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under the line, are, to each other, nearly, as 25.7.1; in the temperate latitudes of the old world, as 7.5.1; under the polar circle, as 23. 24. 1. So that it is only in Lapland that the Cyperaceae are equal, in number of species, to the Graminea; but through the temperate zone to the tro- pics, the quantity of Cyperaceae and Junceæ diminishes, in a far greater proportion, in the northern hemisphere, than that of the Gramineæ: in so much, that the Junceæ disappear almost entirely in the torrid zone. The Cyperaceae, on the other hand, seem better qualified to support every degree of climate; and it is specially among them that we find the plants which are common to both the new and the old continents, such as Kyllingia monocephala, CYPERUS monostachyus, CHETOSPORA aurea, and other species, which we have enu. merated elsewhere. So New Holland and South America produce, in common, SCIRPUS triqueter, SCIRPUS capitatus, and FUIRENA umbellata; Europe and Australasia, SCIRPUS fluitans, SCIRPUS supinus, SCIRPUS setaceus, SCIRPUS lacustris, SCIRPUS triqueter, SCHNUS mariscus, CAREX cæpitosa, CAREX PseudoCyperus, JUNCUs maritimus, and JUNCUS effusus. In general, the countries which lie within the tropic of Capricorn appear to abound in the CYPERACEA; for, of the 456 GLUMACEÆ of New Holland, described by Mr. Brown, 214 are ranked in the Gramineæ, and 200 in the Cyperaceae; which proportion, if it be admitted as the true one of the relative distribution of these plants, is widely different from that which is exemplified in the tropic of Cancer.
As to what I have to offer in regard to the secondary groups or tribes, into which the Glumacea have been divided according to natural affinity, I shall make use of an extract from the writings of Mr. Kunth: "Some of the tribes of the Gramineæ, are represented by numerous species in the tropical regions, while in Europe they have not a single species, or at least, such only as are very rare; for instance, the Paniceæ, Stipacea, Chloridea, Saccharina, Orizeæ, Olyrea, and Bambusacea. Europe does not produce a single species of Paspalum, only five species of the Stipacea, very few of the Saccharina, but one of the
Oryzea, (LEERSIA oryzoides,) and not one of the Chloridea, Olyrea, and Bambusaceæ. On the other hand, the Agrostideæ, Avenacea, Arundinacea, and Bromeæ, are peculiar to our temperate latitudes. In a like manner the Hordeacea, (an order which comprehends the principal part of our corn-plants,) seem specially adapted to the warmer regions of Europe and to Asia, while the alpine grasses of both the new and old continents belong principally to the Agrostidea, Avenacea, and Bromea. The genus Cyperus, is almost entirely tropical; for of the 150 species, which we know at present, scarcely 20 belong to Europe and the northern part of America. There is not a MARISCUS, nor a KYLLINGIA in all Europe; nor is there any species of the true Cyperaceae, (those with two ranked imbricated glumes), in the whole European continent. The Scirpeæ seem to be dispersed indiscriminately over every part of the globe, and of all the monocotyledonous plants, are those among which we meet with the greatest number of instances of species, which are common both to the new and old continents."
In regard to Bamboos, M. Bonpland and myself had the good fortune to meet with them in bloom twice, once on the banks of the Cassiquiare, (a branch of the Orinoco), and again near the plantation of El Muerto, in the province of Popayan, between Bugus and Quilichao. For though these tree-like canes cover the marshy lands of the new world to a great extent, and often attain the height of 50 or 60 feet, yet they very seldom flower there. Neither Mutis, who had explored so many Guadales, (as the marshes covered with Bamboos are called by the Creoles,) nor our friend Tafalla, who had accompanied Ruiz and Pavon in their well known botanical expedition through Peru, had either of them ever been able to procure the fruit or the flower of a Bamboo. On the other hand, in the East Indies these gigantic grasses are known to flower in such abundance, that according to Dr. Buchanan, the seed mixed with honey, is a common article of food in the Mysore country. The plant is there believed to bear fruit as soon as it has attained the age of 15 years, and to die immediately afterwards. It is distinguished by the natives of those parts into two sorts, one with a solid cane, called Chittu, and
which grows in dry places, and the other with a hollow cane, called Doda, which comes quicker to maturity, and grows in watery places.
Having procured some canes of a Bamboo (BAMBUSA Guadua) at Guaduas, in New Granada, we saw at once how deficiently and incorrectly the genus had been characterized in all our botanical works, and made it our first concern to take the déscription of the plant on the spot where it grew, and attended in particular to the deeply three-parted style, and the three scales which surround the parts of fructification, and were then denominated by us its triphyllous nectary. Loureiro is almost the only author who has described the style correctly in the asiatic species, (for example, in BAMBUSA verticillata).
The Bamboo is not so general in the wet lands of South America as has been usually thought. They are rather scarce, both in the Caraccas and New Andalusia, (if we except the vallies that lie between Cumanacoa and the town of San Fernando), and the marshy woods of Guayana, that line the banks of the Cassiaquiare and Atabasso. There are hardly any other on the shores of the Apure which runs through the province of Varinas, or on those of the Guainia, or Rio Negro. In all the parts of America which were visited by Bonpland and myself, we only found them common in those places which lay exposed to the setting sun. They abound principally in New Granada, where they constitute vast forests, and grow both in the sultry lowlands, between Turbaco and Mahates, as well as in the highland vallies, where the climate is more temperate; for instance, between the towns of Guaduas and Villeta, in Santa Fè de Bogotà; on the western declivities of the Quindu Andès, near Buenavista and Carthagena; on the bank of the Cauca (between Bugas and Quilichao, in Popayan); and, lastly, at the back of the volcanic mountain, Rucu-Pichincha, near the city of Quito; where a wide marshy level, covered with a close rank vegetation, extends through the province of Esmeralda, to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. We found the BAMBUSA GUADUE from on a level with the sea, up to the height of 860 fathoms; and what struck us was, that the highland plants of this species always contained
more water than those on the plains, although both grew in soils of equal degrees of humidity. In the highest stations (as from 600 to 900 fathoms) we only found them dispersed about in small bushes; but, in the level country, even as high up as 400 fathoms, they formed extensive forests. In general the plants which belong to the Bamboo tribe, may be reckoned among the gregarious plants (planta sociate). The Nastus* of the Isle of Bourbon, according to Bory St. Vincent, is a true subalpine grass, and never descends into the plains lower than to an elevation of 600 fathoms above the sea.
The water which is found secreted in the hollow of the American Bamboos has a somewhat brackish taste, but is not unpalatable. It is said by the natives to have an injurious effect upon the urinary passages. I could never detect any
The genera BAMBUSA and NASTUS, which most botanists of the present day have blended together, are to be distinguished from each other by the following cahracteristics :-In BAMBUSA the long subcylindrical ears comprize a great number of bipaleaceous(doublechaffed) flowers, of which the lower only are male ones. Each of these bipaleaceous flowers is inclosed by a calyx of two glumes, (husks). The manner of the inflorescence, and the form of the chaffs are nearly the same as in the PoE, from which, however, the BAMBUSE are sufficiently distinguishable by an arborescent haulm, by having six stamens, a deeply trifid style, and three scales that surround the parts of fructification. In the genus NASTUS, on the other hand, the ear is oblong, compressed, and comprizes a fixed number of chaffs, which overlay each other in two rows, nearly as in the Cyperaceae. Of these glumes, only the two upper ones enclose a flower like that of BAMBUSA, viz. one with a trifid style, six stamens, and three nectaries. Judging from analogy, the two lower glumes may stand for the calyx in BAMBUSA, the others may be looked upon as neutral flowers with only one valve. The species which belong to BAMBUSA are, arundinacea et stricta Roxb. verticil lata Willd. latifolia et Guadæ, Bonpl. and an unpublished one of the Isle of Bourbon. To the genus NASTUs belong, Calumet des hauts de Bourbon, and a Madagascar, species of which the specimen is preserved in the Herbarium of M. Du Petit Thouars, Bory St. Vincent has described the style and nectaries of NASTUS correctly, but has blended the genus with BAMBUSA.
secretion from the American Bamboos, that gave me any idea of the sweetness of honey, but I met with the true Tabasheer or Tabaxir in the kingdom of Quito, and it differed but very slightly from that of the East Indies. I brought home a specimen of it, which was analyzed by the celebrated Vauquelin. It is called by the Creoles manteca de Guaduas, (Guaduas, butter), and contains 0,70, of siliceous earth, and 0,30 of potash, lime,
I cannot account for the Tabasheer, which is a white substance, and friable like starch, having been compared to honey by those who have treated on the subject of the sugar of the ancients. I could perceive no sweet taste in the Quito Tabasheer, not even when it was in the state of a mucilage, and before it was hardened by drying; and strongly suspect that none of the arborescent canes in all America contain any sweet liquid whatever. As to the Tabasheer, before it coagulates into it wonted stony hardness, it is a viscid, white, and milky substance. Kept for five months, it exhales a strongly fetid animal smell. The same property was observed by Dr. Patrick Russell, the oriental traveller, in what he terms the salt of the asiatic Bamboo, while Garcias del Huerto, who resided for a long time at Goa, in quality of physician to the viceroy, is the only author who speaks of a sweet juice from the Bamboo. The ancients seem to have been led to confound true sugar with tabasheer in the first place, from both being the produce of a cane, and in the second from the Sanscrit word sharkara, which at this day (like the Persian shaker and the Hindustanée schukur) is used for our sugar, not properly meaning something which is sweet, but something that is lapideous and granulated, as we learn from Boppius, on the authority of Amarasinha. It is probable that the word scharkara originally meant only tabasheer, (saccar mombu), but was subsequently transferred from similitude of appearance to our sugar from the smaller cane (ikschu, kandekschu, kanda). The word Bamboo is derived from mombu; and from kanda we get candy, (sugar-candy). In tabasheer we trace the Persian word scher, which means milk, in Sanscrit kschiram.