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Characteristics of the North American Flora1

Nature volume 31, pages 232235 | Download Citation



WHEN the British Association, with much painstaking, honours and gratifies the cultivators of science on this side of the ocean by meeting on American soil, it is but seemly that a Corresponding Member for the third of a century should endeavour to manifest his interest in the occasion and to render some service, if he can, to his fellow-naturalists in Section D. I would attempt to do so by pointing out, in a general way, some of the characteristic features of the vegetation of the country which they have come to visit,—a country of “magnificent distances,” but of which some vistas may be had by those who can use the facilities which are offered for enjoying them. Even to those who cannot command the time for distant excursions, and to some who may know little or nothing of botany, the sketch which I offer may not be altogether uninteresting. But I naturally address myself to the botanists of the Association, to those who, having crossed the wide Atlantic, are now invited to proceed westward over an almost equal breadth of land; some, indeed, have already journeyed to the Pacific coast, and have returned; and not a few, it is hoped, may accept the invitation to Philadelphia, where a warm welcome awaits them—warmth of hospitality, rather than of summer temperature, let us hope; but Philadelphia is proverbial for both There opportunities may be afforded for a passing acquaintance with the botany of the Atlantic border of the United States, in company with the botanists of the American Association, who are expected to muster in full force.

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