Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/364

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as well as the color of flowers and the uses of fruits, seeds, herbs and roots, together with the virtues attributed to them by the simple natives, no matter how foolish such information might appear to the eyes of the learned.

And now, as his busy life is nearing its close, enfeebled by hardships and almost incessant physical suffering, he sits close to the fire with his great coat around him. His last set of plants has been disposed of. Is his task finished? He can not bear to think so. He had planned to do so much more. As he closes his eyes he has visions of palm trees reflecting their crests in the still lagoon; or perhaps he hears the tinkling of bells as flocks of goats wander across the sunny plain and climb rocky hillsides dotted with cactus, maguey and yuccas; or perhaps he is once more among pines and oaks on a mountain top, or in moist forests gathering orchids and creeping arums. His old enthusiasm comes back; his pulse throbs with renewed vigor. No, the end is not yet. Once more he prepares his pack; his staff stands in the comer. He unfolds the map. To-morrow he will start off, but to what fresh field he can not yet decide.

It has been impossible within the limits of this paper to do more than enumerate many of the localities explored by Dr. Palmer. To give a detailed account of his work would fill hundreds of pages. Every student of North American botany can bear witness to its value. We have already heard the testimony of the distinguished botanists, Professor Gray and Dr. Torrey, given in the early part of his career. He has added hundreds of species to science and many more of his collecting remain to be described. Scarcely a monograph of a family or genus appears, including representatives in Mexico and the southwestern United States, but among the species described are new ones based upon types collected by Edward Palmer. My list thus far reaches 1,162 new species of flowering plants discovered by him, but I am sure that this does not include all. The composites lead with 259 species. It is not possible to tell definitely how many well-established species bear his name. I have counted 200. It is pleasant to think they will continue to bear his name for centuries to come, eternal witnesses to his wonderful activity, forming a monument more lasting than sculptured marble, recording the services he has rendered to science and his fellow men. And in all the years to come no history of American botany will be complete without an account of the work of Edward Palmer.