Friday, 19 May 2017

Habeo Blogdt

It's a bit late for a New Year's Resolution but I really must keep this blog up-to-date. If nothing else it's a good way of keeping a diary and I often look back to see what I saw where and when.

After a dry April, we now have a wet May, so today's note relates to a historical book, Hanbury and Marshall's Flora of Kent (1899), available online here.

It's noticeable, of course, that many of the records show that specimens were "collected", sometimes in armfuls, which must have cleared some Just-About-Managing species from an area.  This quote is relevant, but probably not correct in many cases:

George Chichester Oxenden (1797-1875) an author of satiric verses and parodies, was also an orchid enthusiast who had provided Darwin with several specimens. Oxenden was included on Darwin's presentation list for Fertilisation of Orchids (1862), and his assistance is noted on pp 31 n., 43, and 78 of the same.
Unfortunately he would not have known Jocelyn Brooke (1908—1966) who lived nearby at Bishopsbourne and collected plants in early life before reforming later on.

Hanbury and Marshall were obviously impressed with our part of the county, and the last sentence of the description is particularly glowing.

Most species entries are fascinating, such as that of shepherd's needle, Scandix pectin-veneris,
which is recorded as "colonist, common throughout the county".  Not so now, with just a handful of sites.

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