In the chalky woodlands especially of Kent, and along the banks of the Thames, the Lady Orchis - the brown-winged orchis of the botanist - (Orchis fusca) - may be found. The stem is sometimes two or even three feet high, and the thickly-set clusters of flowers are proportionately large. The upper part of the flower is of a brownish purple hue; the lower lip is white and beautifully spotted. The Green-man Orchis (Aceras anthropophora) has a lax spike of greenish flowers; but it requires the aid of some imagination to find out any resemblance to the human frame.

The trees of the woodland during April put forth their buds, and many of them flower early in May. The Oak, of which we have two principal species, Quercus pedunculata and Q. sessiliflora, which are dis-tinguished from each other by the following characteristics : the latter, which is called Durmast, has long yellowish leaf-stalks, and sessile or shortly-stalked acorns; the former has either stalkless leaves, or the leaf-stalks are short and of a greenish or reddish hue. The acorns are on long stalks. The oak-apples are the result of the puncture of gall-flies. The galls of commerce are imported from the Levant, and are produced from the Q. infectoria. It has been asked if the galls which are common in our hedgerows could not be turned to more account. The Birch (Betula alba) shows its catkins early in April, whilst the Beech (Fagus sylvatica) protects its buds in autumn against the severity of the winter. Under its branches the wood-sorrel loves to linger, and the white, rose-like flowers of the Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) creep towards its shade, as well as to the sunny open* ings in the woodland glade. The small but delicious fruit is the most wholesome of all our English wild fruits. It is a botanical fact which should be remembered, that all fruits growing on plants bearing flowers similar to the wild rose may be safely eaten. The Bramble (Rubus fructicosus) and the Raspberry (R. Idoeus), which are now in flower, are familiar examples of this fact.

At the roots of the trees we shall find the Sweet Woodruff (Asperula odorata), sometimes called wood rowel). It is conspicuous by its white enamelled flowers, and its whorl of fine green leaves rising at regular intervals along its stalk. There is but little odour from its fresh leaves, but when dried it has the odour of new-mown hay, and no native plant retains its fragrance so long when dried. In many country districts it is made into tea, and careful housewives keep it in their drawers to preserve their clothes from moths.

The sweet and pretty Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is not unknown to our woodlands in May.

"The Naiad-like lily of the vale, Whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale, That the light of its tremulous bells is seen Through their pavilions of tender green."

Its graceful snow-white bel)s, half hiding themselves between the rich green leaves, are not an unfit emblem of modest beauty, purity, and humility. Occasionally we may find the taller and somewhat similar plant of Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum), which was at one time classified with the Convallaria. Though not a common plant, it is by no means rare, and where it has once taken root it is difficult to extirpate.

In the moister recesses of the wood we may find the singular flower known as Herb Paris (Paris quadri-folia). It is about a foot in height, and consists of a simple stem, on the summit of which are four broad, ovate, acute leaves, which form a cross, and a single terminal large green flower. It has but little beauty and little virtue; for though it has been used medicinally, its use is to be avoided rather than sought.

The Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) shows its purple bells with their young pink buds as early as May. The rough foliage is spotted like the animal lungs, and hence was thought useful in pulmonary complaints. Its old name was Jerusalem cowslip. It is a somewhat rare plant. Not so the Red Campion (Lychnis diurna), which is a plentiful summer flower both in woodlands and hedgerows.

In the woodlands and on some waste places we may find in dark spots the Enchanter's Nightshade (Circoea lutetiana). It has a creeping root, and its stem grows about a foot high. It has pointed ovate leaves, and its pink blossoms are set on red flower-cups.

Amongst the woodland plants of spring we must not forget the Buckthorn (Bhamnus catharticus), a large shrub, whose yellowish-green flowers produce the black fruits, about the size of peas, which when dry resemble black pepper, which were for a long time a favourite purgative medicine. The colour known as sap green is prepared from the fresh berries. The Privet (Ligustrum vulgare), so common in hedgerows and shrubberies, shows its white clusters in May.

One of the most common of woodland flowers is the Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea). It is found also in the hedgerows, and is known by the names of satin-flower and adder's-meat. It has a long straggling quadrangular stem of a delicate and brittle structure, with grass-like leaves. The large, panicled, lustrous white flowers are not much smaller than a primrose. There are half a dozen kinds of Stellaria, but this is the largest: the common Chickweed {8. media) is amongst the number.

How different in foliage, if not in colour, is the broad-leaved Garlic {Allium ursinum), which at first sight is often mistaken for the lily of the valley! The amateur field botanist is apt to rejoice over the beautiful umbel of white flowers, in shape not much unlike the star of Bethlehem; but the beauty of the flowers is counteracted by the strong garlic-like odour of the plant. It is the Ransoms of our ancestors, who thought that it gave a relish to their meat and had a salutary effect on their system. It grows on a stem about sis inches high, and occasionally lurks amongst grass, but this is not common. It flowers from May to June, and is plentiful in Somersetshire.

But we must leave the spring woods, and as we pass into the open country:

"Look at these flowers, just peeping from their ne3t Of moss and leaves, so beautifully shy. It may be that the sight as yet is new, Or else methihks I love these lowly ones More than the rose herself, and better far Than boughs with fruitage crown'd - the dazzling wreaths Which deck yon wilding cherry, white as snow, Save where a faint soft blush, all but invisible, Steals o'er the whiteness."

In The Woodlands 28