much might then be accomplished. If, then, one of our younger associates—Dr. Barton, for instance, whose specialty it is—would combine the different floras into one, how pleasant it would be for the botanical world! I have written to nearly all the persons named above, and hope to receive their concurrence. Let me know your views about it." Dr. Cutler gave the scheme his unreserved approval.
This plan was not carried out. Instead of it, André Michaux worked the combined collections of his eleven years' travels in the United States, through the French botanist Richard, into a Flora of North America, and it appeared in Paris in 1803, one year after the author's death in Madagascar.
The publication of this flora did not change Muhlenberg's view of the necessity of comparative work in co-operation, and in order to bring it a step nearer he decided in 1809 to write a catalogue of the then known native and naturalized plants of North America (Catalogus Plantarum Americæ Septentrionalis, huc usque cognitarum indigenarum et cicurum), the printing of which was finished after nearly nine months of work, at the end of July, 1813. While Michaux had described about fifteen hundred flowering plants and ferns, Muhlenberg was able ten years later to exhibit more, than double the number of species, and besides these to add, from specimens mostly collected in Pennsylvania, 175 mosses, 39 liverworts, 32 algæ, 176 lichens, and 305 fungi, in all 727 species. The Compositæ comprised in Michaux 193 species, in Muhlenberg 410.
Muhlenberg conscientiously named not only the books which he had used in the determination of his collected plants, but also the twenty-eight correspondents in different parts of the United States who had assisted him in his researches by sending plants or seeds. The work gives, besides the botanical and English names, only the numbers of the several parts of the flower, the color of the corolla, the character of the fruit, the locality, and the time of flowering, all as briefly as possible.
At the same time a complete description of the plants growing around Lancaster had been ready to print for years; likewise a complete description of all the other North American plants which Muhlenberg had himself seen and arranged in his herbarium. These descriptions were consequently based entirely on his own knowledge, and had, therefore, especial value. Unfortunately, they have not been published.
A part of one of these works, comprising the grasses, was printed in 1817, two years after the author's death, under the title Descriptio uberior Graminum (Fuller Description of Grasses). The manuscript of it was presented by Zaccheus Collins, a friend of Muhlenberg, to the American Philosophical Society in 1831.