In the Monthly for June is some interesting talk about the vitality of seeds.

We know that under certain circumstances seeds will retain their vitality much longer than others. What the most perfect conditions are is not yet fully understood. Doubtless seeds may be and often are preserved in the ground under conditions widely at variance with the modes we usually adopt for the same purpose. I have in mind now an instance of radish seed remaining several years in the ground, and then grow vigorously. These are the circumstances:

In 1854 I broke a piece of virgin soil in Iowa, and the following spring planted thereon a garden. Among the vegetables were some long red radish. We used all we wanted and many ripened seed. Next spring, and for many successive springs, these self-sown seeds and their descend ants gave us our early radishes.

About 1855 I received some chestnuts from Massachusetts and planted them in that part of the garden. Chestnuts and radishes got along together very well for a few years, as I left only two trees where the seed was planted.

After awhile the chestnut trees took possession, and I made a fine blue grass sod under and around them, thus, as I supposed, disposing of my old radishes for good. This sod and shade was a pleasant oasis in the garden, and was very much patronized in summer days. However, one of those phenomenally cold waves that sometimes sweep over that country, struck my cherished chestnut trees and killed them both to the ground.

I don't remember their age, but I remember one was fourteen inches in diameter in the smallest part of the trunk.

While the chestnut was reaching that size all the ground was in tough sod and no radishes ever showed. When the chestnuts were killed I grubbed them up root and branch, and spaded up the sod to be again used for garden purposes. To my astonishment my old long red radish of olden time promptly put in its appearance in full vigor and apparently undiminished numbers.

Another time I broke up a timothy and blue grass meadow which had been mown for seventeen years. It was as clean a meadow as one need wish. It was broken deeply and nicely inverted. In a few days it was all over green with seedlings of the wild buckwheat that had infested the field seventeen years before. Tangerine, Fla.

[Our readers must have noted that the Editor often questions the value of evidence, even when given in favor of matters that he heartily believes in. And the reason for this is, that no cause is served by a bad argument. On the question of the vitality of seeds and plants under certain circumstances, the Editor has no doubt that vital power may be kept for centuries. His paper, a few years ago on the plants connected with the glaciers of Alaska, shows good reason for believing that the plants which spring up in the wake of a melting glacier are the self-same plants covered by a sudden ice sheet perhaps a hundred years before.

But much of the evidence offered for longevity, is very weak, as in the case of the mummy wheat, acorns in pine forests, etc., which has been reflected on in our pages. Let us weed these weaklings out.

Mr. Adams' note on the radish seed is one of these strong points that will confirm the faith of the believers. A chestnut tree of the size noted would in that part of the world have increased about a half an inch a year, and it would be about twenty eight years old, so we may conclude the radish seed had been in the soil that many years. We believe this fact may be placed to the credit of true science.

The wild buckwheat is not so strong a point, for, though nothing is more likely than that the seed was also there, it is just possible that little plants a half inch high may have grown and borne seed among the timothy unobserved. Such things will be.

A good case was recently reported to us similar to the radish case. A brother of the Editor never grew a martynia in his garden, though some people are fond of cultivating them for pickles. He filled up a part of his garden by earth from an old one where the martynia was grown. A large number of them came as weeds the following year; and a gradually reduced number appeared for six years after.

There is evident truth in the old saying that "one year's seeding gives seven years' weeding," and most likely twice or thrice seven, or more.

This is one of the scientific questions which has a great practical bearing and well worth the careful sifting of all evidence offered - Ed. G. M].

Every once in a while a discussion arises on some popular opinion, and it is shown to be either wholly baseless, or else supported on evidence of no value. But again and again it comes up, as if it were utterly impossible to finally check an error after it has once been started. The vitality of seeds is one of these. It has been shown over and over again that there is no evidence, not impeachable, that seeds will live for centuries in the earth, till brought to the surface to grow.

Evidence which might be readily obtained at hand by the disputants is neglected, while statements made by people nobody knows, who live a thousand miles away, are paraded as all that one needs to know.

In a recent paper, very well written by a Detroit correspondent of the Country Gentleman, the following appears:

" In the northwestern portion of Michigan where the extensive forests of pine have been cleared, there is observed to start into growth from the seed, dense groves of scrub oak which attain the height of three to twelve feet. During the lifetime of the pine no oak was known to grow there, but as soon as the pine disappeared the seeds of the oak, which must have laid dormant, no one knows how long, sprung into life in localities where no oaks had previously been found within a radius of a hundred miles".

Now whatever seeds might live long, the acorns of the scrub oak, Quercus Banisteri, would be the least likely. The most expert treatment by the seedsman will not keep them a year in growing condition. Still, if the fact could be proved, that they had kept " nobody knows how long " - at least fifty or a hundred years - it would have to be believed, no matter how impossible beforehand it might seem to be. Now, if these acorns, as large as boys' marbles, were everywhere in the ground but a few inches from the surface, so thick that plants appear in dense groves everywhere when a pine forest would be cut down, it would be the easiest thing in the world to dig up a barrowful of the earth, put it in a wash-tub with water, stir it about briskly, and have all these acorns left on the surface of the mud as it settled.

There are plenty of these pine forests left; why does not some one instead of wasting people's time by the hour reading and their own by writing, spend an hour in testing the seemingly impossible?

The Editor has often tried to get seeds in this way out of clay from wells dug near those said to have produced plants when brought to the surface, but could never find the trace of any, and he ventures to express his belief that nobody ever will.

In the August number of the Monthly, referring to the question of the vitality of seeds, you refer to my experience with the Martynia. I can now add one year more to the record, by sending you with this a Martynia plant pulled from my garden to-day. It is seven years this month since the garden was filled up from the old garden previously referred to, and not a plant has been allowed to seed in all that time. The garden is kept hoed continually, and Martynias are cut out with other weeds. The plant sent you is the only one that has appeared this season. How deep down these seeds may be I cannot say. The garden was filled in some 4 to 6 feet, but it is not often that it is now disturbed to any greater depth than 2 feet, which it sometimes is for Lima bean poles. From the regularity with which more or less plants have appeared every year since the filling, I think it more than likely that the end has not yet been reached. Germantown, Pa.