This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. Sereno Watson, one of the most devoted and hard-working of our leading botanists, has just contributed to the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences an elaborate paper on the North American Liliaceae, which includes the greater part of North American bulbs. It is a very difficult order to arrange, and the continual discovery of new facts necessarily leads to new views of arrangement. Sometimes we find the species in the condition of a befuddled individual who hardly knows his own name. Prof. Alphonso Wood, for instance, describes a new genus which he calls Brevoortia, - and we have Brevoortia Ida-Maia. Dr. Gray makes it Brodiaea coc-cinea. Now Mr. Watson makes it Brevoortia coccinea. All these subjects, however, must be left to the critical botanist. To horticulturists, Mr. Watson's task is very valuable, as giving in one chapter an arrangement of all the known species, for a knowledge of which be has hitherto not known where to look. Of true Lilies, Mr. Watson makes thirteen distinct North American species: Lilium Philadelphi-cum, Catesboei, Washingtonianum; rubescens (hitherto thought to be but a variety of Washingtonianum); Parryi (found as yet only in San Bernardino county, California); Grayi (a new species, though specimens were collected by Dr. Gray in North Carolina nearly forty years ago); parvum, maritimum, Canadense, superbum, Columbianum, Humboldtii, and pardalinum.
It will thus be seen that many kinds, supposed to be species in horticultural works, are regarded as mere forms or actual synonyms of something else. For instance, L. penduliflorum is L. Canadense; L. lucidum is Columbianum; L. Bloom-erianium is L. Humboldtii, and L. Californicum is L. pardalinum. It seems by no means certain that some of those now ranked as species will continue such in future "revisions;" or if so, some now regarded as varieties may be advanced to higher honors. The genus Calochor-tus has swollen wonderfully, thirty-two being described. The Allium, or onion family, is also a large American genus, no less than forty-six species being noted here. Mrs. Treats' Atamasco Lily here finds, for the first time, a place as a true species, and is described as Amaryllis Treatiae.