Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/326

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298

NOTES.

medicinal plant (even R. undulatum and R. compactum), at first answered admirably, but soon afterwards deteriorated. It remains then to await the issue of the further cultivation of this species hitherto propagated in but a few gardens, and in single specimens. But even admitting that we now possess two kinds which furnish excellent Rhubarb, the preference must still be given to R. palmatum, since its genuineness as the parent plant of the Kiakhta Rhubarb has now been established beyond all doubt, seeing that its fame dates back to the times of the Grecian and Arabian doctors, and that its earlier cultivators have decided, that, with careful treatment, its root affords an admirable drug. Let us hold firmly to R. palmatum, and take care that its wholesale cultivation does not die out, now that a quantity of freshly imported seed renders it once more practicable. Should the R. officinale prove to be an equally valuable production, we have the choice between the two, unless it be found that one plant thrives better in a different climate to the other. As ornamental plants, both have certainly a future.


THE MANUL (FELIS MANUL OF PALLAS).

P. 187.

This species is intermediate between the cats and the lynxes, but its tail is much longer than that of the lynx and its ears are not pencillated. It is said to possess one tearing tooth fewer than the typical cats; but still it belongs to the genus Felis. In its general habits it differs from all its congeners, being found in bleak and exposed places, generally among rocks, where it seeks its food by chase rather than by stratagem. That food consists chiefly of hares and other rodent animals; but, true to the habits of the genus, it preys during the night. It does not climb trees or enter forests, and, according to all the accounts we have of it, it differs greatly from the rest of the genus. It combines with the characters of the cats and lynxes some at least of the habits of the fox.'[1]

  1. 'British Cyclopædia.'