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covered with R. lacerata, its surrounding membrane prolonged into delicate lacerate teeth, which studded the whole fruit with soft white points, while the felty skin was timed orange gold with its constantly dropping spores. Another closely-related genus is Cystopus, which has white spores. It appears in oblong or linear white blotches on the leaves, and attacks cruciferous plants; among them, cabbages. The Polygona are sometimes almost covered with C. Candidas.
But the above-mentioned genera, though close allies, are far less injurious than the black-spored forms. These latter have been, for centuries, the pests of farmers. They are similar to Uredo in their general mode of growth; but their ravages are more extensive and fatal. The bunt of wheat (Ttlletia caries) takes possession of the whole grain, turning it into a mass of black dust. It does not, like Uredo, simply grow beneath the epidermis in a superficial manner: it permeates the whole substance of the grain, producing its powdery spores with immense rapidity and profusion. Ustilago Segetum, the smut of all the cereals, infests the stems, leaves, rachis, and grain. It grows within the tissues of the plant; its spores finally bursting forth in such vast quantities as to cover it with their jet-black powder, which is simply an immense mass of black globules. The rapidity of growth which will allow of the production from the apices of minute filaments of this dense volume of cells is certainly amazing. The number of them contained in an ear of smutty corn is simply inconceivable. They utterly vitiate the plant they infest, turning it into a dust, which, when moistened, becomes a disgusting inky mass. W. Mayidis, a kindred species, infests Indian corn.
Another genus, containing some of the most beautiful objects under the microscope, but ugly enough in the farmer's eye, is Puccinea. Many of its species attack plants of all orders, appearing in little dark, rounded spots on their leaves. But the dreaded species is the wheat-mildew, Puccinea graminis. This infests all cereals, attacking their culms and leaves. The spores of this genus are larger than those of the other genera: they can be almost individualized by the naked eye. They are borne on slender, diaphanous, elongated cells, and are variously ornamented by surface corrugations. They burst, like the others, from beneath the epidermis of the plants, in close masses, which become confluent lines in the grasses. The spores are double on the ends of the filaments, one above the other, looking like a single, oval spore, somewhat pointed at the top, which, by constriction and septation, had become resolved into two.
All of these fungi we have enumerated are of the simplest structure. Though the individual plants are so infinitesimally small, they reproduce with such woYiderful rapidity, and in such amazing profusion, as to destroy whole crops by their ravages. Their mycelium penetrates the soft tissues of their prey, and, on reaching the surface, breaks forth in an eruption which allows of no cure. A piece of glass, on which lie spread thousands of their spores, would exhibit to the eye a faint mist; and yet this mist will increase into a black cloud which envelops and destroys a field of nodding grain.
Experiments of all sorts have been resorted to to prevent the attack of these omnipresent parasites. But their occurrence is mainly clue to atmospheric influences. Their spores are everywhere, and can be called into germination by circumstances favorable to their growth, either moisture or drought. All fungi are more or less meteoric in occurrence. Season upon season may pass without a sign of them; and then, owing to favorable influence, often beyond our recognition, they spring broadcast into life and luxuriance. Dr. Berkeley says, "The surest remedy is to steep the seedgrain in some solution which at once washes off a portion of the spores, and poisons the rest. Many remedies have been proposed; as simple water, salt, lime, sulphate of copper, corrosive sublimate, arsenic. The best, perhaps, is sulphate of copper in solution (Glauber's salts), dried off with quicklime." These various parasites affect different localities with varying intensity. They are more or less common all over the world, and ravage the crops of England and Europe sometimes to a disastrous extent. The dry air of New England is not favorable to their propagation to an alarming degree. Chas. J. Spraguc.
Boston, March, 1867.
Hepatica Angulosa is supposed to be a native of Hungary. It was introduced to cultivation in England by Messrs. Backhouse & Son of York, and is thus described in the Royal Horticultural Society's proceedings : —
crenated, and again obscurely lobed; the latter numerous, each upwards of an inch and a half across, consisting of nine or ten (the numbers seven and eight being also found) oblong sepals of a pale blue-lilac color, prettily relieved by the central tufts of yellow styles. One of the finest hardy plants of recent introduction, and of a sturdy, vigorous habit."
Rose Mrs. Ward.—A hybrid perpetual obtained by Mr. Ward of Ipswich, the raiser of John Hopper, from Jules Margottin crossed with Comtesse de Chabrillant, and described as partaking of the qualities of both parents. "The outer petals have that brilliant rosy-pink color which the Countess possesses; while the centre of the flower has the color of Jules Margottin: the petals are of great substance, thicker almost than those of any rose with which we are acquainted. In shape, also, it is midway between the two; and we believe no better model for a rose exists. The wood is stout and thorny, the foliage large and ample; and the plant has the merit of being a good autumnal bloomer." — Florist.
Rhododendron Archiduc Etienne. — A hardy hybrid variety raised by M. A. Verschaffelt. The trusses, as well as the individual flowers, are large; the latter are white, densely covered in the upper petals with a multitude of small, dark, chestnut-brown spots, which at a little distance appear as if forming one large blotch; intersected lengthwise through the middle by a white vein. The spots do not extend so far as the margin of the petals; and, as they approach it, they are set farther apart: they also exist at the base of the lower petals. — L 'Illustration Horticole.
Urccolina pendula. — Described many years ago by Dean Herbert, and figured in "The Botanical Magazine " for 1864. The plant from which the plate is taken was found by Messrs. Veitch's collector, Mr. Pearce, in the woods of the Andes of Peru. It bears large umbels of drooping goldenyellow flowers, likened in shape to an inverted pitcher, and having the limb green, edged with white. — Ibid.
ORCHARD-SITES IN THE NORTH-WEST.
The belief that fruit cannot be raised on the prairie regions of the West is, happily, fast disappearing. Looking from the window at which I write, over an orchard of forty acres already in profitable bearing, located in the extreme northern part of Illinois, it is no difficult thing to say, that fruit-growing may be set down as a success in this region.
The many orchards that can be seen as one passes over the country, in which three-fourths of the trees are already dead, and the majority of the remainder in a dying condition, have done much to deter later settlers from planting as largely as they otherwise would; but each year gives greater evidence, in the success of other orchards, that these failures were the result of the ignorance and mistakes of the planters.
A few hints are here given with regard to orchard-sites, in the hope that they may be found useful. Scattered over our prairies are groves of timber of greater or less extent. These groves are generally found to be on higher ground than the surrounding prairie, and on that account are, to some extent, exempt from the frosts that are so destructive on the lower grounds. The soil, also, differs from the surrounding prairie; being much poorer in quality as a usual thing. The original growth of timber, when cleared away, leaves a mass of decaying roots in the ground, which serve for years as a natural under-drain. These reasons make these timbered spots eminently desirable for orchard-sites. Other things being equal, the higher the ground, the better. In an orchard planted by E. H. Skinner, one of the pioneer fruit-growers of Northern Illinois, which is two hundred feet above the level of the prairie, corn was not killed last fall until three or four weeks after it was killed on the prairie; and the late spring frosts are much lighter on this high ground. The poorer quality of soil is favorable, in that the wood is not stimulated to make a late fall growth, and is thus well ripened, and prepared to endure the rigors of a severe winter.
"Oak openings," as they are called, being sparsely covered with trees, make good sites for orchards.
On the open prairie, the high or " rolling " ground is considered best; but with proper cultivation before planting, and judicious cultivation after,
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