صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

pungent leaves, and axillary capitate inflorescence, of which unfortunately I am without specimens. A new species of the African genus Limeum, is also found on the skirts of the Halas. Plantago amplexicaulis, is found in the inner valleys along with Haplophyllum. Au Echium of the Cape type, and possibly new, and Trichodesma Africanum, B. B. are abundant in the fissures of rocks midst the higher hills.

Salvia primula-Ægyptica, and a new species of the same section, are widely spread through the hills. A new Linaria, very like L. triphylla, is found from the base of the hills upwards.

Solanum Forskalii, or a species akin to it, is also abundant. Hyocyamus muticus is found in moist places. An Asclepiad, with the habit of Orthanthera viminea, is very abundant on the margins of water courses. It forms a large bushy shrub, and I suspect is the same plant described by my friend Dr. Falconer as “Campelepis.” Cometes Surattensis is found occasionally along the whole base of the Hala mountains; a Caralluma or some nearly allied plant is abundant on the higher ranges, but I never saw it in flower ; a new and pretty species of Cleome is found in the passes leading into the Hala range at a low elevation : with this I close my notice of the hilly region of Sinde.

The plains of Sinde are of a very variable character, some places being very fertile, and others barren, and naked desert with little to be seen except Salsolea and Tamarisk, and even these affect the borders of desert places.

The Tamarisk on the borders of the desert in some places yields a considerable quantity of manna, it exudes from the bark of the younger branches in the form of translucent tears. It is collected in some abundance in the neighbourhood of Meher, south of Larkhana, and used to adulterate sugar ; my servants eat a considerable quantity of it without being in any way affected. In fact they were wonder-stricken and returned thanks to God for having miraculously created sugar in the desert jungle. I had about a seer of it for near a year, it remained unaltered, and was at last destroyed by exposure to rain.

This species of manna is noticed by Doctor Royle in bis Illustrations of Botany, p. 214. I saw neither flowers nor fruit, so cannot speak as to the species, but the shrub has the habit and appearance of T. gallica.

The litttle desert of Sinde flanks the base of the Ilala range, varying from 10 to 25 miles (or more) in breadth, extending in a southerly direction to beyond Meher, where it narrows to three or four miles, and there are more or less extensive patches of desert nearly as far south as the Munchaul Lake. In a northerly direction branches of the desert extend to near Mittun Kote, flanking the base of the Boogtee Beloch Hills (spurs of the Halas) upon which Deyrah and Kahun are situated. This tract is sometimes called the Burshoree desert, from the name of a halting-place on the other side, N. W. of Shikarpoor. The soil is a hard baked yellow clay, often exhibiting proofs of lacustrine or alluvial origin, generally extremely arid and devoid of all vegetation. In some places even in the heart of the desert Salsoleæ are abundant, in others the surface for miles is perfectly naked ; in many places saline matter abounds, eflorescing and whitening the surface, or cementing the soil, which crachles under the feet as if icebound; saltpetre is or has been manufactured at the southern end of the desert.

It will be seen that but for the Indus this desert would form a branch of the great Jeysulineer desert, which in some places south of Bhawulpoor, approaches the Indus so closely that its sands are poured into the stream, hence we may expect the vegetation on the borders of both to be somewhat similar.

Not far south of Bhawulpoor a species of " Anabasis,” very like (if not identical with) A. florida, makes its appearance ; this plant abounds on the borders of the desert and on both banks of the Indus wherever the desert approaches.

The borders of the Sinde desert are usually belted with sand hills, and outside them a belt of Acacia catechu, of greater or less breadth.

I have already noticed Monsonia as existing on the western borders of the desert, I also found it in desert places in lower Sinde.

Antichorus (Corchorus) depressus, abounds on the desert borders, particularly at Khangurh ; Physalis somnifera is also found here, and extends into the hill valleys. In lower Sinde, south of Sewan, a species of Euphorbia, very like E. pentagona, abounds in many places forming impervious patches of jungle ; near Kotree, and also between that place and Sewan I found an “ Ochradenus," I believe identical with the Egyptian O. baccatus, Delisle. Fagonia is abundant throughout Sinde, both in the bills and plains, I have no specimens, but considered the species to be F. Mysorensis, the flowers are pale purple.

At Meher and some other places a species of sugar-cane is in cultivation, which I believe to be unknown in India ; it is called "Buhadooree;" the stems are slender and trailing ; they grow to ten or fifteen feet in length, the base not being thicker than a finger ; ten or twelve are usually fastened together so as to afford mutual support; the cane is said to yield the best sugar, but in small quantity. Cleome ruta, Jacqt. is abundant on the rocks at Sukkur, and throughout Sinde. Typha angustifolia is found on most lands subject to the annual flooding of the Indus, and from it vast quantities of mats are manufactured. A species of Adenanthera, I believe A. pavonia, is often found near villages in lower Sinde ; this tree has a weeping habit, and at a distance looks not unlike Salix Babylonica. A remarkable species of Acacia is also found near villages. In its mode of growth and appearance it strongly resembles the funereal Cypress. The Sindeans call it “Cauboolee Baubool," a name which points to its foreign origin.

I was not fortunate enough to see this tree either in blossom or fruit. Between Kotree and Kurrachee I noticed a species of wild cotton trailing up trees to 20 feet; I was sick in a Doolee at the time and unable to take specimens.

Dodonaa Burmanniana, and I believe another species, are found in Lower Sinde. Aristolochea bracteata and a Verbena akin to V. officinalis, but perhaps distinct, exist on the smaller hills of lower Sinde ; Orthanthera riminea abounds throughout Sinde and is a very useful plant; like many others of its order, the bark yields a strong fibre ; in this shrub it is of greater length than perhaps in any other Asclepiad. I am not aware of the fibre being used by the Sindeans, but the thin osierlike branches are bruised and twisted into a strong coarse kind of rope in common use.

There are also numerous well known Indian forms of plants in the plains of Sinde, particularly near the cultivated districts, of which I took neither notes nor specimens; the date flourishes in several parts of Sinde, but thrives best at Sukkur, and its vicinity, on both banks of the Indus. There are two varieties. One with pale yellow, and the other with brown fruit; the fruit is smaller than the Egyptian date, but when ripe is very palatable ; only certain trees produce good fruit, about a-third of the whole perhaps. The fruit of the remainder is injured by tapping for the juice, from which sugar is manufactured.

The plants of the coast are of a mixed and peculiar character, and many of them belong to more northern genera. Serræa incana, Cav. grows plentifully on the sand hills of the coast ; the only known species of this genus, is a native of Succotra, and is described as being only three inches high. The Kurrachee plant forms a bush two feet in height, and when in flower is very pretty ; perhaps it may be a new species?

A very hoary Atriplex, not far removed from A. verruciferum, is also very plentiful; Ipomea bilobata spreads over the sand in every direction, and Scævola Taccada, Roxb. is abundant on the tops of the sand hills, the berry is white at first but turns purple when ripe. A new species of Ægialitis is also found all along the coast, and a new shrubby plant of the Paronychiæ, with the bark and almost the leaves of an Equisetum.

Cadaba Indica ? grows on the rocks at Minora point ; I also noticed this plant in the Hala mountains, but am rather doubtful as to the species ; I have only seen the cucumber-shaped fruit which is made into a pickle by the Sindeans.

I shall now proceed to notice seriatim, such plants of my Ilerbarium as appear to me deserving of elucidation,

Umbelliferæ. Indigenous plants of this class are rare in Sinde ; I have but one specimen from the Ilala mountains which for the present I have refered to 1. “Libanotus;" the plant smells strong of asafatida.

Rhizophoracee. I found a fresh flowering branch of a tree of this class floating in the surf on the beach at Kurrachee, but no where detected living trees.

2. It belongs to the Genus “Ceriops” of Arnott; the many mouths of the Indus will doubtless afford others of this order.

Cruciferæ. 3. A species of Farsetia abounds from Bhawulpoor, throughout Sinde; it is often the only food procurable for camels, who eat it greedily, along with a frutescent Crambe? In the Hala mountains it is used for the same purposes. The plant of this order, along with some others, will form the subject of a future communication.

Capparideæ. Cleome ruta, Jacqt : Sukkur and other rocky places in Sinde. The petals are pink, and bear at base of each a fringed scale.

5. “Cleome fimbriata, Vic: lower hills in Sinde.

Stems and leaves hispid from gland-capitate stiff hairs ; leaves all simple, lower ones long petioled, round-cordate, quintuple-nerved, outer lateral nerves lost in the margin, three medial nerves stronger and inarcuately reaching the apex. Upper leaves smaller, subconforin narrower, subsessile, flowers pale purple ? from the terminal axillæ ; pedicels lengthening in fruit; calyx clothed with gland-capitate hairs. Sepals 4; subequal, lanceolate. Petals 4; shortly clawed with acute oblong-deltoid laminæ, apices bearing out gland-capitate hairs, and ciliate with them. Bases toothed slightly on the margins and bearing above claw transverse free fimbriate petaloid scales. Fertile stamens 4, rather longer than petals, one anther larger, torus small. Ovary subsessile, linear, rather rough; style caducous, cylindric, short ; stigma discoid, capitate. Capsule linear-cylindric furrowed on opposite sides, shortly stipitate, densely clothed with strongly stipitate, peltate glands, 1 celled, 2 valved, valves separating from the placentiferous narrow replum, seeds most numerous, cordiform, smooth, amphitropous. I have given my note of this plant, as it seems to be not far removed from C. Droserifolia, Del: and perhaps eventually it may prove to be the

same.

6. Cleome rupicola, Vic: passes leading into the Hala range of mountains and lower hills.

This plant is not unlike C. glauca, Dec. Vol. I. p. 239, but the stems and leaves of my plant are clothed with scattered gland-headed hairs, and young branches are 4 angled. Leaves elliptic, ovate and obovate, petiolate, upper leaves reduced to linear-lanceolate bracts. Racemes often 6 inches long. Petals orange-rufescent, secund, smooth stamens secund, in an opposite direction to petals, 6; gland of the torus semilunate, siliques pendulous, falcate, flat, subsessile, 15 lines long, 2 lines broad, bearing some scattered capitate hairs; seeds densely beset with brown hairs, numerous.

7. Cadaba Indica ? on rocks near Kurrachee and Hala mountains.

I am doubtful about this plant, having seen it only in fruit. The leaves near the apices of branches are often supported by two stipulary

« السابقةمتابعة »