[Taxacom] A Christmas Carol with a botanical twist

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Wed Dec 24 14:50:54 CST 2014

That would be p. 581?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim L. Reveal" <jlr326 at cornell.edu>
To: <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 5:09 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] A Christmas Carol with a botanical twist

>A book known to most of you entitled "A Christmas Carol" features a 
>character named Scrooge that is haunted on Christmas Eve by three spirits: 
>Spirit of the Pass, Spirit of the Present, and Spirit of the Future. “Men's 
>courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must 
>lead," said Scrooge. "But if the courses be departed from, the ends will 
>change...” And indeed, on this Christmas Eve in 2014 a change did occur and 
>a long and forgot comment by Charles Dickens is noticed.
> While reviewing a nursery catalogue the name Clianthus magnificus was 
> mentioned. As the name was not in IPNI, the origin of the was sought and 
> what was found as its first use as a binomial was in a publication by 
> Charles Dickens. Yes, that Charles Dickens! The full citation is below:
> Clianthus magnificus (Van Houtte) C. Dickens, Household Words 13: 582. 5 
> Jul 1856, based on C. puniceus Lindl. var. magnificus Van Houtte, Fl. 
> Serres 9: 57, t. 859. Feb-May 1854.
> The Dickins article, detailing a visit he made to the garden of  Louis van 
> Houtte, provides a contemporary view of both the man and his garden, 
> causing Dickins to refer directly to many of the plant “V. H.” – the 
> abbreviation typical of Dickens’ style – the famed gardener introduced 
> into cultivation.
> For the Dickens article, entitled “Belgian flower-growing”, go to 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=Q-Y2AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA577&lpg. Apologies to 
> those of you unable to received online google books in your country for 
> the article is filled with delight that some who labor in the garden might 
> appreciate.
> “In private gardens, people plant a plant as they marry a wife, - love and 
> to cherish it. There is an understood union between the man and the 
> vegetable for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as 
> they both shall live; unless some intolerable fanlt or defect leads to 
> divorce in the shape of a stubbing-up and a contemptuous tossing over the 
> hedge. The nurseryman plants a plant to divide, to subdivide, to 
> propagate, and what we should call to spoil it, in all sorts of ways: to 
> bnd, to graft, to layer, to inarch, to take cuttings from the top, and 
> offsets from the root, to pull it to atoms (if the atoms will but live and 
> grow as sometimes happens); in short to sell. Consequently, the 
> nurseryman's attachments are fleeting, - almost cynical. He makes 
> acquaintance ,rather than forms a friendship, with his subjects. “How do 
> yon do !” is followed by “Good-bye!” with the greatest expedition 
> consistent with vegetable physiology.”
> And so it was, on page 582, there is this line: “V. H. has introduced the 
> Clianthus magnificus, still more brilliant in flower, and less straggling 
> in growth than the puniceus, or glory pea.” A binomial based on van Houtte 
> trinomial and thus, into the legions of people who have named plants come 
> an addition:
> Charles John Huffam Dickens (1807-1870)
> Welcome to your midst.
> Jim Reveal
> James L. Reveal, Professor
> L.H. Bailey Hortorium, 412 Mann Building
> Integrative School of Plant Science
> Section of Plant Biology
> Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853-4301
> http://www.plantsystematics.org/reveal/
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> Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
> -----
> Geen virus gevonden in dit bericht.
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> Versie: 2015.0.5576 / Virusdatabase: 4253/8758 - datum van uitgifte: 
> 12/18/14

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