Professor of Chemistry and Natural History in ihe University of Queen's College, Kingston, Canada.

In the Horticulturist for July, (vol. xv., p. 308,) you reprint from the Revue Horticole an article detailing M. Courtois Gerard's success in the introduction to France of what is inappropriately termed the Madras Radish.



It appears from that article and the note appended thereto, that French and American Horticulturists are not aware that this delicious vegetable has been in successful cultivation for several years, by various persons in Britain, and by myself in Canada. The plant is a native of Java, and appears to have been cultivated in some parts of India for a considerable time, particularly in the neighborhood of Benares. However, in the recent Enumeration of Indigenous and Useful Plants - "Hortus Madraspatensis' - prepared by my friend Dr. Cleghorn, Professor of Botany at Madras, this plant is not referred to. The name Madras Radish must therefore be dropped, having probably originated in some error. Its introduction to Europe resulted from a conversation which I had some years ago with Mrs. Colonel Spottiswoode, of Benares, who accordingly forwarded seeds from that place to Professor Balfour, of Edinburgh, under whose care and that of Mr. McNab, the plant was successfully reared in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden. To these gentlemen I am indebted for the seeds, whence my small Canadian stock has been raised.

The following notice was inserted in the edition of Chambers's Information for the People, published in 1857, the horticultural parts of which I was requested to revise:

Spottiswoode's Rat-Tail Radish

In 1856 a remarkable kind of Radish was raised in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, from seeds sent from India by Mrs. Colonel Spottiswoode. It is called the Rat-Tail Radish, and the edible part, or "radish/' is not the root, but the seed-pod in a green state. When sown early it produces a very abundant crop, and is well suited to the climate of Britain. The young plants require to be thinned out to a foot or more apart, in rows of about two feet, and plentifully supplied with water during dry weather. The radishes or pods of this plant are very delicate, and well adapted for salad." - Cham. Inf. Peop., vol. i„ p. 537.

I shall not on the present occasion occupy your space with a lengthy detail of the history and uses of this plant. A series of experiments at present in progress may possibly throw some light on disputed points, and these shall be reported in due time. I wish now, however, to state that I regard it as one of the most valuable vegetables that have been introduced for many years. The pods have a peculiar pungent yet delicate flavor, are perfectly succulent, and may be used either as a salad or to form a pickle. In all forms the ladies say they are "delicious." I doubt not it will in time displace the root radishes, being much more palatable, and affording a greater yield.

Notwithstanding the opinions expressed by the writers in the Revue Hor-ticole, I believe the plant to be identical with Raphanus caudatus. The French horticulturists seem to find their pods comparatively short, while those of JR. caudatus are described by botanists as three or four feet in length. It must be observed, however, that there are many varieties of the Rat-tail Radish, varying in the length of their pods, and that a good stock is only obtained by carefully saving seed from the very long, attenuated-podded sorts. The accompanying drawing shows a pod of the natural size when fit to eat or pickle; but they become much larger as they ripen, and on my plants at present there are pods not yet too old for use, which are several inches longer than the one figured. In good varieties the pods are not erect, as described in last month's paper, but gracefully pendent and curved, as I have endeavored to show in the figure. Fourteen or fifteen inches is a good length for the pods in Canada or the States. In warmer climates they will no doubt grow much longer under good management, and even here 1 do not despair of ultimately obtaining pods that will approach De Candolle's description: "Siliqua tota planta longior, imo 4-5 pedalis," etc. I am sorry to see the root referred to as edible.

In the true large-podded varieties it is quite worthless."The crop must be grown for the pods alone. The leaves, however, when very young, are succulent and edible, and have the same flavor as the pods.

[We are much obliged to Prof. Lawson for his instructive and interesting article. He not only establishes the true name of this Radish, but gives it a value as an esculent which will make it widely sought. What we have seen of it thus far would lead us to concur in all that the Professor has said. We shall know more of it as the season progresses. - Ed].