I am going to write a few words (as few as possible) on a subject on which I am, in common with every one else, very ignorant, and that is on "sports." Sports do occur, although at extremely rare intervals, considering the millions of plants which do not sport to the one which does. That much is certain and unquestioned. But whether this occurs in accordance with some ruling law in vegetable physiology, no one, so far as the writer is aware, has ever made clear, or even stated a plausible theory concerning it to account for the fact. There is another thing in vegetable physiology similar in some respects, but greatly different in others, which is also unexplained, but, unlike the "sports" proper, has been much theorised on without making us much the wiser - I refer to the influence of scions on stocks. In a great majority of cases a stock retains its original nature, no matter how great may be the difference between it and the scion. I say in a majority of instances, although a good many examples of the opposite have occurred, showing that occasionally the stock does partake of the scion's nature - nay, properly authenticated instances have occurred when the stock was wellnigh transformed into the living image of its scion.

To be sure, not many, if any, experiments have been carried on to test the influence of the scion on the stock, else, doubtless, a great many more instances might have been chronicled, - perhaps as many as on the reverse side of the question - the influence of the stock over the scion. When the latter occurs it is at once seen, if at all marked in its features; while what influence the scion may have exercised on the stock is hid, buried, and the growth which might show the influence is carefully repressed, and when the head dies the stock is grubbed out. Still, we have enough instances to show that generally the scion does not alter the character of the stock. No matter how long may be the life of a hybrid perpetual Rose, if budded on the Manetti, when the Rose dies up comes the Manetti briar as pure in blood as its parent was when taken from its sunny home; and in no case that I have seen, or remember reading of, has the influence been noticeable. And yet we have enough of instances to show that, no matter how inexplicable it may be, the stock is altered occasionally by the scion, but perhaps not once out of a million, perhaps ten million, times.

I remember reading of a Jasmine - a common green variety - on one of the branches of which was budded a variegated one. The first year it made a growth true to the variety from which the bud was taken. The year following a shoot similar in every respect to the inserted variety appeared on the stock, nearer the ground than the inserted bud. When this was noticed the "foreigner" was cut out entirely, so that the stock only was left; but still the variegation continued to spread until the whole plant, to the ground-line, became variegated. And how 1 That is just what I want to know, and that is what has never been explained, and it seems doubtful if it ever will; for if such a thing really did occur, according to any discoverable physiological law, how comes it that such cases are so few and far between, and the exception rather than the rule? Bud a million Jasmines with a variegated bud, and the likelihood is, not one will behave as I have described. There is much in vegetable physiology that is inexplicable, but not one point more so than the question before us.

What circumstances can we provide to any class of plants in order to cause them to sport 1 Certain fugitive plants - Stella Geranium for one - will sport into a variegated form occasionally, if starved in dry, poor, sandy soil, and the opposite treatment will cause it to revert to its normal form. The same is true of Cyperus alternifolius, and of that most beautiful Coleus Duchess of Edinburgh, and a host of other subjects. Sports, then, do occur, and again revert to their normal form. But can a stock which reproduces a certain form, which may have been grafted on a portion of its stem and then wholly removed, be called sporting 1 This is a question which will require to be better understood before being answered either affirmatively or negatively with any degree of confidence; and while no explanation is forthcoming, the only sensible course to pursue is to reserve our judgment while evidence is being collected.

As may be guessed, the above has been suggested by the discussion on the Culford Vine sport, so called - rightly or wrongly, I do not pretend to say. But as the particulars of that case were stated in good faith by men respected for their intelligence and professional attainments, sneers and clumsy jokes are not likely to have much influence among those who have given some little attention to such matters. The case is exactly similar to the Jasmine; and if the thing is credible in the one case, it is equally credible in the other. It certainly is an extremely unlikely thing to happen ; but until we have more instances, we ought simply to reserve our judgment, as we have said before, and especially when we remember that such things are really not quite unknown. Were the thing actually deserving attention, I might point out that some of the matter written against the very idea of its being at all to be believed is really not criticism. Personally, I am quite unknown to any of those whose names have been mixed up with the matter, and have no interest in defending either one side or the other.

A. Honeyman.

Hope Park.

[We scarcely think the case of the Jasmine, referred to by our correspondent, can be considered a parallel case to the Culford Vine sport. Such sporting as that of a variegated branch appearing on green plants is common enough, and in some cases the insertion of a variegated scion ultimately leads to the stock producing similar variegation, but always the same flower and fruit as the normal green plant. These productions can be perpetuated indefinitely by the ordinary methods of propagation. The Culford sport was said to be a bunch of Golden Champion, produced from the wood and foliage of Trebbiano, which is a very different phenomenon; and its correctness is doubted, because no parallel case to it is to be found on record, and because the wood and foliage that were supposed to have produced the said bunch failed to do so again. We not long ago saw a bunch of Trebbiano with such abnormally large berries that it might easily be mistaken for Golden Champion. And we have been eye and ear witness to the very best of judges mistaking Buckland's Sweetwater for Duke of Buccleuch first, and when the judge was contradicted, he said, "Then it is Golden Champion." We have plenty instances of the best of judges making such blunders, but no instance of the fruit of one Vine supposed to be found on the wood and foliage of another, except in the case of the sport in question. - Ed].