This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Telegraph Plant is the Desmodium gyrans, whose leaves move "like pump-handles." It is noticed by Darwin thus: "No one supposes that the rapid movements of the lateral leaflets are of any use to the plant, and why they should behave in this manner is quite unknown." The two lateral leaflets may be observed on a warm day to move upwards and downwards, first the one and then the other, now resting a moment, then starting again with a jerk. It is truly a vegetable wonder, easily propagated and grows to a height of two feet. - The Garden.
Quinine Bark. A popular account of the introduction of Cinchona cultivation by C. R. Markham has just been issued by John Murray, London. It is an important contribution to knowledge, and deserves careful attention in the United States. Many a soldier has owed his life to quinine in America as well as India; it is as important as his blanket or tent-pole. The plan was hit upon of cutting the bark in ribbons from the standing tree, leaving intervals untouched, and covering the stripped portions with moss so as to exclude light and air; each youngish tree yields three pounds of bark. It is being raised for profit in Mexico, and a million and half plants are flourishing in Java. The crop raised in the Nielgherries alone was last year 114,000 pounds, and the profits $150,000. The planting should be begun in the United States at once - probably parts of California would suit it. A fortune awaits the successful.
When the boy reader was afflicting an old purblind lady by reading a story, he pronounced files instead of flies as the delight of the insect eating plants, and she thought it would come to that, they were so hungry. The boy is a very indistinct reader. Now that old Probabilities is dead the old lady thinks there will be a series of earthquakes. The Camphor Tree has been planted near Los Angeles, California, with every prospect of success. Why not also the cork oak, which is proved by a tree or two to be perfectly adapted to the climate, there being a good sized one in the town of Santa Barbara. Is it too slow for American enterprise?
A Big Mushroom weighing sometimes twenty-five pounds is found in Italy, probably the same as described by Theophrastus. The authority is Blackwood's Magazine. The article is said to be delicious.