16 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 12


Agricultural Botany : Theoretical and Practical. By John Percival, M.A. (Duckworth and Co. 7s. 6d. net.)—Mr. Percival is the Director of the Department of Agriculture at University College, Reading, and was for some time on the staff at Wye Agricultural College, so ought to know what students require in a botany book. Tho fact that it is in a third edition would seem to show that it has been appreciated. Obvious points in its favour are the clearness of its arrangement, its wide range—there are nearly eight hundred pages—and the usefulness of the many drawings, done by Mr. Percival himself. Short of photo- micrographs, in some instances, these drawings could not well be better. It is not within the power of every technical author to give his pages the life and interest which characterised the writing of Huxley and Grant Allen, but a book like this is full of things which hold the attention even of the casual reader. How many of us who are not botanists have noticed that while the hop twines to the right, bindweed twines to the left ? And how interesting is the case of the parasitical broom rape, the seeds of which, though they drop into the ground, will die if they do not meet with a clover plant.