The first volume of this Catalogue of Canadian Plants consists of three parts separately published and bearing date 1883, 1884 and 1886 respectively. Part I. includes the Polypetalae, Part II. the Gamopetalae, Part III. the Apetalae and Gymnosperms. Part IV., now issued, is devoted to the Endogens, and forms the first portion of Volume II. of the Catalogue. Part V. will include the ferns and their allies with the mosses and liverworts, and it is intended in Part VI. to catalogue the lichens,fungi and seaweeds.
Over 2,000 species of named cryptogamous plants, to be catalogued in Parts V. and VI., are now in the herbarium, and it is probable that the number will be raised to 2,500 before these parts are published, so that the entire work will enumerate about 5,500 species of plants (indigenous and introduced) found growing without cultivation within the limits of Canada.
Since the publication of Part III. extensive collections have been made by James M. Macoun on the shoreslind islands of James Bay. Dr. Gr. M. Dawson has made valuable and interesting notes and collections in that part of the North-West Territories bordering on Alaska. The writer spent five months collecting on Vancouver Island and gathered much valuable information regarding its flora. That part of this additional information which is applicable to the Endogens is included in the present issue.
In accordance with the plan adopted at the commencement of the work, I have placed myself in communication with specialists in the various orders and have had their assistance in the determining and verifying of critical or new species.
As on former occasions, Dr. Sereno "Watson has rendered valuable assistance, especially in the Liliaceae and Juncaceae. In the Naiadaceae I have had very much help from Mr. Arthur Bennett, F.L.S., Croydon, England, and from Rev. Thomas Morong, Ashland, Mass. These gentlemen, by examination and comparison of authentic specimens, have enabled me to give a very satisfactory account of our River-weeds. W. H. Beeby, A.L.S., London, England, and Mr. Morong have contributed critical notes on the Spargania of Canada Mr. Beeby having sent my specimens to Norway in order that our northern forms might be compared with Scandinavian types.
The genus Carex, as was to be expected, gave rise to many perplexing questions. Besides availing myself of Prof. L. H. Bailey's monograph of the genus, I sent him many specimens of critical species, and have embodied in the text his remarks and occasionally his descriptions of new species and varieties. "While not agreeing with him in every particular, his determinations have generally been accepted as conclusive. Mr. Bennet has rendered invaluable assistance, and besides comparing my specimens with those in his own herbarium has transmitted them to Kew and to Scandinavian specialists for comparison with the types. From his remarks it is quite evident that the correct nomenclature of our northern carices is not yet settled.
To the veteran botanist, Dr. Vasey, of the Agricultural Department at Washington, I am deeply indebted. For many years he has examined critical species and confirmed my determinations of the Gramineae from all parts of Canada. All the species in this order are named in accordance with his catalogues, and in every case his decision has been taken as final.
In arranging the orders and genera I have followed Bentham & Hooker's Genera Plantarum, and the authority for the genus, as given by them, I have accepted. The preparation of this portion of the Catalogue has entailed much labour, on my part, and though conscious that the results accomplished are far from perfect, I would ask the indulgent criticisms of botanists who can well appreciate the difficulties of the work.
Ottawa, June, 1888.