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Dr. Hooker's “Student's Flora”


ALL the reviews which I have read of the “Student's Flora of the British Islands” are, as they undoubtedly should be, appreciative, but your reviewer has done well in pointing out a few seeming discrepancies, which it would, perhaps, be well if attended to in a second edition; and, if you will permit space, I will endeavour briefly to add to your list of desiderata. In the first place I take it that a good glossary is an essential, if not an absolute necessary, adjunct to a students' manual; yet we look in vain for anything of the kind in Dr. Hooker's new “Flora.” Dr. Hooker could scarcely have thought beginners in botany able to interpret many words used by him in his generic and specific descriptions. I am also sorry to see that little word “sub” used so extensively; for my own part I do not understand its meaning as applied in zoology and botany. I can quite understand its applied use in sub-contractor, sub-lieutenant, sub-terranean, & c., but who dares tell us that one tribe, or one family, or genus, or species is subordinate to another? I comprehend a “species” as a form of animal or vegetable life which differs slightly but materially and permanently from its nearestally; such a form is, in my humble opinion, worthy to hold its own as a good species, not subservient or subordinate to any other form that can be so described, no matter how apparently closely related. Forms of this kind may have (I say it advisedly: we have no proof to the contrary) approached each other through natural selection, without being off-sets in a direct line from a common parent.

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REEKS, H. Dr. Hooker's “Student's Flora”. Nature 2, 335 (1870).

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