The naked eye, says Dr. Lindley, in the last Chronicle, cannot detect on the under side of a fern-leaf its seed-vessels; fern seeds are little angular bodies tot minute to be visible, and are expelled by the spontaneous bursting of the seed-vessels which then remain empty behind. When the brown dust from the back of a fern-leaf is sown, it may happen that it has no seeds among it, but consists entirely of fragments of the broken seed-vessels, and no success will follow.

"To obviate this difficulty, Mr. Saunders requested Mr. Wallace, the distinguished naturalist then at -Singapore, to adopt the following method. A little moderately damp earth being spread flat, the under side of a fresh ripe fern-leaf was pressed upon the earth, so as to detach the seeds and their seed-vessels. The- earth was then placed in a vial, corked up and sent to England. The rial was six months on the voyage home; upon its arrival in mid-winter, its contents were sown in a shady damp hothouse. In a short time, the fern plants sprang up 'as thickly as mustard and cress,' and the plants are now successful.

"The process thus described is attended by the Very important advantages of securing perfectly fresh seed, and of placing it during its passage home in a situation just as damp, as is necessary to maintain vitality unimpaired. The only precautions needed are to be certain that the seed is ripe when pressed upon the earth, to take Care that the latter is merely damp, not wet, when corked np, and to keep the vial in the dark. In this way all the ferns of the tropics may be now procured with the greatest facility.

"Some may think that we previously knew all about fern-raising, and that herbaria need only be ransacked to secure supplies of seeds. Never was a mistake greater. We are assured, indeed, that Willdenow raised various kinds of ferns in Berlin from seeds thus procured, and that two plants of Gymnogramma calomelanos were once obtained in the garden at Liverpool from seeds 50 years old taken out of the herbarium of Forster. Let us frankly own that we read these stories with incredulity; such so-called facts are open to great suspicion. Not that we presume to question the good faith of those who are said to have succeeded in the operation; quite the contrary; Willdenow, of Berlin, and Shepherd, of Liverpool, who thought they had done these things, were probably mistaken. They raised something - some sort of fern - but we are persuaded that the supposed result was owing to one of those accidents which all who are conversant with great gardens know to their cost are so common, or rather so inevitable, in such establishments. Some years ago, the late Mr. G. Loddiges sowed the seeds of some hundred of ferns preserved in an herbarium, and If any one could have raised them he was the man.

But the attempt was a complete failure, the seeds would not grow.

"We do not mean- to say that fern seeds taken from plants recently deposited in an herbarium will never grow. Probably they will. But success is uncertain, and it is far less trouble for a traveller to secure seeds in the way proposed, than to dry Specimens for the purpose, even if, when dried, it were perfectly certain that they would grow. Many sorts might, at a pinch, be sent home in the same vial, either mixed together or separated by some little contrivance, and thus half a dozen bottles which would travel in a coat pocket would do well, a duty which a bulky package of dried plants would certainly do ill, if at all".