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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/858

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

sonages with whom he had come in contact furnished him an inexhaustible fund of interesting reminiscences. Strange to say, considering his German extraction, he was devoid of any appreciation for music. He spoke and wrote in English, German, French, and Latin, and was also acquainted with Greek.

A notable feature of his scientific work was its systematic character. Evidence of this is furnished by the synoptical tables attached to his several monographs, and by the fact that the analytical table of the Carices was one of his productions. The cryptogams had for him an attraction that they do not have for many. We owe most of our knowledge of this series of plants to German, Danish, and Swedish investigators. Knowledge that may not be read by him who runs but must be delved for, as is the case with that relating to the fungi and their near allies, seems to have an especial attraction for Northern minds.

Among his well-deserved honors was the naming after him of Schweinitzia odorata (sweet pinesap), by Stephen Elliott. This is a small plant, found from Maryland southward, and bears a spike of flesh-colored flowers which exhale the odor of violets.

A general characterization of the botanist's work can not be given better than in the following words of Walter R. Johnson:

"When we consider the extreme difficulty of the particular departments of botany to which Mr. Schweinitz devoted his chief attention, the prodigious number of facts which he has accumulated, the vast amount of minute and delicate investigation demanded by the nature of the objects of his study, the labor of preparing for the press the materials which he had brought together; when we recollect that, with the exception of Dr. Muhlenburg, of Lancaster, no American botanist had ventured far upon this wide and unexplored dominion of Nature, and when we remember that this science was his relaxation, not his profession—his occasional pursuit, not his daily duty—we are forcibly struck with the high order of his talents for the pursuit of physical science, and can not but regret that more of his time and energies could not have been devoted to this favorite ocupation."

Von Schweinitz bequeathed his collection of plants to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. It comprised twenty-three thousand species of phanerogams and many thousand cryptogams. A large portion of the specimens were from the most remote parts of the world, having been obtained by exchange with American and European explorers. They included the "Baldwin collection" from Florida, Brazil, and La Plata, which von Schweinitz had bought, and in which he had found three thousand species not before in his herbarium. The examination and arrangement of these plants had been one of his last scientific labors.