Scientific men of late years have speculated much on the behaviour of the plant for its own good; and, indeed, some of those who are striving to solve the riddle that involves the origin of species look to an effort on the part of the plant to get the better of its neighbors in the struggle for life, as the great factor in producing the varieties we see.

It is a very curious study in connection with these speculations to note the behavior of swamp plants. We have swamp magnolias, swamp maples, and numerous other plants that have in all probability learned to adapt themselves to swamps. Certain it is that every one of them will grow on dry ground to much better advantage than they will in swamps. If we want to see a wonderfully large willow, maple, or other swamp plant we do not go to the swamps to find it.

That these swamp trees have taken to the swamps at some time in the world's history, from higher and dryer ground, is very probable, because they are mostly of classes that are highly developed. Vegetation probably came into existence as water plants. They were of a single cell or of a few cells. They learned to live out of the water as they became better organized, and the higher forms were developed on the land. If now the higher forms are found in swamps, it would argue that these forms had returned to the swamps. It would be said that they had been crowded out by other vegetation and had learned to live in swamps, or else die out entirely from the face of the land, as there was no other place left for them. This might be a speculation in the line of thought referred to. It has been brought to our mind by seeing a magnificent specimen eight feet high and twelve feet wide, growing on a comparatively dry lawn. We have never seen any such a fine, vigorous and healthy plant in the swamps - their enforced home. It is, indeed, one of the best plants among summer flowering shrubs that we know of. This first day of August it is the only thing in bloom among a large collection.

It comes in just as the summer flowers go and before the autumn flowers come in The long spikes of white flowers attract particular attention by the numerous black anthers, which suggests a sprinkling with black pepper, and may have suggested the common name of " Pepper Bush." We do not know what better guess to offer for the name. Besides all this the odor is delightful. Bees are extremely fond of it, and it ought to make an excellent substitute for white clover. A few years ago Mr. Jacob Manning, the well known nurseryman of Reading, Mass., made a special effort to introduce it to general notice in garden work. We believe his efforts resulted in selling a very large number. We hope he is continuing the effort, for to have a plant on our grounds will be a source of pleasure few other shrubs at this season will be able to supply so well. It is generally up-hill work to get uncommon plants into common use, no matter how meritorious they may be, and the nurserymen who undertake to do it deserve every encouragement.

Clethra alnifolia.

Clethra alnifolia.