Department of fhe Buferior:





INO 22.





This work is the twenty-sixth of a series of papers intended to illus- trate the collections of natural history and ethnology belonging to the United States, and constituting the National Museum, of which the Smithsonian Institution was placed in charge by the act of Congress of August 10, 1846.

Tt has been prepared at the request of the Institution, and printed by authority of the honorable Secretary of the Interior.

SPENCER F. BAIRD, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, Washington, July 1, 1881.






ene PAC i: :

The outline of this work was presented as a communication to the Philosophical Society of Washington, January 22, 1881. The aim of the writer was to furnish a guide to botanists in exploring the locality and an aid to beginners in practical botany. To this latter class the Appendix is especially addressed, but as it is equally applicable to other localities, and as nothing, it is believed, analogous to it has been pub- lished, it may be found useful outside of Washington. The introduction also contains suggestions which, if followed in a sufficient number of localities by those preparing local catalogues, would greatly aid in making the botanists of the country acquainted with the geographical distribution of plants thoughout the United States and the special peculi- arities of certain regions.

The manifest imperfections of the treatise may not be without their uses in stimulating local collectors and vthers to correct them and pro- duce something better.

In the investigation of the flora of Washington, so many able and active botanists and so many energetic amateurs have co-operated that it would almost seem invidious to single out any as the subjects of special thanks, and it has been deemed the most equitable plan to give special credit to the first discoverer of each rare plant, wherever thiscan be known, under its proper head in the detailed enumeration. I cannot, however, refrain from expressing my special obligations to Dr. George Vasey, Botanist to the Department of Agriculture, for his kindness in placing the National Herbarium at my disposal and in examining and reporting upon many critical and puzzling forms, especially in the Cyperacee and Graminez. I also desire to acknowledge in an especial manner the valuable services of Mr. M.S. Bebb, of Rockford, Il., in identifying the local Salices, which, though comparatively few, are very interesting and in a high degree confusing to any but a trained specialist like Mr. Bebb.


Prof. J. W. Chickering, jr., of the Columbia Deaf and Dumb Institute, in addition to much other valuable assistance, has kindly looked over the proofs as they came from the press and suggested many important additions and improvements, for which service my special thanks are

due. L. F. W.

WASHINGTON, December 25. 1881.



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III. Compari ‘on of the flora off1830 with that of 1880.....................-- 11

IV. Localities of special interest to the botanist ..........-...--....220---- 17

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This monograph has resulted from a suggestion made to the writer in the spring of 1880 by a member* of the Committee on Publications of the Philosophical Society of Washington, relative to the preparation of a revised catalogue of the plants of this vicinity. While there now exists a provisional catalogue, containing most of the species which have been collected or observed by botanists during the past six or seven years, it consists of so many small annual accretions, due to con- stant new discoveries, and contains withal so many blemishes and im- perfections incident to its hasty compilation and irregular growth, that it has ceased in great part to meet the demands of the present time. The elaboration of a systematic catalogue of the local flora was not, however, at the outset at all contemplated, but merely the presentation of certain notes and special observations on particular species, which had been made in the course of some nine years of pretty close atten- tion to the vegetation and somewhat varied and exhaustive field studies in this locality. The flowering-time of most species here is much earlier than that given in the manuals, and is, moreover, in many cases, very peculiar and anomalous, rendering it important to collectors, as well as interesting to botanists, to have it definitely stated for a large propor- tion of the plants. It being thus necessary to extend the enumeration so far, it was thought that the remainder might as well be added, thus rendering it a complete catalogue of all the vascular plants known to exist here at the present time. To these has been appended the list of Musei and Hepatice prepared by the late Mr. Rudolph Oldberg for the Flora Columbiana, which is inserted unchanged, except in so far as was required to make it conform strictly to the work of Sullivant, which has long been the standard for this country.

* Prof. Cleveland Abbe.


Dr. E. Foreman has also furnished the names of a few of the Chara- cece collected here by himself, and named by Professor Farlow of Cam- bridge, which, in the present unsettled state of the classification of the Cryptogams, have for convenience been placed at the foot of the series.

In undertaking this compilation I have endeavored to resist the usual temptation of catalogue-makers to expand their lists beyond the propor- tions which are strictly warranted by the concrete facts as revealed by specimens actually collected or species authentically observed, but have been content to set down only such as I can either personally vouch for or as are vouched for by others who have something more substantial than memory to rely upon, preferring that a few species actually occur- ring, but not yet seen, should be omitted and afterwards supplied, rather than that others supposed to exist, but which cannot be found, should stand in our flora to be apologized for to those who would be glad to obtain them. A few species, however, which are positively known to have once occurred within our limits, but which have been obliterated in the course of the constant changes taking place, have been retained, as well as several of which only a single specimen has been found; but in all such cases the facts are fully stated in the notes accompanying each plant.


The extent of territory which has of late years been tacitly recog- nized by botanists here as constituting the area of what has been called the Flora Columbiana” is limited on the north by the Great Falls of the Potomac, and on the south by the Mount Vernon Estate, in Vir- ginia, and Marshall Hall, just opposite this on the Maryland side of the river, while it may reach back from the river as far as the divide to the east, where the waters fall into the Chesapeake Bay, and as far west- ward as the foot of the Blue Ridge, so as not to embrace any of the peculiarly mountain forms. Practically, however, the east and west range is much less than this, and only extends a few miles in either direction. The only three cases in which these limits are overstepped in this catalogue are inineluding: 1. Draba ramosissima, not yet collected this side of Harper’s Ferry, but which may be confidently looked for ; 2. Filago Germanica, collected at Occoquan Falls, and liable to be found farther north; and 3. Poterium Sanguisorba, obtained from Odenton, Md., an introduced species which may yet be found nearer home.


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Washington and its vicinity has long been a field of botanical re- search. The year 1825 witnessed the dissolution of the “Washington Botanical Society,” which had for many years cultivated the science, and the same year also saw the formation of the ‘‘ Botanic Club,” which continued the work, and in one respect at least excelled the former in usefulness, since it handed down to us of the present generation, a valu- able record in the form of a catalogue of the plants then known to exist in this locality. This catalogue, which was fittingly entitled Flore Columbiane Prodromus, and claimed to exhibit “a list of all the plants which have as yet been collected,” though now rare and long out of print, is still to be found in a few botanical libraries. I have succeeded in securing a copy of this work, and have been deeply interested in comparing the results then reached with those which we are now able to present. A few of these comparisons are well worth reproducing. It should be premised that the Prodromus is arranged on the artificial system of Linnzeus, so that before the plants could be placed in juxta- position with those in modern works they required to be rearranged. This, however, was not the principal difficulty. Such extensive changes have taken place in the names of plants during the fifty years which have elapsed since that work appeared (1830), that it is only with the greatest difficulty that they can be identified. I have succeeded in identifying the greater part of them, and in thus ascertaining about to what extent the two lists are in unison. This also reveals the extent to which each overlaps the other, and thus affords a sort of rude index to the changes which our flora has undergone in half a century. There are, however, as will be seen, many qualifying considerations which greatly influence these conclusions and diminish the value of the data compared.

The whole number of distinct names (species and varieties) enumer- ated in the Prodromus is 919. Of these,59 are mere synonyms or du- plicate names for the same plant, leaving 860 distinct plants. I have succeeded in identifying 708 of these with certainty as among those now found, and these are marked in the general catalogue by the sign (f). Six others, not yet clearly identified, should probably be placed in this class. This leaves 146 enumerated in the old catalogue which have not been found in recent investigations. The importance of these 146 plants as pointing out the direction of future search, and also as indi- cating the disappearance of former species, justifies their enumeration


here. synonymy has been reduced.

(1) Ranunculus multifidus, Pursh. (4) Acta alba, Bigelow. (2) Calyeanthus glaucus, Willd. (4) Magnolia acuminata, L. (4) Berberis Canadensis, Pursh. (4) Nelumbium luteum, Willd. (4) Argemone Mexicana, L. (1) Corydalis glauca, Pursh. (1) Corydalis aurea, Willd. (1) 2 (1) Arabis stricta, Huds. i Draba arabisans, Michx. (4) Draba Caroliniana, Walt. (2) Gynandropsis pentaphylla, DC. (3) Lechea major, Michx. (4) Viola blanda, Willd. (3) Polygala lutea, L. (1) Polygala setacea, Michx. (4) Polygala cruciata, L. (4) Polygala verticillata, L. (3) Polygala paucifolia, Willd. (4) Silene inflata, Sm.* (4) Silene Virginica, L. ) Silene regia, Sims. ) Spergula arvensis, L. 4) Scleranthus annuus, L. ) Hypericum galioides, Lam. ) Hypericum myrtifolium, Lam. ) Hypericum aureum, Barton. ) Geranium Robertianum, L. Baptisia alba, R. Br. Aischynomene hispida, Willd. Desmodium Canadense, DC. Desmodium glabellum, DC. Ticia Cracea, L. Vicia nericune Muhl. Jentrosema Benth. Gillenia stipulacea, Nutt. Geum radiatum, Michx. Rosa blanda, nae ) C rategus tomentosa, L.

(1 (4 ( (1 (1 (2 (4 (4) (4) (4) (1) Lys (1) ye


Nasturtium amphibium, R. Br. |

| Virginianun, |


| (1) Pterocaulon

( | ( } (1


| (4) Campanula aparinoides, Pursh. | (3) Arctostaphylos

( ( Mi ( (

(1) Gonolobus


The names employed are the modern ones to which the old

Heuchera villosa, Michx.

Hydrangea radiata, Walt.

Tiarella cordifolia, L.

Sedum pulchellum, Michx.

Diamorpha pusilla, Nutt.

Hippuris vulgaris, L.

Rhexia Mariana, L.

Aralia hispida, Ventenat.

Aralia quinquefolia, Deesne.

Liatris spicata, Willd.

Liatris pycnostachya, Michx.

Aster divaricatus, Nutt.

Diplopappus amygdalinus, T. & G.

(1) Solidago virgata, Michx.



| (4) Helianthus tomentosus, Michx.

(1) Helianthus tracheliifolius, Willd.

4) Coreopsis rosea, Nutt.

4) Senecio vulgaris, L.

) Cnieus pumilus, Torr. ;

4) Carduus defloratus, L. (C. pecti- natus, L. mant.).

(1) Lobelia Kalmii, L.

‘4) Lobelia Nuttallii, Schult.

Rem. &

Uva-ursi, Spreng. 1) Andromeda polifolia, L. 3) Cassandra calyculata, Don. 1) Kalmia glauca, Ait. ) )

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4) Fraxinus sambucifolia, Lam. 4) Apoecynum androsemifolium, ib. (4) Asclepias phytolaccoides, Pursh. | (4) Asclepias tomentosa, Ell. Carolinensis, R. Br.

| (4) Spigelia Marilandica, L.

* Professor Chickering has found this on Sugar Loaf Mountz ain.


(4) Sabbatia gracilis, Salisb. (3) Betula lenta, L.

(4) Frasera Carolinensis, Walt. (2) Betula alba, var. populifolia,

(4) Heliotropium Europeum, L. Sp.

(4) Heliotropium Indicum, L. (4) Populus tremuloides, Michx.

(4) Lithospermum _latifolium, | (4) Populus heterophylla, L. Michx. (4) Calla palustris, L.

(4) Onosmodium Carolinianum, (4) Potamogeton fluitans, Roth. DC., var. molle, Gray. (4) Sagittaria lancifolia, L.

(1) Ipomceea commutata, Rom. & | (1) Habenaria “mame, R. Br. Schult. (4) Arethusa bulbosa, if

(1) Solanum Virginianum, L. (4) Pogonia pendula, Lindl.

(2) Solanum Duleamara, L. (4) Pogonia divaricata, R. Br.

(1) Physalis lanceolata, Michx. (4) Cypripedium spectabile,

(2) Verbascum nigrum, L. Swartz.

(4) Gratiola aurea, Muhl. (4) Iris Virginica, L.

—(4)-Gerardia quercifolia, Pursh. =| (1) Polygonatum latifolium, Desf.

(4) Gerardia auriculata, Michx. (4) Allium striatum, Jacq.

(1) Utricularia minor, L. (4) Lilium Philadelphicum, L.

(2) Martynia proboscidea, Glox. (4) Trillium cernuum, L.

(2) Calophanes oblongifolia, Don. | (4) Xyris Caroliniana, Walt.

(1) Verbena Caroliniana, Michx. | (4) Piepalanthus flavidus, Kunth.

(1) Lippia nodiflora, Michx. (1) Cyperus flavescens, L.

(4) Trichostema lineare, Nutt (4) Cyperus flavicomus, Michx.

(4) Pyenanthemum aristatum, (4) Cyperus rotundus, L., var. Hy-

Michx. | dra, Gray.

(4) Monarda didyma, L. | (1) Carex flava, L. (4) Seutellaria parvula, Michx. | (1) Carex polymorpha, Muhl. (4) Secutellaria galericulata, L. (1) Carex subulata, Michx. (4) Physostegia Virginiana, Benth., | (1) Carex saxatilis, L. var. denticulata, Gray. (3) Spartina stricta, Roth., var.

| (4) Asarum Virginicum, L. | glabra, Gray. |

(4) Blitum capitatum, L. (4) Arundinaria macrosperma,.

(4) Salicornia herbacea, L. Michx.

(4) Polygonum tenue, Michx. (2) Phalaris arundinacea, L.

(4) Persea Carolinensis, Nees. | (4) Paspalum distichum, L.

(4) Euphorbia obtusata, Pursh. | (1) Cenchrus echinatus, L.

(4) Acalypha Caroliniana, Walt. | (2) Thuya occidentalis, L.

(4) Celtis occidentalis, L., var. | | (4) Cupressus thyoides, L. crassifolia, Gray. | (4) Lycopodium clavatum, L.

(1) Urtica capitata, Willd. | (4) Chara vulgaris.

(3) Corylus rostrata, Ait. |

The other six which have not been satisfactorily identified are printed as follows in the Prodromus :

Gnaphalium Americanum. | Pelygonatum latifolium. Rochelia Virginiana. Mariscus cylindricus. Potamogeton diversifolium. Panicum discolor.


The botanist familiar with this flora will be able to form a judgment more or less correct as to what the plants probably were to which these last names were assigned.

With regard to the 146 species above enumerated, it must not be hastily concluded that they represent the disappearance from our flora of that number of plants. While they doubtless indicate such a move- ment to a certain extent, there are ample evidences that many of them can be accounted for in other ways. After careful consideration I have been able to divide them into four principal classes as arising out of—

1st. Errors on the part of those early botanists in assigning to them the wrong names.

2d. The introduction into the catalogue of adventitious and even of mere cultivated species never belonging to the flora of the place.

3d. The undue extension by those collectors of the range of the local flora, so as to make it embrace a portion of the maritime vegetation of the Lower Potomac or the Chesapeake Bay, and also the mountain flora of the Blue Ridge.

4th. The actual extermination and disappearance of indigenous plants during the fifty years that have intervened since they made their re- searches.

The figure placed in parenthesis before each name in the list denotes the class in the order above indicated to which I would assign each one of these species. This assignment is of course in great part conjectural, and may be incorrect in many cases, while another botanist might have differed considerably in regard to special plants; yet it is not based upon a general judgment drawn from my acquaintance with the present flora, but upon several kinds of special evidence, which in numerous in- stances has reversed my prima facie decision. In the first place I have carefully compared the range of each species as given in the text-books to determine the probabilities for or against its being found here, and in the second place I have prepared a corresponding list of plants now found but not enumerated in the Prodromus and compared the two lists. I have also endeavored to make due allowance on the one hand for the tendency above referred to, to swell the catalogue as fully as possible, and on the other, for the well known fact that every flora is at all times undergoing changes. It must not be forgotten either that half a century ago the surface of the entire country here must have presented a very different appearance from that which it presents now. The population of the District of Columbia in 1830, when it included a portion of Vir-

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ginia, was only 39,834. It is now, exclusive of the Virginia portion re- ceded to that State, 177,638. To render the comparison more exact, we may add to this latter number the present population of Alexandria County, amounting to 17,545, and we have, in place of 39,834, a popula- tion on substantially the same area of 195,183, or about five times as large. The population of Maryland in 1830 was 447,040, in 1880 it was 934,632, or considerably more than twice as large; that of Virginia in 1830 was 1,211,405; Virginia and West Virginia, embracing the same territory, now number 2,131,249, the population having not quite doubled; the retardation, however, as compared with Maryland, is doubtless due entirely to influences affecting the southern counties.

There were doubtless large areas of primeval forest then within our limits which are now under cultivation, and a much greater variety of soil and woodland was then open to the researches of the botanist. As a consequence, we ought to expect that it would sustain a much richer flora.

The general results at which I arrive by the process adopted may be summed up as follows:

Ist. That 43 of these names, or 29 per cent. of them, belong to the first class and constitute errors in naming.

2d. That 12 of these plants, or 8 per cent., belong to the second class or were simply cultivated species and never belonged to this flora.

od. That 10 of them, or 7 per cent., belong to the third class and were collected beyond the reasonable limits of our local flora.

4th. That the remaining 81, or 56 per cent., belong to the fourth class, and represent bona fide discoveries of species which either do not now occur or are so rare as to have escaped the investigations of the present generation of botanists.

With regard to the first of these classes, the large number of errors in naming cannot be considered any derogation from the ability or fidel- ity of the compilers of the Prodromus or their immediate predecessors, when we remember the very unsettled state that American botany was in at that time. Both names and authorities were badly confused and errors were committed even by the most experienced botanists. In many of the cases the real plant which it was their intention to designate can be readily told, especially after a comparison with their omissions in the Same genus. For example, their Corydalis glauca,* as probably also their

*This may have represented Dicentra Cucullaria not otherwise designated in the Prodromus.


CO. aurea, meant C. flavula, which is now abundant, but omitted by them. Their Arabis stricta might have been A. hirsuta or A. patens, which are now rare, though it was more probably a form of A. laevigata, as they seemed to be especially fond of drawing nice distinctions and expressing them by synonyms. Varieties, however, were scarcely recognized by them, the trinomial theory being then in its infancy. I might thus proceed to discuss all their supposed errors, but the reader can do this for himself, as the species now known, but which are not contained in the Prodromus, are designated in the general catalogue below.

The second and third classes, amounting together to 16 per cent. of the alleged excess over the present flora, consist also of errors, but errors which it is much less easy to palliate. It is natural to wish to make as large a showing as possible, and the temptation to insert into a cata- logue everything which by any construction can be claimed to belong there is rarely resisted. To show that this propensity still exists, it may be remarked that of the 1,054 species enumerated in the prelimi- nary catalogue of the plants of this vicinity, published by the Potomac- Side Naturalists’ Club in 1876, 89, or about 84 per cent., are now admitted by all not to have been seen here at that time, and have never been found by any one since, although nearly three hundred other species have since been added to the flora. This is certainly not a scientific method to proceed upon, and, as already remarked, the present attempt aims to eliminate to a great extent this source of error.

The 81 species constituting the fourth class remain, therefore, the only ones to which any special interest attaches, and for the determina- tion of which the present somewhat laborious analysis of this ancient document has been undertaken. For these the botanists of our time should make diligent search, and perchance a few of them may still be found. Assuming that they no longer exist, they do not simply repre- sent the number of plants that have disappeared from our flora during an interval of fifty years. This could be only on the assumption that the Prodromus was a complete record of the flora at the time. This it certainly is not. The aggregate number, exclusive of synonyms or du- plicated names, which it contained was, as we saw, 860. We now identify, counting as was then done, species and varieties, 1,249 distinct forms. While, no doubt, many of these have been freshly appearing, while others have been disappearing, still, from the considerations above set forth, it is highly probable that the indigenous flora of 1830 was considerably larger than that of 1880, and may have reached 1,400 or


1,500 vascular plants. It would appear, therefore, that only a little over half the plants actually existing were discovered by the botanists of that day and enumerated in their catalogue. If the proportion of disappearances could be assumed to be the same for species not discov- ered as for those discovered by them, this would raise the aggregate number to considerably above one hundred, perhaps to one hundred and twenty-five.

The great number of present known species not enumerated in the Prodromus, some of them among our commonest plants, and amounting in the aggregate to 535 species, is another point of interest, since, after due allowance has been made for mistakes in naming them, it remains clear on the one hand that their researches must have been, compared with recent ones, very superficial, and on the other that, not to speak of fresh introductions, many plants now common must have then been very rare, otherwise they would have proved too obtrusive to be thus overlooked.

There are many other interesting facts growing out of a comparison of these two remote dates, but space forbids their further discussion. Any one can pursue the subject who desires to do so, from the data already given and to be given, or by consulting the Prodromus itself.


The flora of a wild region is always more uniform than that of one long subjected to human influences. The diversity in the former is a natural consequence of the corresponding diversity in the surface and other physical features. In the latter it is due to conditions arbitra- rily imposed by man. A primeval flora is usually more rich in in- digenous species, but the artificial changes caused by cultivation often offset this to a great extent by the introduction of foreign ones. This, however, greatly reduces its botanical interest. _

In many respects the botanist looks at the world from a point of view precisely the reverse of that of other people. Rich fields of corn are to him waste lands; cities are his abhorrence, and great open areas un- der high cultivation he calls “poor country”; while on the other hand the impenetrable forest delights his gaze, the rocky cliff charms him, thin-soiled barrens, boggy fens, and unreclaimable swamps and morasses are for him the finest land ina State. He takes no delight in the “march of civilization,” the ax and the plow are to him symbols of barbarism, and the reclaiming of waste lands and opening up of his favorite haunts

Bull. Nat. Mus. No. 22-———2


to cultivation he instinctively denounces as acts of vandalism. In him, more than in any other class of mankind, the poet’s injunction, ‘Woodman, spare that tree,”

touches a responsive chord. While all this may seem as absurd to some as does the withholding from tillage of great pleasure-grounds in the form of hunting-parks for the landed sporting gentry of Northern and Western Europe, still, when these parts of the world are compared with the artificially made deserts of Southeastern Europe and Western Asia, caused by the absence of such sentiments, there may perhaps be dimly recognized a ‘“‘soul of good in things evil,” if not a soul of wisdom in things ridiculous.

After the protracted subjection of a country to the conditions of civilization it gradually comes about that while the greater part of the surface falls under cultivation, more or less thorough, and the botanist is ultimately excluded from it, there will remain a few favored spots which from one cause or another will escape and continue to form his favorite haunts. In the vicinity of large rivers, giving greater variety to the surface, or of rugged hills or mountains, this will be especially the case. As a country grows old, large estatesin the vicinity of cities fall into the possession of heirs who are engaged in mercantile or pro- fessional business and neglect them, or they come into litigation, lasting for years, and are thus happily abandoned to Nature. These and other causes have operated in an especial manner in the surroundings of Washington, and there thus exist a large number of these green oases, as it were, interspersed over the otherwise botanical desert.

In consequence of this fact it requires experience in order to improve the facilities which the place affords. A botanist unacquainted with the proper localities for successful collection might spend a month almost in vain and depart with the conviction that there was nothing here to be found. It may not be wholly peculiar, but these favored localities are here often of very limited extent and in situations which from a dis- tance afford no attraction to the collector. Civilization is, however, very perceptibly encroaching upon many of them, and it is feared that in another half century little will be left but a few bare rocks or inac- cessible marshes.

In naming localities the principal authorities relied upon are: 1, a recent Atlas of fifteen miles around Washington, including the County of Montgomery, Md., Compiled, Drawn, and Published from Actual Surveys, by G. M. Hopkins, OC. BE. Philadelphia, 1879; and 2, a military map


of N. HE. Virginia, published in the work of General J. G. Barnard on the Defenses of Washington, 1871.

From the former the names of many roads, streams, estates, &c., have been obtained, while from the latter those of forts, batteries, &c., are often employed as more convenient. In this respect, however, much remains to be desired. While the military map is much antiquated, the other is frequently both defective in omitting what is required, and incorrect in erroneously locating streams and other objects well known to the writer. In his extensive rambles he has learned many local names. not found on the maps, and in a few cases of special botanical interest where names are wholly wanting he has long been in the habit of desig- nating the localities by names of his own christening, and for which he offers no apology.

The following are a few of the principal places of botanical interest which will be found to recur most frequently in the notes, and for this. reason brief descriptions of them are appended.

1. The Rock Creek Region.

Rock Creek, which forms the boundary line between Washington and Georgetown (West Washington), has escaped to a remarkable degree the inroads of agriculture and population. For the greater part of its. length within the District of Columbia, its banks are still finely wooded for some distance back and afford a rich and varied field for botanical exploration. The character of the surface along Rock Creek is most. beautiful and picturesque, often rocky and hilly, with frequent deep ravines coming down into the usually narrow bottom through which it flows. The stream itself is full of the most charming curves, and the whole region is an ideal park. No one can see it without thinking how admirably it is adapted for a National Park. Such a park might be made to extend from Oak Hill Cemetery to the Military Road opposite: Brightwood, having a width of a mile or a mile and a half. Not only every botanist, but every lover of art and nature must sigh at the pros- pect, now not far distant, of beholding this region devastated by the ax and the plow. The citizens of Washington should speedily unite and strenuously urge upon Congress the importance of early rescuing this ready-made National Park from such an unfortunate fate.*

*Tt is remarkable that when committees of Congress have been appointed, as they several times have been, to consider a site for a National Park, they have usually looked in other directions and seemed to ignore the existence of this region, which is cer- tainly the only one that possesses any natural claims. A mere carriage-ride through


The Rock Creek region is divided, as far as the designation of locali- ites is concerned, into six sections. The first, embracing the series of groves from Georgetown to Woodley Park, on the right bank of the creek, is called Woodley. This section embraces several interesting ravines, and in it are found many plants rare elsewhere, such as Chame- lirium Carolinianum, Cypripedium pubescens, Hesperis matronalis, and LTiparis Leselii. In it is also a grove of the Hercules’ Club (Aralia spinosa). On the left bank of the creek lie the Kalorama Heights and some fine open woodland. The Woodley Park section extends to the ravine which comes down opposite the old brick mill ruin, known as the Adams Mill. The timber here has been thinned out recently by the proprietors, but not cleared off, and the vegetation has undergone a marked change. Several interesting plants have been found in Woodley Park, including the rare Obolaria Virginica and the beautiful Spiraea Aruncus. Above this the timber is heaviest on the left bank, and some very fine ravines occur, at the head of one of which is a magnolia and sphagnum swamp where Veratrum viride and Symplocarpus foetidus keep company with Gonolobus obliquus and Pirus arbutifolia. Here, too, though well up towards the Ford, has been found Polemonium reptans, not seen elsewhere.

This third section terminates at Piney Branch, and from here to Pierce’s mill, and as far above as the mouth of broad Branch, the fourth -section extends. This section is well wooded on both sides, and in- cludes the enchanting Cascade Run, which leaps down over the most romantic rocks.

Near Pierce’s mill are many trees and shrubs, planted there years ‘before, but now well naturalized. Among these are Aralia spinosa, Xanthoxylum Americanum, Acer saccharinum, Pinus Strobus, and Carya alba. Below the mill, on the creek bottom, is a long-abandoned nursery of Populus alba and Acer dasycarpum.

From Broad Branch to the Military Road is the fifth and perhaps most interesting section of the Rock Creek Region. On the left bank lie the once noted Crystal Springs, and though the buildings are removed, the springs remain unchanged. Here have been found Ophioglossum wulgatum, Anychia dichotoma, and Perilla ocimoides, as well as Tipularia discolor. Onthe right bank, and above Blagden’s Mill, is a bold bluff in a short bend of the creek, forming a sort of promontory, upon which

such parts as are traversed by roads is wholly insufficient to afford an adequate idea of its merits from this point of view. Forthe greater part of the distance mentioned above, this region is accessible only to footmen.


there grows Gaultheria procumbens, the wintergreen or checkerberry, this being its only known locality within our limits. Half a mile further up, and back upon the wooded slope, is the spot on which stand a dozem or more fine trees of the Table Mountain pine (P. pungens). Here also was first found Pycnanthemum Torreyi.

To these there must be added a sixth section, extending from the Brightwood Road to the north corner of the District of Columbia, which: lies near Rock Creek. For the first mile there is little of interest, the- cultivated land approaching the creek, and the low hills near its banks. being covered with a short second growth of scrub pine and blackjack. But above the Claggett estate, on the right bank, and to some extent on both sides, lies the largest forest within our limits. This wood be- longs, I learn, to the Carroll estate, and is so designated in this cata- logue. In it have been found very many most interesting plants. Itwas. the first extensive tract found for the crowfoot (Lycopodium complana- tum), and still constitutes the most reliable and abundant source known of this plant. Its present fame, however, rests upon its hybrid oaks, of which some most interesting forms have been found there. (See Pield’ and Forest, October and November, 1875, p. 39. Botanical Gazette,, October, 1880, p. 123.) Here also grow quite abundantly Pyrola elliptica: and P. secunda, and very sparingly Microstylis ophioglossoides. It is also a rich locality for many other species rare elsewhere.

2. The Upper Potomac Region.

The flora of the left bank of the Potomac is in many respects very unlike that of any other locality within our limits. A mile above Georgetown, and commencing from the recently constructed Outlet Lock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, there exists a broad and low strip of country, formerly known by the name of Carberry Meadows, ly- ing between the canal and the river, and extending to the feeder of the canal, a distance of about three and a half miles. This interval is re- lieved by two convenient landmarks, viz., one mile above the Outlet Lock, a grist-mill and guano factory, popularly known as Eads’ Mill, and a mile further the celebrated Chain Bridge. Little Falls proper begin a hundred yards above the bridge and extend half a mile or more. The region above the bridge will therefore be designated as Lit- tle Falls. The flats terminate in a remarkable knoll or small hillock of very regular outline and abrupt sides, which, from the combined effect of the feeder on one side and large overflows from it below, becomes:


practically an island, and is well known to all as High Island. These river flats are in most places covered with large bowlders of the char- acteristic gneiss rock of the country. In some parts the surface is very rough, and numerous pools or small ponds of water occur. Overfiows and leakages from the canal cause large sloughs and quagmires, while annual ice-gorges crush down the aspiring fruticose vegetation. All these circumstances lend variety to the locality, and, as might be ex- pected, the flora partakes largely of this characteristic. It would pro- jong this sketch unduly to enumerate all the rare and interesting plants which this region has contributed to our vegetable treasures, but conspicuous among them are Polygonum amphibium, var. terrestre, Isan- thus coeruleus, Herpestis nigrescens, Brasenia peltata, Cyperus virens, and Nesea verticillata, all of which occur below Eads’ Mill; Ammannia humilis, a remarkable variety of Salix nigra (S. nigra, var. Wardi., Bebb. q. v. infra), Salix cordata, and S. longifolia, as also Spiranthes latifolia and Samolus Valerandi, var. Americanus, which may be found between this point and the bridge; while at the Little Falls we are favored with Paronychia dichotoma, Ginothera fruticosa, var. linearis (very distinct from the type), and Ceanothus ovatus, also Ranunculus pusillus and Utri- cularia gibba. But rich and varied as are these lower flats, they are ex- celled by High Island, the flora of which is by far the most exuberant of all within the knowledge of botanists. Here we find Jeffersonia diphylla, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Erigenia bulbosa, Silene nivea, Vale- riana panciflora, Erythronium albidum, Iris cristata, and great numbers of others of our most highly-prized plants, many of which are found here only.

Above the feeder is a series of islands in the river, lying for the most part near the Maryland shore, and to which the maps, so far as I can learn, assign no names. The first of these lies well out in the river, and has been made to form a part of the feeder-dam. It is low and frequently overflowed, and has not as yet furnished many rare plants, though here Arabis dentata and some others have been found. It has been designated Feeder-dam Island. The second is half or three quar- ters of a mile above, lies higher, and is covered with a very dense and luxuriant herbaceous vegetation and fine trees, chiefly of box-elder (Negundo aceroides), from which circumstance and the peculiar impres- sion which the long, gracefully-pendant, staminate