Thursday, 18 June 2009

Old Yucca flowering at Monserrate

First flowers I have ever seen from this 6m tall plant. Has never flowered in last 20 odd years - suggests it might be a hybrid. Any ID?

I'm reliably informed that "according to literature only Yucca filifera and Yucca potosina have pendulous inflorescences". So any ideas?
Here is a link to a photo of Y. filifera

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Alternanthera brasiliana

Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze
Revisio Generum Plantarum 2: 537. 1891.
BASIONYM: Gomphrena brasiliana Linnaeus 1756.
Alternanthera dentata Stuchlik ex R. E. Fries, Ark. Bot. 16(13): 11. 1921, nom. illegit. BASIONYM: Gomphrena dentata Moench 1802, nom. illegit.; Gomphrena brasiliana Linnaeus 1756.
Caraxeron brasilianus (Linnaeus) Rafinesque, Fl. Tellur. 3: 38. 1837 ("1836").
Gomphrena brasiliana Linnaeus, Cent. Pl. 2: 13. 1756.
Gomphrena dentata Moench, Suppl. Meth. 273. 1802, nom. illegit.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Eranthemum pulchellum

Eranthemum, although standing in our ancientest tables, as a name to diiferent plants; must have been, hitherto, considered as a dead letter in all our modern ones, as attached to the tribe of plants it now titles: but perhaps, to none of the former more aptly could it have been applied; (especially this species, as the Greek word [blog does't do Greek!], a compound of the spring, and [Greek] to blossom, fairly indicates;) since the E. pulchellum first begins to flower in January, and continues to blossom till May. Linnaeus in treating this Genus, acknowledges to have seen but one imperfect specimen ; and from this circumstance, left the description of the seed-vessel, and seed, to be determined by future Botanists; as yet, that has not been accomplished, even by the indefatigable and accurate Schreber: indeed, had the character of the pointal been likewife omitted, it would have been as well; since, in place of one, the two unequal summits, (which might escape observation in a dried specimen, from their disproportion in length, and upright situation;) point out a stronger Generical distinction from Justicia, to which it much affines, than either, the regular shape of the limb of the blossom, or the situation of the chives. Our species is a native of the coast of Commandel, in the East Indies, and was first received in seeds from Dr. Roxburg, at the Royal gardens Kew, in the year 1796. It is a most desirable plant, for although it has hitherto been kept in the hot-house, we have no doubt from its flowering and thriving there, with so little care, in any situation ; but that it will soon be confidered as a proper inhabitant of the greenhouse. It is with the greatest ease, and certainty, increased by cuttings. Our drawing was made this month, from a plant in flower at the Hammersmith nursery.

Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews
Botanist's Repository, for new, and rare plants 2: , pl. 88. 1800.

Acanthaceae Juss.

Daedalacanthus nervosus (Vahl) T. Anderson
Eranthemum nervosum (Vahl) R. Br. ex Roem. & Schult.
Fittonia verschaffeltii var. pearsei G. Nicholson
Justicia nervosa Vahl
Pseuderanthemum pulchellum Merr.

Eranthemum pulchellum

Not a plant that was grown at Monserrate, but familiar to me in the gardens of Madeira. The reason I mention it is to call attention to a blog of Brazilian trees and plants run by Eugenio Melo He gives information about the plants discovery and early cultivation - just the sort of information I am always looking for.

Since the blog is in Portuguese, here is a quick summary of what he has to say: The Acanthaceae provide some of the most beautiful flowering shrubs, they are fast growers, generally easy to grow and provide garden highlights to flower beds, walls and borders. Examples include the omnipresent (in Brazilian gardens!) Justicia brandegeana - Shrimp plant - and Pachystachys lutea - Yellow Shrimp (that I struggle to grow in Lisbon). These are both widly used by garden designers in Brazil for their vibrant colours. Indeed Eugenio feels that these tones of red and yellow are easy and common in hot climates. There is howvere a recurring difficulty to find flowers in a cooler tone, especially blue. Hence the post "Azul nos tropicos".

Eranthemum pulchellum was described in 1797 by Henry Charles Andrews, recently married with the daughter of a famous nurseryman in Hammersmith. Andrews published ten volumes of "The botanist's repository for new and rare plants". Palte 86 describes our plant. Seeds were sent by William Roxburgh from the coast of Coromandel. The plants were cultivated in the nursery and at Kew in hothouses.

The plant appreciates a soil with plenty of organic matter, can be grown in full sun or part shade, always well watered.

Um abraço Eugenio!

Yucca filifera

Photos by michaelmac500

Yucca filifera Chabaud
Revue Horticole 48: 432, f. 97. 1876.

One of the large tree Yuccas at Monserrate is showing an inflorescence. It is going to be a large hanging panicle which points to this species or possibly one of its hybrids.

Link to habitat photo by Paul Spracklin


PARTE DO JARDIM DA QUINTA DE JOSE DIAS (COLARES)Parte do jardim da quinta de José Dias (Colares) [Visual gráfico. - [Lisboa? : s.n., ca. 1850] ([Lisboa] : Lith. de A.C. de Lemos. - 1 gravura : litografia, p&b

Distant view of Mafra & the Mountains of Cintra

Distant view of Mafra & the Mountains of Cintra
(with Peninsula War troops) published in Kelly's ... Geography, 1828.
Frontispiece to "Kelly's Geography"

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Meyer's Universum

Cintra bei Lissabon in Portugal, from steel engraving with fine detail and clear impression, nice hand coloring. Overall size is 18.4 x 27.8 cm, image size is 9.1 x 14.5 cm. Print was published in Germany in Meyer's Universum by Bibliographic Institute Hildburghausen.

CORK CONVENT from a Sketch by Capt. Elliot.

Drawn by C. Stanfeld, Esq. A.R.A.,

from a Sketch by Capt. Elliot.

Here impious men have punished been ; and lo !
Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell,
In hope to merit heaven by making earth a hell.
Childe Harold, canto i. st. 20.

" This convent or hermitage is partly burrowed between the rocks which serve as vaults to the church, sacristy, and charter-house, &c. and partly built over the surface. The subterraneous apartments are lighted by holes cut obliquely in the rocks, and lined internally with cork to guard against the humidity. Hence it is called the Cork Convent. It is inhabited by about twenty hermits, of the most rigid order of St. Francis. They are governed by a prior, and live chiefly on fish, fruit, and bread; each has a separate cell, about the size of a grave, furnished with a mattrass; yet one of their community who lately died, named Honorius, thinking the meanest of these cells too luxurious a habitation, retired to a circular pit at the rear of the hermitage, not larger than Diogenes' tub—for it is but four feet diameter—and here, after a residence of sixteen years, he ended his peaceful days at a good old age. The floor of it is strewed with leaves, which served for his bed; and the rugged stone which he used alternately as a pillow and a seat is still to be seen there. These instances of self-denial shew us into what a narrow compass all human wants might be reduced, and evince the truth of the poet's assertion,

" ' Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.'—Goldsmith"
Murphy's Travels in Portugal.
The Convent of the Santa Cruce de Cintra, or the Convent of the Holy Cross of the Cintra Rock, which perhaps is better known to the generality of readers by the appellation of the Cork Convent, is thus alluded to by Lord Byron: " Below, at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph." ~

" As we," says Kinsey, " rode up to the rude portico of the convent, which is composed simply of two rocks forming a pointed arch by their approximation, the guardian of the fraternity overtook us, and, according to his request, made at the moment that he saw me taking notes of the building, I add the name of the worthy brother, Fr. Francisco da Circumcizao, and with the more pleasure, as he politely restored me my cambric handkerchief which he had found in following our steps upon the road. The brethren, eighteen in number, are of the Franciscan order, and subsist chiefly by alms. On the first landing-place, leading to the entrance-door of the convent, and to the left, there is a pretty fountain of clear water, surmounted by a rudely carved image of Nossa Senhora da Roca, and placed between two large tables of stone, which are surrounded by seats for the weary pilgrim to repose upon. The umbrageous canopy of a wide-spreading cork-tree gives to this vestibule a dim religious light, as well as a most refreshing coolness, and we lingered there in conversation for some time before the monk could induce us to visit his flower-garden, his ponds containing golden fish, his rills of mountain-water, and the narrow paths climbed with difficulty from the masses of rock fantastically scattered about in the surrounding thicket. On either side of the vestibule there is a chapel, with a small confessional in it, at once a source of piety and reverence.

We descended into the subterranean chapel, which is the largest, from a smaller one upon the upper floor. We observed over the high altar a figure of our Saviour, with a glory and crown on his head, apparelled in a crimson robe of silk, and leaning upon a cross, which his long tresses of hair partially concealed.

The Passion is represented on the side walls in Dutch tiles, and the images of St. John and St. Francis appear to be regarding the holy subject with intense interest. On the outside of the altar railing, and to the left hand, is the tomb of St. Honorius; and contiguous to it, as the place of greatest distinction, the cenotaph of D. Alvaro de Castro, the founder of the convent in the year 1564, and under the papacy of Pius IV.
" After hearing Francisco chant the Asperges me, Domine, and expressing our admiration of his fine deep bass voice, as well as of the curious pulpit, let into the wall, of his own invention, and of which he appeared to be very proud, we inspected the narrow cells of the convent, which are nothing more than cavities in the rock, and are lined with cork, and closed with cork-doors, as a defence against cold and humidity. In winter, however, such is the dampness of the situation, that the very rocks which are seen projecting into the cells run down with water; the blankets become saturated with moisture, and every little article of furniture is soon reduced to a state of decay.
" The spirit of Honorius seems to have deserted the fraternity in these latter days, who appear to prefer any discipline to that of enduring the painful inconveniences of a residence, either in winter or summer, within the precincts of this retreat; and Francisco was the only monk who presented himself on the occasion of our visit. After sharing his loaf of coarse bread, served up to us in huge slices upon trenchers of cork—having tasted his Colares, and listened to his long recital of the inimitable excellences of Honorius—we looked into the den wherein the devotee had entitled himself to a high rank on the calendar of saints by thirty-five years of a debasing penance, and in which there is scarcely sufficient room for the reception of the human body; yet where the anchorite, by his self-inflicted torments, ' hoped to merit heaven by making earth a hell.'"

Finden's illustrations of the life and works of Lord Byron
William Brockedon,
Illustrated by William Finden, Edward Francis Finden
John Murray, 1833
vol. II

CINTRA from a Sketch by Col. Sir Samuel Hawker

Drawn by C. Stanfield, Esq., A.R.A.,

from a Sketch by Col. Sir Samuel Hawker.

" I must just observe, that the village of Cintra, in Estremadura, is the most beautiful perhaps in the world."
Byron's Letter to Mr. Hodgson.

" The climate of Cintra is decidedly damp, owing to its western aspect and its proximity to the sea; and, indeed, such is the humidity of the atmosphere early in the autumn, that families are often compelled to return to their residences in Lisbon, in order to avoid colds, fevers, and rheumatism, before the end of September. The houses of the town are prettily scattered about the breast of the hill, and their gardens abound with all those flowers, shrubs, and trees whose nature is congenial with warmth of climate. The principal street, if it deserve the appellation, is allowed to remain encumbered with filth, which, were the temperature of the atmosphere as high here as at Lisbon, would render Cintra equally insupportable in the summer. The shops are sufficiently numerous and good; and the manufacture of open-worked stockings and cheesecakes affords employment to a considerable portion of the inhabitants. The open grated windows of the prison, as in other Portuguese towns, even upon the ground- floor, allow free communication between the prisoners and their friends, and every passing stranger. The view down the valley, from the space in front of the church, is singularly beautiful, comprising all the quintas and gardens in the lower part of the town."

The various views of Cintra, and of the most interesting objects around it, given in these Illustrations, will convey an idea beyond language of the scenes which Byron so highly eulogised.


Drawn by Lieut.-Col. Batty.

Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
And frequent turn to linger as you go ;
From loftier rocks new loveliness survey,
And rest ye at' Our Lady's House of Woe,'
Where frugal monks their little relics shew,
And sundry legends to the stranger tell."

Childe Harold, canto i. st. 22.

" On the highest point to which we were now approaching, across the heath-covered serra, is situated the Convent of the Pena, or Our Lady of the Height, according to the true import of the Celtic word pen. Passing to the southern side of the mountain, we ascended, by a winding and tediously steep road, to the platform upon which the convent is built; leaving to our left, lower down the hill, an enclosed arena, as we were informed, for the exhibition of bull-fights, which we rather wished than believed to be a misrepresentation. There is nothing remarkable in the convent, beyond some alabaster ornaments in the chapel, and upon one side a curious organ-case, on which, in imitation of the Chinese style, is represented a scene, in gilt and brilliant colours, of a Chinese singer upon a raised platform, surrounded by instrumental performers, in the act of holding a piece of music in his left hand, and giving full effect to the chant, or beating time with his right; and this, with the usual ' celestial' observance of the laws of perspective. There was not one monk in the building to greet our arrival; and we learned from the Galician domestic, who conducted us over the apartments, that the society was about to be dissolved, and that he had the distressing prospect before him of returning, after five years' service, to starve amidst his native mountains.

" The best idea of the rudely shaped masses of rock which are scattered over the serra, and the volcanic appearance of the upper part of the wild range of the Cintra heights, is to be obtained from a wall on the western side of the convent, whence the view runs along the wooded side of the whole mountain course, skirting Cintra and Colares, down to the shores of the Atlantic. The mountains of Cintra are said to have been known to the ancients as the Montes Lunse, and the Cabo de Roca as the Promontorium Magnum, upon which was erected a temple dedicated to Cynthia, whence some etymologists fancifully trace the origin of the appellation Cintra."—Kinseys Portugal Illustrated.

Finden's Landscape & Portrait Illustrations of the Life and Works of Lord Byron

Artist: Drawn by C. Stanfield from a sketch by Capt. Elliot
Engraver: E. Finden

STANFIELD, William Clarkson, 1793-1867
Original and selected information on the subjects of the engravings by William Brockendon

John Murray

Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen.
Ah me ! what hand can pencil guide, or pen,
To follow half on which the eye dilates
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken
Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's gates ?

The horrid crags by toppling convent crown'd,
The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep,
The mountain moss by scorching skies imbrown'd,
The sunken glen whose sunless shrubs must weep,
The tender azure of the unruffled deep,
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,
The vine on high, the willow-branch below,
Mix'd in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.

Childe Harold, canto i. St. 18, 19.

" The village of Cintra, about fifteen miles from the capital, is perhaps, in every respect, the most delightful in Europe : it contains beauties of every description, natural and artificial. Palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts, and precipices; convents on stupendous heights; a distant view of the sea and the Tagus; and besides (though that is a secondary consideration) is remarkable as the scene of Sir Hew Dalrymple's convention. It unites in itself all the wildness of the Western Highlands with the verdure of the South of France."—Moore's Life of Lord Byron, vol. i. 12mo. p. 280.

The " Convention of Cintra" is the name given in history to an event by which the advantages gained by our gallant army at Vimeira were most disgracefully sacrificed in the impolitic convention of Sir Hew Dalrymple; but Colonel Napier states, in his " History of the Peninsular War," that " the armistice, the negotiations, the convention itself, and the execution of its provisions, were all commenced, conducted, and concluded, at the distance of thirty miles from Cintra, with which place they had not the slightest connexion, political, military, or local." Opposed to this we have Mathews, in his " Diary of an Invalid," one who is less likely to be acquainted with the facts, but who asserts, in closing some remarks upon the royal palace at Cintra, " Hard by is the palace of the Marquess Marialva, famous for the Cintra convention. The ink which was spilt on this memorable occasion is still visible upon the floor—scattered, as it is said, by Junot, in an ebullition of spleen, when he put his name to the instrument; but surely he had not the most cause for vexation."

Every traveller speaks of Cintra as a scene of striking and singular beauty: its pure air offers, like that of Richmond to the citizens of London, a temptation to the inhabitants of Lisbon to spend their Sundays where they can breathe its freshness. Cintra is fifteen miles from Lisbon. Dr. Southey, in his " Letters," says, " I know not how to describe to you the strange beauties of Cintra. It is perhaps more beautiful than sublime—more grotesque than beautiful; yet I never beheld scenery more calculated to fill the mind with admiration and delight. This immense rock, or mountain, is in part covered with scanty herbage; in parts it rises into conical hills, formed of such immense stones, and piled so strangely, that all the machinery of deluges and volcanoes must fail to satisfy the inquiry for their origin. Nearly at the base stands the town of Cintra, and its palace, an old irregular pile with two chimneys, each shaped like a glass-house. But the abundance of wood forms the most striking feature in this retreat from the Portuguese summer. The houses of the English are seen scattered on the ascent, half hid among cork-trees, elms, oaks, hazels, walnuts, the tall canes, and the rich green of the lemon-gardens. On one of the mountain-eminences stands the Penha convent, visible from the hills near Lisbon.

On another are the ruins of a Moorish castle, and a cistern within its boundaries, kept always full by a spring of the purest water that rises in it. From this elevation the eye stretches over a bare and melancholy country, to Lisbon on the one side, and, on the other, to the distant convent of Mafra; the Atlantic bounding the greater part of the prospect. I cannot, without a tedious minuteness, describe the ever-varying prospects that the many eminences of this wild rock present, or the little green lanes, over whose bordering lemon- gardens the evening wind blows so cool and rich."

Murphy, who published his " Travels in Portugal" in 1795, says, p. 244, that " about thirty years ago, a foreign gentleman discovered a mine of loadstone in this mountain. What suggested the idea of it were the herbs that grew immediately over it, which were of a pale colour, and more feeble than the adjacent plants of the same species. Having dug about six feet deep, he found a fine vein; but as the mountain is a mass of disjointed rocks and clay, he could not proceed further without propping as he excavated. Government therefore, apprehending the produce would not defray the expense, ordered it to be shut up." Is this fact capable of being illustrated by electrico-magnetic researches ?

All travellers seem to agree upon the strikingly beautiful effect of the first appearance of Cintra. Thus Kinsey describes it:

" We at length began to wind round the rock on which a little chapel is situated, to the left above the road, when Cintra was at once disclosed to our longing expectations, with its forest scenery of oak and corktrees, its royal palace, numerous quintas shining amid the orange and lemon-groves which adorn the declivity of the Moorish hill, and a lovely valley to the right, where nature is beheld in her richest and greenest garb, extending down to the sea, whose golden waves reflected at the moment the rays of the setting sun; and sunsets can in no part of the world be more astonishing and glorious than in Portugal. When Lisbon is entirely burnt up and fainting under oppressive heat, the inhabitants of this favoured spot are enjoying their mountain-rills and delightfully refreshing verdure, and an atmosphere more than ten degrees cooler, from its northern aspect, than at the capital."—Portugal Illustrated, p. 128.

But all these accounts are heightened in effect by being brought into immediate contrast, by authors who have just escaped the filth, and heat, and discomfort of Lisbon; and something of the same feeling is imparted to their readers, to whom the description of fountains, gardens, fresh breezes, and pure air, is made to follow the disgusting account of those offences which in Lisbon had passed " betwixt the wind and their nobility."

Francis Cook's collection of Classical Statuary at Monserrate

Summary of article from Archäologische Zeitung by W. Gurlitt

Francis Cook collected a great variety of sculpture, some of it ancient others were modern copies.
Gurlitt gives a list of sculpture at Monserrate excluding modern pieces.

1) Small reproduction of the well-known statue of the Nile (In the stairway)
2) Lifesize statue of Roman Youth, head from white marble, body in brown marble (Library)
3) Statue of Mercury (less than life size) white marble somewhat restored (small room besides library)
4) Small stature of a bearded Satyr draped with a lionskin [?]

1) Head of Satyr (heavily restored) lifesize (stairway)
2) Emperor Vespasian in black marble (stairway)
3) Head of a Barbarian in black marble (stairway)
4) Bust of Homer (Library) probably a modern reproduction of well known type
5) Head of Warrior, from black-green stone, life-sized, bust of white marble, possibly modern (library)
6) Peculiar broad head on a strong neck with short beard, black marble (modern).Bust in white and brown flecked marble (ancient). (Library)
7) Female Egyptian head, very fine work in dark green stone, under life sized. (Library)
8) Female head with calm expression possibly Minerva. (Library)
9) Double bust of an old Satyr with a Bacchanate made from marble surrounded by an ivy wreath. Much restored. (Library)
10) Small bust of Roman matron. (Library)
11) Bust of youthful Roman Emperor perhaps Commodus, life sized. Some restoration to left side of face. Head from white marble, bust in brown yellow stone. (In the "rotunda" gallery)

Bas Relief
Hercules sits upon a rock over which a lionskin is spread, his club leans against it. Behind a tree bearing three hesperidan apples. To the right stands a richly dressed woman.
Other reliefs, including one of Nymphs and Leander swimming are decidedly modern.

Two Vases in the room beside the library (form nº 40 as identified by O. Jahn)
1) a) a bearded priest fully dressed standing before an altar
b) a young naked Satyr with a long tail
2) a) a young man fully clothed except naked right arm and shoulder
b) a young man, naked

In a room to the right of the entrance
3) a vase (form nº 35 - O. Jahn)
only one side visible showing a naked young man

In the library
4) large vase with big handles (form nº 34 O. Jahn)
a) a woman holding a long staff, a warrior in a chariot, horses
b) another military scene with incriptions

Of several other items Gurlitt deems worthy of mention a small terracotta reproduction of the well known Sophocles [?] with both shoulders exposed. Also a lamp with the inscription STROBILI.

In the garden are three Sarcophagi aquired by the owner after hearing about them in Rome.

The first measures 2 foot 4 inches high and 6 feet nine inches long, on the lid a woman holding a bowl stretchs out. The body is rather too big for the small head. The relief is set out omn both sides of a column. Eight persons wearing caps engaged in a lively combat.

In another part of the garden lie the second and third sarcophagi likewise obtained from Rome.

Archäologische Zeitung


Hr. Fr. Cook in London, woselbst er ebenfalls Sammlungen aller Art besitzt, hat in seiner Villa an dem oben bezeichneten Ort eine Reihe antiker Gegenstände von sehr ungleichem Werth, darunter auch viel modernes, zusammengebracht, von denen ich im Folgenden ein möglichst kurzes Verzeichniss, mit absichtlichem Ausschluss alles sicher modernen, gebe.


im Treppenhause, links neben dem Eingang,

(1) kleine Nachbildung der bekannten Statue des Nil aus dem Vatican, zweimal durchgebrochen, aber gut zusammengefügt, unbedeutende Arbeit, aber allem Anscheine nach alt. — In der Bibliothek,

(2) Statue eines römischen Knaben unter Lebensgrösse, der unbedeutende Kopf aus weissem Marmor ist stark renovirt, die sehr flach gehaltene Ürapirung des ganzen Körpers, welche bis über die Füfse reicht, aus braunem Marmor mit weissen Flecken. — In einem kleinen Zimmer neben der Bibliothek

(3) Statue des Mercur unter Lebensgrösse aus weissem Marmor, auf dem Kopf der Flügelhut; in der Rechten einen Geldbeutel, in der Linken einen Griffel; die über der rechten Schulter geheftete schmale Chlamys fällt über die linke Schulter und den linken Arm; der Blick des rechtshin gewandten Kopfes ist gesenkt; die Last des Körpers ruht auf dem rechten Bein. Die Beine von der Mitte des Oberschenkels an bis zu den Knöcheln sind modern, die Füfse wieder antik; gewöhnliche Arbeit.

(4) Kleine Statue aus weissem Marmor: nackter bärtiger Satyr mit dem Löwenfell [?] über den Schultern, dessen Beine vor der Brust zusammengebunden sind. Neu sind die Beine vom Knie abwärts und der erhobene linke Arm mit einer Schale von der Mitte des Oberarmes an. Der Ausdruck der Kopfes ist vortrefflich, ebenso Brust und Rücken von guter Arbeit.


im Treppenhause,

(1) stark restaurirter Kopf eines Satyrs, weisser Marmor, Lebensgrösse. Nase und Stirn über dein linken Auge bis zum rechten und ein hoher Haarbusch, Stücke der Oberlippe und die ganze Unterlippe, ein Theil des rechten Ohres und dt r linken Schläfe, sowie die ganze Büste sind neu. Auch der Oelzweig im dichten, etwas aufgesträublein Haar ist durch Renovirung fast unkenntlich gemacht. Die alten 'i heile sind von hoher Schönheit. Auf der Treppe,

(2) Kaiserbüsle (Vespasian?) aus schwarzem Marmor, Lebensgrösse, wenig ausgeführte, flüchtige Arbeit. Kopf und Büste, obwohl sie mehrfach zusammengesetzt ist, wohl neu. — Ebendaselbst,

(3) Kopf eines Barbaren, schwarzer Marmor, Lebensgrösse, barllos, mit auffallend breiler Stirn und weit geöffneten Augen, unbedeutend, wohl modern.

In der Bibliothek,

(4) Büste Homer's, gut gearbeitet, aber wie es scheint, moderne Nachbildung des bekannten Typus. Ebendaselbst,

(5) der Kopf eines wilden Kriegers, aus schwarzgrünem Stein, Lebensgrösse, die Büste von weissem Marmor. Der Mund ist grinsend aufgerissen, das Haar fällt struppig auf die ganz kurze Stirn, der kurze, spärliche Bart lässt das Kinn frei. Der Hals hat eine merkwürdige Menge Falten, die Gurgel ist hoch herausgearbeitet und es führen zu ihr tief gelegte Falten auffallend schief hin. Der Ausdruck des Kopfes ist ungebän- digte Wildheit, interessante, aber vielleicht auch moderne Arbeit. — Ebendaselbst,

(6) eigentümlich breiter Kopf auf "starkem Nacken mit kurzem Bart, schwarzer Marmor. Die Büste aus weiss- und braungeflecktem Marmor ist entschieden, der Kopf wahrscheinlich neu. — Ebendaselbst,

(7) ein weiblicher ägyptischer Kopf von sehr feiner Arbeit; aus dunkelgrünem Stein, über die Brust zieht sich ein brauner Streif, unter Lebensgröfse. — Ebendaselbst,

(8) ein weiblicher Kopf mit ganz ruhigem, fast lodlem Ausdruck (Minerva?), weisser Marmor, halbe Lebensgrösse. Auf dem dichten, schlichten Haar ruht eine Sturmhaube, welche ganz eng anliegl, in den Ohren und in einer geraden Linie von einem Ohr zum anderen sind an den Seiten und in dem wenig erhöhten Kamm des Helms Löcher znm Befestigen von Zierralhen «angebracht. Die Arbeit ist sehr trocken. —

Ebendaselbst, (9) Doppelbüste eines älteren bärtigen Satyrn und einer Bacchantin aus weissein Marmor. Der ganze obere Tlieil des Gesichts bis zu den Augen herab und der ganze Vorderkopf der Bacchantin ist neu. Ein Epheukranz ist um beide Häupter gelegt, beim Satyr sind Hörner angedeutet; flüchtige, aber nicht uninteressante Arbeit.

Ebendaselbst, (10) kleine Büste einer römischen Matrone aus weissem Marmor. Die Nase ist neu. Der Kopf hat einen ruhigen Ausdruck, das Haar ist schlicht nach hinten gekämmt. —

In einer Rotunde, (11) jugendliche Kaiser- Itüste (Commodus?) in Lebensgröfse. Neu sind die Nase, die Augenbraue des linken Auges, die linke Seite des Gesichts hinter dem Auge, und mehr als die Hälfte des Hinterkopfes. Der Kopf ist aus weissem Marmor; an der Büste aber ist die Hüslung aus chocoladenfarbigem, geflecktem Stein, ein Stück Mantel über der linken Schulter heller braun und gelb, aber das ganze letztere wohl neu.

Eirundes Relief. Links sitzt Herakles auf einem Felsen, über den die Löwenhaut ausgebreitet ist, hinter ihm lehnt seine Keule; die Rechte hängt schlaff herab, die Linke, deren Arm etwas von der Chlamys bedeckt ist, ruht auf dem linken, eingestemmten Knie und hält den Köcher am Band zwischen den Beinen. Neben ihm, etwas zurück, ist der Baum mit den Hesperidenäpfelri, deren drei ungefähr in der Mitte des Reliefs hängen. Der Drache, vollständig als Schlange gebildet, umschlingt ihn in zahlreichen Windungen. Rechts steht eine reichgekleidete Frau. Die feine Tunrca fangt erst unter den Brüsten an, der Mantel ist über die linke Schulter geschlagen, das Haar mit einem Tuch umwickelt. Die Hechte ist gegen das Gesicht erhoben, die Linke hält einen Stengel mit drei Blülhen'). — Andere Reliefs, z. B. eine .Nymphe, welche einen brünstigen Salyr abhält, und Leander, zur Hero schwimmend, sind entschieden modern.

Vasen. In dem Zimmer neben der Bibliothek: zwei Vasen (Form N. 40 bei O. Jalin) *1) in schönem altischen Stil, rolhe Figuren auf schwarzem Grunde.

Auf der einen (l)
a) ein ganz bekleideter, bärtiger Priester, den Epheukranz im Haar, hält in der Hechten nach links hin einen Krug, aus dem er auf einem brennenden Allar zu spenden im Begriffe steht. Die Linke hält einen langen Thyrsus.
b) Ein nackter, jugendlicher Salyr mit langem Schweif streckt die Linke wie taslend vor, ebenso das linke Bein; das rechte ist zuiückgebogen, in der Rechten hält er einen Krug.

Auf der anderen (2)
a) ein Jüngling in langem Mantel, aus welchem nur der rechie Arm und die rechte Schulter hervorsehen, hält in der vorgestreckten Rechten einen langen Slab; der linke Arm, vom Mantel bedeckt, ist in die Seite gestemmt,
b) Ein nackter Jüngling, mit einer schmalen, braunen Binde im Haar, ist im Begriff, in's Bad zu steigen. Er steht gerade gegen den Beschauer, der Kopf ist etwas nach links gewandt, die Arme sind vor der Brust gekreuzt und die Hände auf die Schulter gelegt. Das einfache Motiv ist mit grolser Meisterschaft ausgeführt, man fühlt es förmlich mit, wie ein leiser Schauder den Körper in dem kühlen Hauine durchzieht. Rechts neben ihm liegt der Mantel und der lange Stab, oben hängl ein Schlauch.

In einem Zimmer rechts vom Eingange, (3) eine Vase (in der Form ähnlich N. 35 bei O. Jahn), rolhe Figuren auf schwarzem Grunde. Ich konnte nur die eine Seite sehen. Ein Greis, in den Mantel gehüllt, mit langem Stock in der Linken, ist zu einem nackten Jüngling rechts hin gewandt, dessen Kopf, rechter und linker Arm und linkes Bein am Oberschenkel mit schmalen, braunen Händern umwunden ist, welche zusammengeknotet mit langen Enden ausflattern.

In der Bibliothek, (4) grofse Vase mit drei Henkeln (Form N.34 bei 0. Jahn); alterthümlicher Stil. Zwei Streifen schwarzer Figuren mit weiss und braun auf rothem Grunde,
a) zwischen den beiden Henkeln (ich gehe bei der Beschreibung von links nach rechts): eine bekleidete Frau, wie alle Frauen mit vveissem Gesicht und Händen, hält in der Linken einen langen Stab mit einem Knopf. Sie beugt sich etwas herab zu einem Greise mit weissem Bart und Haar, welcher auf einer Säule sitzt und den Kopf zu ihr zurückwendet; auch er hat in der Linken einen langen Slab. In der Mitte besteigt ein Krieger nach rechts hin den Schlacht-Wagen; er hat den Schild über den Kücken gehängt, die liechle hall eine Lanze, die Linke die Zügel des Viergespannes. Die Pferde sind schwarz, eins weiss, sämmllich mit brauner Mähne und braunem Schweif. Hinter den Pferden, nahe beim Wagen, steht eine Frau, auf welche der Krieger blickt. Sie reicht die ausgestreckte Linke zum Abschied. Die rechte Hand ist, wie beschwörend, gehoben. Doch kann man den Geslus in Verbindung mit dem der linken Hand auch einfach auf den Abschied beziehen. Weiler rechts, gegen die Pferde" gekehrt, sitzt ein Greis mit weissem Bari und Haar, einen Stab in der Hand, hinter ihm ein Krieger in voller Rüstung, mit Helm, Schild und Lanze.

a) (ebenfalls von links nach rechts) zunächst die Vordertheile von vier Pferden mit weissem Zuumwerk. Es folgt eine grofse Kriegergestalt, welche durch eine Inschrift links vom Kopfe als "A+ILLEY " bezeichnet ist. Auf dem Kopfe, von dem reiche Locken auf die rechte Schuller herabwallen, trägt er einen «rofsen Helm mit grofsem, braunem Kamm und langem Helmschweif, der Brustharnisch ist weiss, ebenso die braungeränderten Beinschienen. Der linke Fufs tritt in starker Biegung auf einen Mauerabsatz, welcher aus zwei. Lagen Quadersleinen gebildet ist. Seine hochgehobene Linke hat die Rechte eines nackten Knaben von sehr gefälliger Bildung erfasst, welcher noch höher auf einer zweiten Stufe dieses Absatzes steht und reisst sie in die Höhe über den Kopf des Knaben hinaus. Die Rechte zückt ein langes Messer gegeu ihn. Auch dieser Knabe, dessen Linke flehend in die Höhe gerichtet ist, ist durch eine Beischrift näher bezeichnet. Am linken Arm des Achilleus entlang steht etwas undeutlich, aber doch unzweifelhaft der Name "PAPR". Rechts von diesem Mauerabsatz, der hinten gerade abschliesst, ist die Hälfte eines gerüsteten Kriegers mit Helm, Schild und Lanze sichtbar. Es folgt ein Pfeiler, unten weiss, oben schwarz, welcher durch die ganze Höhe des Streifens hindurchgeht und ihn in zwei Theile theilt. Rechts von denselben zeigen sich wieder die Vordertheile eines Viergespanns, dann ein Krieger in vollständiger Rüstung. Darüber sehen von einer zinnengekröuten Mauer ein behelmter und ein uubehelmter Kopf herab, letzterer auffallend roh.

Von den vielen Sachen, welche sonst noch herumstauden, erwähne ich nur noch eine kleine Terracotta-nachbildung der bekannten Soplioklesstatue, doch ist das Gewandmotiv etwas verändert — der Mantel lässt beide Schultern frei — auch fehlen die Bücherrollen; und eine einfache Thonlampe, oben der rolie Kopf eines Satyrn, nuten in sehr deutlichen, erhabenen Buchstaben die Inschrift STROBILI.

In dem Garten der Villa befinden sich drei Sarkophage; der Besitzer hat sie, dem Vernehmen nach, in Rom erworben.

Der erste derselben ist 2' 4" engl. hoch und 6' ü1/," eagl. lang; das Material ist ein dunkelgrauer, ziemlich grobkörniger Stein (im Bruch aschgrau). Auf dem Deckel, welcher zu dem Sarkophag zu gehören scheint, liegt eine Frau ausgestreckt, in der Rechten eine Schale haltend; der Körper ist zu grofs und gestreckt für den kleinen Kopf. Das Relief ist auf beiden Seiten von je einer Säule mit ionischem Kapital eingefasst. Acht Personen sind lebhaft an einem Kampfe betheiligt. Sie tragen sämmtlich hohe Sturmhauben (oder vielleicht Schiffermützen?). Die Darstellung zerfällt in drei symmetrisch geordnete Abtheilungen. Ungefähr in der Mitte des Reliefs (ich zähle von 1. nach r.), etwas mehr nach r. hin, befindet sich

(5) ein Krieger, etwas kleiner als die übrigen. Er ist nackt, bis auf die Chlamys; seine r. ist gegen seine rechte Seite, in die Nähe der Hüfte, gedrückt, wie auf eine Wunde; die 1. scheint den Zipfel der Chlamys über den linken Oberschenkel zu ziehen und festzuhalten. Das r. Bein steht weit zurück; mit dem 1. scheint er auf einem Stein zu kniecn. Er blickt nach r. hin in die Höhe mit erkennbarem, schmerzlichem oder flehendem Ausdruck (Telephos?).
Zu beiden Seiten sind Kämpfergruppen ohne angedeuteten Zusammenhang mit der Mittelfigur. Links liegt

(3) ein Krieger am Boden; der wenig aufgerichtete Oberkörper stützt sich auf den r. Arm, der 1. ist zur Abwehr über den Kopf gelegt; auch er ist nackt, bis auf Spuren der Chlamys am Hals. Drei Kämpfer, alle in gleicher Tracht wie 5 und 3, sind mit dem Daliegenden beschäftigt. Der eine derselben

In einem anderen Theil des Gartens stellt der ebendaselbst der dritte, welcher zerbrochen ist, und zweite etwas kleinere Sarkophag, ebenfalls aus Rom ausser der liegenden Figur auf dem Deckel nur stammend, mit einer analogen aus sieben Figuren Eberköpfe als Verzierung zeigt. . (darunter eine Frau) bestehenden Kampfscene; und

(1) am weitesten nach links, holt mit beiden Händen, welche eine Keule oder den Anfang einer Lanze tragen, aus. Neben ihm, weiter nach rechts, trägt ein anderer

(2) in der l. einen runden Schild; die hochgehobene r. schwingt einen Stein, den sie auf den Daliegenden zu werfen im Begriff steht. Rechts von dem Gefallenen ist ein dritter Krieger

(4) in rascher Bewegung nach r. hin; er trägt einen kurzen, ärmellosen Chiton und einen Brustharnisch, und schleudert einen Stein rückwärts auf den am Boden liegenden.

Den Mittelpunkt der Gruppe rechts bildet wieder ein hingesunkener Krieger

(7) dessen 1. Arm schützend gegen einen Krieger (8) gerichtet ist, welcher in seiner Bewegung durchaus dem Krieger auf der anderen Seite (4) entspricht. Ganz deutlich sind nach 1. hin grofse Flügel zu erkennen. Das Geschlecht war nicht ganz deutlich^ doch schien es eher weiblich.

Links von dem Daliegenden (7) ist endlich noch (6) ein lebhaft nach rechts sich bewegender Krieger in Harnisch und Chiton. Mit der 1. hat er die halbliegende Figur (7) am Helm gepackt, um sie niederzuziehen, die r. zückt gegen sie in der Höhe des Bauches ein kurzes Schwert. Ueber dem Relief steht folgende estruskische Inschrift:

ebendaselbst der dritte, welcher zerbrochen ist, und ausser der liegenden Figur auf dem Deckel nur Eberköpfe als Verzierung zeigt.


W. Gurlitt.

*1) [Etwa Copie des in mehreren Exemplaren bekannten Mosaikreliefs ? Vgl. meine antiken Bildwerke in Madrid S. 273. E. H.]
*2) Vasensammlung K. Ludwigs Taf. 1.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Massive Metrosideros

Same tree as before - showing the rest!

Will look into your comment "L.polygalifolium 'Cardwell',used to be L.flavescens"

Wait till the M. robusta comes into flower ...

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Metrosideros robusta with Leptospermum at Monserrate

Photographed June 2009

De Visme

El género Yucca L. en España - Yucca desmetiana

11. Yucca desmetiana Baker, Gard. Chron. 1217. 1870.

Etimología: Desmetiana, en honor a Louis de Smet (1813-1887), horticultor miembro influyente de la Societé Royale d´Agriculture de Belgique, que presentó esta novedosa planta en una exposición (Jacquemin, 2000-2001).

Sinónimos: Y. x desmetiana, Y. aloifolia x Y. filamentosa.

Iconografía: Fig. 37; Jacquemin (2000-2001), pág. 188; Smith (2004), pág. 23; Hochstätter (2004), pág. 186 fig. 233; Boeuf (2005), pág. 88; Missouri Botanical Garden (2000-2007a).

Corología: Se desconoce su origen preciso, aunque se cree que proviene de algún lugar al norte de México (Smith, 2004). La similaridad de las hojas con la muy joven Yucca aloifolia son llamativas y puede ser que esta planta sea una Yucca aloifolia atascada en una forma juvenil (Smith, 2004).

Descripción: Planta de 80-120 cm de altura y 6-10 cm de diámetro, con una corona terminal de hojas de 30 a 50 cm de diámetro, con 100 a 150 hojas. Tronco con la edad curvado, hasta que alcanza el suelo. Hojas lineares, de hasta 30 cm de longitud y 2-3 cm de anchura, graciosamente recurvadas, purpúreas y glaucas en la época juvenil, pasando a verde con la edad, acuminadas, inermes, márgen serrulado y dilatado en la base algo estriado.

Historia: Recolectada por el Dr. Parry en el Jardín Botánico de Missouri se importó a Bélgica en 1868. La primera floración tuvo lugar en 1928 en Montserrate-Cintra, en Portugal, en un ejemplar viejo, con una inflorescencia en panícula piramidal de 1 m de longitud y de un diámetro de 40 cm, ligeramente inclinada (Chittenden, 1951; Jacquemin, 2000-2001). En España, en un documento conservado en el Jardín Botánico de Valencia, correspondiente a la Southern California Acclimatizing Association, de Santa Barbara, California, se ofrece este híbrido al Jardín Botánico de Valencia. Curiosamente, en el texto, indica “Mexico?”, como probable origen, y la describe “Un aspecto peculiar, con hojas coloreadas de rojizo-bronce, formando grupos ornamentales”. Trelease (1902) indica respecto de esta especie “Una planta de jardín adscrita a México, cuando pequeña es muy sugerente su parecido a la azucena, por sus hojas agrupadas arqueadas cóncavas, distintas a las otras yuccas, y quizás no de este género. No existe cita cierta sobre la fuente de la planta de esta especie cultivada en el Missouri Botanical Garden, pero se cree que vino del Norte de México hace muchos años, a través del Dr. Parry”.

Multiplicación y condiciones de cultivo: Se multiplica solamente por hijuelos, siendo fácil (Jacquemin, 2000-2001). Resistente al frío pasó el invierno de 1985 a -12º C. (Jacquemin, 2000-2001).

Taxonomía: Para algunos taxónomos se trata de un híbrido de Y. aloifolia y Y. filamentosa, que solo florece raramente, y no da semillas fértiles (Jacquemin, 2000-2001). A principios del siglo XX no había sido observada la floración, por lo que los autores no podían emplear los caracteres florales para establecer sus afinidades taxonómicas, por ejemplo, Trelease (1892) hace referencia a esta especie, de la cual indica que junto a Y. peacockii Baker, “Son especies desconocidas en flor, pero quizas pertenezcan al grupo Sarcoyucca”.

BOEUF, T. (2005) Yucca & Co. Medemia. Auflage.
CHITTENDEN, F. J. (1951) Dictionary of Gardening. The Royal Horticultural Society. Oxford. HOCHSTÄTTER, F. (2004) Yucca III (Agavaceae) Mexico. Fritz Hochstätter. Germany. JACQUEMIN, D. (2000-2001) Les Succulents Ornementales. Agavacees jour les climats mediterraneans. vols. 1, 2. ed. Champflour.
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN (2000-2007a) Yucca desmetiana (Ascribed to Parry) from Mexico Missouri Botanical Garden. An Illustrated History of the Missouri Botanical Garden. phrase=Yucca+desmetiana
SMITH, C. (2004) Yuccas: Giants amont the Lilies. An NCCPG Publication. National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens. The National Plant Collections.
TRELEASE, W. (1892) Notes and observations. Rept. Mo. Bot. Gard. pág. 159- 166.

Établissement horticole de Louis de Smet

Établissement horticole de Louis de Smet: Nouveautés No. 13. - 1880. Supplément au catalogue général No, 12.Ledeberg-lez-Gand [Gent], 1880,

Établissement horticole de Louis de Smet: Catalogue général. No. 14. - 1881.Ledeberg-lez-Gand [Gent], 1881,
Nº 14 - 1881
Fondation de l'etablissement : 1858
succès obtenu : Sept cent soixante-cinq medailles : or, vermeil et argent
CATALOGUE GÈNÈRAL de L'Établissement Horticole de
Chevalier de l'Ordre de Leopold
Décoré Agricole et Horticole de 1ere classe
Trésorier de la Chambre Syndicale des Horticulteurs de Belgique
Administrateur de la société royal d'Agriculture et de Botanique de Gand
et membre de plusieurs Sociétés d'Horticulture belges et étrangères
à Ledeberg-lez-Gand (BELGIQUE)
Succursale : «Villa Flora» Chausée de Bruxelles
Louis De Smet (1813-1887)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Yucca desmetiana

Magic lantern slide from Missouri Botanical Garden (1902)

Yucca desmetiana Baker
Gardener's Chronicle & Agricultural Gazette 1870: 1217. 1870.

RGB Kew World Checklist gives accepted name as follows :
Yucca de-smetiana Baker, Gard. Chron. 27: 1217 (1870).
Mexico (Chihuahua)

This name is Accepted by:
Espejo Serena, A. & López-Ferrari, A.R. (1993). Las Monocotiledóneas Mexicanas una Sinopsis Florística 1(1): 1-76. Consejo Nacional de la Flora de México, México D.F..

Family Agavaceae / Asparagaceae

The European Garden Flora gives following description:
Y. desmetiana Baker. Leaves rigid, without an obvious spine at apex; inflorescence, flowers and fruit apparently unknown.

However the RHS Dictionary (first edition 1952) states "An old plant flowered for the first time at Monserrate, Cintra, Portugal, in 1928. Panicle drooping, pyramidal, 3ft. long, 1 to 1-and-a-half ft. wide. Mexico. 1868. "

See Gardeners' Chronicle 86 (1929) 93.

Baker, J.G. 1870: «The known Forms of Yucca. - VI.» Gard. Chron. 30 (3), 1217.


"Y. De Smetiana, Hort. - Stem reaching a foot high below the leaves, 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick. Leaves 150 - 200, extending over a space of 15 - 18 inches, all more or less recurved, purplish green, 12 - 15 inches long, 8 - 9 lines broad at the middle, narrowed to three-eights of an inch above the base, the point not pungent, the edge faintly denticulate towards the base; in the young state, the face flat, except at the point and base, the back but little raised except in the lower quarter, the middle slightly plicate vertically."

Some information roughly translated from German Tropengarten: Attractive Yucca with yellowish-reddish-greenish leaves. It is an old breeding of unclear origin, no habitat location recorded in the original literature. Description 1870 from J.G. Baker. He regards. “De Smetiana” as a hybrid, no data are given the origin, nor a valid species is established. Thus naturally allocation to the parentage remains pure speculation. Blooms are not so far known to me. Hardiness. “De Smetiana” is probably only for the mild garden. The frost tolerance at dry, well drained locations was -14 °C, at least for short term frost duration. Since Y “De Smetiana” remains rather small, it can be planted very well in the small garden. The maximum size amounts to 1 m, more rarely somewhat more larger.

The yucceae (1902) , Trelease, William, pp. 87-8 :

Y. DE SMETIANA Baker, Gard. Chron. 1870 : 1217. Journ. Linn. Soc. Bot. 18 : 222. Kew Bull. 1892 :8.

? Y. Helkinsi Hort.

Caulescent, at length with a trunk 2 or 3 m. high. Leaves rigid, evenly and stiffly recurved, becoming .4m long and 25 mm. or more wide, purple tinged, entire or slightly rough-margined at base, not pungent. Flowers and fruit unknown. Plate 48.

A garden plant ascribed to Mexico, which when small is very suggestive in appearance of a lily because of its crowded arching not at all concave leaves : it is quite unlike any other Yucca, and perhaps not of this genus. No positive record exists of the source of the plants of this species cultivated at the Missouri Botanical garden, but they are believed to have come from northern Mexico, many years ago through Dr. Parry.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Chrysophyllum imperiale at Lisbon Botanic Garden

Chrysophyllum imperiale (Linden ex K. Koch & Fintelm.) Benth. & Hook. f. Genera Plantarum 2: 653. 1876.
Photographed today. The tree, unlabelled, is located next to an iron bridge in a valley at the lower part of the garden. There were flower buds showing, as yet unopened.