Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Nothing can be more beautiful than the appearance of this plant in flower during the rains on the banks of rivers, where it is commonly interwoven with a lovely twining Asclepias, of which the following description is, I hope, very exact :

a

31. DUGDHICA': or Milkplant ;
Syn. Cjhíráví, Dugdhicá.
Vulg. Kyirui, Dúdhi, Dúdh-latá.
Linn. Esculent Periploca.
Cal. One-leaved, five-parted; divisions awled, acute, coloured, ex-

panding.
Cor. One-petaled, salver-form, starlike ; divisions five, egged, pointed,

fringed. Ne&tary double, on a five-cleft base, gibbous between the clefts, pro

truded; and pointed above, surrounded with a bright green villous rim: exterior five-parted; divifons egged, converging, attenuated into daggers; each concave externally, gibbous below the cavity, which is two-parted and wrinkled within. Interior, a five-parted corpuscle, lopped above, five-angled, surrounding the fructification.

Filaments scarce any. Anthers five, roundish, very minute, set round the summit of the lopped corpuscle.

Germs two, egged, pointed, erect, internally flat. Styles none, unless

you so call the points of the germs. Stigma, none but the interior neEtary, unless you consider that as a common stigma. Per. Follicles two, oblong; in some, pointed ; in others, obtuse ; in

flated, one-valved; each containing a one-winged receptacle. Seeds numerous, roundish, compressed, crowned with pappus.

STAM.

Pist.

;

To each pair of leaves a peduncle mostly two-flowered, often with three, sometimes with five, flowers. Calyx reddish. Corol white, elegantly marked with purple veins; fringe, white, thick ; anthers black. Leaves linear-awled, pointed, opposite, petioled with one strong nerve; ftipules, very soft, minute. Stem smooth, round, twining; the whole plant abounding with milk.

32. LA'NGALI:
Syn. Saradı, Tóyapippalī, Saculádanì.
Vulg. Cánchrà, Iskolángolyá.
RHEEDE: Chéru-valler ?
LINN. NAMA of Silen.
CAL. Perianth one-leaved, five-parted, villous; divisions, lanced, point-

ed, long, permanent.
Cor. One-petaled, nearly wheeled. Tube very short.

short. Border fiveparted. Divisions egged. STAM. Filaments five, awled, expanding; from the mouth of the tube,

adhering to the divisions of the border by rhomboidal concave bases convergent above.

above. Anthers large, arrowed. Pist.

Germ above, egg-oblong, two-cleft. Styles two, azure, funnelform, diverging almost horizontally. Stigmas lopped, open. Per. Capsule many-feeded. Seeds very minute. Stem herbaceous, branchy, smooth, pale, creeping. Leaves alternate,

short-petioled, most entire, lance-oblong, smooth, acutish. Peduncles mostly axillary, sometimes terminal, villous, often many-flowered, rarely subumbelled, three-rayed, with involucres general and partial. Corols bright-blue, or violet ; Stamens white. The plant is aquatick; and by no means peculiar to Silàn: I have great reason, however, to doubt whether it be the Làngali of the Amaracòs, which is certainly the Canchrà of Bengal; for though it was first brought to me by that name, yet my gardener insists, that Canchrà is a very different plant, which, on examination, appears to be the Ascending JussieuA of LINNÆUS, with leaves inverse-egged, smooth, and peduncles shorter : its fibrous, creeping roots are purplish, buoys, white, pointed, solitary; and at the top of the germ sits a nectary, composed of five shaggy bodies arched like horse shoes, with external honey-bearing cavities.

33. UMA':
Syn. Atasí, Chumá.
Vulg. Tisi, Mafaná.
Linn. Most common LINUM.
Cal. Perianth five-leaved. Leaflets oblong, acute, imbricated, keeled,

fringed, minutely having somewhat reflected at the points.
Cor. Small, blue ; petals, notched, striated, wavy, reflex, imbricated.
Stam. Anthers light-blue, converging, no rudiments of filaments,
STAM
Pist. Germ large. Style pale-blue. Stigma simple.
Per. Capsule pointed. Furrowed.
Root simple.
Stem. Herbaceous, low, erect, furrowed, knotty? naked at the base.
Leaves linear, threenerved, alternate crosswise, sessile, smooth, obtuse,

reflected, stipuled, glanded ? Stipules linear. Q. a minute gland at the base.

34. MU'RvA': Syn. Dévì, Madhurafá, Móratá, Téjani, Survá, Madhúlica, Madhus'

rénì, Gócarnì, Piluparnì; Vulg. Muragà, Muraharà, Murgábi. Linn. Hyacinthoïd, ALETRIS. CAL. None. Cor. One-petaled, funnel-form, six-angled. Tube 1hort, bellied with the germ.

Border fix-parted. Divisons lanced; three quite reflected in a circle ; three alternate, deflected, pointed.

Filaments fix, awled, as long as the corol, diverging, inserted in the base of the divisions. Anthers oblong, incumbent.

a

STAM.

Pist. Germ inverse-egged, obscurely three-sided, with two or three

boney-bearing pores on the flattish top. Style awled, one-furrowed as

long as the stamens. Stigma clubbed. PERICARP and Seeds not yet inspected. Root fibrous, tawny, obscurely jointed, stolon-bearing. Scape long,

columnar, fheathed with leaves, imbricated from the root; a few Theaths above, straggling. Leaves Aethy, channelled, swordform, keeled, terminated with awls, the interior ones longer; mostly arched ; variegated with transverse undulating bands of a dark green hue approaching to black. Raceme erect, very long; Flowers, from three to seven in each fascicle, on very short petiols. Braits linear, minute. Corols, pale pea-green, with a delicate fragrance; resembling that of the Peruvian HELIOTROPE ; some of the Sanscrit names allude to the boney of these delicious Aowers ; but the nectareous pores at the top of the germ are not very distinct: in one copy of the Amaracósha we read Dhanubs'rénè among

the synonyma ; and if that word, which means a series of bows, be correct, it must allude either to the arched leaves or to the reflected divisions of the corol. This Aletris appears to be a night-flower; the raceme being covered, every evening, with fresh blossoms, which fall before sunrise.

From the leaves of this plant, the ancient Hindus extricated a very tough elastick thread, called Maurvà, of which they made bowstrings, and which for that reason, was ordained by Menu to form the sacrificial zone of the military class.

35. TARUNI:
Syn. Sabá, Cumári.
Vulg. Ghrita-cumári.
Linn. Two-ranked ALOE, A Perfoliata, P?
LINN

Flowers

Flowers racemed, pendulous, subcylindrick, rather incurved. Bracts,

one to each peduncle, awled, concave, deciduous, pale, with three dark stripes. Corol fix-parted; three external divisions, orange-scarlet; internal, yellow, keeled, more fleshy, and more highly coloured in the middle. Filaments with a double curvature. Germ fix-furrowed. Stigma simple. Leaves awled, two-ranked; the lowest, expanding ; sea-green, very fleshy; externally quite convex, edged with soft thorns; variegated on both sides with white spots. Van Rheede exhibits the true Aloe by the name of Cumárì ; but the specimen, brought me by a native gardener, seemed a variety of the two-ranked, though melting into the species, which immediately precedes it in LINNÆUS.

36. BACULA :
Syn. Césára.
Vulg. Mulsari or Múlafrí.
LINN. MIMusOPs Elengi.
CAL. Perianth eight-leaved ; leaflets egged, acute, permanent ; four

interior, simple ; four exterior, leathery. Cor. Petals fixteen, lanced, expanding ; as long as the calyx. Nec

tary eight-leaved ; leaflets lanced, converging round the stamen and

pistil. STAM. Filaments eight (or from seven to ten), awled, very short, ,

hairy. Anthers oblong, erect. Pist.

Germ above, roundish, villous. Style cylindrick. Stigma obtuse. Per. Drupe oval, pointed; bright orange-scarlet. Nut. Oval, wrinkled, flattish and smooth at one edge, broad and

two-furrowed at the other. Flowers agreeably fragrant in the open air, but with too strong a perfume to give pleasure in an apartment : since it must require the

imagination

VOL. II.

M

« PreviousContinue »