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In the first edition of Linnaeus' Species Plantarum, there are nine species of Physalis described, of which six are accredited to America. Of these six two are frutescent and are now referred to the genus Withania. Hence there remain only four American species which were known to Linnaeus in 1753, viz.: P. viscosa, P. angulata, P. pubescens and P. pruinosa. Besides these, P. Alkekengi has escaped from cultivation in a few places.
Physalis Alkekengi* has been well understood from its first publication, and can scarc ly be confounded with any of our native species. The whitish, more plainly 5-lobed corolla distinguishes it from all of them.
Physalis viscosa L.† is without any doubt the plant that now appears under that name in our manuals. The name viscosa refers to the viscid berry. Unfortunately there are several other species that have viscid fruit and the choice of name did not happen to be a good one. Thinking the name referred to the viscid pubescence, most of the earlier American authors, as Pursh, Eaton, Darlington, Beck, Torrey and at first also Gray, applied it to another perennial species, Physalis heterophylla Nees, P Virginiana Gray,§ not Mill. Roth applied it to P. Barbadensis, and P. viscosa Jacq. is either P. Virginiana Mill. or P. heterophylla Nees. This may partly account for the many synonyms under P. viscosa L. Gmelin called it P. nutans and Walter P. tomentosa,¶ which was changed to P. Walteri by Nuttall, as there were already two species which had been described under this name, viz : P. tomentosa Medicus†† and P. tomentosa Thunberg.‡‡
The remaining Linnaean species of 1753 are not as well understood. The diagnosis in each case is very vague and incomplete, and agrees as well or as badly with any of our annual species, and nobody can be sure that the name belongs to the species to which
*L. Sp. Pl. 183. 1753.
+L. Sp. Pl. 183. 1753.
Linnaea, 6: 463. 1831.
Gray, Syn. Fl. 2: pt. 1, 235. 1878.
| Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8: no. 4. 1768.
**Journ. Acad. Phil. 7: 112. 1834.
Act. Acad. Theod. Palat. 4: 184. 1780.
it is commonly applied. As to P. angulata L.,* there has been some doubt as to whether it is is the same as P. angulata of our manuals or P. obscura Michx.+ Nees von Esenbeck‡ cited the latter as a synonym of P. angulata and for the plant that now goes under that name, he proposed the name P. Linkiana,§ as the only available synonym, P. dubia Link,|| was antedated by P. dubia Gmelin. One of the synonyms cited under P. angulata both by Linnaeus and Nees is "Alkekengi indicum glabrum chenopodiifolio. Dill. Elth. p. 13, t. 12, f. 12;" which figure gives a fair representation of the plant now known as P. angulata Linkiana (Nees) Gray.** Furthermore, the leaves of that plant semble those of Chenopodium viride, a statement that can scarcely be made with reference to P. obscura Michx. In my opinion P. Linkiana Nees is the true P. angulata. Dunal, in De Candolle's Prodromus, corrects Nees, stating that P. obscura Michx. is not a synonym of P. angulata L., but makes a mistake when he refers the former to his own species P. hirsuta, that is to P. pubescens L. He retains P. angulata and P. Linkiana as two distinct species, while Gray makes the latter a variety of the former. Hemsley, in Biologia Centrali Americana, regards P. Linkiana as a synonym of P. angulata.
*L. Sp. Pl. 183, 1753.
Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 149. 1803.
Physalis pubescens L.§§ and Physalis pruinosa L.|||| are included in one species by Nees and Gray, although the former recognizes pruinosa as a variety. There are, however, two distinct species in the United States which might claim the name P. pubescens, one diffuse, with small thin ovate leaves, which are sub-entire at least at the base; the other more or less erect, with large thicker leaves, which are coarsely sinuate-dentate and somewhat resemble those of P. heterophylla Nees. The former I take as P. pubescens L., the
Linnæa, 6: 474. 1831.
Linnæa, 6: 471. 1831.
|| Link, Enum. Hort. Berol. 1: 181. 1821.
See foot note, Linnaea, 6: 471.
**Proc. Am. Acad. 10: 64. 1874.
++DC. Prod. 13: pt. 1, 449. + DC. Prod. 13: pt. 1, 445. Sg L. Sp. Pl. 183. 1753. IL. Sp. Pl. 184.
latter as P. pruinosa. The whitish pubescence often found on the latter looks at a distance somewhat like mealiness, which, perhaps made Linnaeus give it the characters" divaricationibus farinaceogerminantibus." It sometimes has yellow anthers, which is given as a character by Linnaeus. The view taken here is practically that held by Nees,* although I think that P. pruinosa deserves specific rank. Dunal, as far as I can judge, confuses the two, as his description of P. pubescens fits rather that of P. pubescens 3. Nees, which, according to Nees, is the same as P. pruinosa L. Yet he cites under it as a synonym P. pubescens a Nees (P. pubescens L.). He describes a species under the name P. hirsuta,‡ and as varieties of this he places P. pubescens 3. Nees, (P. pruinosa L.), and P. Barbadensis Jacq.,§ but his description corresponds with that of P. pubescens a. Nees. It is evident that Dunal has confused P. pubescens L. and P. hirsuta Mart. & Gal., a Mexican species not found at all within the United States. The characters by which it differs from P. pubescens are given in Walp. Rep 6: 574, viz., the long setaceously acuminate calyx-lobes.
What makes me think still more that P. hirsuta Dunal is the true P. pubescens L. is that it is the species dispersed throughout the warmer regions of the world, while P. pubescens Dunal is, as far as I know, restricted to North America. The locality given by Linnaeus for P. pubescens is "India utraque," and for P. pruinosa, "America."
Another species found within the United States and often con-. fused with the two preceding is one recently collected in Missouri, Kansas, etc. It differs in the shorter calyx lobes. Dr. Britton has named it P. minima L, and regards it as introduced. Very likely the identification is right, or rather it is the plant that has been known by this name. At least it is nearly related to it. The description of P. minima L., however,¶ does not fit it at all. The characters given, " Physalis ramosissima pedunculis fructiferis folio longioribus," could only be applied to one American
* Linnaea, 6: 467-8. 1831.
Linnaea, 6: 467. 1831.
DC. Prod. 13: pt. 1; 445. 1852.
Jacq. Misc. 2: 259. 1781.
Mart. & Gall. in Bull. Brux. 12: Part 1. 132. 1845.
annual species, viz., P. Greenei Vasey & Rose* (P. pedunculata Greene+, not Mart. & Gal.‡). It is impossible that Linnaeus had this rare plant from Lower California, which therefore can not be P. minima. The Linnaean species was from India. Both the locality and the characters given above make it impossible that our plant is P. minima, unless a serious error is made in the original description.
Nees suggests that the statement that the pedicels of the fruiting calyx are longer than the leaves may be a typographical error, and perhaps meant longer than the petioles of the leaves. In Miller's Dictionary§ P. minima is thus characterized. But even then our species does not agree with the description, as the pedicels are generally much shorter than the petioles. If P. minima of Linnaeus and that of Miller are the same, the name P. minima does not belong to our species, as P. minima of Miller is a smooth plant and generally regarded as the same as P. Indica Lam.|| The first synonym cited by Linnaeus under P. minima is "Solanum. vesicarium indicum minimum Herm. Lugb. 569, pl. 571." This according to Nees, is also glabrous and is by him included in P. Indica. Dunal in DC. Prodr. makes it the type of a new species, P. Hermanni. Probably it is only a form of P. Indica Lam., but is the one that has the right to be called P. minima L., unless the type specimens in the Linnaean herbarium, if there are any, show that this species is something else. Anyhow, our species has no right to the name. From the description of P. parvifiora R. Br. in De Candolle's Prodromus,** it seems as if it were that species, but the original description in Robert Brown's Prodromus Novae Hollandiae is different, and P. parviflora R. Br. is now generally regarded as a form of P. Indica Lam. P. parviflora Lagasca‡‡ is the same as P. minima, not of Linnaeus, but as that species has
* Cont. U. S. Nat. Herb. 1: 18.
Bull. Acad. Brux. 12: pt. 1, 132. 1845.
|| Lam. Encycl. 2: 102. 1786.
DC. Prod. 13: pt. 1, 444. 1852.
** DC. Prodr. 13: pt. 1, 445.
been understood by Nees, Dunal, etc. As P. parviflora Lagasca is antedated by that of Robert Brown, we have to use the name P. Lagasca R. & S.* for our species, unless it turns out to be a
In the appendix to the second edition of Species Plantarum,† Linnaeus describes two more species, viz: P. Pennsylvanica and P. Peruviana, both American. Nothing need be said about the identity of the latter, as it is now well understood. According to Nees there is a specimen of this in the Linnaean herbarium labelled P. pubescens. Perhaps this was the reason why Robert Brown describes specimens of P. Peruviana under this name. Forms of this wide-spread species have been described under several names, as P. esculenta Willd., P. tomentosa Medic., P. tuberosa Zuccagni. P. latifolia Lam., P. edulis Sims, P. Barbadensis Lam. The name P. Peruviana has also been used erroneously by Roxburgh for P. pubescens and by Wallroth for P. angulata.
P. Pennsylvanica has caused much trouble, and the name has been applied to P. Virginiana Mill., P. heterophylla Nees, P. Philadelphica, P. viscosa, etc. The Linnaean description certainly does not help to identify it. There are only two American species that have the berry as small as the size of a pea, viz: P. microphysa Gray and P. Carpenteri.§ The first is a rare plant from Mexico; both are so different from others that no confusion is possible. In neither are the leaves smooth above and puberulent beneath. There are forms of P. Virginiana Mill.,|| not Gray,¶ (P. lanceolata Gray,** not Michx.) and P. arenicola Kearney, that sometimes have leaves smooth above and slightly hairy beneath, especially on the veins, but both have berries of the size of a garden cherry and the pubescence cannot be called puberulent. The former and also forms of P. Philadelphica and P. longifolia Nutt. §§ are often found,
* R. & S. Syst. 4: 679. 1819.
L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2: 1670. 1762.
R. Br. Prodr. Nov. Holl, 447. 1810.
Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, no. 4. 1768.
‡‡ Bull. Torr. Club, 21: 485. 1894.
Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. (II.) 5: 193. 1833-37.