THIS is an admirable little book of its kind, the greatest care and conscientiousness having evidently been exercised in its compilation. The plan adopted by the author was to include only such species as he had actually gathered himself, or of which he had seen authentic specimens, hence a considerable number of species which we know, from personal observation, to grow within the limits of the Cuckmere district are omitted, or only given in an appendix. However, Mr. Roper will doubtless soon publish a supplement, and the basis upon which he has started is far preferable to the indiscriminate admission of everything from sources of uncertain value. Another cause for the absence of certain species is the quite recent extension of the field of operations to coincide with the Cuckmere drainage district of Mr. Hemsley's projected flora of the whole county. This forms an irregular triangle, having its apex on the ridge of the weald at Cross-in-hand, and its base running along the coast from the Signal House, I east of Seaford, to St. Leonards. Its area is about 150 square miles, and it comprises a great variety of soils and situations, but there is very little boggy land, consequently a paucity of bog plants. Mr. Roper's list numbers 700 species, which further explorations will probably augment by about one hundred. It is surprising that such plants as Papaver dubium, Arenaria trinervis, Rubus discolor, Campanula rohmdifolia, Ophrys muscifera, Juncus maritimus, Aira flexuosa, Bromus giganteits, &c., should have escaped observation; but such is the case, and they are not included in the Flora. Among the more interesting plants of this part of Sussex, and not found elsewhere in the county, we may mention Phyteuma spicatum, Pyrola minor, Bupleurum aristatum, Seseli Libanotis, Sibthorpia europæa, and Bartsia viscosa. The Pyrola was recently discovered in Sussex for the first time by Mr. Roper, so the botanist should never despair of finding something new. The Flora of Eastbourne has appeared just at the right time for visitors to Eastbourne this season, who will find it a valuable guide, and all the more welcome, perhaps, because there is a chance of adding to the number of species it includes. We should add that, like most local floras of recent publication, it simply treats of the distribution of the plants, but the book before us differs from most others in its copious references to other works, which will be useful to amateurs who may have occasion to consult descriptions or plates.
Flora of Eastbourne.
Being an Introduction to the Flowering Plants, Ferns, &c., of the Cuckmere District, East Sussex, with a Map, by F. C. S. Roper., &c., President of the Eastbourne Natural History Society. 8vo, pp. 165. (London, Van Voorst.)