THIS is another form of Baron Mueller's. numerous and widely-spread contributions to the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria—numerous we say, because the Baron's pen is always at work upon botanical matters, the consideration of useful plants being apparently one of his favourite themes, and widely spread, because these papers on “select plants” seem to have been freely distributed not only in Australia and in this country, but also in America, where indeed some portion, if not all, have been republished. The present issue, Baron Mueller tells us is a rearranged and largely supplemented form, which has been taken up by the Government of Victoria, and published under their authority. The book, which numbers some 293 pages octavo, contains references to an immense number of plants, the information attached to each being brief but withal accurate. The generic and specific names are arranged alphabetically from beginning to end, and this arrangement is perhaps the best for general use. After the scientific name, the vernacular name is given, then the geographical distribution or habitat, followed by a note as to the nature of the plant, whether a tree, shrub, or what not, and finally a brief description of its properties and uses. As a proof that Baron Mueller has corrected this latest issue of his papers, down quite to the present time we may mention that under Nicotiana tabacum Lattakia tobacco is included, and it is only within a comparatively recent date that Mr. Thiselton Dyer has shown this to be right, nearly all previous writers having attributed it to N. rustica. At the conclusion of the book a very good plan is adopted of classifying the plants mentioned under distinct heads referring to their uses; thus, under alimentary plants, the generic names of all such are placed; the same under dye plants, fibrous plants, and so on. A good index is given of vernacular names only, which is quite sufficient when it is remembered that the scientific names are arranged alphabetically throughout the book.
Select Plants readily Eligible for Industrial Culture or Naturalisation in Victoria, with Indications of their Native Countries and some of their Uses.
By Baron F. von Mueller, &c. (Melbourne: McCarron, Bird, and Co.)
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Select Plants readily Eligible for Industrial Culture or Naturalisation in Victoria, with Indications of their Native Countries and some of their Uses . Nature 16, 100 (1877) doi:10.1038/016100a0