corks.
From Titusville, Fla.:
I send you a package containing a plant that is said to be the best known specific
for dysentery and all bowel complaints. It is said to be an old-time remedy in
the Southern States. It is called "flux-weed." I will be thankful if you wiN give
me the name and medical properties of the plant.
This is Galium hispiduluni, a low, spreading plant of the order
Rubiacece. We have no knowledge of its medicinal properties.
From Texas:
I inclose a plant called "Indian blood-weed." Please identify and classify for me.
It grows mostly along the foot of the "red hills" (which are ranges of flat hills con-
taining iron). It was used by the Indians for purifying the blood and curing skin
diseases. I have seen it used by the settlers and herders, who made a tea of it,
which in all cases proves beneficial in curing sores or skin diseases in a short time.






REPORT OF THE BOTANIST. 77

The plant referred to is a species of Ephedra, a singular looking,
leafless, or nearly leafless, shrub, growing in the southwestern arid
districts. It is a popular remedy in those regions, and probably has
Active properties.
From West Virginia:
I send you a specimen of shrub which grows in mountainous situations in this
State, and which is called mountain-tea. It is used as a substitute for ordinary tea
of commerce, and is said to be as pleasant and agreeable to the taste as that article.
Please inform me of its botanical name.
The plant is botanically called Comptonia asplenifolia, growing
abundantly in the Northern States, where it is called "sweet-fern."
There are a number of other substitutes for tea employed in differ-
ent parts of the country, as, Ceanothus americanus, or New Jersey
tea; Sida stipulata, a small malvaceous plant; lex cassine, the black
tea of South Carolina, and others.
From Burnet County, Texas:
This day I send you by mail a species of a grass which is our best forage plant for
winter pasture. It grows rapidly all winter, and is ready to go to seed in April.
Stock of all kinds are very fond of it. It is never killed or even injured by cold in
-the winter. The seeds are large enough to be ground, and probably would make
good breadstuff. Please let me know the name of the grass.
S The grass is Bromus unioloides, a native of Texas and the South-
-west, and is undoubtedly one of the most valuable of grasses for win-
terpasturage in that region.
From an Army officer in Montana, transmitted by the Quarter-
m! naster-General:
*L
I have the honor to send herewith samples of a weed found among the wild-grass
b"ay delivered here under current contracts. In small quantity it appears to do no
bam, but when present in greater amount among hay cut in creek bottoms, par-
ticularly in swampy spots, it causes griping and spasmodic action in the legs, fol-
lowed by looseness in the bowels and general weakness. Mules and horses avoid
-eating it as much as possible, but farmers assert that cows do not mind it and eat it
-with impunity. I would be glad to have the name and character of the plant deter-
mined.
The plant sent with this communication proved to be Smilacina
.stellata, a common plant in mountainous regions, especially in the
Northern States and Rocky Mountains. It is related to the Conval-
Jaria or the lily of the valley, so called in cultivation. We have no
previous record of the peculiar properties noted in the above instance.
From Ennis, Tex:
Inclosed we send you a twig of a shrub which abbunds on some of the hills of
Central Texas, and is commonly known as prickly currant. As you will observe,
i t resembles holly, and we think it must belong to the same family. Will you
kidndly determine its botanical name, and let us know at your earliest convenience?
S The specimen sent belongs to a species of barberry peculiar to Texas
and the Southwest, the botanical name of which is Berberis trifol-
iata. The leaves are thick and spiny-toothed, somewhat like the
liolly, but much smaller. The bush, which is 3 or 4 feet high, is very
spiny, and has bunches of red fruit somewhat like the currant in
appearance.
From Fremont County, Wyoming:
T o let me know if you have or if there is any grass seed such as will grow
intbhi eimate. 9The climate is dry and the altitude high, and in the summer months
ter in a carcity of water; consequently we cannot raise hay, and wild grass, by
%og peshted so much, seems to grow shorter every year. The soil is good, but
.-6 -We t a grass that will grow in such a climate and make a good hay,
u the spring as long as water lasts.
... .. ... .
k i,;',ii i ,:.di::..,.:. .. ..... .. .

... :,, i iiiiiiii:.., :ii:i~ii .:::...~i~i.....i...... ::.. .,...:..........






78 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.
a
From a seed-merchant, Chicago, Ill.:
Kindly name the inclosed specimen, and let me know what it is as soon as pow-
sible.
From Spartanburg, S. C.:
I send you herewith a pod of a plant growing in this State having an abundance
of fine, silky hairs attached to the seed. I would like to know if this fine delicate
fiber can be utilized in any way. I think the plant also possesses medicinal prop-
erties, and would be glad to know if such is the case.
The pod belongs to a kind of milkweed, botanically called "Ascle-
pias tuberosa," or, popularly, "pleurisy root," because it is employed
in cases of pleurisy 'and other diseases. The silky fibers of the seeds
are like those of all the milkweeds, of which there is a large number
of species, and the inquiry as to its economic use is often made;.
but, although very delicate and beautiful, it lacks tenacity, and can-
not be spun by itself into a thread.
From Florida:
We are alarmed here at the appearance in our fields and orange groves of what is
called "nut-grass," and which bids fair to double our labor in cultivation. Tearing
up by the roots and even sifting the soil have proved of no avail in getting rid of it.
May I beg that you will indicate as soon as possible the best and quickest means for
its destruction?
The nut-grass, or coca as it is also called, is one of the worst pests
of agriculture in the South. The botanical name is Cyperus rotundus.
Mr. Elliott, in his "Botany of South Carolina and Georgia," says of
this sedge:
It is becoming a great scourge to our planters. It shoots from the base of its stenk
a threadlike fiber, which descends perpendicularly from 6 to 18 inches, and then-
produces a small tuber. From this horizontal fibers extend in every direction, pro-
ducing new tubers at intervals of 6 to 8 inches, and these immediately shoot up.
stems to the surface of the earth and throw out lateral fibers to form a new prog-
eny. This process is interminable, and it it curious to see what a chain or net-.
work of plants and tubers can with some care be dug up in loose soil. The only
process yet discovered by which this grass can be extirpated is to plow or hoe the-
spots in which it grows every day through a whole season. In their perpetual efforts
to throw their leaves to the light the roots become exhausted and perish,,or if a few
appear the next spring they can easily be dug up. This experiment has been suc-
cessfully tried by John McQueen, esq., of Chatham County, Georgia.
This account was written more than sixty years ago. The method
given for destroying the pest is applicable to the present time, and.
is perhaps as good as any one known.
From editor of the Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.:
Inclosed we hand you a specimen of a plant received from a correspondent at
Salem, N. C. Please name it for us, and give any information which there may ber
about it of any special interest.
From the commissioner of agriculture for Georgia:
I will be obliged to you if you will name the grass of which I inclose a speci-
men, stating its economic value. The grass grows in bunches in fence corners,
stems from 5 to 7 feet high, leaves from 8 to 12 inches long. It is sent to me from
Washington County in this State.
FOREIGN INQUIRIES, ETC.
From the Government Botanical Gardens at Saharamper, North-
western India:
I am just now studying the grasses of Northern India with special reference to
their relative value for forage or fodder, and as many of our best kinds occur also
in America, the information given in your book (" The Agricultural Grasses of the









umI 3i1m.I6. 4m 18s 01o very great value. An upper mnuia we nave extensive Tracts
'(called usarland) devoid of cultivation, owing to an excess of saline ingredients in
Sthe .ail (4salts of soda). There are two or three kinds of grass which apparently
thxrke in such soil, one of which, called "usar grass" (Sporobolus tenacissimus), rep-
iresents the only vegetation over extensive areas of this usar land; the other grasses
which affect usar in less abundance are Eragrostis ciliaris and E. cynosuroides.
SThe Spbrobolus appears to be a good fodder grass, as it is greedily eaten by cattle.
I-can not help thinking that it would be well worth while trying to introduce from
other countries any species known to thrive in saline soil, and I should be extremely
obliged if you could put me in the way of obtaining the seed of such kinds.
The usar grass above referred to is, according to a figure of the plant
in "Illustrations of the Forage Grasses of Northwestern India," very
closely related to 6ur Sporobolus cryptandrus, Which abounds on
the arid plains of the West.
SFrom Timaru, New Zealand:'
Noticing in afl Australian paper an account of some of your native grasses, which
"would seem to be desirable to add to present varieties in New Zealand, I take the
liberty of writing you upon the subject. Unfortunately our native grasses are nearly
.all delicate, fine annuals, which disappear before heavy stocking. The prevailing
grass or tussock (Poa australis) is a wiry, hard grass, that yields no feed except when
buried in spring and the tender, green shoots spring up. Thereafter it becomes a
!: ard, wiry bunch-grass, that sheep never eat, and seems to serve for shelter to the
finer sorts. There appears plenty to eat, but sheep do not touch it unless starvation
; drives them. Cultivation has driven out the native grasses, and those sorts com-
monn to England are in use here. We want varieties which might thrive here. The
Only one yet that does is Kentucky blue-grass.
Y From Prussia, Europe:
I have for a number of years been experimenting with various plants at the Agri-
cultural Institute of the Halle University, and would like to do the same with the
native buffalo-grass of the United States, which is illustrated and described in the
Annual Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture for the year 1880. I have not
&been able to get the seed in Europe.

RELATION TO OTHER BRANCHES OF THE DEPARTMENT.
*' The natural sciences are intimately related to and dependent on each
'other. The plants which are the care of the Botanist are often sub-
ject to the destructive depredations of insect foes, and the aid of the
Entomologist has to be obtained to learn the name and history of such
insects. Again, the Botanist and the intelligent cultivator of plants
find that insects have much to do with the fertilization of plants, and
that without their aid, in many cases, the production of fruit would
be much diminished or entirely fail; in other words, success in cer-
tain crops is largely dependent on the good offices of these insect
-friends. In such instances as these botany and entomology come into
'close connection.
The Chemist is often required to make an analysis of plants or veg-
; etable products having medicinal or poisonous properties, and he finds
i;t important to know the name, botanical character, and affinities of
|i ::uch plants or products, and for that purpose calls in the aid of the
:i:Botanist. The Ornithologist may be pursuing investigations into the
lo.od habits of birds to ascertain which are granivorous, and which are
UiS(otOivorous." He finds that he needs the assistance of the Botanist
7Sridsntifying the seeds and grains which he finds in the stomachs of

aa division of the Dbpartment is an aid to the other, and the,
of each is required tot only for its own work, but also
.. which.. it may furnish the others. The following statement
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K ii d~ i ,i .,d ::.,:.,i i,.ki.. .:,,...





80 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.

from the Division of Entomology indicates how botany aids that-
science: .
Very frequently insects are sent to the Division of Entomology for determinaioh.-
and report, accompanied by specimens of their food-plants. The latter are fre-
quently in a fragmentary condition, and when known to the sender are known only
by some local name. In such cases as this it is our custom to consult the Botanist,
and the information which we obtain from him is of material aid to our own divis-
ion. The two divisions are, in fact, closely related in their work.
The Chemist states as follows:
The relations of the Botanical to the Chemical Division are of the most important
nature. A large part of the plant material which is sent to the Chemist must be
accurately identified by the Botanist before being submitted to .analysis, in order
that there may be no doubt as to the exact species examined. The data are thus.
preserved for the future and accurately fixed as relating to some particular plant.
On the other hand, this identification prevents the repetition of an analysis, by mak-
ing it possible to search for previous analyses of the known species in hand.
In studies of the adaptability of plants to climatic condition the CIemist and Bota-
nist work hand in hand, and in all the analytical investigations which are under-
taken by the Chemical Division the confidence that their results are applied in the
right places is due to the certainty derived from the identifications of the Botanist.
As an example of the manner in which the two divisions work together may be
cited the studies at present being made of one of the prickly pears of Texas, which
is attracting attention as of value for stock. The Botanist's knowledge as to the
growth and distribution of the plant and his observations of its habits of growth
are a necessary complement to the chemical study of its food value.
With an increased force the fields wiich the Botanical Division might enter in
conjunction with the Chemical would he numerous.
The relations of the Botanical to the Seed Division are becoming
increasingly important. In the purchase of seeds for distribution
the Botanist's knowledge of the natural habits of a plant is essential
to the determination of its probable agricultural value. Some of the
native grasses investigated by the Botanist have been introduced into
cultivation through the Seed Division, anid further work of the kind
is needed to supply the demand for grasses adapted to different parts
of the country. Every year the aid of the Botanist is required to de-
termine the purity of seeds purchased by the Seed Division for dis-
tribution.
The relation of the Botanical to the Horticultural Division is to6
obvious to require mention. The greenhouses and grounds are a
constant source of supplies to the herbarium, and each division is an
aid to the other in many ways.

INVESTIGATION OF FUNGOUS DISEASES.
At the last Congress an appropriation was made for the investiga-
tion of the fungous diseases of plants, such as mildew, smut, blight,
grape-rot, potato-rot, &c., and for experiments necessary to deter-
mine suitable remedies for those diseases. The mycological section
has accordingly been organized, and is conducting investigations
in this line of work which will, it is hoped, result in great good, by
preventing the immense losses which farmers and horticulturists are
subject to by the frequent occurrence of those diseases. Special bul-
letins on the subject will be published, for general distribution.

DIRECTIONS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
In order that the division may be more useful to those who consult
it, the following directions regarding plants for identification are
inserted. Plants are often received by the Botanist for name in so

*

*i








BLHm]enlevt a tniate btumb Draw umllousii inJiurmuiblunl UfLJI1LJIJ L given.
A editions to the herbarium are constantly being made of even
oqrdinary plants, for the purpose of exchange, &c., and when not
of further use to the sender specimens sent are often added to the
herbarium, and it is desirable to have them suitable for the purpose.
PERFECT SPECIMENS.
Not every plant can be recognized at sight even by botanists; but
any plant whicl has been described and named can be identified if
perfect specimens are furnished.. In the case of new plants, which
are still occasionally found, it is especially important to have good
specimens, in order that they may be classified and named. A
Sometimes perfect specimens cannot be obtained at the time infor-
mation is wanted. In such cases whatever can be had may be sent
and may prove sufficient, but as full a description as possible should
be given of the parts not obtainable.
A perfect specimen includes all parts of the plant or samples of all
parts, though some parts are more important in identification than
others. The flower is the part usually most essential; any other part
can better be wanting than this, and in most cases this is furnished.
With all plants, however, the fruit is also important, and many cannot
be determined without it. Dry fruits require less care in preparation
than flowers, are less likely to be injured, and are more easily exam-
ined. Notwithstanding these facts, the specimens received at the
lherbarium from both botanists and others are much more frequently
defective in the fruits than in the flowers. The leaves are always im-
po rtant and are seldom omitted, but inmany herbs the radical leaves,
or those from the base of the stem, differ in form from the others,
and these are not always furnished.
In some plants certain parts are more important for identification
than the same parts in other plants. With herbs it is important to
know whether they are annual, biennial, br perennial. To determine
this requires the root as well as stem. If this is not furnished, the
duration of the plant should be stated. With sedges it is essential to
have the full-grown fruit, though desirable to have the flowers also.
The habit of growth in sedges, whether singly or in tufts, is a dis-
tinctive character, which the specimens should show. With grasses
it will usually be sufficient to gather specimens soon after flowering,
though if some be in flower and others ripe it is better. The difficulty
with fully-ripe grasses is the liability of the seeds and chaff to scatter.
The rooting portions of grasses should also be furnished, as this is
especially important in determining their agricultural value.
PREPARATIONW OF SPECIMENS.
It m i not necessary to have living specimens for identification. Prop-
ol:y.I dried plants are nearly as good. They cam be more easily and
Sblym transported, and may be examined at any time. If dried
4qti*,y uner pressure, in the manner of herbarium specimens they
esjissenhaiMytheir original shape, something of their color, and
I secom. britVte, as when dried in the open air..
dyig",B the plants should be placed between folds of absorbent
.....per. wil answer) and subjected to a pressure of 25 to 50
ato nature of the specimens and the amount under
hpapem become damp1 the plants should be removed


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m H (((()) H:! ( (h(()( m~:m)((()m~)) mmmmm(:(mmm m(m m mm() ())) (m");(mm().')()i 1:1:L i ,: 1 l ::m




w


REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE


I
I
K. 4


to fresh ones. This should at first be done as often as once a day.
If considerable paper is used the plants will require to be changed less
frequently and will be less likely to become discolored if neglected.
Plants should be gathered when dry, and preferably in dry weather.
In the collection of specimens botanists commonly carry drying pa-
pens into the field and place the plants in them as soon as gathered,
holding them in place by straps. When this is not convenient a tin
collecting case is often used, which keeps the plants from wilting
until they can be placed in the drying papers. A very good substi-
tute for such a case is ordinary paper, in which the plants may be
wrapped as gathered. In placing the plants in the papers to dry,
have but one kind on a sheet, and place with it at once a label bearing '
thei.date and place of collection, with the name, if known, and any
other particulars desired. Fleshy plants will need to be divided to
dry properly, and thick specimens to prevent them occupying too
much space. Seeds may be placed in an envelope and deposited with
the remainder of the plant.

SOME NATIVE CLOVERS.
There are in the United States 40 species of native cloves (Trifo-
hium).
The larger number of these belong to the Pacific side of the conti-
nent, and to Utah, Idaho, and Montana; a few species belong to Texas
and the Southern States, two or three of which extend northward in
The States adjacent to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
None of our native species have been cultivated so far as is known,
although several of them are of as large and vigorous growth as the
common red clover, and are worthy of trial, as they may prove bet-
ter adapted to some soils than that species. We give descriptions and
figures of the most promising ones, and suggest that in the sections
where they grow they should be subjected to experiment.
Trifolium fucatum.
This is one of the largest and strongest growing of our native kinds,
and is found on the Pacific coast. Under favorable circumstances it
attains a height of 2 to 3 feet. The stem is decumbent, smooth, thick,
and juicy. The stipules at the base of the leaf are half an inch to an
inch long, ovate, broad, and clasping the stem. The leaves are trifoli-
ate, with stems or petioles 3 to 6 inches long; the leaflets vary from
roundish or oblong to obovate, thickish, strongly veined, three-fourths
of an inch to an inch and a half long, and with numerous small, sharp
teeth on the margins. The flower heads are large (1 to 2. inches in
diameter), larger than those of the common red clover on naked
peduncles (stems), which are longer than the leaf-stalks (sometimes 5
to 6 inches long). There is a conspicuous green involucre surround-
ing the base of the flower head deeply divided into 7 to 9 ovate, entire,
and pointed lobes, which are about half as long as the flowers. The
heads contain comparatively few flowers (about 8 to 10), but these
are about an inch long, thick and inflated, the calyx about one-fourth
as long as the corolla, which varies from pink to purple in color. Mr.
S. Watson, in the "Botany of Calfornia," says of this: "A common
species in the Coast Ranges and in the foot-hills of the Sierra Nevada,
through the length of the State-in some places very abundant and
affording good pasturage." It would seem very desirable that'this
.species should be given a fair trial in cultivation. (Plate I.)


82


i





REPORT OF THE BOTANIST.


Trifolium megacephalum (Large-headed clover).
A low species, seldom reaching a foot in height, but robust and
with strong, deeply penetrating roots. A number of stalks usually
proceed from one root, but these stems are unbranching, somewhat
'hair and terminate with a single large head. The leaves mostly
proceed from the base of the stem, there usually being but one pair
on the stalk near the middle. The lowest leaves are long-stalked,
and with 5 to 7 leaflets instead of 3, as in most clovers, but the upper
ones are sometimes reduced to 3 leaflets. The leaflets are an inch
long or less, somewhat wedge-shaped or obovate and blunt at the
apex, and with very fine, sharp teeth on the edge. The stipules at the
base of the leaves are large, mostly ovate in form, and sharply toothed
or deeply cut. The heads are mostly terminal, about 1- inches long,
on a naked peduncle, and without an involucre. The flowers are
large, purplish, about an inch long, and very compact and spicate in
the head. The calyx, with its long, plumose teeth, is half as long
as the corolla. This species grows in the mountain region of Cali-
fornia, Oregon, Washington Territory, Nevada, and Montana. It is
not as large as the common red clover, but experiments are needed
to determine its possibilities for pasturage. Its large, showy heads
and its peculiar leaves would make it an interesting ornamental
species. (Plate IL) I
Trifolium involucratum.
This is an annual species, presenting a great variety of form, but
under favorable circumstances reaching 14 or 2 feet in height and of
vigorous growth. The stems are usually decumbent and branching
below, very leafy, and terminating with 1 to 3 heads on rather long
peduncles. The leaves are on stalks longer than the leaflets, which
are in threes, one-half inch to an inch long, of an oblong or obovate
form,, smooth, and with very fine, sharp teeth on the margins. The
stipules are large, ovate, or lanceolate, and usually much gashed or
deeply toothed. The heads are long-stalked, about an inch long, the
purplish flowers closely crowded, and surrounded with an involucre,
which is divided into numerous long-toothed lobes. The flowers are
half to three-fourths of an inch long, slender, with a short, striate
calyx, the teeth of which are very slender, entire, and pointed, and lit-
tle shorter than the corolla. This species has a wide range of growth
in the western part of the continent, prevailing from Mexico to Brit-
ish America through the mountain districts. Under cultivation it
would probably produce a good yield of fodder, but has never been
subjected to experiment so far as known. (Plate III.)
Trifolium stoloniferum (Running buffalo clover).
SThis is a perennial species, growing about a foot high; long run-
.nurw are sent out from the base, which are procumbent at first, be-
cioming erect. The leaves are all at the base, except one pair at the
pp Br part of the stem. The root leaves are long-stalked, and have
tii thinnish obovate leaflets, which are minutely toothed. The
o0f leaves on the stem have the stalk about as long as the leaflets,
ate about 1 inch long. The stipules are ovate or lanceolate,
and entire on the margins, the lower ones nearly an inch
e ~upper ones about half as long. There are but one or two
eacn stem at the summit, each on a peduncle longer than
The heads are about an incdh in diameter, rather loosely

... .


83





84 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.
flowered, each flower being on a short, slender pedicel, or stem, Which
bends backward at maturity. Each flower has a long-toothed calyx
about half as long as the corolla, which is white, tinged with purple.
This species is found in rich, open wood-lands and in prairies in Ohio,
Illinois, Kentucky, and westward. It is smaller in size and less vig-
orous in growth than the common red clover. (Plate IV.)
Trifolium Carolinanumn (Southern clover).
A small perennial clover, having much resemblance to the common
white clover. It usually grows from 6 to 10 inches high, somewhat
pubescent, the stems sh ader, procumbent, and branching. The leaves
are trifoliate, on petioles of variable length. The leaflets are about
half an inch long, obovate, wedge-shaped at base, and somewhat
notched at the summit. The stipules are nearly as long as the leaf-
lets, ovate or lanceolate, and slightly toothed above. Each stalk has
usually two long-stalked heads, proceeding from the upper joints.
The roundish heads are from one-half to three-fourths of an inch in
diameter, without an involucre, and with numerous crowded, small
flowers on slender pedicels, which become reflexed in age. The long
lanceolate teeth of the calyx are slightly shorter than the smali,
purplish, pointed corolla. The pods are usually four-seeded. This
species occurs in all the Southern States and in Texas. It is too small
to be valuable for fodder, but is worthy of trial as a constituent of
pastures in the South. (Plate V.)
WEEDS OF AGRICULTURE.
The majority of our most troublesome weeds are plants introduced
from other countries. As a locality becomes cleared up and brought
into cultivation the character of the spontaneous vegetation always
undergoes marked changes. Many of the native plants disappear,
others become more abundant, and new plants introduced from for-
eign countries, or other parts of the same country, frequently become
the prevailing vegetation. L
Owing to the conditions of modern commerce and the natural pto-6
vision for their distribution it is practically impossible to long ex-
clude outside weeds from any considerable district. The weed laws
of various States have done much to call the attention of agricult-
urists to the most troublesome weeds, and have in many cases re-
tarded their introduction and distribution, but it is not to be ex-
pected that through any agency our worst weeds will become so sub-
dued as to require no further attention. An account like this can
only furnish the means of recognizing some of the more pernicious
ones, and give some account of their origin and methods of propaga-
tion, with suggestions for keeping them in check or eradicating them
for a time.
If the plants troublesome in cultivated crops were only such as
were always and everywhere recognized as weeds, the question would
be much simpler. Unfortunately many of our worst weed! Were
first introduced as useful plants. A large number have escaped from
flower gardens, as Indian mallow, toad-flax, and daisy. Many plants
are useful in one locality, but known only as weeds in another.
Cock's-foot (Panicum crus-galli) is a coarse grass, very troublesome
in gardens in many Northern States, but in the South it is a valu-
able fodder plant. Besides these, there are plants of common cult-a
vatiou which act as weeds, and are difficult to eradicate when it is







desired to grow opier plants. Jenmuc.y Due-grass, one or tie most
taluable forage plants known, is quite difficult to subdue, owing
to its creeping root-stocks. On this account many farmers aim to
exclude it from their farms, preferring such plants as clover and tim-
othy, which, though inferior in some respects, are more easily sub-
dued.
.4 The followinggeneral hints on the destruction of weeds may be
Found of use. Whether it be profitable to attempt the complete ex-
Stermination of weeds will depend on the price of land and labor, the
kind of crops to be grown, &c. There can be little doubt, however,
that the more troublesome perennial and biennial weeds can usually
IIbe eradicated altogether with profit, especially where they are not
t yet abundant:
HINTS ON KILLING WEEDS.

: 1. Plants cannot live indefinitely deprived of their leaves. Hence
preventing their appearance above the surface will kill them sooner
I or later.
i|' Plants have greater need for their leaves, and can be more easily
skilledd in the growing season than when partially dormant.
:: 3. Cultivation in a dry time is most injurious to weeds and bene-
Ifia to crops.
S4. Avoid the introduction of weeds in manure or litter or from
!weedy surroundings. Some gardeners use no stable manure on
.grounds they desire to keep especially clean, relying on commercial
[11fertilizers and the plowing under of green crops.
5.. After a summer crop has ripened, instead of allowing the land
to grow up to weeds itjis often well to sow rye or some other crop to
cover the ground and keep them down.
6. Give every part of the farm clean cultivation every few years
either with a hoed crop or, if necessary, with a fallow.
7. It is often stated that cutting w~eds while in flower will kill
them. This is only reliable with biennials, and with them only when
Done so late that much of the seed will grow.
I' 8. If the ground is kept well occupied with other crops weeds will
Give much less trouble. Keep meadows and roadsides well seeded
Sand plow-land cultivated, except when shaded by crops.

CMicns arvensis (canada thistle).
This thistle grows" usually to the height of 2 or 3" feet, the stems
very leafy and much branched, with the flower-heads gathered into
small clusters at the end of the branches. The stem and branches are
not-winged by decurrent leaves, as they are in many other species. The
Slaves are comparatively small, those of the stem being mostly 3 to i
inxehes long, about half an inch wide in the main part,with three or four
pominiet lobes on each side, and armed on the edges with an abund-
ace of sharp rather stiff, prickles, which are 1 or 2 lines long. The
a of the dowers are mostly less than an inch high, with a close in-
e, the small scales mostly without prickly points. The flower-
aire mainly diazcious; that is, those of one plant are male only,
those f other plants are female only. The plant has creeping
..... *a. whioh spread deep beneath the surface and send up new
^ttp y n mthe plant. Although this plant is called
*iit is reaJy a native of Europe, and has been intro-
rHH




we w


86 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.

duced into this country, probably first into Canada and from thencet
into the United States.
The Canada thistle nearly or quite fails to seed in many localities,.
spreading chiefly by the running root-stocks, so that it is not very
rapidly disseminated. The failure to seed is doubtless mainly due to
its dioecious character, as, if completely so, no seed would be formed
where a patch originated from a single plant. It is not vet trouble-
some to any extent beyond the Eastern and Middle States.: It prefers
a heavy soil, but on such land is most easily killed. In pastures, or
wherever the land is compact, if -only a few plants appear they may
often be killed by pulling them up a few times. Larger patches should
be plowed deeply about once a week in the growing season, or each
time before any plants appear above the surface. After each plowing
rolling is advantageous, especially on sandy soil. There are numer-
ous instances where fields of this weed have been completely killed in
a single season in time to sow winter wheat. Cases have been re-
ported of Canada thistles being killed by a single cutting at a certain
period of growth. In some of these instances at least the plant has
proved to be some other thistle. If the characters above given are
orne in mind, especially the fact of the creeping root-stocks and of
its growing on dry land, there will be little danger of this mistake.
Plate VI, Fig. 1, a portion of the stem, leaves, and flower-heads;
Fig. 2, a portion of the running root-stock; Fig. 3, a single flower,
with the seed and pappus.
Arctium Lappa (burdock).
A well-known biennial plant of the natural order Compositce,
which, like- many of our common weeds, has been introduced from
Europe. It has a thick branching stem, 3 to 5 feet high, with round-
ish heart-shaped leaves 3 inches to a foot or mbre long, the lowest on
long stout stalks, the upper ones nearly sessile, the margins undulate
and sometimes erosely toothed. The flower-heads are roundish, about
an inch thick, mostly in small clusters at the ends of the branches.
The scales of the involucre are extended into hooked points, which
adhere to the clothing or to the hair or wool of animals. Within the
involucre are a number of slender purplish flowers, each containing
anthers and styles of the kind peculiar to this order, and at the base.
of each flower is the seed, surmounted with a number of slender
bristles.
There are several varieties of this species, differing in the size of the
heads and in other points,which varieties are by sqme called "species."
It gives but little trouble in cultivated land, being found in waste
places about buildings and fences, and occasionally in meadows where
the seeding is thin. It prefers strong soil, and its presence is consid-
ered a sign of good land. Though not a serious weed in cultivated
crops, its unsightliness and the annoyance of its burs in the wool and
hair of animals make it desirable to try to exterminate it, especially
as it is one of the easiest weeds to get rid of. One of the best times
to destroy it is in the fall when the leaves are conspicuous and time is
less pressing. It is killed any time if cut below the crown. ] may
also be killed by being mowed when the seed has fully formed, and
the tops burned. If cut while in flower, as sometimes recommended,
a second crop of seed will generally be produced.
Burdock has some reputation in medicine as a blood purifier and for
rheumatism. Its value is probably slight. It is known in England as
hare-burs or hurrburr, and the young shoots, after being stripped of








tidf rind are occasionally used as a substitute for asparagus! In
Jpan it is cultivated under -the name of gobo, the root, growing to 3
,orI 4 inches in diameter and often 2 feet long, being used much as we
|use salsify.
p ?late VII, Fig. 1, a branch of the small variety; Fig. 2, a single
flower magnified; Fig. 3, a portion of the large-headed variety-major.
SXanthium Canadense (clot-bur, cockle-bur).
SA coarse branching annual plant of the order Compositue, usually
1I to 3 feet high, with alternate, rough leaves from 3 to 6 inches long
Sand about as wide, somewhat lobed and coarsely toothed, strongly
Three ribbed, somewhat heart-shaped at the base, and on long stalks.
I The flower-heads are in small axillary and terminal clusters of 2
Skinds, male -and female, the male heads'on a short spike at the
.n..sujnmit and the female in clusters of 2 or 3 at the base of the male
MIjspike. The male or staminate flowers are in roundish heads, with a
tlhin scaly involucre. After shedding the pollen these heads soon
Jidrop off and disappear, and the female heads enlarge, and become
:'thick, hard, oblong burs about an inch long, beset with stiff hooked
ickles. At the apex of the bur there are two hard and sharp or
lookedd beaks, and within are two cells, each containing a single
eed. Those who are accustomed to look at the aster and the sunflower
as representatives of the order Compositce, will not at first recognize
is plant as a member of that family because of the separation of the
,eaitU evanitdtu
ale and female flowers, but a close examination wil reveal its true
position.
| This plant is most abundant on low pasture and stubble land and
along streams, though often growing rankly in waste places on up-
land. It is seldom a troublesome weed in crops, but its burs are a great
annoyance in the fleeces of sheep. Seeding to clover and meadow
,grass and mowing several times the first season is recommended for
Sits destruction.
SWe have figured this species (X. Canadense), believing that it is
the one which is troublesome in corn fields and roadsides in the West-
ern States, where it is probably native, but perhaps introduced from
the South through travel and commercial intercourse. The species
which occurs in the Eastern States is probably Xanthium struma-
rium, which is supposed to be a native of Europe arild India. It is
smaIler in size, with smaller burs, more slender and smoother prickles.
Dr. Gattinger, of Nashville, Tenn., states that some twenty-two
years ago he fed his horse quite a quantity of the Xanthium Cana-
dense in its flowering season. It possesses an aromatic smell, and his
horse liked it. It did not have any noxious effects upon him, although
he has since heard a farmer say that it was poisonous to stock, which,
however, he does not believe.
SPlate VIII, Fig. 1, a branch, showing the spikes of male flower-
s, with the female. clusters below; Fig. 2, three mature burs.
Bpr Ambrosia artemisicefolia (rag-weed, bitter-weed, hog-weed,
R .. *omau wormwood).
Ccmr annual weed of the natural order Compositce, gener-
lito 3 feet high, rather slender, and much branched. The leaves
%tbm 1 to 4 inches long, mostly alternate and thinnish, pinnat-
lpcut into deep narrow lobes, which are again lobed or toothed.
oef tl.. e branches bear the-flowers, which are of 2 kinds,
.. ...feale The male flowers are in small heads of 5 to 8 to-
.i~+ii!E :3:+ii ... ............ .. .
+m g ::!ii...., .. ... ..: ....... .......:...
. .....
+++++++++ .!+i ..,::j::. >,, "





#I
88 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF _AGRICULTURE.
gether, inclosed by a 5-toothed green involucre. These heads are
arranged in a slender, spikelike raceme 2 to 3 inches long, each one
nodding on the very short recurved pedicel. At the base of the raceme.
are a few female flowers, which are erect, some of which develop into
small hard nutlets or fruits. The flowering spikes are quite variable,
sometimes being nearly all male, and sometimes mostly or entirely
female. It seems to be an American weed, native of the warmer parts
of the continent, but by cultivation introduced and spread over the
United States and Canada.
It is very common in wheat-stubble and along roadsides. In Ohio
it was reported to the State experiment station in 1883 by the greatest
number of correspondents as the most troublesome weed in corn.
It thrives on all soils, and can be eradicated only by the most care-
ful cultivation. It is kept down' in well-seeded meadows, but some
of the plants persist, and produce seed when but a few inches high.
Sheep are a valuable stock to keep on land infested with this and
other weeds.
Plate IX, a branch with the flowering spikes; Fig. 1, a single male
head; Fig. 2, a fertile nutlet.
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (white daisy, ox-eye daisy,
white-weed).
A perennial plant, 1 to 2 feet high, simple or with few branches,
often several stems from one root. The stem is rather sparsely
clothed with narrow, coarsely-toothed or gashed, obovate or spatulate
leaves, the upper ones sessile with a clasping fringed base, the lower
ones more or less petioled. The main stem and the few long branches
are each terminated with a single head of flowers,'which, when ex-
panded, is an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. There is an ex-
ternal set of thinnish scales, which is called the involucre; within this
are the florets, or flowers, of 2 kinds-an outside row of showy, white
flat florets called "the ray," and a central mass of short tubular yellow
florets, which constitute the "disk."
Both the ray and disk florets are fertile; that is, provided with an
achenium or seed at the base. If the small disk florets are carefully
examined they will each be found to contain 5 stamens united by
the anthers around the central style. In the ray florets the stamens
are absent. The plant is a native of Europe, but has become widely
spread over all the eastern part of this continent.
The daisy is most troublesome in meadows and pastures. Though
long known in this country, it is still spreading westward into new
localities. In some cases it has escaped as a weed from flower gar-
dens; in others it is introduced in grass or cloverseed or hay. It has
been introduced in some places as a grazing plant for sheep, though
the close grazing of the sheep will exterminate it. Where the plant
is abundant it has been utilized to restore worn-out land too poor to
grow clover. For this purpose it is sown at the rate of one-fourth
bushel per acre. It is too much of a weed, however, to be introduced
into a new locality for any purpose. If the land is brought to the
proper state of fertility grass and clover will keep the daisies down, so
that the few which remain may be readily exterminated. (Plate X.)
Abutilon aviceunce (Indian mallow, velvet-leaf).
A coarse annual plant of the order Malvacece. The stem is branch-:
ing and grows to the height of 4 or 5 feet. The stem, branches, and
leaves are covered with short soft hairs; hence the name of velvet-.:






REPORT OF THE BOTANIST. 89

leqaf. The leaves are roundish-ovate, 3 to 6 or more inches long, and
rather long-pointed, heart-shaped at the base, the margins with fine
bunt teeth, and with a stalk longer than the leaf. There are about
U principal nerves diverging from the base.
From the axil or angle of each leaf-stalk is produced a flower-stalk,
which develops 1 or 2 flowers or is sometimes extended into a branch-
i-g raceme, with 3 to 5 flowers. The flowers consist of an outer calyx,
cleft into 5 lobes or teeth, the corolla consisting of 5 obovate orange-
yellow petals, and a column of numerous stamens united into a tube,
which closely surrounds the 12 to 15 styles. The expanded flower
Sis half to three-fourths of an inch in diameter. After the fall of the
corolla the ovaries develop into a crowded mass of dry pods or cap-
sules, each one having 2 short stiff points or teeth, which spread or
Sradiate upward and outward. The base of this mass of carpels is
surrounded by the persistent calyx. The calyx and capsules are soft,
hairy, or pubescent.
In some parts of the country this plant is called stamp-weed, be-
cause the pods are used to ornament or stamp butter.
'This plant, originally from India, has spread quite extensively in
Europe and Asia, and also in the United States, where in some locali-
ties it has become a serious weed in rich cultivated grounds. It was
I) long sold as an ornamental plant; but few, if any, seedsmen now
offer it. It possesses a strong fiber, which some have attempted to
utilize for manufacturing purposes. (See Report 1879, p. 508.) Be-
ing an annual, and easily recognized, and generally confined as yet
tolimited localities, it would seem to be more easy to get rid of than
many of our weeds. (Plate X.L)
Solanum Caroliniense (horse-nettle).
A low, perennial plant, with deep, running roots, belonging to the
order Solanacece, the same that contains the potato, tomato, &c.
SThe stems are 1 to 2 feet high, rather straggling, branching, and half-
Sshrubby at the base. The stems and the midnerve of the lower side
of the leaves are more or less thickly armed with short, sharp, stout,
Syellowish prickles. The stem and leaves are also covered with minute
star-shaped hairs of from 4 to 8 points. The leaves are large for the
size of the plant, 2 to 4 inches long, short-stalked, oblong in outline,
sometimes only. coarsely and irregularly toothed, sometimes with 3
to 5 deep lobes on each side. The flowers are in racemes, mostly
From the axils of the upper leaves. There are from 3 to 10 flowers
on each raceme, on, rather short pedicels. They are an inch or less in
diameter when expanded, having a 5-parted calyx and a 5-lobed bluish
or whitish, spreading corolla. The flowers are succeeded by round
S-berries, half to three-fourths of an inch in diameter, when mature
'of a yellowish color, and filled with pulp and numerous small seeds.
The pedicels of the berries are reflexed, and the berries remain upon
the plant into the winter. Commoil in the Southern and Western
l: 'States, and becoming too frequent in the North. Darlington says:
.A.:. This is an exceedingly pernicious weed, and so tenacious of life that it is almost
l. impossible to get rid of it when once fully introduced. It grows in patches so thickly
p to deter stock from feeding among it and even to monopolize the soil, while its
lOO gradually extend around and to a great depth.
'iat seems to prefer sandy soil, at least in the North, where it is
^. e.. es called, sand-brier. As it is perennial, and spreads by the
g:ocy the most thorough treatment will eridicate it.
te X[,. Fig. 1, a branch; Fig. 2, a raceme of mature berries.
5 ::m ii""


'Hi!iii.,i. [ .





90 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.
Echium vulgare (blue-weed, blue-thistle, bugloss). ./I
A biennial plant, of the-order Borraginacece.
The stem is from 2 to 3 feet high, rough, hairy, and leafy. The
leaves vary from lanceolate to linear, the lower ones 5 to 8 inches
long, becoming shorter above, the uppermost bractlike and shorter
than the flowering racemes. Like the stem, they are roughened with
stiff whitish hairs, which have a stinging quality. The upper part
of the stem, sometimes for more than half its length, bears numer- I
ous short, axillary spikes or racemes of flowers. These racemes are
1 to 2 inches long, and are coiled backward in bud, but straighten
out as they expand. The flowers are rather crowded, and consist of
a 5-lobed or cleft calyx, and a somewhat bell-shaped corolla about
an inch long, which is purplish at first but changing to a light blue.
When in full flower the plant has a handsome appearance. The
nutlets, of which there are about 4 in each flower, are small, round-
ish, and rough, with a peculiar appearance, which has been likened
to a viper's head. This plant is a native of Europe and Asia, but has
become extensively naturalized along roadsides, in waste grounds
and fields, principally in the Middle Atlantic States. (Plate XIII.)

Rumex acetosella, (sheep sorrel, field sorrel).
This small plant belongs to the order Polygonacece, or the family
which contains the wild buckwheats and the docks. It multiplies
rapidly by underground runners or roots. The stems are seldom
more than 15 or 16 inches high, and are slender, erect, somewhat
angular, and furrowed. The leaves are rather distant on the stem;
the root and lower stem-leaves are on long and slender petioles, the
upper ones becoming short-stalked or sessile. They have the pecul-
iar form which is called hastate, that is, arrow-shaped, with the
lobes spreading outward, or at right angles to the main part. Some-
times in the upper leaves the lobes are wanting.
The flowers are in racemes, at small distances apart, and in whorls
of 3 to 6, nodding on the very short pedicels. The plant is of the
kind called dioecious; that is, all the flowers of one plant are of one
sex, either male or female. The flowers are very small, and in the
male plants consist of the calyx of 6 sepals, 3 inner and 3 outer ones,
and 6 stamens. In the female plants (and these are said to be larger
than the male plants) the calyx is the same, but "in place of the
stamens, the small ovary, with its feathery stigmas, is seen, the ovary
finally enlarging to form the 3-angled fruit. This sorrel is a native
of Europe, but has become extensively naturalized in our country.
It is often stated that the presence of sorrel is an indication of an
unusual amount of acid in the soil, and that an application of lime
or other alkali eradicates the sorrel by correcting the acidity. Such
is not the case. Sorrel is generally most abundant on poor, light
land, where little else will grow. An application of lime or other
fertilizer enables other plants to grow and crowd out the sorrel.
Plate XIV, Fig. 1, a male flower magnified; Fig. 2, a female flowers
magnified.

Lychnis Githago (corn-cockle, or cockle).
A rather showy annual plant, belonging to the same family as the
pink and sweet-william. It is a native of Europe, from whence it
as been introduced with grain, and is now too commonly found in
fields of wheat and rye. I
I. 4

:.ii
%V ::J^







VI .' The plant is from 2 to 4 feet high, sparingly branched above. The
Leaves are narrowly lanceolate, 3 to 5 inches long, less than half an
" inch wide, gradually tapering to a point, entire, thick, and, like the
branches and calyx, covered with fine soft hairs. They are in single
pairs at the base of each branch and opposite each other. The
branches are slender, naked, and terminated with single flowers,
which are 2 to 21- inches long when expanded.
The calyx is 10-ribbed, and divided into 5 linear lobes, similar to
the leaves, and longer than the corolla, which consists of 5 obcor-
date petals of a reddish-purple color, and about 1- inches long.
There are 10 stamens and 5 styles. The ovary develops into a
roundish-oblong pod, filled with numerous dark-purple seeds, which
under a lens are beautifully ribbed and roughened.
In regard to the comparative injury to wheat by cockle and chess
a grain-dealer of Michigan writes:
In this State there is much more chess in wheat than cockle, but it is screened
out easily, whereas cockle is very difficult to screen out, as it is as heavy and has
nearly as large a berry as wheat. The chess is of no value, while the presence of
cockle makes the flour of low grade.
A grain-dealer at Duluth, Minn., writes, December 30, 1886, con-
cerning cockle:
Its effect on the grade of wheat as inspected here is serious. We had one car,
which contained No. 1 hard wheat (our highest grade here), reduced to rejected
(which is next to the lowest grade) solely on account of cockle. That would make
i a reduction in price of at least 15 cents pdr bushel:
-
A Minneapolis (Minn.) miller writes:
Cockle runs from 1 to 5 pounds to the bushel, 5 pounds 'being an extreme per-
centage. It is absolutely impossible to clean all the cockle out of the wheat, as
.it is so near the weight of the berry. Chess is found in winter-wheat sections, and
:can be all cleaned out of the wheat, as it is light, and can be handled to much better
advantage than the cockle.
Sow a portion, at least, of the crop with perfectly clean seed on
land where no grain grew the year before. Use this for the next
year's seeding. In a few years the crop will be free from cockle. If,
when clean seed is obtained, it is offered to surrounding growers, the
area free from this weed may be extended, so as to lessen the liability
of its being again introduced.
Plate XV, Fig. 2, a section through the ovary; Fig. 3, a seed mag-
nified.

Chenopodium album (pig-weed, lamb's quarters).
This very comtnon weed- is of variable size, sometimes in good soil
growing 5 or 6 feet high, in. other circumstances reaching only 1 or 2
feet. The stem is rather stout and angular, and much branched.
The leaves are on rather long and slender petioles, and vary from 1
to 3 inches in length, of an oblong or ovate form, the larger ones
coasely and irregularly toothed, the smaller ones narrow and mostly
entire. The flowers are in small roundish clusters, at short distances
ap : art, on slender spikes or racemes, which terminate the branches.
TI he flower clusters are covered with a whitish mealy powder, and in
Vvimany cases this mealiness extends also to the leaves. The individual
lowersare very small, consisting of a five-cleft calyx, 5 stamens, and
v ovary with 2 styles. The flower is destitute of a corolla. The
ture ovary or seed is round in outline, but much flattened and
shaped, smooth, shining, and black inclosed in a thin green

i :i'., .: ." :.: : ... .... .

i~ i~i~iiiiiiiii~i ',!i :i~ii~i. .. ... i........ .... ::i.. ... .




w w


92 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE.

pericarp or cover. These parts require to be magnified to be dis-
tinctly seen.
This plant, as well as a number of others of the same family, is a
native of Europe, but is extensively naturalized, and is found in
waste places and cultivated ground. The young plants are .some-
times used as a pot-herb.
The variety viride, by some considered a distinct species, has also
been introduced, and is becoming in some localities even more abun-
dant than the other. It is of a dqeper green, has narrower leaves,
and blooms earlier. (Plate XVI.)

Ranunculus acris (buttercup, tall crowfoot).
A perennial herb of the order Ranunculacece, a native of Europe,
but extensively naturalized in New England and New York in past-
ures and meadows. The roots are fibrous, the stem is about 2 feet
high, and branching near the summit. The leaves are mostly from
the base, and on long stems, which are generally clothed with soft
hairs. These leaves are roundish in outline, .but divided into about
three or five principal segments, and each segment is again parted into
about three divisions, which are again cut int6 coarse teeth or lobes'.
The stem has but few leaves, and those more deeply gashed, with the
uppermost reduced to a few linear segments. The flowers are at the
ends of the long naked branches, either singly or 2 or 3 near together.
They are about three-fourths of an inch in diameter and of a bright
yellow color. The calyx consists of 5 green sepals, which are shorter
than the petals and spread out horizontally. The outer organs soon
fall off, and the ovaries mature into a roundish head of small, hard,
flattened, and pointed carpels.
It is not uncommon in the New England States and in New York
to see large fields of pasture-land completely taken possession of by
this buttercup or crow-foot. On account of the acrid juice which it
contains it is always rejected by cattle in the field, but as the acridity
is dissipated by drying, the leaves are eaten when present in hay, but
the long coarse stems are so much waste matter. (Plate XVII.)

Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous-rooted buttercup).
A small species of buttercup, with a roundish bulbous root, also
introduced from Europe and naturalized in some places, particularly
in Pennsylvania and Virginia, to such an extent as to be quite a pest
in meadows and pastures. The segments of the leaves are about
three, not so close together as in the R. acris, and generally with
fewer lobes. The flowers are of about the same size and color as the
preceding, but the sepals or parts ofthe calyx are reflexed. (Plate
XVIII.)

Barbarea vulgaris and Barbarea prcecox (winter-cress,
scurvy-grass).
A biennial plant of the natural order Cruciferce, related to the
mustard, turnip, cress, and cabbage. It grows to the height of about
2 feet. The stem is disposed to branch at the upper part. It pro-
duces numerous yellow flowers in rather close, short racemes, which
as they grow older are elongated and covered with somewhat four-
sided, narrow pods, about an inch in length. There ate two species,
differing principally in the leaves, which in B. vulgaris are shorter,
with a large roundish extremity and sometimes a few short lobes be-


... .. ..... .. ...






REPORT OF THE BOTANIST.


[ ow; in B. prcecox the leaves are longer and pinnatifid, with irregu-
lar lobes, decreasing in size from the apex toward the base.
In the vicinity of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, &c., this
pla"t is considerably cultivated as an early salad, and has escaped
S from cultivation to such an extent as to become very troublesome in
cultivated fields. As found in these places it is probably introduced
from Europe, but in the neighborhood of the great lakes, in Canada,
and northward it is thought to be a native plant. (Plate XIX.)
Chelidonium majus celandinee).
A plant of the poppy family (Papaveracece). It is herbaceous and
perennial, growing 14 to 2 feet high, with a brittle, watery stem,
which when broken emits a yellowish, disagreeable-smelling juice,
which is bitter and acrid. The stem is somewhat branching, with
large pinnatifid leaves. Those from the root are on long stalks, those
on the stem are short-stalked or the upper ones sessile. They are usu-
ally 3 or 4 inches long and nearly as broad, divided into about five prin-
cipal segments, which are again subdivided into a few lobes and coarse
teeth.. The flowers are in small clusters of 3 to 8 at the extremity of
the branches, each one on a short stalk or pedicel. They are less than
an inch in diameter when expanded, and of a bright yellow color.
The calyx consists of 2 greenishisepals, which fall off when the flower
expands. The corolla is composed of 4 oblong petals, within which
are an indefinite number (usually from 16 to 20) of stamens, and cen-
trally the ovary, which enlarges into a slender, smooth, two-valved,
3many-seeded pod, about an inch in length.
This plant is rather common about dwellings in the Eastern States,,
and, although classed as a weed, it is one which interferes principally
with garden culture. Like many other common weeds, it is intro-
dluced from Europe. (Plate XX.)
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's-purse).
One of the commonest garden and roadside weeds. It is an up-
right annual plant of variable size, sometimes fruiting when 2 or 3
inches high, and sometimes attaining a height of 18 inches or more.
The leaves are mostly near the lower part of the plant, the upper
ones becoming small, narrow, and somewhat arrow-shaped, while the
lower ones are sometimes 5 or 6 inches long, pinnatifid, and toothed
like ,those of the dandelion. The flowers are very small, and at first
somewhat crowded near the end of the branches, but in age becoming
much separated, and forming a long, leafless raceme. The flowers
liave the same general structure as those of pepper-grass and radish,
and the plant belongs to the same natural order, Cruciferce. The
pods are on slender pedicels, which are half to three-fourths of an
inch long. They are about one-fourth of an inch long, of a peculiar
form, flat, broad at the top, and notched at the apex, then narrowed
to the base, presenting somewhat the appearance of a purse, from
which appearance comes the common name of shepherd's-purse. The
pods consist of two lobes or pouches, fixed on opposite sides of a flat
thin partition, to which the seeds are attached. Although this weed
is very common and abundant, it can generally be easily destroyed
by careful culture. (Plate XXI.)
BGEORGE VASEY
(-- Botanist.
Ni: .HonI NORMAN J. COLMAN,
Commissioner.


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