Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

for botanical research, and who came to this country several years before Nuttall,-as some recent investigations appear to prove,-defined the distinct characteristics of the hickories, and not only proposed, but published the name Hicoria for this genus in 1817, while Nuttall's Carya did not appear until one year later, viz.: 1818. For these dates I am mainly indebted to Dr. N. L. Britton, who appears to have been delving among “first editions” of the works of the authors named (Bulletin, Torrey Botanical Club, 1888).

It seems strange, however, at this late date, that such eminent botanists as the late Dr. John Torrey and Dr. Asa Gray, who were both intimately acquainted with, in fact associates of, Rafinesque, should have ignored his rights in regard to the name of Hicoria, if he was really entitled to the honor of founding this genus and separating the hickories from the Juglans. But for some good reason they left the matter in abeyance, for their successors to settle. Dr. Torrey does, in a way, recognize Rafinesque, in his “ Catalogue of Plants Within Thirty Miles of the City of New York,” published in 1819, but in a manner which shows that he had no confidence in Rafinesque's claim, but did approve of Nuttall's classifications and name of Carya, for on page 74 he refers to the hickories as follows: Carya, Nuttall; Hickoria, Rafinesque.”

From this it appears that Dr. Torrey did not adopt Hicoria as the proper mode of spelling this word, but retained the letter k in giving it a Latin form. This is not strange, inasmuch as Rafinesque had no settled form of his own, and varied the spelling at different times; as, for instance, Scoria, Hicoria, Hickorius and Hicorius. It is but reasonable to suppose that Dr. Torrey was familiar with Rafinesque's earlier writings, and also whether his proposed generic name of Scoria, in 1808, was legitimate, or a misspelling of Hicoria, as suggested

by Dr. Britton. But of one thing we may rest assured, and that is, Dr. Torrey would not knowingly detract from, nor fail to give every man full credit for his labors in any branch of natural history or elsewhere, and be certainly must have known Rafinesque in all his eccentricities and moods, for when in New York city he was usually the guest of Dr. Torrey, and these relations continued for many years.

A few of our leading botanists, having recently de. cided that Rafinesque's name of Hico a must be restored, in deference to the laws of prio ty, and Nuttall's Carya be relegated to the position of synonym, I have concluded to adopt it in this work, although I am well aware that a large majority of our botanists have protested against this change, probably because of the confusion it is likely to cause in the botanical literature of our times. My own reason for adopting Hicoria is not so much from any special reverence to the laws of priority, but because it is derived from an old American Indian name, and for all such I have a profound regard, and would retain and adopt them whenever and wher ever they are at all appropriate to products indigenous to this country. The hickories being purely American, and unknown to Greece or Greeks, a semi-native name is all the more acceptable. It is not to be expected that botanical quibbles are of any special interest to the practical nut culturist, for a pecan or a shellbark hickory will taste just as sweet and command as high a price in market under one scientific name as another; but the cultivator may have occasion to look up the botanical name of his trees in some school botany, or other botanical work, and fail to find it, in the absence of some guide to the various changes that have been made in the name of the genus, as well as in the name of the synonyms of the different species. Then, again, propagators and dealers in trees are prone to employ unfamiliar names, whether they are old or new, this adding to the confusion, without benefit to either purchaser or cultivator.

To assist those who may have occasion to consult these pages for either the common or botanical names of the different species of the hickory, I shall endeavor to give the greater part of those compiled by Prof. C. S. Sargent (Tenth Census), Dr. Britton, and other eminent authorities whose works I have had occasion to consult in writing this treatise. It is not certain, however, that these revisions and readjustments of the scientific names of this genus of trees will remain undisturbed for any considerable number of years, for we have “many men of many minds” at work in the line of botanical research, and it can scarcely be expected that all will reach the same conclusion, either in fact or fancy; besides, it is often difficult, if not wholly impossible, to determine a species from the description given by the earlier botanists, for they are generally very brief and vague, and will often apply equally well to two or more species of the same genus. In some instances not a word is given in the way of description, merely a name, as in “ Bartram's Travels” (1791), where he speaks of Juglans exaltata, a tall-growing hickory found in the region through which he was traveling, and we now know that it may have been any one of two or three species indigenous to the Southern States.

Under such confusing circumstances I shall make no claim of infallibility in applying names to species, but attempt no more than my predecessors have in the same direction, and my contemporaries are now attempting, i. e., make as close a guess as possible as to the species or variety of hickory which the earlier authors intended to name and briefly describe. The date of publication of some of the earlier works consulted are given, as an earnest of my desire to assent to the law of priority in such matters.

[graphic]

FIG. 45. FOURTEEN YEARS OLD PECAN TREE IN MISSISSIPPL

dotyledom but neath, as seen southe

PECAN NUT, ILLINOIS NUT (Hicoria Pecan. Marshall).—Leaves with thirteen to fifteen leaflets, oblonglanceolate, serrate, pointed; nuts mostly oblong, smooth; husk thin, somewhat four-angled and four-valved, these at maturity shrinking, and falling apart when dropping to the ground. Shell of nut generally thin, smooth or slightly corrugated, varying widely in both form and size from less than one inch in length to nearly or quite two inches, abruptly blunt, or long and sharp pointed; the two-lobed cotyledon or kernel oily, sweet and delicious. A large, tall, but usually slender tree, with smooth or slightly furrowed bark, as seen in Fig. 45. Mainly indigenous to river bottoms in the Southern and Southwestern States, extending northward to Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Southern Iowa.

Synonyms and their authors :

Juglans Pecan, Marshall, Arboretum Americanum, 1785.

Juglans Pecan, Walter, 1787.
Juglans olivæformis, Willdenow, 1809.
Carya olivæformis, Nuttall, 1818.
Juglans Illinoiensis, Wangenheim, 1787.
Juglans angustifolia, Aiton, Hortus Kewensis.
Juglans rubra, Gärtner.
Juglans cylindrica, Lamarck. '

SHELLBARK OR SHAGBARK HICKORY (Hicoria alba. Clayton).—Leaflets mostly five, occasionally seven, the three upper ones obovate-lanceolate, the lower pair much smaller and oblong-lanceolate, as shown in Fig. 46, all taper-pointed, finely serrate, and slightly downy underneath. Terminal buds large and scaly. Fruit globose, somewhat depressed ; husk smooth, very thick, firm, scarcely shrinking at maturity, but opening and falling with the nuts when ripe. Nuts variable in size, mainly thin-shelled, white, compressed or flattened, four-angled, with deep corrugations, blunt, rarely sharp-pointed;

« AnteriorContinuar »