This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A Popular Monograph. By Henry Baldwin. New York: John Wiley Sons. This is one of that class of books that it is a pleasure to welcome. Most existing books on botany are said to be dry and hard to study. They must necessarily be so. But we have only to remember that botany does not rest with what they teach. Systematic works furnish simply the steps which lead us into the treasury of knowledge. What we are to learn of plants commences where systems of classification end. Those who give their lives to classification are doing the essential work of laying the foundation on which the perfect study is to be finally reared. And how easy it will be for us when all their hard tasks are done, books like this pleasantly show. The author, as well as the writer of this notice, could never have accomplished what they have but for the severe and life-long labors of Prof. Gray in our country and others in the Old World.
The title of this book explains its scope. The orchids are all figured not only in their natural aspects but also in detail, and any little matter of popular interest that would commend itself to an intelligent person is presented pleasantly to the reader. It is far more enjoyable reading than many a novel, and proves that the romance of plant life is an apt illustration of the adage that fact is often stranger than fiction. It is a beautiful as well as an instructive book, and a capital subject for a present to a friend.
We may note in passing that of Cypripedium acaule, it is stated that "Miss Kate Furbish discovered two perfect blossoms growing back to back on the same plant. Meehan in Native Flowers and Ferns gives a plate representing a plant with two buds." We suppose the reader would infer two flower buds. But Meehan's plate refers to two leaf buds or "crowns" of the future plant.