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Whilst numerous other Counties possessed their local Flora, Hertfordshire seemed to be an exception.
A meagre list in Turner and Dillwyn's Botanists' Guide, and a slightly enlarged one included in Clutterbuck's History of the County, were, I believe, nearly the only records of its indigenous plants. To supply this deficiency the following work was undertaken. In the month of May, 1840, my friend Mr. Coleman and myself first announced our intentions of forming a County Flora. It may seem to some persons not much experienced in botanical matters, that the completion of the work has been needlessly delayed. We certainly ourselves contemplated its earlier publication, but we could not foresee the many circumstances which have arisen to retard its accomplishment ; and we are ready to admit that we had, at the outset, considerably underrated the amount of labour we were under. taking. At the same time it is satisfactory to know that we are not losers by the delay. There has been a continual progress making, and a fund of information accumulating, so that had we gone sooner to press, we should have presented a much more limited catalogue of plants than we are now, by the exertions of others, added to our own, enabled to supply. And this will be a proper opportunity for me to express, in behalf of Mr. Coleman and myself,
our deep gratitude to the many correspondents who have aided us in our labours. It will be seen, by a reference to the annexed list, as well as by the initials of each correspondent, affixed to the stations in the body of the work, how
very much we are indebted to them ; indeed, without their assistance, the Flora would have fallen very far short of the information which it now contains. We beg them, therefore, each and individually, to accept our warmest thanks. Where all have been so zealous it were no easy matter to specify any in particular. We have had, however, one coadjutor in the work whose aid, as it has been of a different character from the rest, so it calls for our special acknowledgment. To Mr. C. C. Babington we feel ourselves peculiarly indebted. It will be readily understood by all persons conversant with botanical matters, how great has been our advantage in having access in all difficult points to his decision. Specially do we congratulate ourselves in having enjoyed his aid, and that of the Rev. A. Bloxam, of Twycross, Leicestershire (to whom also our warmest thanks are due,) in extricating us from the tangles of the Rubi, and in other matters scarcely less essential. Appendix No. 4. is a valuable paper by Mr. Babington, giving a description of a newly-observed Grass, which (whether it prove really indigenous or no) will be most acceptable to all botanists.
A few words will suffice to give an outline of the work. The able Introduction written by my friend Mr. Coleman before he removed from Hertford*, and
* The writer would wish here to state that, from the period of the first announcement of the Flora, made in the spring of 1840, up to the summer of 1847, his friend Mr. Coleman and himself were
which I have adopted with some few minor alterations, as shewing the distribution of the County into geographical districts, leaves nothing unsaid on that head. The plan has already met with the approbation of those most competent to judge, and its success is sufficiently developed in the following pages to render, in the opinion of the Reviewer, “its imitation” very desirable by “those botanists who may be sufficiently zealous in the cause of science, to give the requisite time and thought to the working out of a Flora on a complete and scientific plan."*
The tabular list of Desiderata has been eminently useful in procuring for me much information during the
progress of the work. Could I have forced it into quicker and wider circulation, no doubt its intention would have been more fully answered; but its utility will still be continued, as it can easily be corrected up to the present date, by a comparison with the recorded stations, and thus form an excellent field book, shewing at a glance within which of the twelve districts each respective species has hitherto been found, as also those from which it is still a desideratum.
I have adopted the Natural, as being the more perfect and advanced System of Botany. The three primary
intimately connected in collecting information for the Work, and though from the latter date until after the publication of Part I., his friend's co-operation was suspended, still, since that stage of the work, Mr. C. has so zealously assisted him in revising and conducting the remainder through the press, that he cannot but consider that Mr. Coleman justly holds with him the position of joint-author, and would feel his disappointment very great, were their names not to be associated in the title-page.
# See “ The PHYTOLOGIST,” vol, iii., page 185.
classes-viz., Dicotyledones, Monocotyledones, and Aco. tyledones—form the main divisions, and these include their respective Orders in the arrangement usually followed by Botanists of the present day. Next, I have given the Latin name of the Genus with its proper accent, and the English name; and for the assistance of the Linnæan student, I have added the Class and Order which the Genus belongs to in that System. Then follows the derivation of the Latin Generic Name; as well as in most cases an explanation of the English. The species, arranged numerically, succeed; and here I have usually given the most literal translation of the Latin name, introducing, not unfrequently, any little details recorded by other authors, and which, as a matter of general interest, I have deemed worthy of notice. And under this head I have added references to the pages of Smith's English Flora, Lindley's Synopsis, Babington's Manual, as well as to the figures of English Botany, editions 1st and 2nd, where the species is described or illustrated. Next, the locality in which, in our county, the plant is usually found—its frequency or rarity-its nature or habit—and its time of flowering-concluding with the recorded stations, arranged under the three main divisions of LEA, COLNE, and OUSE, subdivided into twelve minor districts, each of which is fully defined in the · Introduction' and illustrated by the Map.
The signs are those commonly used by other Authors, viz., An asterisk (*) is affixed to species considered scarcely naturalized; an obelisk (t) to such as have been probably introduced by man: and the note (!) following the station, signifies that we have seen the plant growing: