THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON
Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14211 USA
www.buffalomuseumofscience.org/botany/DiaryIntro.htm
January 8, 2003

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THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON – May 1863

[1863. From the lines on a piece of paper tucked into the introduction to 1863: "May 1. Day brought back Viola selkirkii & V. rotundifolia from Forestville." Apparently this is an addenda to April 30 (1863), above.]

 

[1863]    May 3. Afternoon. Walked to dark wood on Buffalo & Erie R. R.  Nil. First bend of the Creek on further side of the R. R. bridge. This bend is known as Wheelbarrow Point, found Erythronium albidum & Erigenia bulbosa. The Mertensia & Polemonium abundant all along the shore where the willows are. In the evening, gave specimen to Day. He had found an elm with flowers in racemes, probably the U. racemosa, in the northeast corner of the first wood north of the Schanzlin Road, & near the Physa quarry. 

 

[1863]    May 5. Sunday afternoon a cold northeasterly wind commenced & has continued until now. That night some snow fell, but it rained towards morning. About 11 A. M. today it commenced raining, & now (7 1/2 P.M.) is raining steadily. 

 

[1863]    May 6. Snowed a very little last night. Day cloudy & cool with an occasional sprinkle. 

 

[1863]    May 7. P.M. Cleared up beautifully.

 

[1863]    May 8. 5 A. M. Walked, by B. & E. R. R. to Farmer's Point, and all around it & home. About 5‑6 miles, and got home at 6*45'.  The Point is now ploughed & cultivated to the very edge of the bank, leaving merely, on the bank here & there a bush, or a strip of wet shore, & a copse of bush willow at the farther end. How different from what it must have been in Dr. Kennicott's time (See his letters!). Did not find anything, not even, as I expected, Erythronium albidum, & Erigenia bulbosa. A heavyish white frost when I started. 

 

[1863] May 9. 4 3/4 A. M. walked up Main Street to Scajaquada Creek, explored the gully of St. John's Thal (Swartz's)  and house, by Delaware St., at 7*25'. The Trillium grandiflorum in full flower, also Viola rostrata. Noticed a pale yellow Erythronium in a side gully. On the west side of Main Street, in court yard of No. 418, a small (yellow?) birch tree, took specimen. On the same side, beyond the white house formerly [Colton's? ...], in large cultivated field, in wet place near the Street, maybe horseradish not in blossom. See June 4. 

Evening. Day gathered, this afternoon, on first bend of the Creek beyond the B. & E. R. R. bridge (Wheelbarrow Point), a Trillium, which he thinks may be new, but which I suppose is a form of T. grandiflorum or of T. erectum, & gave me a specimen. It was the erectum, v. albidum. That has two stems from its single rootstock (See the Manual, p. 463‑4.) In color the petals approach the erectum v. album. The petals are but little longer than the sepals, & the perianth is short bell shape with both petals & sepals recurved, so that it is, in form, very much like Lilium Canadense. My impression is that it is the erectum v. albidum (See May 13 & 22.)

 

[1863]  May 10. Before breakfast walked to Sandytown, on the r. r., & across the Canal, on the r. r. bridge, up the hill, & along the fort grounds to Niagara St., & along that street home. On the corner of the St. by Mr. Willard's house collected 3 specimens Ulmus fulva. By Porter Thompson's, a green flowered Acer (probably rubrum) & A. rubrum, both in young seed, & the peduncles elongated.  Just west of Howland's, Populus (the common one with long pendulous, female aments, = P. balsamita). In the enclosure by Mr. Austin's, the Ribes which we called prostratum (sed?) just coming into flower. Remember to send it & also the Sambucus, to Gray!. 

P.M. walked with Day on Seneca Road nearly to the Bridge, & walked up between the Hydraulic Canal & the Creek to opposite the Sulphur Spring house. Took both sexes of Rumex acetosella, in flower. The Mertensia abundant along the creek, Erythronium albidum plentiful in the hollows near the canal. Crossed to the wood (Hemlock) north of Clinton Street. In the wet places near this wood Sym..trum sylvaticum? (just fruiting. In the wood Lonicera ciliata in flower, & Viburnum lanatanoides flowering. Passed through the wood & crossed a field to the Buffalo & New York R. R. & walked along it to Seneca Street, & a house. Along the railroad Equisetum arvense, & with it, occasionally, what seemed to be a stalk of two of E. sylvaticum.

 

[1863]     May 11. By the Schanzlin Road to Pine Hill woods. At Ambrose's tavern told that there are 2 or more large cucumber trees on the bank of the creek right opposite the tavern. In the Orchid wood, what I take to be Botrychium lunarioides up (It was B. Virginicum). Came back through the woods to the Pine Hill plank road, thence through the next wood (Equisetum sylvaticum abundant,) and across fields & through the Genesee St. wood, & by the G. [Genesee] St. R. R.  home. Collected specimen of Trillium erectum & grandiflorum with 2 stalks from the root. 

 

[1863]     May 13. At 4 A.M. left the house & walked to and around Wheelbarrow Point, and along the creek a little beyond, to the hut this side of the cattle stand, & got back at 6 1/2. The Trillium on the Point, thought by Day to be distinct (See May 9.) have the yellowish look of T. erectum v. albidum, & I found one of a pink color. Collected some of them. The Erythronium albidum abundant, & grows in low places in the meadow, as well as in & on the verge of the strips of bushes along the creek.

6 1/4 P.M. O.H. Marshall gave me a ride, over the Gun Bridge & past Martin's corners, to see the Tupelo (Nyssa multiflora) by the roadside, near Sam Twitchell's place. It shows no sign yet of leafing or flowering. A fat Englishman (?) in the field pronounced it the true American thorn.

 

[1863]     May 16. Before breakfast packed & mailed to Prof. Gray specimens of the Ribes (prostratum?) from enclosure before Mr.  Austin's, on Niagara Square. 

After dinner, walked on B. & E. R. R. nearly to Smoke's Creek, crossed the fields, on the left, to the creek. Before reaching it, in a swale, found Ranunculus Purshii, the flowers all more or less double!. The Mertensia abundant on the banks of the creek. In the wood at Limestone Hill, found nothing new. Crossed the road, went through small graveyard, & followed the line of its fence to the Hemlock wood beyond, & a beautiful wood it is. In it noticed several plants of Orchis spectabilis, apparently very far from flowering. Crossed the fields to the 2d wood from the city, thence by the cross road to the R. R. & home. Nothing new. All the Trillium & Violets in flower, also the wild plum, Uvularia grandiflora, &c, &c., &c.

 

[1863]     May 21. Day reports that, at Irving, he searched in vain for the Anona triloba, that there & on the Resn [=Reservation] he found Viola striata in abundance also found, on the sand dunes an Artemisia & at Irving in the Reservation 1 specimen of Hydrastis, and the Cerastium nutans [viscosum crossed out]. Received from Mr.  Huntington from Rome, roots of a Ranunculus repens supposed to be the R. Clintonii of Beck, & gave them to Day to set out in Swartz's Ravine. 

 

[From the lines on a piece of paper tucked into the introduction to 1863: "May 21. He got Viola striata from Silver Creek."]

 

[1863]     May 22. Botanized Wheelbarrow Point. Day's Trillium there is, very clearly, T. erectum v. album (See May 9, 13). 

 

[1863]     May 23. Day brought me from the Sphagnum between Delaware St. & Forest Lawn, Ribes rubrum & Rhamnus alnifolius. 

Crossed at Waterloo & walked up the R. R. to & through the woods this side of Windmill Point. On the R. R., near the side cut to the Steam Ferry, found Lithospermum officinale? or a Myosotis, its flower resembles that of the L., but the plant seems low & branching from the root (= probably L. arvense.) A little way beyond the switch hut, on the left, a small number of a crucifer, flowers yellow & minute, stem simple [Camelina sativa written above].  A great way beyond, Lithospermum arvense in fair condition.  On the sand bank, wooded, along the Lake, Arabis lyrata abundant, & Aquilegia Canadensis gloriously flowering. Near the foot of the bank, on the Lake side, the Lithospermum I took last Autumn, for the hirtum, is up, & occasionally shows a yellow flower bud. It may be the canescens (No!) I felt unable to walk back down the beach, and so, after a while, left it & took the r. r. track. 

 

[From the lines on a piece of paper tucked into the introduction to 1863: "May 23. Ribes rubrum & Rhamnus alnifolius. Remember Pyrus coronarius & malus on Grand Island. See April 29 ‑ p. 68." In 1862 on June 10 Clinton found Pyrus coronaria, et al., on Grand Island; in 1862 Clinton was on Goat Island on April 29. This issue seems to do with April 29, 1864, q.v.]

 

[1863]     May 24. Mr. George R. Babcock gave me a few plants collected, I don't known how long ago, by his brother, at Lancaster in this [i.e. Erie] county. The only noticable ones are Vaccaria vulgaris and Valeriana sylvatica. 

Took specimen of the large willows, by the 2‑steepled church on Niagara Square.

 

[1863]     May 25. Walked on Plains, nothing new. Coming back, in Day's swamp, between Delaware St. & Forest Lawn, collected Rhamnus alnifolius & Ribes rubrum. (Another, yellow‑green‑leaved plant, flowers in catkins, coming forwards.) (Salix lucida.) In open field N. of Dr. Lord's & opposite entrance to Forest Lawn, Viola cucullata, v. palmata?! 

 

[1863]     May 26. Squaw Island. Equisetum palustre coming in. Head of Strawberry Isl. Landed at Fre...'s Ferry. Walked by the road back to Frenchman's Creek. The first grove or copse through which the road passes (about 1/32d of a mile from the Ferry) particularly the portion of it on the left, is full of the wild plum (looks like a to‑me new variety) the wild crab (just in full bud), and, in the damp part, the Osmorhiza longistylis. The bed of the creek to the right of the road, full of the Nasturtium lacustre ?(!).  Coming back, looked in upon Smuggler's Run & foot of Squaw Isl.  Afternoon, walked to Sandytown]. I never knew the water of the Lake & River so low at the season. 

 

[1863]     May 27. Walked on Martin's Corners' Plank Road to the Nyssa multiflora, a little beyond Sam Twitchell's, it is just pushing out its leaves & shows no sign of flowers. Thence to & through wood by the Fair Ground. nil. Thence to 1st wood on the Sulphur Spring Road, found therein 3 patches of the Fedia pafopyrum. Thence to Sulphur Spring House & gathered in garden specimens of Ribes nigrum, Robinia hispida, thence to Clinton St. woods & home. nil. 

 

[From the lines on a piece of paper tucked into the introduction to 1863: "May 27. Fedia fagopyrum."] 

 

 

[1863]     May 28. By 5 A.M. train, went to Portage, took breakfast at Tavern, botanized both sides of gulph & on the flat a little above the village, & on eastery side of the River. Dined with Mr. Letchworth. Left on 7* P.M. train & got home about 10. 

Both sides of the gulph, Polygala paucifolia & Azalea nudiflora abundant. On the flat, found Ranunculus recurvatus with a bulbous root. On the east side of the gulph Thalictrum anemonoidea common, did not notice it on the west side. Epigaea repens entirely out of flower. In the wood west side of gulph, and southerly of R. R., Cypripedium acaule, on the east side one specimen of C. pubescens.  On the west side, Acer pennsylvanicum & a handsome grass (= Oryzopsis asperifolia.) and Orchis spectabilis collected also one) [check text??] & perhaps two Carices, one = C. scabrata. Asarum Canadense. Oryzopsis asperifolia. 

 

[From the lines on a piece of paper tucked into the introduction to 1863: "Went to Portage, May 28 (p.14) & found Thalictrum anemonoides & Azalea nudiflora. Must go about May 1." i.e. presumably of 1864].

 

[1863]     May 29. On Buffalo & Erie R. R. to dark wood, the Aralia hispida shows no sign of blossoming, thence through the wood, by the road to the crossroad, thence to Limestone Ridge road, & by it to Lake Road, thence to Lake & along the Lake, back to the Turnpike, & so home. The Proserpinaca palustris shows no sign of flowering, (the plant with cut leaves in Frenchman's Creek may be that. No!) In ditch by the dark wood, & in swamp along the Lake, found the Cardamine pratensis. 

 

[1863]     May 30. Walked on Squaw Island. The narrow leaved Sisyrinchium (now 6 or 8 in. high) coming into flower. Gathered 2 willows, probably S. nigra & S. lucida. On the side of the bank, nearly opposite the foot of the Shiplock, observed 2 plants of Camelina sativa [see note above].  In the morning, in Day's Sphagnum, gathered 2 species of willow, one, probably, the S. lucida, just commencing to flower. 

Scientific names may be looked up in the online checklist of Western New York plants. Find genus names beginning with  A - C  D - K  L - P  Q - Z.