* Bromus mollis - Plate 22 B.
Another illustration is afforded by the Common Reed,* which belongs to a different subdivision of the family. This is a stout perennial grass, with a culm varying from five to ten feet high surmounted by a plume of flowers often a foot in length, more or less drooping, and of a purplish-brown colour. The plant has a stout creeping rootstock, and its stems or culms are clothed all the way up with broad grassy leaves often an inch in width. The inflorescence is a large compound panicle, with very numerous small narrow spike-lets. These spikelets are formed of two very unequal lance-shaped sharp-pointed glumes, within which are developed about five florets, the pales of which are narrower, ending in an almost awl-like point, and surrounded by long silky hairs developed from the rachis, which lengthen as the seed ripens, and give to the panicle at that stage a beautiful silky appearance. The lower floret is triandrous (bearing three stamens) and barren, but the rest of the florets are perfect, with three stamens, and an ovary with two feathery styles. The Reed, which is generally a common plant in wet places, forms patches of very great extent, called Reed-ronds in some parts of England, and the culms are much used for thatching and for making garden screens, as well as for the walls of sheds and huts. When applied to the latter use, they are generally plastered with well tempered clay. Even without this plastering they last for a considerable time.
Thus we complete our slight descriptive sketch of the illustrations of Summer Flowers which have been selected as examples of the much more comprehensive galaxy of beauties with which field and wood is adorned at this flowery season. Who would not catch up the strain of Campbell's pleasant song with its love of Nature's wildings? "Ye field-flowers ! the gardens eclipse you 'tis true, Yet, wildings of nature, I dote upon you, For ye waft me to summers of old, When the earth teemed around me with fairy delight, And daisies and buttercups gladdened my sight, Like treasures of silver and gold.
* Arundo Phragmites - Plate 22 A.
"Even now what affections the violet awakes - What loved little island, twice seen in the lakes, Can the wild water lily restore! What landscapes I read in the primrose's looks! What pictures of pebbles and minnowy brooks In the vetches that tangle the shore!"
We may, however, add in the words of another poet "Who loves not Summer's splendid reign, The bridal of the earth and main? Yet who would choose, however bright, A dog-day noon without a night?" - Montgomery.
So pass we on to the blossoms and the fruits of Autumn, pausing by the way to make record in a summary form, of those of the Summer season.