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J. L. COMSTOCK, 1. D., 








Entered according to Act of Congress, by 

3- 2*. B&, 

In the year 1847, in the Clerk's office of the Southern District of New York. 

Reed & Cunningham, Printers, 
No. 9 Spruce-street, N. Y. 


The publisher is happy to announce to the patrons of this 
work that its prospects for the coming year are now very flatter- 
ing. It will be perceived from the title page that he has been so 
fortunate as to secure the editorial services of a gentleman 
than whom no American author in several departments of 
science is better known, both at home and abroad. He 
considers this fact alone to be a sufficient guaranty for the im- 
provement and usefulness of the work. 

In addition to this, the publisher would also state that, even 
with facilities by no means great, and under many unfavorable 
circumstances, the subscription list has already, during the 
past year, attained the number of four thousand and more, and 
has thus placed the continuance and stability of the work be- 
yond ordinary contingencies. It is believed that there are 
few instances where a periodical, commenced under like 
circumstances, has in so short a time established itself so firmly 
in public estimation, and the publisher cannot but feel an hon- 
est pride in the success which has crowned his exertions, as 
well as sincere gratitude to those whose patronage has so ma- 
terially contributed to that success. The original idea of the 
work, it is but justice to himself to say, was entirely his 
own, and though he felt great confidence in its ultimate popu- 
larity, yet it was with some misgivings that he expended his 
time, labor and money, in the important and difficult underta- 
king of its commencement. With no aid except what his 

Publisher's Preface. 

own resources furnished, with no name of weight and influ- 
ence to recommend it, the nature of the subjects to which its 
pages are devoted has been sufficient to give it a strong hold 
upon public favor. Its future course will be unimpeded by these 
or similar embarrassments, and there can be no doubt that it will 
reach such an eminence in the estimation of a discerning com- 
munity as it shall be justly entitled to by the ability with which 
it will be conducted, the great and increasing interest felt in 
the science of Botany, and the unwearied efforts, both of 
editors and publisher, to render it, in every respect, worthy of 
the first rank among similar publications. The explanation of 
the plans formed for the future course of the work, belongs 
more particularly to the editor, but the publisher may say that 
it will embrace every thing necessary to make it a standard 
treatise on Botany, together with such accessories as shall be 
suggested by taste and experience,, and shall be calculated to 
gratify the natural desire for what is at once elegant, entertain- 
ing and instructive. For this purpose the publisher is confident 
that he could possibly make no more favorable arrangements 
than he has done for the year to come ; and that the expec- 
tations of his patrons will not be in the least degree disap- 
pointed. The matter which is furnished by the editors will be 
of the most substantial character, and in point of beauty and 
correctness of delineation and of coloring the plates will be 
equal at least to any thing of the kind executed. 



At the commencement of the second year's existence of this 
work, under auspices somewhat different from those by which 
it has hitherto been governed, there is perhaps some propriety 
in saying a few words to those who may read it, respecting its 
conduct in future. As is announced by the publisher, a change 
in the editorial arrangement has been effected, in regard to the 
judiciousness, of which it does not become the present writer to 
speak. He indulges the hope, however, that the interest of the 
work will be at least fully sustained, and that whatever repu- 
tation it may now possess, will not be diminished in his hands. 
It is also hoped, that in consideration of the assistance which has 
been promised from abler pens than his own, of certain new 
features which he proposes to introduce, and of the firm foun- 
dation on which, in other respects, the work has now been 
placed, that it may increase in popularity as well as in literary 
and scientific value. Upon a sufficiently careful inspection of 
the foregoing numbers, the Editor is convinced that a method, 
considerably different from that already pursued, may be 
adopted with enlarged benefit both to its usefulness and inter- 
est ; and that some branches of the science, not hitherto entered 
upon, may be discussed with advantage. An unconnected 
collection of isolated facts, theories, descriptions and explana- 
tions, however entertaining for the moment, is of little perma- 
nent use to any one who wishes to become a botanist, or in- 
deed to attain even a tolerable degree of excellence in any 
scientific pursuit whatever. The nature of all sciences is pro- 


gressive. It is necessary for the student of Botany to proceed 
by deliberate advances. Festina lente is his safest maxim. He 
must begin by learning the elements of the science as a child 
learns letters. He must first acquire a thorough familiarity 
with the simplest and broadest distinctions between the great 
divisions of the Vegetable Kingdom, the reasons upon which 
those distinctions rest, the names of the parts on which they 
depend, the differences of organization, the modifications of 
structure or of appearance, which are the foundation of the 
modern science of Botany. In short, Botany cannot be under- 
stood in its most interesting and most important view, without 
a very considerable degree of patience and toil ; especially in 
taking the primary steps. It is like a noble fortification, of 
which the outposts are the most difficult to be captured, but 
which, when once in the hands of the invader, offer a com- 
paratively easy access to the more important, but less strongly 
guarded interior. Such, indeed, is the condition on which all 
valuable knowledge must be obtained; and the assertion 
is a safe one, that whatever learning can be easily and super- 
ficially acquired, is in itself superficial. An eminent author 
has maintained that the popular notion that Botany is a 
science of easy acquirement, is a popular error, and to this 
position we entirely assent. To the study of Botany, one who 
wishes to master it as a science, must bring no ordinary com- 
bination of faculties. To patience he must add quickness of 
perception ; to methodical habits of thought, a certain kind 
and degree of imagination ; to comprehensive views of nature, 
the power to enter into the most minute details. On the one 
hand, he must be calm and considerate ; on the other, ener- 
getic, enthusiastic and inquiring; capable as well of long con- 
tinued and laborious effort as of dexterous and versatile exer- 
tion. And yet, to assert that Botany is not calculated for a 
popular object of study, would be as absurd as the same 
assertion in regard to the science of music : and an argument 
against the general pursuit of the former, based upon the fact 


that every student cannot become a Linnaeus or a Lindley, 
would be as fallacious as to contend that no one should study 
•music because he could not reach the fame of a Mozart or a 
Haydn. Indeed, a contrary argument, without a paradox 
either, might be drawn from these very circumstances. 

But we take it for granted that our readers need no such 
reasoning to induce them to follow us when, in ensuing parts 
of this work, we attempt to lead them, by a somewhat more 
thorough and regular course than has been before pursued, 
to some acquaintance with the great modern system of Bot- 
any, as improved and extended by Lindley and others, and 
which seems to have given to the science a stability and 
precision which it has been comparatively late in acquiring. 
It will, of course, be quite impossible, in such a periodical, to 
enter minutely or largely into the details of this subject. All 
we shall aim at will be, to give the reader as competent a 
knowledge of first principles, as will render him capable of study- 
ing with pleasure and profit the learned and systematic works of 
more able and distinguished authors. It will be our purpose to 
devote a portion of each number, during the ensuing year, to a 
series of articles of this nature ; in which we shall, so far as 
possible, avoid technical difficulties, and which, taken collec- 
tively, at the end of the year, we hope to render a nearly com- 
plete introduction to the Natural System of Botany, as expounded 
by its great advocate and teacher, Professor Lindley. For this 
object we shall make a free, but we hope a judicious use of 
the works of the celebrated Professor, as well as those of other 
standard writers. We also expect the occasional aid of 
one of the most accomplished and distinguished of Ameri- 
can botanists, whose labors in the fields of our native Flora 
deserve the gratitude of every lover of science. 

Another portion of the work will be occupied exclusively by 

the senior editor, with a series of notices on the subject of Fos- 
sil Botany : a branch of the science hitherto but little appre- 
ciated or understood in this country ; but which, being the 


connecting link between Botany and Geology, we hope to make 
interesting to the inquirer in both these sciences. 

As to the engravings which each number will contain, we 
intend a somewhat different course from that pursued during 
the past year. Instead of an indiscriminate selection, deter- 
mined only by taste or fancy, we expect to make the engra- 
vings serve the cause of the science and facilitate the progress 
of the reader, by giving the figures of such plants as shall 
answer the purpose of illustrating the order which forms the 
subject of each successive article. For instance, whenever 
the Natural Order Ranunculacea, shall be the theme of our re- 
marks, we shall illustrate its general features by figures of some 
species of the genera comprised in that order, and shall add 
representations of the peculiarities of structure which are the 
marks of distinction between it and others. It may, in doing 
this, be necessary to offer a second time figures of plants which 
have been already described ; but as far as possible this will 
be avoided, and whenever it does occur, the description will 
be new and different in its arrangement. 

The highly interesting subject of Vegetable Physiology, 
inseparable as it is from a competent knowledge of the Natu- 
ral System, will form an important part of our consideration, 
and we believe that by proper illustrations and explanations, 
we shall be able to render it both instructive and enter- 

Into the subordinate details of our proposed plans we do 
not consider it necessary to enter. So far as the minor mat- 
ters of taste or elegance of embellishment are concerned, we 
may promise, that while they do not interfere with the general 
scope of our graver and more important labors, they shall yet 
receive a degree of attention sufficient to render them entirely 

In conclusion, we venture to hope that none of our readers, 
especially those of the gentle sex, if any such we are so for- 
tunate as to possess, will be led to imagine, from any thing 

Introduction. 9 

we have here written, that our purpose is to make this work 
too dry and scientific for general perusal. Such is by no 
means our intention. We believe that such a work can be 
rendered sufficiently scientific at once and popular : that with- 
out sacrificing science to popularity, the two can be so com- 
bined as to instruct at the same time and to please. We are 
well aware that too many consider the difficulties which must 
be overcome before any considerable knowledge of Botany can 
be obtained, to be more than a sufficient bar to their efforts. 
Difficulties, it is true, exist, and are of the essence of the sub- 
ject ; but none which, for all the purposes at least of this 
work, a diligent student cannot master; though, as we have 
before intimated, no royal road through them exists. 

Many are also deterred from seeking a knowledge of Bota- 
ny, by a misapprehension of the true character of the science. 
They believe the end proposed by its pursuit to be only the filling 
of their minds with a mass of unmeaning technicalities, and 
hard and unintelligible names. A greater mistake cannot 
possibly be made. Nomenclature is indeed of only secondary 
importance, and without going so far as to assert with Rous- 
seau that " one may become a first rate botanist, without 
knowing a single plant by its name," we may safely say 
that he will never become a botanist who learns nothing 
of plants except their names. Such knowledge would 
truly be useless, meagre and insipid enough. But the pecu- 
liarities or structure and of vital action, the remarkable opera- 
tions of nature in adapting the physiological arrangements of 
plants to the functions which they are destined to perform, the 
singularities of their internal and external developement, the 
combination of vessels, of nerves and of tissues of which they 
are formed, so miraculously and beautifully fitted for the offi- 
ces of sustentation and increase, form matters of inquiry and 
of reflection which cannot fail, in a well regulated mind, to 
instil ideas of the most elevated and inspiring character, and 
to lead the heart of the thoughtful student from an observation 

10 Introduction. 

of the wonders of these creations up to the great Being whose 
hand in them all is so evident. 

Inferior to no study in interest of this kind, that of Botany 
is peculiarly favorable to the pursuit of the inquirer, from the 
readiness and ease with which the objects of its investigation 
may be procured. Every flower and every leaf, the tiniest 
grass, the most neglected lichen, may form a theme for lofty 
contemplation. The eye of the botanist may become endued 
with a sort of second sight It may discern in the commonest 
things of the earth wonders which are not found in the most 
gorgeous palaces. It may perceive in the most ordinary 
works of Nature an exquisiteness of design, an elaborateness 
of execution, an adaptedness of means to the end proposed, 
which are looked for in vain in the most exalted plans of hu- 
man genius. And more, the true student of nature, too often 
care-worn and oppressed by the toil and disappointments of 
his harsher human existence, may forget all in the separate life, 
in which, among all these wonders, he may become soothed 
and consoled. There is to him more than "a pleasure in the 
pathless woods," more than " a rapture on the lonely shore,*' 
and he needs the impulse of neither misanthropy nor satiety, 
to become in such scenes a wiser, a happier, and a better man. 

It is in the spirit of these reflections that we approach the 
task before us, confident of our success in inspiring our readers 
as we proceed, with something like a similar feeling. 

J. Vy. \y» 




In attempting, through the pages of a periodical work, to 
convey proper ideas of the Natural System, to afford such aid 
to the learner as will enable him to understand its importance, 
and for that purpose to overcome the difficulties by which it is 
surrounded, the writer is conscious that he is engaging in a 
task of considerable magnitude. He is not aware that a simi- 
lar undertaking has yet been accomplished in this country. 
In fact, except among botanists of high attainments, the Linnaean 
System has here been the common, if not almost the exclusive 
object of study. Little more has been published for the benefit 
of the beginner in Systematic Botany, than the merest outline 
of the Natural System, while many of those who pursue the 
study as a recreation, or as a popular branch of knowledge, 
seem to be nearly ignorant of the existence of a system different 
from the Linnaean. Works there are, it is true, whose object is 
expressly to afford elementary instruction on this subject, but 
they are, so far as our observation has extended, mostly 
foreign publications, and from their scarcity or expense, are out 
of the reach of ordinary students. It has been considered, 
therefore, (without offering further reasons,) that a monthly 
series of articles, in a popular magazine, each of which may 
easily be read and understood before the appearance of the 
next, might be made serviceable to the learner, and might be 

12 The Natural System. 

so arranged as, in a collected form, to supply the place of an 
American Introduction to the Natural System, until such an 
Introduction shall be produced, (a consummation devoutly to 
be wished), by some one of our eminent botanists. 

It is supposed that the student who intends to follow us in 
these articles, has already an acquaintance with the Linnaean 
System, and a knowledge of the parts of plants, sufficient for 
the purpose of understanding at least some of the terms used. 
For instance, when we come to speak of stamens and pistils, 
of carpels and dissepiments, of bracts and ovaries, we shall 
take it for granted that our reader knows the part or organ 
indicated by these names. Should he be deficient in such 
knowledge, he will find in the articles on Vegetable Physiol- 
ogy, which will be the monthly companions of these, much 
important information, and for whatever more may be neces- 
sary, he can consult almost any elementary treatise. Con- 
sidering, then, that he is properly prepared to follow us, we 
begin by some general remarks on Classification. 

The science of Botany may be correctly divided into two 
distinct departments. One of these may be termed Physiolo- 
gical Botany, and has for its object the investigation of the 
internal structure and method of the growth and reproduction 
of plants. The other, which is closely connected with, and in 
a great measure depends upon the first, concerns the arrange- 
ment of plants into groups or divisions, and is termed Classifi- 
cation. The utility of such an arrangement must be obvious, 
when we think of the utter impossibility of studying and 
remembering by themselves the peculiarities of every one of 
the one hundred thousand species which the globe is estimated 
to contain. For instance, suppose the grain which we call 
Wheat was lately discovered, and generally unknown ; by 
what method could one, who knew nothing of Classification, 
designate it so that it might be distinguished from all others ? 
Without some systematic arrangement, and some definite 
terms to denote its distinctive characters, this would be mani- 
festly difficult and uncertain. It is on these distinctive marks, 
or invariable peculiarities, that, in all branches of natural 
science, systematic arrangements are founded, and accordingly 
we find, that in the earliest periods of botanical research, some 

Classification, 13 

kind or degree of classification was adopted. This was no less 
natural than necessary, and was founded on the same great 
principles of general resemblance and similarity of properties 
which form the basis of the most complete modern system. 
The most superficial observer, says Dr. Smith, must perceive 
something like the classification of nature. The Grasses, 
Umbelliferous Plants, Mosses, Sea Weeds, Ferns, Liliaceous 
Plants, each constitute a family strikingly similar in form and 
qualities among themselves, and no less evidently distinct from 
all others. It is singular, that in all other departments of natu- 
ral science, such a method of classification is strictly adhered 
to, while in Botany, principles have been introduced, which in 
Zoology would lead to the greatest absurdities. The earliest 
attempts at the classification of plants only extended to a few 
simple divisions, formed from the widest distinctions. One 
ancient writer, for instance, divides vegetables into water 
plants, parasites, pot herbs, forest trees, and corn plants; 
another into aromatics, gum bearing plants, eatable vege- 
tables, and corn herbs. Many centuries elapsed before 
any thing further was effected towards a more correct and 
precise arrangement, and it was not till the year 1570 that 
Lobel, a Flemish botanist, made important improvements in 
the former methods of distinction, and by the use of more defi- 
nite characters than had before been, employed, laid the groun- 
work of the present system. Several authors of eminence fol- 
lowed, whose principles of classification were the same. At 
length, near the end of the seventeeth century, the necessity 
began to be felt, of greater precision, and this fed to the inven- 
tion of a system, which, partly from the renown of its author, 
and partly from its simplicity and the readiness with which it 
may be understood and applied, has obtained the greatest 
celebrity. The first attempt at what is now called the Artifi- 
cial System, was made by Rivinus, who, in 1690, invented a 
system depending on the formation of the corolla. He was fol- 
lowed by Kamel and by Magnol, whose methods depended, 
the first on the formation of the calyx, and the second on that 
of the calyx and corolla together. It was reserved for Lin- 
naeus, in 1731, to complete the ideas of his predecessors by the 
invention of the system since so universally adopted, and named 

14 The Natural System. 

after its inventor. This, no doubt, contributed largely to the 
dissemination of botanical knowledge, and was of much benefit 
to the state of the science as it then existed ; but the researches 
of modern botanists, aided by the great improvements in 
optics which have so facilitated their observations on life and 
structure, have shown that it is by no means suited to or suffi- 
cient for the advancement of later times. Indeed, its chief 
merit consists in the convenient clue which it offers to the name 
alone of an unknown plant, while as to structure or properties 
it affords no indication. It has been compared to the alphabeti- 
cal index of a book, which directs the reader to the point which 
he wishes to ascertain, without giving him any information as 
to the general nature of the book, or of the method in which its 
subjects are arranged. Indeed, Linnaeus himself was fully 
sensible of its defects, and by no one more than by him have 
the superior advantages of a Natural System been appreciated. 
When he framed his Artificial System, he probably intended 
it only for temporary employment, and to facilitate that 
acquaintance with the vegetable kingdom which must precede 
the formation of a perfect Natural System, and he anticipated 
the time when greater progress should cause it to be aban- 
doned, and botanists to revert to the system of nature. Though 
not then fully developed, he said that the elucidation of the 
principles of the latter should be the first and ultimate aim of 
botanists, to this end should their labors be directed, and the 
merest fragments of such a system should be carefully studied; 
and he adds, " For a long time I have labored to establish it, 
I have many discoveries, but have not been able to perfect it; 
yet while I live, I shall continue to labor for its completion. 
Those are the greatest botanists who shall be able to correct, 
augment, and perfect this method." From this it is evident, 
that those who, out of veneration for the name of the great 
Naturalist, adhere to his system to the exclusion of one formed 
on natural principles, and imagine they have his authority for 
so doing, mistake his views and misrepresent his declarations. 
The Linnoean, or Artificial System, as we shall hereafter call 
it, in contradistinction to the Natural System, is not, how- 
ever, even at present, without its advantages. To one who is 
not ambitious of extending his studies into the higher regions 

Classification. 15 

of the science, but is only desirous of becoming acquainted 
with the names and characters of such plants as he may meet 
with in his rambles, this System offers facilities which are well 
calculated to encourage. To determine the class and order by 
counting the stamens and pistils, is generally a very simple 
matter, and when this is done, the discovery of the genus and 
species can be readily effected, with the aid of a Manual and a 
little practice in examination. It is not too much to say, how- 
ever, that this System is, after all, of no further use, taken by 
itself, than merely to assist in finding out the name of an 
unknown plant, and even in its application to this purpose it 
possesses many imperfections. The number of pistils or of 
stamens is often inconstant in any species, and varies even 
among individuals of the same species, or even in the different 
flowers of the same individual. This must of course lead to 
great confusion, and every one who has experienced the fre- 
quent difficulty of determining the name only of a plant by the 
artificia>*hethod, must have become aware of the necessity in 
such cases of applying to other principles for assistance. Then 
it is that the necessity of means of discrimination not afforded 
by the mere number or positions of stamens or pistils, becomes 
apparent. For instance, the genus Polygonum, some members 
of which are commonly known by the names of Bind- weed 
or Knot-grass, is placed in the class Octandria and order 
Trigynia. Now out of sixteen species of this genus, which are 
found in the northern and middle states, nine only are Octan- 
drous, and some of these vary, while of the remaining seven 
species two are Pentandrous, three Hexandrous, and two Hep- 
tandrous, and out of the whole sixteen at least ten are not pro- 
perly Trigynous. Now, if without any previous knowledge of 
these facts, the student should find a Polygonum which has 
five, six, or seven stamens, he would at once look for it in the 
class Pentandria or Hexandria or Heptandria. He finds 
nothing like it, and must endure his perplexity and disappoint- 
ment until some one who has perhaps passed through the same 
difficulties shall tell him that his plant is a Polygonum. Should 
he inquire how this happens, when it evidently belongs to a 
different class, the only answer can be that it is so much like 
the Polygonums that it cannot be separated from them, and 

16 The Natural System. 

they in most cases belong to Octandria. Thus it appears that 
it is not by means of the Artificial System that the plant is to 
be discovered, but through its resemblance to other Polygonums, 
thus applying the very principles of the Natural System. 
Again, the genus Rhamnus, or Buckthorn, is placed in the 
class Pentandria, while the most common species, (R. alnifo- 
lius,) is Dioecious ; so that if, on observing that one individual 
bears female and another male flowers, it should be sought for 
in the class Dicecia, the result would be the same as before. 
These instances are not exaggerated, and similar ones are by 
no means uncommon. It has been proved that in fourteen 
divisions of the Linnaean System, including one hundred and 
seventy-three British genera, the number of such exceptions 
amounts to forty-three, or nearly one quarter ; and that out of 
two hundred and seventy-four North American genera, belong- 
ing to eighteen Linnaean sections, there are no less than seventy- 
eight exceptions, or more than a quarter of the whole. This 
comprehends, too, only those variations which are constant and 
uniform, and not merely accidental deviations. It is true, that 
the labors of botanists have in a degree lessened the difficulty 
by pointing out the most perplexing of these variations, in such 
a manner as to prevent the loss of time and patience in futile 
endeavors at finding genera in wrong classes, or species in 
wrong genera ; but this does not lessen the imperfections of the 

Vegetable Physiology, 17 



In order to obtain a correct knowledge of either animals or 
vegetables, it is not enough simply to observe their outward 
appearance, to examine their different parts superficially, to 
mark the changes which they undergo, or to watch their habits 
and motions. These are but the results of their internal struc- 
ture, and before we can arrive at a right understanding of 
them, we must become acquainted with that structure. Two 
branches of science have for their objects the mechanism and 
functions of the organs of animals and plants. Anatomy 
explains the form, structure, and disposition of those organs, 
and Physiology their uses and functions. In Zoology, the 
distinction between these branches is more strictly adhered to 
than in Botany, though in the latter science Vegetable 
Anatomy or Phytotomy is properly a separate department 
from Vegetable Physiology. We do not consider, how- 
ever, that it is necessary here to specify the subordinate sec- 
tions into which botanists have divided these sciences, since 
the beginner is liable to be embarrassed and discouraged by a 
multiplicity of terms, which he will better understand in the 
course of his onward progress. We shall prefer, therefore, for 
the present, to define Vegetable Physiology as that science 
which explains the nature, appearances, and uses of the inter- 
nal organs of plants. It will be necessary, of course, to exam- 
ine the form and structure of these organs, before their func- 
tions can be discovered. Let us take, then, almost any com- 
mon plant, and see the parts of which it is composed. The 
most obvious of these are the stem, roots, leaves, and flowers. 
It will be seen, when we have advanced a little further, that 
they are subdivided into many other parts — but for our pre- 
sent purpose it is enough to mention these. The root, then, 
whose office it is to fix the plant in its place, and to draw nutri- 
ment from the soil, the stem which carries this to the leaves, 
and raises them to receive light and warmth, the leaves which 
elaborate this nutriment and make it fit for the sustenance of 
Vol. II.— 2. 

18 Vegetable Physiology. 

the whole plant, the flowers which produce seed necessary for 
its reproduction, are termed organs, while the effects produced 
by these parts are called their functions. All bodies which 
possess these or analogous parts, are called organic, while 
those which do not, are inorganic. Some of the functions of 
organic bodies are subject to the same laws which operate on 
inorganic matter. For instance, the principle on which the 
blood is propelled by the heart through the arteries is the same 
on which water may be driven through a series of pipes by a 
pump. But the nature of the force is entirely different In 
the latter case, it is merely mechanical. In the former, it is 
produced by a property peculiar to organized structure, and 
especially belonging to muscle — that of contracting when it 
receives a certain stimulus or irritation. This property, and 
many others which are never displayed by inorganic bodies, 
are called vital, and it is by means of these that those changes 
are effected which constitute the life of an animal or plant. 
These properties of organized bodies operate only under cer- 
tain conditions. A seed may remain for centuries in a dor- 
mant state, and may never become any thing but a seed. As 
soon, however, as it is laid where it can receive moisture, 
warmth, and air, it will begin to germinate. These, then, are 
the conditions required to produce in it vital action, or those 
changes which are termed Life. In case the plant, after it has 
begun to grow, under these influences, be placed entirely out 
of their reach, it either dies, or remains inactive for a time, 
until returned to its former position. Light, warmth, and 
moisture, for these reasons, are called the stimuli to vital 
action. In our considerations, therefore, are naturally com- 
prised that of the structure of plants, of the properties which 
belong to that structure, and of the operation of external stimuli 
upon those properties. 

It will be perceived here, that the distinctions so far ex- 
plained, between organic and inorganic bodies, apply as well 
to animals as to plants. Before proceeding to our main sub- 
ject, then, it will be proper as well as interesting to trace some 
of the less general distinctions by which is produced the dif- 
ference between these two grand divisions of organized mat- 
ter. It is sometimes by no means easy to point out such a dif- 

Vegetable Physiology. 19 

ference, since some animals so nearly resemble plants as to 
make it almost impossible to detect the line of demarcation. 
But in general, and among the higher orders of animals, the 
distinction is so clear as to require no demonstration. An 
animal may be defined as a living body possessed of sensibility 
and voluntary motion. Locomotion, or the power of changing 
from place to place, is not, however, essential, since ani- 
mals exist which are fixed to one spot. But all animals have 
a stomach, or internal cavity, into which is received matter 
from without, to be elaborated into a nutritive substance. 
This stomach does not occur in plants. Animals are also pos- 
sessed of a nervous system and muscular fibres capable of 
contraction, together with the power of selecting the matter 
which is to afford them nutriment. Thus their food is com- 
posed of many kinds of sanimal and vegetable substances, for 
the digestion of which the organs which perform that office are 
variously modified and arranged. But plants, being unable to 
move from a particular spot, and to search for their food, are 
nourished by the substances which surround them, and absorb, ' 
by their surfaces, air, water, and many matters which these 
contain in solution. Thus, from the little diversity of their 
food, results the great uniformity in structure and purpose of 
their organs. The parts of the animal body are also possessed 
of mobility, and do not preserve a fixed position, while those 
of the vegetable are nearly stationary, so that the impulse 
which causes the distribution and motion of the nutritious 
fluids in the former, is internal, while in the latter it acts from 
without, and is not connected with the organization. Thus the 
operation of the digestive organs, which in man forms chyle, is 
independent of the conditions which are essential to the analo- 
gous operation in plants, such as heat, moisture, and evapora- 
tion. The chemical composition of both is the same, but the 
elements are differently combined. The organs of sensation 
and of motion, nerves properly so called, and muscles, are 
entirely wanting in vegetables. They possess no heart or 
other great organ of circulation, and have no vessels resem- 
bling arteries or veins. There are some plants, notwithstand- 
ing, which would seem to form exceptions to the general prin- 
ciple that they lack sensibility and voluntary motion. The 

20 Vegetable Physiology. 

phenomena which some of these exhibit, such as the closing 
of the leaves of the Sensitive Plant on being touched, must be 
familiar to every one. The little Dioncea Muscipula, or as it 
is commonly called, Venus' Fly-trap, which inhabits the 
swamps of many parts of this country, is another singular 
instance. The leaf is formed, or rather has an appendage, of 
two lobes, on the edges of which are long, slender and sharp 
spines, and in the centre a viscous fluid, which is attractive to 
insects. Whenever one of these alights on the leaf, for the 
purpose of tasting this fluid, the two lobes suddenly contract, 
close themselves together, and with their spines pierce through 
and confine the un^rtunate victim. The Sun-dew, (Drosera 
rotundifolia,) also a common inhabitant of the northern states, 
has its leaves covered with brown upright filaments, on the 
top of which is a globule of clear fluid, and which on being 
touched, instantly fall down. The common Barberry, (Berbe- 
ris Canadensis,) presents another instance, which may readily 
be observed. On touching with a pin the lower part of the 
stamens, they instantly throw themselves forward against the 
pistil. These and other similar phenomena are caused, how- 
ever, by no voluntary power like that exerted in the movement 
of animal muscles, but are explained on entirely mechanical 
principles. But there are many respects in which animals and 
plants agree. They are both produced from a germ or egg, 
they increase by the assimilation of foreign matter, they grad- 
ually reach their full developement, propagate their species, 
decay, and at last lose their vitality, become subject to the 
decomposing influence of the atmosphere, are dispersed, and 
their elements enter into new combinations. Plants respire 
air, and have a continual motion of their fluids, which, like those 
of animals, are partly converted into the solid matter which 
enters into their composition, and partly escape through the 
pores of their outward surfaces. Yet these analogies are far 
from being perfect, and the organs of plants can bear but a 
limited comparison with those of animals. Of these affinities 
we shall take more particular notice when we enter upon the 
explanation of the structure and functions of the different parts 
of vegetables, as a preliminary to which these concise remarks 
are offered. 

Fossil Botany. 21 


The progress of Geology has developed the elements of 
what may be considered a new science — that of Fossil Botany. 
The splendid work of Count Sternberg, on the continent of 
Europe, and those of Hutton and Lindley in England, together 
with several others of less note, have created, not only among 
the learned, but also among all classes of the educated, an 
interest in the Flora of the ancient world. Nor can any recent 
book on Geology, now a common study in this country, be 
understood and appreciated without a knowledge of the 
elements of this science. 

The subject is indeed highly curious and interesting to any 
inquiring mind. Who can read accounts, or examine the 
remains, of vegetables, sometimes of colossal proportions, 
differing entirely in appearance, and, in some respects, in 
structure, from any now growing on the earth, without a de- 
sire to learn more concerning them ? For the acquirement of 
such knowledge, the Botanist will be conscious that the Sexual 
System, or Linnaean method of classification, must be insuffi- 
cient — since the flowers and other parts on which the Artificial 
classes are founded, are, in most cases, entirely wanting, only 
the trunks, limbs and leaves being preserved. The Natural 
System therefore can only be employed, and this to but a 
limited extent, since trunks only, without the vestige of leaf, 
flower or fruit, have occurred in great abundance. In such 
instances the structure of the interior, the external appearance 
of the bark, the marks left by the falling off of the leaves, the 
branching of the top, when this can be found, are all that serve 
as data on which to base an opinion as to the class or family 
to which the tree belonged. In this country, if little interest 
is felt on this subject, it is only because there has yet been 
published no popular exposition of the objects of Fossil Botany, 
or the methods by which it is investigated. We therefore propose 
to dedicate a few pages of this periodical to a series of articles on 
this science, for which we have not a doubt of ultimately re- 
ceiving the thanks of our readers. 

22 Fossil Botany. 

To those who are ignorant of Botany, and only wish to 
acquire a knowledge of the elements of the fossil arrangement, 
the trouble of learning the twenty-four classes and numerous 
orders of the Linnaean System will be spared. Indeed, we 
shall at present hardly venture on any strict arrangement or 
classification, but only offer such information on the structure 
of fossil wood and leaves, as will enable the reader to under- 
stand what will follow. 

. The structure of vegetables, compared with that of animals, 
presents a remarkable simplicity. While in animals every sepa- 
rate operation of life is carried on by a set of separate organs, of 
peculiar construction^ a few tissues, variously modified, consti- 
tute the whole mechanism by which all vegetable functions are 
performed. Hence, for the purpose of distinguishing one of 
the grand classes of plants from another, only a transverse 
section of the stem or trunk, or a leaf, is required. The method 
of arriving at such a result in the case of fossil plants, espe- 
cially when the trunk or wood is the only part preserved, 
requires some instruction and a few illustrations, which we 
propose to insert in our next number. 

For the present, we must content ourselves with giving 
an engraving or two representing fossil remains of vegetables, 
and a few general observations and descriptions which may 
serve as an introduction to the subject. 

Some of the antediluvian plants were highly curious in their 
form and structure, and must have been remarkably beautiful 
in their appearance. Others were similar to species now 
growing, or recent species — so called by the botanist, to dis- 
tinguish them from those which no longer grow, termed extinct 
species. The ferns compose the most numerous family of 
vegetables found as organic remains, some of which closely 
resemble recent species, though none have been found which 
can be considered as more than types of those now existing. 
The argillaceous nodules, or balls of clay, found in some of the 
English coal mines, the great depositories of fossil plants, often 
exhibit very perfect impressions or casts of these ferns. In 
most instances they appear to have been produced in tropical 
climates. This is inferred from the fact, that in hot countries 
their nearest living analogies are to be found— though, as we 

Fossil Botany. 23 

have before stated, identical recent species have not been dis- 
covered. When these nodules are carefully broken, the im- 
pressions are seen preserved on both faces of the clay,— but 
contrary to expectation, not displaying each side of the leaf or 
stem, but the same side on each broken surface ; on the one m 
alto, and on the other in basso relievo, or slightly depressed on 
one side and slightly raised on the other. The best explana- 
tion of this curious circumstance, which long puzzled observ- 
ers, appears to be the following.— The vegetable matter, in 
passing through its bituminous change, first became softened, 
and filled its own mould between^the walls of clay with the 
liquid or deliquescent substance thus produced; this subse- 
quently became hardened, and adhered to one side of the clay, 
which on being broken shows the surface of the adherent 
bituminous cast, while the other side displays the corresponding 
mould. The adjoining cut will give an idea of such appear- 
ances. It represents a species of fern or Polypodium, in clay 
slate, from an English coal mine. Sir James E. Smith considers 
it the product of a tropical climate, but not referable to any 
recent species. 

It is well known to geologists that nearly all the plants, par- 
ticularly those of the cryptogamous tribes, as the Ferns, and 
Algae, or sea weeds, now found in geological formations in all 
parts of the earth, indicate by their increased proportions, the 
influence of tropical regions. Moisture and heat appear to be 
the conditions of the largest developement of these plants. 
Thus, the Ferns, as the brake, Pteris, or polypody, Polypodium, 

24 Fossil Botany. 

grow in our climate only from two to four feet in height, nor 
have we any individual of this tribe in this country which 
attains more than twice that stature. But in hot countries, as 
in Tropical America and in the East Indies, the Arborescent or 
Tree Ferns, though belonging to the same family as our own, 
attain the altitude of forest trees, with stems of eight or ten 
inches in diameter. On the stairs of the British Museum at 
London, there is an Arborescent Fern which recently came 
from Bengal, measuring forty-five feet in height. In the ardent 
climate of South America, Baron Humboldt, to his astonish- 
ment, saw immense groves of a similar colossal growth, and 
it may well be supposed that nothing in the vegetable world 
can present to the eye of the traveller a more beautiful, inter- 
esting and imposing scene. 

In the fossil state, in cold climates, similar ferns, as has 
been mentioned, are found at the present day. They are 
abundant in the coal mines of England, France, and Germany ; 
and in this country near the Canada line, as well as in Siberia, 
similar phenomena occur. Now it might be supposed, refer- 
ring to the general deluge for an explanation, that transporta- 
tion of these plants by water, from their native country to the 
place where they are found, would readily account for these 
facts ; but the plausibility of this theory is at once swept away 
by another fact, which is this. These ferns are sometimes 
found standing in the identical spots where they grew, their 
roots still inserted into the earth, as in their life-time, but 
equally with their stems and leaves, petrified into stone. The 
only consistent solution of the difficulty, appears to be in the 
theory, that Ue temperature of the earth was once much 
higher than it now is, and that the climate of the regions in 
which these fossil remains are now discovered, was of the 
same nature with that in which their analogical recent brethren 
are now produced, — a theory, the truth of which, at present 
we shall neither affirm nor deny, and for a discussion of which 
this is not the place. Although allusion has been made in the 
foregoing remarks to the Ferns only, yet there are several 
other families of plants to which the same circumstances are 
equally applicable. Among these are the Equisetums, a tribe 
well known as recent plants, one of which, a little straight 

Fossil Botany. 


species of the size of a pipe-stem, is known by the name of 
Scouring Rush, and from the quantity of silicious matter in its 
outer covering, is sometimes made serviceable in polishing 
metal. To this family belongs the Catamites, which is now 
only found in a fossil state, and which attained the magnitude 
of a forest tree. Specimens of the same species occur in the 
coal formations at Newcastle in England, at Lubec near 
Canada, in France, and in Siberia, showing the wide extent to 
which this plant was spread, at a time when heat and mois- 
ture seem to have pervaded the whole earth, and to have given 
to this family* like the Ferns, a gigantic size, while in this 
climate no recent species become more than three or four feet 
high, with diameters seldom attaining an inch. The following 
figure represents a part of the stem of a fossil species, called 
Calamites approximates, on account of the proximity of the 

In the next number, we propose to continue the subject of 
Fossil Botany, and to explain the means of distinguishing and 
classifying the different species of plants found in the strata of 
the earth, illustrating our descriptions with cuts, and attempt- 
ing to render the subject both useful and entertaining, to all 
readers of sufficient capacity to understand explanations which 
we intend to make at once clear and precise. 

26 Paper Reed. 


Natural Class, Monocotyledones ; Order, Cyperaceae. Linnsean Class, Tri- 
andria ; Order, Monogyuia. Generic Distinctions : — spikelets, com- 
pressed, distinct; glumes, one valved, numerous, imbricated; corolla, 

none ; style, deciduous ; seed, naked. 

This genus, and others belonging to the same natural order, 
are very widely distributed over the globe. Says Lindley, 
" They are found in marshes, ditches, and running streams, in 
meadows and on heaths, in groves and forests, on the blowing 
sands of the sea shore, on the tops of mountains, from the arc- 
tic to the antarctic circle, wherever Phaenogamous vegetation 
can exist." These plants also compose the Sedge tribe, 
which, though so strongly resembling the grasses in general 
appearance and habit, differs from them in this remarkable 
particular. Many of the grasses possess nutritive qualities, 
and furnish materials for the manufacture of flour and sugar, 
while the sedges are mostly destitute of the necessary nutri- 
ment even for the food of cattle. The roots of some of the 
Cyperuses, however, possess medicinal properties. Those of 
C. longus, are succulent, and contain a mucilage, together with 
a bitter principle which gives them a tonic effect. Those of 
another species are employed in India by the native physi- 
cians in cases of cholera, and the Hindoo ladies use those of C. 
jperennis in perfuming their hair. In this country, these and 
similar plants are principally used in making the bottoms of 
chairs, in stuffing cushions, and for similar purposes. 

The most useful and celebrated of the genus Cyperus, is 
undoubtedly the one represented in our engraving. It is an 
inhabitant of the southern regions of Europe, Italy and Sicily, 
(where it has probably been introduced in comparatively 
modern times,) of Palestine, and of Arabia. But the Papyrus 
is best known for its connexion with the history of the Egyp- 
tians. Its native country, it is presumed, was Ethiopia, whence 
it spread along the Nile into Egypt. The Egyptians, from the 
earliest times, made ropes, as well as boats, of the Paper Reed, 
and it is supposed by commentators, that the Hebrew word 

Paper Reed. 27 

which the translators of the Bible have rendered bulrush, really 
signifies the same plant; as in Exodus ii. 3; Job viii. 11 ; and 
in other parts of the Old Testament. If this be the case, the 
ark in which Moses was laid must have been made of the 
Papyrus. " The waving, feather-like tops of the full-grown 
Papyrus were used to crown the statues of the goddesses in 
many temples ; the upright stem was used in the construction 
of light vessels. When macerated in water or wet sand, the 
fibres served for cordage, and sail cloth was occasionally 
woven of it. The solid part near the root was converted into 
soles for the sandals of the priests, cups and various toys, the 
more valuable on account of the scarcity of wood in Egypt; 
but the chief and most important use of the Papyrus was as a 
material for writing on."* The ancient Egyptian name of 
this plant was biblos, which, for an obvious reason, was adopted 
by the Greeks to signify book, and is retained by christians in 
the name of the bible. From the common name-Papyrus is 
derived our word paper, the ancient method of manufacturing 
which from this plant, as described by Pliny, appears to have 
been as follows : — The stem of the reed was divided into 
lengths, each sufficient for a page, and then, carefully peeled 
in a transverse direction, as far inward towards the core as 
possible, so as to make the width of the page the greater. 
Several of these strips were laid together, and then covered 
with some glutinous material, such as gum, glue, or flour paste. 
Some authors say that the slimy water of the Nile is sufficient 
for this purpose, but experiments have shown that it would not 
answer. The first layer being dry, a second was placed trans- 
versely upon it, that the fibres might cross each other, like the 
threads of cloth. The whole was then beaten, and a strong 
pressure applied to make it smooth and level. It is probable 
that Pliny was ignorant of some part of the process, since this 
method has been attempted without success by Bruce, the 
traveller, who, however, by a different process, succeeded in 
making a tolerable sheet of reed paper. It is said that the 
invention of parchment, which for many centuries was tbo 

* For these and other facts imbodied in this account, see "A Scripture 
Herbal," by Maria Callcott. London, 1842. Art. Paper Reed. 


4 // a/?,-?ftJ l/tfA- 

tM* e^M*** 

28 Paper Reed* 

common material for writing upon, and the use of which quite 
superseded that of Papyrus, was owing to the fact that an 
Egyptian sovereign prohibited the exportation of reed papei 
from his kingdom. As frequently happens in such cases, a 
substance was soon discovered to take its place, and to Attalus, 
king of Pergamus, is ascribed the credit of having first prepared 
the skins of animals for this purpose. In this connexion, it 
may be remarked that a curious treatise might be written on 
the various ancient substitutes for paper, and the methods of 
writing on them. Books are yet in existence written on palm 
leaves, and the most ancient inhabitants of Italy, as well as 
some of the East Indian nations, used a kind of linen cloth, so 
prepared as to retain the marks of the pen. Tablets of various 
kinds of wood, and the bark of trees, have also been employed. 
The latter substance, called by the Latins liber, has given the 
name for book to the languages of Southern Europe. Our word 
book is itself. derived from the Gothic, signifying beech-tree, since 
the bark of that tree was used for writing upon, as also the 
wood, which for that purpose was cut into thin plates or staves ; 
whence verses in poetry are often called staves, each- being 
separately written on one of these tablets." 

The Papyrus also supplied the Egyptians with a fibre which 
they twisted into a fine cord, and used in the lacing of their 
mummy cases. It appears that, in those cases, which were 
ornamented and prepared before the corpse was placed iii 
them, an aperture was left open in the back for its introduc- 
tion, which was afterwards drawn together with these cords in 
a very ingenious manner, and the seam then covered with a 
piece of cloth glued or cemented, so as to make it perfectly 

The Papyrus, when growing together in groups, as repre- 
sented in the engraving, is an extremely elegant plant, the 
upper part resembling a graceful plume of green feathers. In 
favorable situations, it sometimes attains the height of fourteen 
feet, but its ordinary height is less. The tender shoots and 
roots were sometimes used as food. 

'fa&VMcvn C /p/y//.> f'r/r/ftt'm 

Willow Herb. 29 


Natural Class, Dicotyledones; Order, Onagracea?. Linnsean Class, Octan- 
dria; Order, Monogynia. Generic Distinctions :— calyx, four cleft; petals, 
four'; stamens, eight; style, filiform, with a clavate or cruciform stigma; 
capsule, linear, of four cells, with four valves ; seeds, numerous, bearded. 

E. Angustifoliwn. (L.) Leaves, lanceolate, denticulate, veined ; peduncles, 
shorter than the germen ; flower buds, obovate, narrowed at the base, and 
suddenly contracted into a point at the apex. Sepals, linear, lanceolate, 
acute, equalling or slightly longer than the petals ; capsule, linear, straight, 
erect, three to four feet high ; grows in damp, shady places. 

Of this genus there are a large number of species, both in 
this country and in Europe. There is so strong a family like- 
ness between them, as to leave little room for mistaking one 
after having seen another. The natural order in which they 
are comprised, has for its type the Evening Primrose, (Oeno- 
thera,) and is very well defined by the great similarity of its 
members to each other, in several curious particulars. Plants 
belonging to this order, are scattered in various countries of 
the world, from South America to Siberia, and they all agree 
in this respect, that every one of the parts of the flower con- 
sists of four pieces, or of some number that may be divided 
by four. The calyx is composed of four sepals, the petals are 
four, the stamens are eight, the ovary contains four cavities, 
the style separates into four stigmas, the fruit is a dry oval 
case with four angles, opening into four valves. There are 
many plants of different orders, which have some of their 
parts of the number of four, but it is only in this tribe that all 
the parts are in fours at the same time. 

Some of the species of Epilobium are very handsome, 
showy plants, particularly E. spicatum, which is a native of 
New York, and of the Northern and Eastern States. It flowers 
in August, and when a large cluster is seen together, as is 
often the case, the tall, leafy stems, and long spike of purple 
blossoms, produce a very brilliant effect. We have cultivated 
this species with very good success in pots, by giving it a 
portion of the earth in which it originally grew, and keeping it 
well watered, in which case it will frequently attain an extra 

30 Borage. 

ordinary size, and produce a close spike of flowers, sometimes 
two feet in length. This, we believe, is the only species indi- 
genous to the northern part of the United States, which is 
worth the trouble of reclaiming, the others being comparatively 
mean looking plants. The Epilobiums, as well as most, if 
not all the Evening Primrose tribe, have few good qualities 
besides their appearance, possessing no useful properties of 
any consequence. 


Natural Class, Dicotyledones ; Order, Boraginese. Liunaean Class, Pentau- 
dria ; Order, Monogynia. Generic Distinctions :— calyx, in five deep 
segments; corolla, rotate; tube, very short; throat, with short, erect, 
emarginate scales ; stamens, exserted ; filaments, bifid, the inner fork 
bearing the anther. 

B. Officinalis. (L.) Lower leaves, obovate, obtuse, attenuated below ; seg- 
ments of the corolla, ovate, acute, flat, spreading ; grows in waste places 
and rubbish ; flowers, blue. 

This genus forms the type of the natural order Boragineee. 
The species represented in the engraving is the only one much 
known in this part of this country, though nearly all are inhabi- 
tants of temperate climates. Their number appears to be 
much smaller in America than in Europe. Borage is possessed 
of some useful qualities. It abounds in mucilage, and is ■/ 
sometimes cultivated for the sake of the leaves and young 
shoots, which are boiled as < greens' in the spring, but are far 
inferior for that purpose either to those of the Dandelion, or 
the Asclepias. It also gives a coolness to liquids in which it is 
steeped, and for that reason as Main says in his " Hortus 
Dietetica," an odd book, with an odd title, " the flowers are 
required in the composition of cool-tanTcard, a favorite bever- 
age amongst aldermen in warm weather." The flowers undergo 
a remarkable change of color. At their first appearance, the 
petals are of a bright red color, which becomes a briUiant 
blue when they are fuUy expanded. This phenomenon is 
probably caused by the loss of some acid principle. To those 
who are fond of tracing analogies between the higher and 

Trumpet Flower. 31 

lower orders of creation, we might suggest a similarity between 
this operation of nature, and that which sometimes takes 
place in certain of the delicate sex — " Dians of the times," — 
who blush enchanting red on their first " coming out," but in 
the course of seasons become blues of the most intense and 
immeasurable tinU Female chemistry, however, seems to 
offer a reason for this change, the reverse of that supposed in 
the case of the flower, and makes it attributable, not to the 
loss, but to the gain, of some ' acid principle.' In considera- 
tion that the Borage is emblematic of bluntness, we hope to 
be pardoned for so wicked a parallel, and will not risk a 
second offence, by intruding our opinion as to the propriety of 
giving it another signification, which we therefore leave our fair 
readers to discover for themselves. 


Natural Class, Dicotyledones ; Order, Bignoniacea? Linnsean Class, Didyna- 
mia ; Order, Augiosperma. Generic Distinctions : — calyx, divided or entire ; 
corolla, mouopetalous, usually irregular, four and five lobed ; stamens, five, 
unequal, always one, sometimes three, sterile ; ovarium, seated in a disk, 
two celled, many seeded ; style, one ; seeds, transverse, compressed, often 

B. Radicans. — Leaves, pinnate ; leaflets, opposite, ovate, acuminate, toothed ; 
panicles, terminal ; flowers, scarlet ; stem, climbing. 

The genus Bignonia forms the type of the natural order 
Bignoniaceae, the essential characters of which will be fully 
explained when it is noticed in its proper place. The genus 
derives its name from the Abbe Bignon, librarian to Louis 
XIV., and is composed of beautiful plants, some of which are 
trees or shrubs, and others are climbers. They are mostly 
inhabitants of hot climates, from which, on the American con- 
tinent, they extend northward to the Middle United States, and 
southward to Chili. There is a strong family likeness between 
them, though the petals of the different species are of various 
colors. The knowledge yet obtained of their medicinal or 
other properties, is very imperfect The natives of some 
parts of South America use for painting their faces and bodies, 

32 Trumpet Flower. 

a red substance which they denominate chica, produced by 
boiling the leaves of one species, called from this circumstance, 
Bignonia Chica. This article was, some years ago, introdu- 
ced into England, and recommended to the attention of dyers ; 
but we believe that it did not prove of sufficient value to lead 
to any important result. The shoots of another species are 
employed by the Brazilians in the making of baskets, and 
others form large trees, which afford material for timber and 
for the manufacture of bows. The species B. radicans, 
which the engraving represents, must be familiar to many of 
our readers, under the name of " Trumpet Flower," or 
" Trumpet Creeper." It is a native of the Southern and 
Middle States, and is cultivated in New York and New Eng- 
land. It frequently climbs to the height of forty or fifty feet, 
and when covering, as it sometimes will, nearly the. whole 
side of a house, with its deep green foliage and its large, 
trumpet-shaped scarlet flowers, it presents a very splendid 
appearance. The tendrils by which this plant supports itself 
in such a position, are extremely strong and tenacious, and 
often adhere to the wood, and penetrate between the clap- 
boards with so firm a hold that it is almost impossible to tear 
them away. The seeds are winged with a, beautifully reticu- 
lated transparent membrane, resembling the wing of the large 
Libellula, or Dragon Fly. 

Wherever the Trumpet Flower grows, there come the hum- 
ming-birds, with whom it is a great favorite, and the delicate 
little creatures sometimes bury themselves so deeply in the 
large corolla, as to make it a trap for their capture. Indeed, 
we will warrant any person of ordinary dexterity the possession 
of one of these " flying gems," if he will watch for a few 
hours on some clear August day near a Trumpet Creeper in 
the country. 

This plant is known and cultivated in England under the 
misnomer of " American Jasmine," and in France, as " Jas- 
mine de Virginie." It is in England made the emblem of 
separation, from the fanciful notion that it does not thrive 
well without its guardian spirit, the humming-bird, which in 
that "cold and cloudy clime," does not exist. We should 
prefer it to signify here an entirely opposite sentiment. 

Ztt!t/.i////tvf/ CWCtiwas.— f Au/it*d Cup J 

t /TJrst&frt&ri&Hz' 16%>2xrs/?it4 , a/' 

Painted Cup. 66 


Natural Order, Rhinanthacea. Linnrcan Class, Didynamia ; Order, An- 
eiospermia. Generic Distinctions : — calyx ventricoee, two or four cleft ; 
corolla, two lipped, upper lip long and linear, embracing the style and 
stamens ; anthers, linear, with unequal lobes ; capsule, ovate, compress- 
ed* two celled; seeds, numerous, surrounded with a membranaceous 

C. coccinea. Leaves and colored bracts, pinnatifidly three cleft ; segments, 
divaricate ; calyx, bifid, nearly equal with the corolla ; segments, retuse, 
and emarginate. (PI. 11. Fig. 1.) 

This is a handsome and singular plant. It is a native of 
most of the United States, and must be familiar, under its com- 
mon and appropriate name of Painted Cup, to many of our 
readers. Indeed, this seems to be the only certain and lasting 
appellation which this poor plant is destined to retain, since, 
within our own recollection, it has been christened twice anew 
by botanists. It was first placed by Linnaeus in the genus 
Bartsia, named in honor of his friend, Dr. Batsch ; it was then 
separated, and the new genus Euchroma, (signifying well 
painted,) was created expressly for it, by Nuttall, and it is 
finally settled in its present genus, by Sprengel, a German bo- 
tanist, where requiescat in pace. The genus Castilleja is de- 
rived from the name of a botanist of Cadiz, D. Castillejo. 
This species owes its brilliant appearance not, as is generally 
the case, to its corolla, but to the colored bracts, which are of 
a vivid scarlet, passing into orange. The corolla itself, which is 
often nearly concealed by these, is yellow. It is said by the 
British botanists to be very impatient of cultivation in England, 
. since it there ripens but very few seeds, so that it is easily lost. 
In fact, although it was introduced into that country in 1787, it 
soon ran out, and was not restored until 1826. It may be 
easily cultivated in this country, by sowing the seeds in loose, 
gravelly soil, early in the spring, and after the plants come up 
they require very little attention. 
Vol. IL— 5. 

66 . The Nolana. 


Natural Order, Nolanaceae. Linnaean Class, Pentandria. Order, Monogy- 
nia. Generic Distinctions : — calyx, five cleft ; corolla, campanulate, regu- 
lar, plaited. Drupes usually five, containing each a three or four celled 

N. atriplicifolia. Stems procumbent, rather hairy ; calyx, campanulate, 
with ovate lanceolate, acute, connivent segments ; leaves, spatulate, 
radical ones large. (PI. 12.) 

The name of this genus is derived from the Latin word nola, 
a little bell, and was given by Linnaeus to the first of the spe- 
cies discovered, on account of the bell-shaped form of its co- 
rolla. The proper position of Nolana in the natural system 
has been a matter of considerable doubt among botanists. It 
was placed by Jussieu in the same order with the Borage 
and the Echium, but its distinction from the plants of that order 
is so plain, particularly in its plaited flower bud, that its right 
there was soon doubted. It has a strong resemblance to some 
species of Convolvulus, but differs from that genus entirely in 
its fruit, which is a fleshy drupe, containing a hard stone, some- 
what like a cherry. De Candolle included it in the order 
Solanacea, from which again its fruit distinguishes it, all 
plants of that order bearing a fleshy berry, as that of the To- 
mato or Egg-plant. Professor Lindley, for the purpose of giv- 
ing it its proper place, formed the order Nolanaceas, which 
comprises also two other genera nearly allied to the Convol- 

The species came from South America, and are now com- 
monly cultivated in England. The one in our engraving is 
the most beautiful. The flower is very large, and the distinct 
combination of the three colors, bright blue, yellow, and clear 
white, gives it an extremely fine effect. This is heightened 
by the contrast of the broad, fleshy, deep green leaves, which, 
on the bending stems, soon become so abundant as to com- 
pletely cover the ground. This species is an annual plant, and 
its cultivation is said to be quite easy. The seeds are to be 
sown early in the season, in a rich soil. 

{/& t 77t<> JWktna/J 

J7. /J. 

.A /////„/ J/yr/r/f/^t^U>ia/^ CWhte Petunia. 

Petunia. 67 


Natural Order, Solanaces. Linnsean Class, Pentandria. Order, Monogy- 
nia. Generic Distinctions : — segments of the calyx, foliaceous, spatulate ; 
corolla, with a short tube, and a dilated, rather unequal limb. Stamens, 
unequal, enclosed. 

p. nyctaginiflora. Diffuse, clothed with clammy hairs ; lower leaves alter- 
nate, ovate, obtuse, hairy; Floral leaves, sessile, cord ate- ovate, opposite. 
Flowers on peduncles, axillary. Tube of the corolla, three or four times 
longer than the calyx. {PI. 13. Fig. 1.) 

P. phanicea. Prostrate, clothed with hairs. Leaves, ovate, on short petioles, 
acute. Corolla, ventricose, with ovate, acute segments. Flowers, soli- 
tary, axillary, pedunculate. (PL 13. Fig. 2.) 

The plants of this genus are ornamental annuals, and are 
<rreat favorites wherever they are cultivated. The generic, 
name is from Petun, the Brazilian word for Tobacco. Theie 
are several species, which are very generally esteemed in the 
flower garden. The two in our engraving are, perhaps, the 
most beautiful and the most commonly cultivated. The white 
Petunia was discovered near the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, 
and seeds of it were first sent to Europe in 1823. It was 
found to be quite hardy, and to grow well as a border flower, 
in the open air, and from its beauty and the little trouble re- 
quired in its management, became at once an object of favor 
among florists. The soil which it requires is a peat or sandy 
loam, and it must be watered frequently, as the roots are apt 
to wither if allowed to become dry. 

The Purple Petunia is a more showy and highly colored 
species, and although it was unknown in England until 1830, 
and flowered there for the first time in 1831, it has already a 
place in every garden there. It was discovered on the banks 
of the river Uruguay in Buenos Ayres. It grows equally well 
in the open air and in a green house, and as long as its fine 
vein-like roots are kept moist and allowed to grow in light fine 
soil, without too much wet, it may be trained in almost any 
form, and is sure to reward its possessor with a profusion of 
its large dark purple blossoms. It is generally trained against 
a wire frame, or over an open bed ; or the seeds may be sown 

68 The Thunbergia. 

in the autumn or winter, and the young plants kept in pots 
and set out in May. As fast as the old flowers drop off, new 
ones will expand, and the bed continue to present a mass of 
splendid purple until the coming of frost. This species is 
found to hybridize freely with the other, and the union of the 
two produces a great number of beautiful varieties, some of 
which are very large and fragrant, and of a lilac color, and 
others of a fine rich crimson shade of purple. Their culture 
is very easy ; they will grow and bloom freely, if the seeds 
are merely scattered on any common soil, and by no flower is 
the care of the cultivator better repaid. 


Natural Order, Acanthaceae. Linntean Class, Didynamia. Order, Angios- 
permia. Generic Distinctions: — calyx, double; exterior in two leaves, 
interior shorter, with awl-shaped teeth ; corolla, campanulate, tube infla- 
ted, limb five lobed, equal ; stigma, two lobed ; capsule, globose, beaked, 
two celled. 

T. alata. Stem twining ; leaves triangularly cordate, sinuately toothed, 
five nerved ; petioles winged. (PI. 13. Fig. 3.) 

This genus was named by Linnaeus in honor of Charles Pe- 
ter Thunberg, an eminent naturalist, professor of botany at 
the University of Upsal, and author of several scientific works. 
The species are mostly climbing plants, and some of them are 
very beautiful. Their colors are singularly opposite and dif- 
ferent ; the flowers of one species being blue ; those of another 
scarlet ; those of others white, bright orange, and, as the one 
in the plate, a pale buff. X. alata is a native of the East Indies, 
and its beauty has made it very popular among gardeners, 
who frequently give it the pet name of Black-eyed Susan. Its 
seeds are of a curious shape, and have the appearance of be- 
ing covered with a delicate net work, and the capsule which 
contains them is hard and horned. The proper method of cul- 
tivation seems to be, to sow the seeds in a soil composed of 
nearly equal parts of peat earth, or vegetable mould, and sand, 

//. & 

, ///(// /wet //■■// /f«a.-c/fn ffiA ,(h,<4., 

The Stock. 69 

which should be kept constantly moist, but well drained, as 
they are not fond of stagnant water. When growing, they may 
either have the tops of their shoots cut off frequently, so as to 
render the plant bushy, or the long slender stems, instead of 
being allowed to twine, may be laid over the bed and fastened 
down at the joints. 


Natural Order, Cruciferae. Linusean Class, Tetradynamia. Order, Sili- 
quosa. Generic Distinctions : — silique, roundish ; stigmas conniveut, 
thickened or cornute at the back ; calyx, bisaccate at the base. 

M. annua. Stem erect, branched ; leaves lanceolate, blunt, hoary. Pods 
somewhat cylindrical, without glands. (PL 14.) 

Few plants are better known than the species and varie- 
ties included under the general name of Stocks and Stoek-gilli- 
flowers. The genus is named from Peter Andrew Mathioli, 
an Italian botanist, first physician to Ferdinand of Austria, and 
author of a commentary upon Dioscorides. The plants be- 
longing to it are generally covered with a white, soft down, 
and are among the most popular of garden flowers, particu- 
larly the species represented in the engraving. Of this there 
are an immense number of varieties, both single and double. 
Some of the single ones are white, some purple, some crimson, 
some spotted, and some striped. Our figure represents one of 
the most curious and beautiful of the double varieties, of the 
kind called the German Stock. The following description of 
this plant, and directions for its culture, are given by Mrs. Lou- 
don, to whom florists are greatly indebted for her series of fine 
and correct works, some of which are of great value, not only 
to the practical gardener, but to the student of botany. 

" This is a plant growing from one to two feet high, with an 
erect branching stem, hoary leaves, and long spikes of flowers, 
the size and richness of color of which differ greatly in the seve- 
ral varieties, some of them being very splendid. The species 
is a native of the south of Europe, by the sea shore, whence it 

7ft The Stock. 

was introduced in 1731 ; but the principal varieties have been 
originated in England and Germany. The German varieties 
are particularly beautiful, and the seed saved in that country, 
from the greater heat of the summers, and the great care be- 
stowed by the weavers of Saxony, who are the principal 
growers of it, is very superior to seed saved in England. What 
are called the Russian and Prussian varieties, are, generally 
speaking, all grown in Upper Saxony by the weavers, who 
take as much pleasure in raising and saving the seed of their 
Stocks, as the Lancashire weavers do in England in growing 
their pinks and carnations. Home-saved seed can rarely be 
depended upon, as where several varieties are cultivated to- 
gether, spurious ones are made by the wind carrying the pollen 
from one plant to another, and the seed can never be kept true. 
Regular seed growers preserve only the plants with the best 
flowers, and throw the others away. To produce the 
finest flowers, the seed should be sown in August, in a bed of 
rather light soil, which should be covered with a frame ; or 
the seed may be sown in pots, four or five in a pot, and placed 
in a cold frame. (A cold frame is a pit or frame covered with 
glass, but not heated by manure, or in any other manner.) 
The plants, when they come up, should be kept dry during the 
winter, to strengthen them, and in April they should be taken 
out of their beds, with a ball of earth round their roots, or if in 
a pot, turned out with the earth entire, and planted in a warm 
border, in very rich soil. The poor soil in which they were 
raised will have previously checked their growth ; but plant- 
ing them in the rich soil after this previous check, will- make 
them grow luxuriantly, and produce rich spikes of flowers in 

" Those persons who wish to have fine Stocks to flower 
early in the summer, but who have no frame to raise them in, 
or indeed do not like the trouble of keeping plants during the 
winter, will find it their best plan to purchase young plants in 
April or May, and to plant them in rich soil. These autumn- 
sown plants have, however, the disadvantage of fading very 
soon, when exposed to the heat of summer. Their fibrous 
roots wither, and their dark colors become blotched, or blanch- 
ed by the sun. From this disadvantage spring-sown plants 

The Stock. 71 

are free. If sown in February, March, or April, in a dry poor 
soil, they may be transplanted into a rich soil in April or May, 
taking care to preserve the earth about the roots, and not to in- 
jure the fibres, though in some cases the extreme point of the 
tap-root may be taken off, to' induce it to throw out more fibres. 
Other seeds may be sown in May, which will not need trans- 
planting, and which, if preserved from the frost, will continue 
flowering till Christmas. Some persons, to produce larger 
flowers, take off the side shoots as they appear, and thin the 
blossom buds on the flower spike, by taking off every alternate 
bud ; and others water with liquid manure, and use other 
means, to produce fine plants. In whatever manner they are 
treated, it must always be remembered that they require great 
care in transplanting, and that this should be done when they 
are quite young. The general rule is, that they are fit for 
transplanting when they have opened their second pair of 
leaves, and that it should not be delayed longer than a little 
after the third pair is produced. When large plants are re- 
moved, it should always be with such a ball of earth attached 
that the roots may experience no check from the removal. 
When the Stocks are planted out in the borders for flowering, 
they are generally placed three together in an angular form, 
so as to allow room for a stake to be placed in the centre to tie 
them to, if necessary." 

Like all other plants belonging to the same natural order, 
the Stock possesses anti-scorbutic and stimulant qualities. The 
leaves of all the species are sometimes used as pot herbs. 
The name Ten-week Stock is applied to this species, from the 
circumstance that about that period elapses from the time 
when the seeds are sown to the period of the full growth and 
flowering of the plant. On the method of producing double 
flowers from single ones in this and other garden plants, we 
shall shortly give some instructions. 

72 The Natural System of Botany. 



Exogenae or Dicotyledonous plants are next subdivided into 
two very natural and easily ascertained families. All those 
whose seed is enclosed in a pericarp, or seed vessel, are in- 
cluded in the division AngjospermjE, signifying covered seeds, 
and all whose seed is destitute of an outer covering, belon<* to 
the division Gymnosperm^:, naked seeds. The first division of 
Endogenae,or Monocotyledonous plants, consists of those which 
have a true calyx and corolla in three or six parts, or if these 
are absent, stamens and pistils without any envelope. This 
division is named Petaloide^e. The second division contains 
those plants which have no true calyx or corolla, but whose 
parts of fructification are enclosed in imbricated scales or 
bracts. These are the Glumace^e. All these classes, sub- 
classes and divisions, together with the minor divisions which 
are not so strictly natural, will be presented to the reader in a 
tabular form, their points of distinction briefly recapitulated, 
and examples of plants belonging to each of them mentioned, 
so as to give at a single glance a clear idea of the whole. 

Before offering this, however, and before proceeding with 
descriptions of the orders of the system, it is necessary that 
the student should become somewhat acquainted with the 
marks or characters used by botanists in determining these 
orders, and should be able to estimate with some degree of 
precision the value of these characters for that purpose. The 
great advantage of some previous explanation of these will be 
felt by the student when he comes to the perusal of succeeding 
articles, and he must have the greater patience with what may 
now seem to him dry and tedious, upon the assurance that his 
future difficulties will be thereby materially diminished. He 
will commence the study of the natural orders with an interest 
and a pleasure heightened by the sense of having overcome 
some of the chief obstacles to an acquaintance with them, and 
his progress will be the more rapid in consequence of his pre- 

The Natural System of Botany. 73 

sent delay. The following remarks are incidentally proper also, 
for the purpose of explaining many of the terms used in defin- 
ing the natural orders, without some knowledge of which on 
the part of the student, we should be frequently obliged to in- 
terrupt his after progress. Our plan is, as has already been 
seen, not to pause longer than is unavoidable on the meaning 
and application of technical words, but rather to trust the ob- 
servation and memory of the reader to gather the necessary in- 
formation on such points, as he proceeds. This, so far as our 
own experience extends, is much better than to continually in- 
trude upon the senses a collection of compound words, with 
lengthy explanations, which are almost certain to confound 
and disgust the mind, and to lead it away from the main sub- 
ject. We hope in these observations, as well as in the articles 
on Vegetable Physiology, so to accustom the eye of the student 
to most of the words which botanists make use of, that when 
he sees those words collected together, in the form of a diag- 
nosis, or in the essential characters of a natural order, he will 
understand them at once, without the trouble of repeated refer- 
ences to a glossary. This object, to its fullest extent, we can- 
not pretend to effect, but only so far as concerns the scope of 
this work. 

Before estimating the degree or the manner in which the ex- 
ternal organs, such as the leaf, or the flower, are used to deter- 
mine natural affinities, it may be remarked as a first principle, 
that for this purpose the value of these organs is proportionate 
to the certainty with which they severally afford indications of 
important similarities or differences of general conformation. 
A single character of an organ may be sometimes a key to all 
those of the plant or class of plants to which it belongs ; as for 
instance, a reticulated leaf at once shows that the plant from 
which it is taken, increases from the outside, has a vascular 
structure, and a seed composed of more than one cotyledon, 
because these peculiarities invariably accompany such a leaf. 
This principle may be made more plain by a reference to the 
animal kingdom. If a living being is found covered with 
feathers, we know at once that it has a complete bony skeleton, 
that its blood is red, it breathes air, its young are produced 
from eggs, in short, that it possesses all those distinguishing 

74 The Natural System of Botany. 

qualities which constitute a bird. Again, the form and ar- 
rangement of the teeth of a quadruped afford almost unfailing 
indications of the form of its digestive apparatus, of the na- 
ture of its food, and of its general structure. In a similar 
manner the botanist selects from the whole set of characters on 
which his classification depends, those which afford the most 
apparent marks, to distinguish one division from another. The 
most natural character, then, as the distribution of the veins 
of a leaf, is that which affords the most plain and extensive 
information as to all the other characters of the plants to which 
it is peculiar. The number of the stamens or styles indicates 
comparatively nothing in this respect, and is therefore only an 
artificial character. 

A second important principle of natural classification is 
found in the fact that when a number of plants or animals are 
collected according to their general resemblances, some indi- 
viduals of the group will possess in a much higher degree than 
the rest, the characters which are common to all, while others 
will be so deficient in these characters as to seem hardly re- 
lated to the same assemblage. Those members of a natural 
group which most strikingly present an union of all the char- 
acters by which it is distinguished, are called its types, and 
those in which such characters are less obvious are termed 
aberrant. By these latter is formed the connexion between the 
different natural orders, since it is often the case that in the 
aberrant members of an order, its characters become gradually 
shaded off, until they almost blend with those of the next. To 
refer to animals again, for an illustration, the family of Lizards 
is intermediate between the Serpents and the Tortoises. The 
body of some lizards is so elongated, and their legs so small, 
as to render them nearly similar in appearance to snakes ; and 
in one species the outer form is exactly that of a serpent, while 
under the skin are found two pairs of very minute legs. This, 
then, is an aberrant form, which it is scarcely possible to refer 
with certainty to either family. On the side of the tortoises, 
again, the lizards are connected by a species with the head, 
neck, legs and tail of a lizard, but with a shell on its back. In 
the vegetable kingdom instances of this kind will be frequently 
met with, and therefore it by no means follows, when a plant 

The Natural System of Botany. 75 

is included in a certain order, that it must necessarily possess 
all the characteristics of all plants of that order. Again, in the 
case of birds, the structure and appearance of the feathers, 
their general mark of distinction, are much varied in those 
which approach nearest to other animals. The Cassowary, 
for instance, which belongs to the Ostrich tribe, has feathers 
which differ little from coarse hair, and those of the fin-like 
win°"s of the Penguin are much like the scales offish. In like 
manner, some of the plants belonging to the Ranunculus tribe, 
have the parts of their flowers arranged, in threes, like Endo- 
frenai ; yet their stems are exogenous, their leaves reticulated, 
and they have two cotyledons. On the other hand, the Arum, 
or Indian Turnip, has partially reticulated leaves, but an en- 
dogenous stem and a single cotyledon. It has been already 
mentioned that the structure and mode of increase of the stem 
are the characters by which flowering plants are divided into 
Exogenae and Endogenae, and these divisions are entirely na- 
tural. There are, however, some Exogenae whose stem is not 
marked by annual layers, and in some the predominance of 
cellular tissue is such that they are soft and succulent, and 
nearly resemble Cellulares. The structure of the stem, then, 
does not offer a certain foundation for anj r division of the pri- 
mary classes into sub-classes or orders. No characters uni- 
form in particular families are afforded by the Roots, since the 
modifications of their form are few, and cannot be applied 
with certainty. One general rule is, however, that no Exo- 
genous plant has that form of root-like stem called a bulb, nor 
the prostrate stem which sends down roots from its lower sur- 
face, called a rhizoma. The external figure of the stem is 
sometimes one of the distinctions of an order. In Menisper- 
meae, the Cocculus tribe, the stem is always twining ; in Labi- 
atae, the Mint or Catnip tribe, the stem is always square, and 
in one or two other orders its angular or cylindrical figure is a 
mark of difference. The leaves are of the greatest use in 
affording characters for determining the relations of plants. 
One of the most important of these characters is the relative 
position of the leaves, though this may be of much greater 
value in some orders than in others. In Gentianeae, the Gen- 
tian tribe, and in Labiatae, they are uniformly opposite, so that 

76 The Natural System of Botany. 

no plant can belong to either of these orders, which has alter- 
nate or verticillate leaves. In Urticacese, the Nettle tribe, in 
Umbelliferae, to which belong such plants as the Parsnip and 
Carrot, and in some others, they are as uniformly alternate. 
In many other orders, however, both these arrangements may 
be found ; as in Composita?, which includes the Aster and the 
Daisy, and which generally has opposite leaves, are some 
plants whose leaves are alternate ; and in Leguminosae, the Pea ' 
tribe, which commonly has alternate leaves, they are sometimes 
opposite. Some orders have only compound leaves, some 
only simple leaves, and some both simple and compound. 
The degree in which the leaf is divided, is not a certain 
character, since in many orders the leaves are both divided 
and entire ; but in others, this is a sure mark of distinction. 
Leaves with a toothed or serrated margin are never found in 
Cinchonaceoe, the Coffee tribe, and are very rare among 
endogenous plants. The characters afforded by the veining 
of leaves are of great value, and will probably be of more 
assistance in determining orders, when more knowledge of 
them is obtained. All plants of the order Melastomaceoe, have 
about four strong ribs extending from the base to the apex of 
the leaf, and connected by transverse bars, very like some 
Endogenoe. Myrtaceae, the Myrtle tribe, all have a delicate 
vein running all around the leaf, just inside the margin ; and in 
Cupuliferae, the Oak tribe, veins extend directly outwards from 
the midrib to the margin. Another curious character is afforded 
by the presence or absence of those little dots, which are so 
apparent in the leaves of some species of Mint, and which 
secrete a peculiar oil. All Aurantiaceae, the Orange tribe, 
possess these, and are thereby distinguished from allied orders. 
The nature of the juice of the leaves or stem is of great use in 
distinguishing particular orders. In all the Asclepias tribe 
the juice is white, thick, and milky ; and in all the Ranuncu- 
lus tribe it is thin, clear, and acrid. The little imperfect 
leaves, called stipules, often found at the base of the true 
leaves, sometimes are a remarkable indication of affinity, and 
their presence or absence is frequently sufficient to distinguish 
the order to which a plant belongs. They are always present 
in Salicineae, the Willow tribe, and always absent in GutU- 

The Natural System of Botany. 77 

ferse. The small bracts at the base of some flowers sometimes 
indicate genera, but are not used to distinguish orders. The 
mode in which the flowers are arranged often characterizes an 
order. Some have their flowers in heads, some in umbels, 
some in spikes, some in amenta, or catkins. The calyx is used 
in several ways to distinguish orders. By its absence, as we 
shall see, all Achlamijdeous orders are known. The number 
of its sepals is often constant in a particular order; as in Cru- 
cifera?, the Cabbage and Turnip tribe, they are always four, 
and in Papaveraceae, the Poppy tribe, always two. Their 
equal or unequal size is also sometimes an important character, 
and their union by the adhesion of their edges is a circumstance 
of great value. When this adhesion unites all the sepals, the 
calyx is said to be monosepaloiqs. A character of still more im- 
portance, is the degree of adhesion of the calyx to the organs 
on its inside. When it grows immediately out of the disk, or 
top of the flower stalk, and when the corolla, stamens, and 
pistil, are quite distinct from it, having a separate point of 
growth, the calyx is said to be inferior, that is, below the pis- 
til. But when it adheres to the outside of the ovary, and 
encloses it, so that the sepals appear to arise out of its upper 
part, the calyx is called superior. As to the value of the 
corolla in indicating affinities, it may be said that its most im- 
portant characters are those of the adhesion or separation of the 
petals. When these are all united into one, the corolla is 
monopctalous, and when they are all separate, it is polypetalous. 
This is a distinction of great value. All the Rose tribe, and all 
the Poppy tribe, for instance, are polypetalous, and the Borage 
tribe, and many others, are monopetalous. When no corolla 
exists, the calyx alone being present, the plant is said to be 
apetalous, or monochlamydeous, without petals, or having a sin- 
gle envelope. These two characters are not, however, inva- 
riable, since plants without petals are sometimes found in 
orders which generally have complete flowers. When we 
come to the stamens and styles, we find that the number of the 
stamens is of little importance, since this, as has been before 
mentioned, is liable to great variation among plants of the same 
genus, or even individuals of the same species. In some 
orders, however, the number is always invariable; but the 

78 The Natural System of Botany. 

principal characters derived from the stamens depend upon 
the manner of their insertion into the lower part of the flower. 
In some cases they spring from beneath the ovary, in which 
case they are said to be hypogynous, and are separately inserted, 
with the petals and sepals, on the disk. Sometimes they 
adhere for a part of their length to the calyx, their points of 
insertion being the same with the sepals, which, when they 
are detached, carry away the stamens with them; or they 
adhere in a similar manner to the petals. In these cases the 
stamens are perigynous. In other instances the stamens are 
closely enveloped by the calyx, which also embraces the 
ovary, so that they appear to arise from its upper part. Li 
this case they are epigynous. Figure 1. represents sections of 
flowers showing these modifications. In a the stamens are 
hypogynous, in b, perigynous, and in c, epigynous. 

Figure 1. 

The manner in which the anthers open to disperse the pol- 
len, is sometimes characteristic of an order. In the Barberry 
tribe, for instance, they open into valves, like the pod of a pea, 
or a little box, and in the Heath tribe they have pores through 
which the pollen is projected. These peculiarities are not to 
be implicitly relied on. Of all natural characters, those 
afforded by the central parts of the flower are probably the 
most invariable. The number of styles, like that of the sta- 
mens, is subject to variation, though not in so great a degree, 
and in some genera it is quite constant ; but the carpels, or 
separate parts of the pistil, each of which contains a soea, 

The Natural System of Botany. 79 

afford a very decisive character. When these are distinct from 
each other, the ovary is apocarpous, and when they are united 
into one, it is syncarpous. There are few natural orders in 
which one of these conditions is not invariable, to the exclu- 
sion of the other ; so that plants bearing a general resemblance, 
but differing in this respect, may be at once referred to their 
proper place. The position of the ovary in respect to the 
calyx is also to be considered. When the ovary is inferior, 
the calyx is superior, and vice versa. Some ovaries are 
divided by partitions, and some have but a single cavity. 
When an ovary consists of but one carpel, it of course can be 
only one-celled ; but there are syncarpous ovaries which are 
also one-celled. This is owing to the obliteration of the parti- 
tions, or dissepiments, originally formed by the adhering car- 
pels. When this occurs, the ovules are attached to a central 
column, leaving an empty space between themselves and the 
wall of the ovary ; or they are attached to the wall itself, 
leaving a cavity in the centre. The point of attachment of 
the ovules is called the placenta, and this in the first case is 
central, and in the second, parietal. These are distinguishing 
characters of several orders. Other marks of distinction are 
found in the enlargement of the receptacle on which the car- 
pels are situated, and in the varieties of form, substance, and 
manner of opening of the ovary when ripe, but these are not 
of the highest importance. The definite or indefinite number 
of the ovules is often regarded, but their position in the ovary 
is much more essential, and is one of the most valuable forms 
of structure to be taken into account. Those which stand 
upright in the ovary are termed erect, those which hang from 
the upper wall are pendulous, and some other intermediate 
positions occur. The substance in the seed, which surrounds 
the embryo, or rudiment of the future plant, is called albumen. 
The presence or absence of this is a character of importance, 
particularly when it constitutes nearly the whole bulk of the 
seed. In orders whose seed consists almost entirely of albu- 
men, it is very uncommon to find plants whose seed is destitute 
of it ; but when its quantity is less, and the embryo nearly or 
quite equals it in size, the character is of minor importance, and 
an order may contain some genera whose seed is quite filled 

80 The Natural System of Botany. 

with the embryo, and others which have a portion of albumen. 
There are some other characters used by botanists for distin. 
guushing natural orders, but it is hardly necessary to mention 
them here, as they will be incidentally used as we proceed 
and as those already enumerated are of the greatest importance. 
We have also anticipated in some measure, as was unavoida- 
ble in pointing out characters dependent on the structure of 
the ovary and seed, a future article on Physiology, in which 
this structure will be fully explained, with the aid of proper 
engravings, and which can be consulted for any thing which 
is not already understood. 

We apprehend that the student who has read the foregoing 
remarks, is not a little perplexed on account of the constant 
uncertainty which has been asserted to attend the value of the 
characters. He will find, however, that this uncertainty i s 
greater in appearance than in reality, and experience will 
show him nearly the precise estimate which he can place 
upon each mark of distinction. He will learn that though a 
single character is seldom to be relied on, yet that a combination 
of characters, peculiar to an order, may be ascertained with 
less difficulty than he may perhaps now imagine. The power 
of judging of these more or less intricate combinations, to use 
the words of Professor Lindley, " is the same test of a skilful 
botanist, as an appreciation of symptoms is that of a physi- 

In our next article we shall be prepared to present the tabu- 
lar view of the natural divisions, and to describe one of the 

Vegetable Physiology, 81 



The form of elementary tissue called Woody Fibre is so 
named because it has been supposed to consist of fibres infi- 
nitely divisible. It is now considered to be only a variety of 
cellular tissue, in which the cells are much elongated, and lie 
close to each other in bundles. It is possessed of great tenaci- 
ty, and those plants in which it exists in the greatest perfection, 
such as flax and hemp, are used in the manufacture of cordage. 
If a fibre of hemp be examined by the microscope, it is found 
to consist of a great number of smaller fibres adhering together, 
and each of these is discovered to be a slender, transparent 
tube, pointed at each end. Figure 5, a, represents a bundle 
of this tissue, as it commonly exists. Its use in vegetable 
economy appears to be, to convey fluids in the direction of its 
length, and some observers have thought that each tube has a 
pore at the end so as to afford a communication with the rest. 
The especial oflice of this tissue in its adult state, is evidently, 
to give strength and elasticity to those parts of the structure 
which require support, and accordingly in all plants whose 
stem is permanently elevated, as trees and shrubs, it is very 
abundant. In these it receives additional consistence and 
firmness from the deposition of various secretions within its 
tubes, and a difference in the quantity or character of these 
secretions produces the distinction between the inner portion, or 
heart, of a tree, and the surrounding wood. In its hardest state 
the tubes are entirely filled up, so that no sap can pass through 
them. Figure 5, b, shows the appearance of woody fibre, 
when the walls of its tubes are straight and parallel, and the 
granules deposited by the permeating fluids begin to adhere to 
them. Another variety of woody fibre is represented in Figure 
5, c, and is called glandular woody fibre. This is peculiar to 
the natural order Conifera, or cone bearing trees, such as the 
Pine, Fir, and Juniper. It may be readily known by the 
regular series of circular glandules, with an opaque centre, 
which are found on the tubes of which it consists. They 


Vegetable Physiology. 

appear like little dots, and are supposed to be formed!)^}? 
growth of matter in the inside of the tubes. Their form a A 
arrangement can readily be observed by placing a thin pi 
shaving under a magnifier, and even with the naked eye the 6 
can be distinguished. Their nature and use do not seem as vet 
to be clearly understood, but they are of considerable interest as 
having assisted in establishing the true nature of coal. Th 
formation of this substance, after it was acknowledged to b 
of vegetable origin, was at first supposed to have been p rc ! 
duced by the decay of plants of the Fern tribe ,♦ but the ques- 
tion then was, how to account for the bituminous matter so 
often combined with it. Nothing of this kind is contained i n 
any of the Ferns, and therefore it was evident that some resin. 
ous wood must have afforded it. On examining those por- 
tions of coal which present the strongest traces of woody 
structure, they are found to display the dots and all the 
other peculiarities of the glandular form of woody fibre 
and hence it may be considered as satisfactorily ascertained 
Fig. 5. that coal is only the remains of im- 

m®m mense forests of those trees in which 
®Pj| alone this species of tissue is found, 
c The arrangement of the dots being 
1 | different in different divisions of that 
tribe of trees, it may even be possible 
to say to which of these their coal 
producing ancestors belonged. 
Another variety of elementary tissue is that called the Spi- 
ral Vessel. This is a membranous tube, taperingto a point 
at each end, and having within it a cylindrical fibre, spirally 
rolled, and capable of being untwisted. This fibre has been 
already described on page 43. To this vessel has also been 
given the name of Trachea, or windpipe, from a fancied resem- 
blance in its structure and function to that organ. It is consid- 
ered by some to be formed only of fibre spirally twisted, without 
any membrane, but the better opinion seems to be that which 
we have Mowed in the above definition. The fibre itself has 
been also variously represented as cylindrical, flat, or tubular. 
It is generally formed of a single thread, as in Figure 6, c, but 
sometimes it is double, or triple, as in d, and in some plants it 

Vegetable Physiology. 83 

ijj~quadruple. These vessels are extremely delicate, their 
diameter averaging the 1000th of an inch. The bark, wood 
or root seldom contains them, but in the stem and leaf stalk 
they are often found, and they form almost the whole of a 
peculiar part which surrounds the pith of some plants, called 
the medullary sheath. They may be detected in the stringy parts 
of the stem of the Asparagus, more readily, than perhaps in 
any other situation, by separating the strings by boiling, and 
placing one of them upon a piece of glass under the micro- 
scope, and then further dividing it lengthwise with the point of 
a needle. These vessels are very similar in their construction 
to the air-tubes of insects. The principal difference between 
the two is, that those of the insect branch off into a set of con- 
tinuous tubes, all having a direct communication with each 
other, while those of the plant are parallel, and their ends are 
closed. All the varieties of vessels not furnished with an elas- 
tic spiral filament, are named Ducts. These are considered 
as only elongated cellules, and seem to be formed by the 
breaking down of the partition between the cells, which as we 
have seen compose cellular tissue, so that a continuous tube 
is produced. Sometimes the remains of these partitions are 
discovered in them. The variety of duct which approaches 
most nearly to simple cellular tissue is the dotted duct, Figure 
6, g. This is formed by a membranous tube in which appear 
to be the remains of a spiral fibre broken into small fragments. 
Some observers, however, consider that this duct is membra- 
nous only, and that what appear to be portions of fibre, are 
only an interior deposite. The dotted duct is the largest vessel 
discovered in the vegetable fabric, many of them being visi- 
ble to the naked eye, and of sufficient diameter to admit a 
hair. If the stem of a grape-vine be cut across, their mouths 
can be distinctly seen, and the sap will flow from them freely. 
Their office is the important one of conducting the sap through 
the stem and branches to the leaves. Another kind of duct, 
which more nearly resembles the spiral vessel, is the annular 
duct, Figure 6, e. This shows clear traces of a spiral fibre 
running within its membrane, sometimes broken so as to 
form a complete ring, so that it would seem as if the mem- 
brane had grown faster than the fibre, which, losing its elasticity, 


Vegetable Physiology. 

had been thus separated into pieces. A third variety displays 
the spiral fibre continuous in some parts, in others branched 
and sometimes has a netted or barred appearance, as in Figure 
G,f. Thisis named a reticulated duct. The structure of the annu- 
lar duct much resembles that of the windpipe of most animal* 
which like it, is composed of membranous walls, preserved in 
their cylindrical form by regular rings of cartilage ; and the half 
spiral, half annular duct is constructed precisely like the wind- 
pipe of an animal of the whale tribe, in which is a spiral carti- 
lage terminating at intervals in rings. There are several other 
varieties of the duct, presenting various proportions of mem- 
brane and fibre, combined in numerous different forms. The 
office of all these is the same, — that of conveying fluid, while 
the true spiral vessel only contains air. The combination of 
woody fibre, spiral vessels and ducts which constitutes vascu- 
lar tissue is shown in Figure 6, a ; and b represents the joining 
together of two ducts. 

Fig. 6. 

b c d e f g 

Besides these elementary organs, properly so called, there 
are various cavities resulting from their connexion or separa- 
tion, which require some notice. It has been already stated 
that the cellules often leave between themselves vacant spaces, 
to which the name of intercellular passages is given. These 
vary in size, being largest in the most succulent plants, and 
always contain a fluid. Besides these, there are cavities in the 
tissue, bounded by its cellules, which have no lining mem- 
brane, do not communicate with the intercellular passages, 
and contain air, for which reason they are called air-cells. 
Sometimes the intercellular passages are unusually dilated by 
the fluids which they contain ; or by the pressure of the fluid, 
cavities are formed in the cellular tissue. Such cavities, filled 
with the peculiar juices of the plant, are by some named p-oper 

Vegetable Physiology, 85 

vessels, receptacles of the juice, reservoirs of the proper or pecu- 
liar fluids, or accidental reservoirs. Although destitute of lining 
membrane, their walls are generally compact, being formed of 
condensed cellules. They vary in size and form, and though of- 
ten quite regular, sometimes have no definite figure or arrange- 
ment. This is the view taken of these proper vessels by some 
botanists, while others consider them to be not simply cavities 
between adjacent cells, but a separate form of tissue, to which 
they give the name of branching vessels. They are found on the 
lower sides of leaves, and in the bark, and the sap or proper 
juice is carried by them from the leaves, where it is produced, 
down the bark, and thence to other parts of the structure. 

Of these modifications of membrane and fibre, are formed all 
the parts of plants. The varied combinations of the vascu- 
lar and cellular tissues give rise to an endless variety of struc- 
ture and external form, and produce an equal diversity in the 
properties of the juices and secretions. Many plants, as we 
have seen, are entirely composed of cellules, but the greater 
number, of both cellules and vessels. The compound organs 
of plants, as the leaves and flowers, which are formed of com- 
binations of these, will be described hereafter. There are, 
however, parts more or less complex which may also be con- 
sidered as elementary. These are the cuticle, epidermis, or gen- 
eral envelope of plants, and the organs immediately connected 
with it. This is a modification of cellular tissue in the form of 
a delicate membrane. In young plants it extends over the 
whole external surface, from the fibrils of the roots to the 
leaves, the petals of the flower, and the fruit. From the leaves 
of some plants, as the Iris, it may be easily stripped, without 
any preparation, and from others, after being soaked in water. 
It is usually transparent and colorless, and is found to consist 
of flattened cells containing air. The form of these is various 
in different plants, some being regularly oblong, and some, as 
it were, dove-tailed into each other. Sometimes these layers 
of cells are single, sometimes arranged in two or three series. 
Over all these is an extremely delicate film, perforated by 
minute oblong pores. The use of the cuticle appears to be to pre- 
vent the moisture of the soft tissues beneath it from evaporating. 
Accordingly, it is absent in all plants which live beneath thesur- 

86 Vegetable Physiology. 

face of the water, and those which grow partly in the water pos- 
sess it only on those parts which are not submerged. When it 
is destroyed on the succulent twigs of perennial plants it i s 
soon renewed, but on the leaf and flower, and on annual plants 
it is not reproduced, and the part from which it is removed soon 
withers. The cuticle possesses certain peculiar apertures 
called stomata, from the Greek, signifying mouths. They are 
usually of an oval form, but sometimes square, or circular, and 
are bounded by two curved or kidney-shaped vesicles, by the 
contraction or expansion of which the orifice is diminished or 
increased. The appearance and structure of some of these 
is shown in Figure 7, a and b. 

Fig. 7. 

Stomata are chiefly found on the soft green tissue of young 
shoots and leaves, and on such succulent stems as those of the 
Cactus or Prickly Pear, and they always open into intercellu- 
lar passages. On the upper surfaces of many leaves whose 
tissue has become hardened, they seldom occur: but in other 
leaves, particularly those which grow upright, as those of the 
Iris and Flag, they are common to both sides. No traces of 
them are seen in the sea weeds, and few in the mushrooms or 
lichens ; but in the Liverwort tribe they occur in a remarkably 
complex form, and in all flowering plants they abound. Their 
size is very minute, being only from the 3000th to the 1500th 
of an inch in length. Their office seems to be connected with 
the evaporation of water from the inner tissue, which is one of the 
processes by which the fluid absorbed by the roots is converted 
into the nutritious sap, or proper juice. Some curious experiments 
have been made to show the effect of light in the production of 
stomata. There is a common kind of Liverwort, called Mar- 
chantia polymorpha, which grows in moist situations, and has a 
very peculiar system of fructification. It produces small leafy 
buds, which spontaneously separate themselves from the parent 
structure, % and become new plants. In these buds no stomata 
or roots exist when first separated, but as soon as they begin 

Vegetable Physiology. 


to grow, stomata are found on the upper side, and roots on 
the lower. If the plant be then turned over, so as to bring the 
stomata on the under surface, and the roots in the air, it will 
twist itself completely back again, so as to bring the surfaces 
into their former position. 

Some observers have had the curiosity and the patience to 
count the number of stomata contained within an inch square 
of the surface of the leaves of various plants. The following 
tabular statement has been collected from such observations. 
The letters u. s. indicate the upper, and l. s. the lower side of 
the leaf. 


Andromeda speciosa, 
Arum dracomtum, 
Alisma plantago, - # 
Amaryllis Josephiana, 
Cobaea scandens, - 
Dianthus caryophyllus, 
Hydrangea quercifolia, 
Ilex, the Holly, - 
Peonia, the Peony, - 
Pyrus, the Pear, 
Syringa, the Lilac, - 
Rheum, Rhubarb, - 
Rumex, the Dock, 

u. s. 




L. S. 





The cuticle possesses several different kinds of appendages, 
which this is the proper place to mention. These are hairs, 
bristles, stings, prickles, scales, glands, &c. Hairs are constructed 
in various ways. Sometimes they are composed of a single 
cell, as in Fig. 8, a ; often of a row of cells, b, in which 
case they appear like a tube divided by transverse partitions. 
They may be branched, as c, or covered with small processes, 
which are themselves branched, d, or they may be divided, as 
in e. Hairs are generally acute, but often their point is blunt 
or enlarged at the extremity, as/, secreting a viscid fluid, when 
they are called glandular hairs. Sometimes they are tubular 
and pointed, and fixed upon a gland containing an acrid fluid, 
which, when the hair is touched, rises up, by the compression 
of the gland, into the wound made by the point. In this case 
it is called a sting, g, and must be familiar to every one who 

88 Vegetable Physiology, 

has had the misfortune to handle a nettle. This kind of hair 
is analagous to the poison fang of a serpent. The prickles of 

Fig. 8. 

a b c d e f g 

the Rose, Raspberry, and other shrubs, are also appendages of 
the cuticle, which, when stripped off, carries them with it. They 
are thus easily distinguished from spines, which are prolonga- 
tions of the woody tissue, and do not come off with the bark. 
They occur on many parts of plants, but are rarely found 
except on the stems. Scales are thin, flat, scurf-like pro- 
cesses, composed of cellular tissue, and one/orm of them is found 
in great abundance on the stalks and leaves of ferns. A gland 
is a small prominence in the tissue just beneath the cuticle, 
which it causes to project. Sometimes it is furnished with a 
little pedicel, by which it is elevated somewhat above the sur- 
face of the cuticle. Glands frequently secrete a peculiar fluid. 
Those which are so abundant in the rind of the Orange and 
Lemon contain the volatile oil which gives it its odor and flavor. 
The turpentine of resinous woods is collected in similar glands. 
We have been compelled to leave unnoticed many of the 
different forms which result from the combination of membrane 
and fibre, and the foregoing remarks afford but a bare sketch 
of what might be very 'widely extended. We hope, never- 
theless, that the reader has not failed to observe the simplicity 
of the plan by which so many different results are effected, so 
many functions necessary to vegetable economy performed. 
Nature is a better artificer than man. While the most elabo- 
rate works of the latter are found, the more closely they are 
scrutinized, the more full of defects, those of the former dis- 
play new beauties at every examination, and the more tho- 
roughly their intricacies are penetrated, the more perfect do 
they appear. 

Prolonged Vitality of Seeds. 89 


The article on Fossil Botany for the present month is una- 
voidably omitted, and in its place we present the reader with 
the following interesting anecdotes, illustrating the great length 
of time during which the vitality of seeds is sometimes re- 

The seeds of most plants are endowed with a remarkable 
power of preserving their vitality for an almost unlimited time, 
when they are placed in circumstances which neither call their 
properties into active exercise, nor occasion the decay of their 
structure. The conditions most favorable for this preservation 
are a low or moderate temperature, dryness of the surround- 
ing medium, and the absence of oxygen. If all these be ar- 
ranged in the most favorable manner, there seems no limit to 
the period for which seeds will retain the power of performing 
their vital operations. Even if moisture or oxygen be not en- 
tirely excluded, the same result may take place, provided the 
temperature be low and uniform. Thus many seeds may be 
kept for several years, freely exposed to the air, if they are 
not permitted to become damp, in which case they will either 
germinate or decay. Some of those which had been kept 
in the seed-vessels of plants belonging to the herbarium of 
Tounefort, a French botanist, were found to retain their fertili- 
ty after the lapse of nearly a century. Frequent instances 
have happened, in which ground, recently turned up, has 
spontaneously produced plants different from any in their 
neighborhood. Undoubtedly this is owing, in some cases, to 
the seeds having been deposited there by the wind, or by other 
means, and growing because they have found a congenial soil • 
but there are authentic facts which can only be explained on 
the principle that the seeds of the newly appearing plants have 
lam for a long period imbedded in the earth, at such a distance 
from the surface as to prevent the access of air and moisture 
and that they have been excited to germination by exposure to 
the atmosphere. To the westward of Stirling in Scotland 

90 Prolonged Vitality of Seeds. 

there is a large peat-bog, a great part of which has been flooded 
away, by raising water from the river Teith and discharging 
it into the Forth, for the purpose of laying bare the undersoil 
of clay for cultivation. The clergyman of the parish was on 
one occasion standing by, while the workmen were forming a 
ditch in this clay, in a part which had been covered with four- 
teen feet of peat earth ; observing some seeds in the clay thrown 
out of this ditch, he took them up and sowed them. They 
germinated, and produced a species of Chrysanthemum. A 
very long period must have elapsed whilst the first covering 
of clay was formed over the seeds, and of the time necessary 
to produce fourteen feet of peat earth above this, it is scarcely 
possible to form an idea. 

The following circumstance, which occurred in Maine about 
thirty years ago, is still more remarkable. Some well-diggers 
while sinking a well, at the distance of about forty miles from 
the sea, when they arrived at the depth of about twenty feet 
struck a layer of sand. This excited their curiosity and inter- 
est, from the circumstance that no similar sand was to be found 
anywhere in the neighborhood, nor in any other place except 
on the sea-beach. As it was drawn up from the well, they 
placed it in a pile by itself, and did not mix with it the stones 
and gravel which were also drawn up. But when the work 
was finished, and the pile of stones and gravel removed, the 
sand was scattered about on the spot where it had been at first 
placed, and was for some time scarcely remembered. In a 
year or two, however, it was perceived that a number of small 
trees had sprung from the ground where the sand had been 
strewn. These trees became in their turn, objects of strong 
interest, and care was taken to preserve them from injury. At 
length they were ascertained to be Beach Plum trees, a spe- 
cies of Prunus, which had never before been seen, except in> 
mediately upon the sea-shore, and they actually bore the 
beach plum. These trees must therefore have grown from 
seeds which had existed in the stratum of sea-sand pierced 
by the well-diggers, and had remained inactive until this was 
dispersed in such a manner as to expose them to the air. « By 
what convulsion of the elements," adds the narrator, "they 

Prolonged Vitality of Seeds, 91 

had been thrown there, or how long they had quietly slept 
beneath the surface of the earth, must be determined by those 
who know very much more than I do." 

Another example of the same general fact, is interesting 
from its connexion with historical events. During the rebel- 
lion in Scotland in the year 1715, a camp was formed in the 
King's Park at Stirling. Wherever the ground was broken, 
broom sprang up, although none had ever been known to grow 
there. The plant was subsequently destroyed ; but in 1745, 
after the ground had been broken up for a like purpose, a 
similar growth appeared. Sometime afterwards the Park 
was ploughed up, and the broom spread all over it. The same 
thing happened in a field in the neighborhood, from the whole 
surface of which about nine inches of soil had been removed. 
The broom seeds could not have been conveyed by the wind, 
since they are heavy, and without wings ; and the form of the 
ground is such that no stream of water could have transported 
them, or covered them afterwards with soil. The effect must 
have been produced by the operationof causes continued through 
a long period of time. 

The most remarkable instance on record, as presenting sat- 
isfactory proof of the lapse of at least 1600 or 1700 years, 
during which the seed was dormant, is perhaps one related by 
Professor Lindley. " I have now before me," he says, "three 
plants of Raspberries, which have been raised in the gardens 
of the Horticultural Society, from seeds taken from the 
stomach of a man whose skeleton was found 30 feet be- 
low the surface of the earth, at the bottom of a barrow,* 
which was opened at Dorchester. He had been buried with 
some coins of the Emperor Hadrian." Grains of wheat en- 
closed in the bandages of mummies are said to have some- 
times germinated, and though there is no improbability in the 

* These barrrows are large mounds of earth, common on the downs along 
the south coast of Eugland. They are evidently artificial, and when dug 
into, are usually found to contain human remains, with pottery, weapons, 
coins, and other articles. They are evidently burial places, and as a number 
of them are generally found together, they seem to have been erected on 
fields of battle, to contain the bodies of the slain. 

92 Conditions of the Growth of Plants. 

fact, yet as the Arabs from whom the mummies are usually 
obtained, are in the habit of previously unrolling them in 
search of coins, it is not always certain that the seeds which 
have sprouted were really at first enclosed with the body. 


Every distinct tribe of plants flourishes naturally under 
peculiar conditions. Some prefer a warm atmosphere, some 
a cool one ; some luxuriate only in moisture, and others in dry 
situations alone ; some require the brightest light, and some only 
grow in darkness. There are some plants which are very 
deficient in the power of adapting themselves to slight changes 
in these conditions, and are accordingly restricted to cer- 
tain localities, which are favorable to their growth, and are 
hence considered rare plants. For example, there are certain 
species which require in the moisture of the air which sur- 
rounds them, a portion of salt, and these abound only near the 
sea-shore. But if works for the manufacture of salt are es- 
tablished, even more than one hundred miles inland, in the 
neighborhood of these they will spring up, their seeds having 
been conveyed by the wind or by birds, which have spread 
tfiem over the whole surface of the ground, but finding only 
in that spot trie conditions required for their development. On 
the other hand, many plants can grow in almost any situation 
and can adapt themselves to a great variety of circumstances 
often exhibiting under the influence of these, evident changes 
of form and quality. For example, the Potato, growing in 
its native tropical climate, does not require for its young shoots 
that store of nourishment which, in temperate regions, is provided 
in its fleshy tubers, and thus its edible portion is there ex- 
tremely small, since the warmth and moisture constantly sup- 
plied to it, develope the growing parts without such assistance. 
But when transplanted to a colder clime, and to a richer soil, 
that nourishing matter is greatly increased, and becomes one 
of the most important articles of food to man. If it were not 

Conditions of the Growth of Plants. 93 

for this capability of adapting itself to new circumstances, it 
could not thrive in Northern America ; since its own powers of 
growth would be insufficient, when its external conditions are 
so much changed. It is this capability which renders it so 
useful. If large potatoes raised in northern countries be planted 
again in tropical climates, they at once dwindle, and their 
produce becomes little superior to that of the original stock ; 
since when circumstances no longer demand it, the acquired 
habit ceases. The Cabbage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower are, in 
like manner, only varieties of a single species, greatly altered by 
cultivation and change of circumstances ; the plant which was 
the original stock of all having been found susceptible of 
enduring such changes, and thus rendered at the same time 
useful and easy of production. The celery which is in such 
common use on our tables, in its original state is a small, rank 
coarse plant, wholly unfit for eating. By causing it to grow in 
a peculiar manner, it becomes sweet, crisp, juicy and agree- 

These instances, to which many others might be added, will 
suffice to show that not only in their original state is exhibited 
the adaptation of each tribe of plants to particular circumstances, 
but that there are many which can thus spread themselves, or 
be spread by man, over a large portion of the globe. In this 
capability, no less than in their native aspect, do we recognise 
the wisdom and power of the Almighty, who willed that no 
portion of the globe should be unclothed by vegetation, and 
that from every place should spring forth herbage for the animal 
creation, which is entirely dependent on it, either directly or 
indirectly, for its sustenance. Such, then, being the universal 
diffusion of plants, it is obvious that in no spot can he who 
seeks to make himself acquainted with their structure and 
habits, be without some subjects for examination; and since 
the humblest and simplest of these beings are found to display 
an organization as remarkably and beautifully adapted to the 
functions they are to perform, and to the conditions in which 
they are to exist, as is that of the highest and most complicated, 
there is no reason why any, however insignificant they appear,' 
should be neglected. 

' 94 Lichens. 


Everyone is familiar with that tribe of flowerless plants, call d 
Lichens, which spread like dry, hard, scaly crusts, over walls oil 
trees, and rocks, but perhaps few think of the important part 
which they perform in the vegetable world. To them ma 
be well applied the title of Vernaculi, or bond-slaves, whi I 
Linnaeus fancifully gave to the sea-weeds ; for they seem as it 
were chained to the spot which they labor to improve for th 
benefit of others. The way in which they prepare the sterile 
rock on which they grow, for the reception of plants of higher 
rank than themselves, is most remarkable. They may b 
said to dig their own graves. While alive, they form a consid- 
erable quantity of oxalic acid, which by its chemical action 
eats a small hollow in the rock, in which the particles of th ' 
lichen remain after its death. The moisture which is caught 
in these cavities, finds its way into the cracks and crevices of 
the rock, and when frozen, rends off minute fragments by its 
expansion, and thus adds more and more to the forming soil. 
Slowly and unwearily do successive generations of these bond- 
slaves perform their duties, until at length there is soil enough 
made for the growth of mosses, ferns, and other cryptogamia, 
and at length, the barren and insulated rock, or the pumice 
and lava of the volcano, are covered with sufficient depth of 
mould for the nourishment of the luxuriant grass and the lofty 
forest tree. Thus by the labors of these poor and insignificant 
plants, are men enabled to reap their harvest, to feed their 
cattle, to supply themselves with timber, on what was once but 
a naked and desolate rock. One of the sternest and most 
faithful delineators of Nature, Crabbe, has described such a 
process, as it occurs on ruined buildings. We may be allowed 
the hypercritical remark, however, that the terms seed, foliage, 
and flower, are not strictly applicable to the Lichens, which 
possess none of these. 


l ! 

-/, // 

>Ju<'7/&^ayi&n<z^a^(S0aj3mor£{renfzcLT( - J 

Longevity of Trees. 95 

" Seeds, to our eyes invisible, will find 

On the rude rock the bed which fits their kind ; 

There in the rugged soil they safely dwell, 

Till showers and snows the subtle atoms swell, 

And spread the enduring foliage ; then we trace 

The freckled flower upon the flinty base ; 

These all increase, till in unnoted years 

The stony tower as gray with age appears, 

With coats of vegetation thinly spread, 

Coat above coat, the living on the dead. 

These then dissolve to dust, and make a way 

For bolder foliage, nursed by their decay. 

The long enduring ferns in time will all 

Die and depose their dust upon the wall ; 

Where the winged seed may rest, till many a flower 

Shows Flora's triumph o'er the ruined tower." 


At Ellerslie,in Scotland, the birthplace of William Wallace, 
exists an oak which is celebrated as having been a remarka- 
ble object in his time, and which can therefore be scarcely less 
than 700 years old. Near Staines, in England, there is a yew 
tree known to be older than Magna Charta, which was granted 
by King John in 1215; and the Yews at Fountain's Abbey, in 
Yorkshire, are probably more than 1200 years old. In the 
Garden of Olives at Jerusalem are eight Olive trees, known to 
have existed at least 800 years. Every American has heard 
of the celebrated Charter Oak, at Hartford, in Connecticut, 
and knows the story which gave it its name. This tree must 
have been of considerable age in 1687, the year when the 
charter was hidden in it ; for the case, containing the parch- 
ment on which the charter is written, is at least three feet in 
length by -six inches in diameter, and the hollow part of the 
oak must have been of still larger dimensions. This remarka- 
ble oak is still flourishing, a hale old tree. 

Incidents in the Life of Thomas Paine. 

96 The Painted Cup. 


Bryant has written some fanciful lines to the Castilleja, which 
might form a proper pendant to the description of that plant 
and its representation in Plate 11. 

Scarlet tufts 
Are glowing in the green, like flakes of fire ; 
The wanderers of the prairie know them well, 
And call that brilliant flower the Painted Cup. 
Now if thou art a poet, tell me not 
That these bright chalices were tinted thus 
To hold the dew for fairies, when they meet 
On moonlight evenings in the hazel bowers, 
And dance till they are thirsty. Call not up 
Amid that fresh and virgin solitude, 
The faded fancies of an elder world, 
But leave these scarlet cups to spotted moths 
Of June, and glistening flies and humming birds, 
To drink from, when on all these boundless lawns 
The morning sun looks hot. Or let the wind 
O'erturn in sport their ruddy brims, and pour 
A sudden shower upon the strawberry plant, 
To swell the reddening fruit that even now 
Breathes a slight fragrance from the sunny slope 

But art thou of a gayer fancy ? Well 

Let then the gentle Manitou of flowers, 
Lingering amid the bloomy waste he loves, 

Though all his swarthy worshippers are gone 

Slender and small, his rounded cheek all brown 
And ruddy with the sunshine ; let him come 
On summer mornings when the blossoms wake, 
And part with little hands the spiky grass ; 
And, touching with his cherry lips, the edge 
Of these bright beakers, drain the gathered dew. 

The Martynla. 97 


Natural Order, Pedalineae. Linnsean Class, Didynamia ; Order, Angiosper- 
mia. Generic Distinctions : — calyx, five parted ; corolla, ringent ; capsule, 
woody, dry, with a hooked beak, containing a four-celled nut. 

jyf. proboscidea. — Stem, branched ; leaves, alternate, lobed, cordate at the 
base ; stamens, four, all fertile. — Plate 15. 

This genus was named in honor of John Martyn, who was 
professor of botany at the University of Cambridge, and author 
of several botanical works. He died in 1768. Martynia is 
nearly allied to Bignonia, the Trumpet-flower genus, in the 
formation of its corolla, the number and position of its sta- 
mens, and in other respects ; but is readily distinguished 
by the absence of wings from its seeds, and by the oil which 
they contain. 

The species in our plate, takes its name, proboscidea, (pro- 
boscis-like,) from the singularity of its capsules or seed vessels, 
which are hard and dry like a nut, and terminate in two beaks 
or horns. It is a native of Louisiana, and probably of some of 
the other southern states, having been discovered on the banks 
of the Mississippi, and introduced into England in 1759. Its 
cultivation is said to be easy ; the seeds are to be sown in 
April or May, in a light, rich soil, and warm situation. The 
seeds, like all others which are oily, are apt to become spoiled, 
and often only a few of those which are sown, will germinate. 
It is a showy and curious plant. The stem and leaves are 
covered with glutinous hairs, the flowers are somewhat bell- 
shaped, dotted, and variegated with several shades of purple, 
on a white ground ; the throat of the corolla is edged with yel- 
low, and the stigma is divided into two lobes, which are irrita- 
ble, and when touched, close together. 

There are three or four other species, all but one of which are 
natives of Mexico and Brazil. Of these, M. lutea much resembles 
the one already described, but its flowers are a bright orange 
color, and its leaves have toothed edges. M. diandra, which 
comes from Vera Cruz, has very peculiar flowers, the limb of 
the corolla being a delicate pink, variegated with deep scarlet, 
Vol. II.— 7. 

// a v •/ 1/ 7ti a. //'/{' /•£,-, >< v are 

l /forrtif t-Ha-rttfrtitt . 

< </ 

98 Homed Poppy. 

and the throat having a yellow stripe on its inside. The calyx 
has a kind of involucre formed of two large membranous 
bracts, of a pale pink color. M. longiflora is a native of the 
Cape of Good Hope, and its flowers are very long and purple, 
The Order Pedalinea, or the Oil-seed Tribe, to which this 
genus belongs, takes its name from the genus Pedalium. All 
the plants of this Order agree in possessing seeds which con- 
tain an abundance of oil. The genus Scsamum produces a seed 
which is much used in the Levant, and also in Africa, as an 
article of food, and an oil is pressed from it which is used on 
salads, and for all the purposes of sweet oil. A species of this 
is the " Open Sesame," which every reader of the story of the 
Forty Thieves in the Arabian Nights, will remember. 


Natuial Order, Papaveracese. Linnaean Class, Polyandria; Order, Mono- 
gynia. Generic Distinctions: — calyx, two-leaved; petals, four; pod, 
linear, two-celled ; stamens, indefinite ; stigma, bilamellate. 

G. luteum. — Stem, smooth ; cauline leaves, repand ; pods, rough, warty.— 
'Plate 1G. Fig.l. 

The genus Glaucium takes its name from the glaucous, or 
bluish bloom which covers all the herbaceous parts of its spe- 
cies. They closely resemble the- true poppies in many points, 
but may always be distinguished by their long, horn-like pods, 
and their stigma, which, instead of radiating into numerous 
divisions over the top of the ovary, forming so elegant a feature 
in the fructification of the common Poppy, is simply divided 
into two plates or lamellae. We shall see how these pods, as 
well as the capsules of the Poppy, are formed, when we 
describe the Order Papaveracea. 

The species in our plate is the one common on the sea side 
in England, and from the blue tint of its stem and leaves. 
" looks," says Dr. Lindley, " as if the salt of the sea spray had 
incrusted itself upon its skin." It becomes, in favorable situa- 
tions, two or three feet in height, and the large, brilliant yellow 

Pf. //>' 


t-qe'moTt&L. ''/fy&w'/vvna, ^■ft^utw Tric/Hy Poppy . 

t/dU£l£47n^ ■- CSV t/fU*?'* . Y/>ll4>u> Wornf-d Poppy ■ I 

Prickly Poppy. 99 

flowers make it very showy and conspicuous. When the 
petals fall off*, the pods grow out like horns, and sometimes be- 
come more than a foot in length, being composed of two valves, 
and having the seeds arranged along the inside, like peas in 
their shells. The leaves are rough and prickly, and the whole 
plant abounds in a yellow juice, which is fetid, poisonous, and 
said to produce madness. 

This plant is often cultivated as a garden flower, and will 
grow in almost any soil, though it prefers sand, on account of 
the great length of its roots, which penetrate this more easily 
than any tougher soil. It will not bear transplanting, and 
therefore the seeds must be sown where the plants are intended 
to remain, and sparingly, since they should be at a considera- 
ble distance from each other to look well when in flower. 

Another species, G. phazniccum, comes from the south of 
Europe. Its petals are bright scarlet, with a black spot at the 
base, and varieties with yellow flowers sometimes occur. 
There is also a North American species. 


Natural Order, Papaveracese. Linnaean Class, Polyandria ; Order, Mono- 
gynia. Generic Distinctions :— petals, four to six ; style, almost wanting; 
stigmas, four or five, radiating, concave ; capsule, obovate, prickly. 

A. Mexkana.— Leaves, repand, sinuated, spiny, blotched with white ; flow- 
ers, solitary : calyx, smooth ; capsules, prickly, three or four valved 

Plate 16. Fig.2. 

The name Argemone is derived from argema, a cataract of 
the eye, which was once thought to be curable by the juice of 
this plant. Like Glaucium, this genus is readily recognised as 
a near relation of the opium-bearing poppies. The species 
differ from both those of Glaucium and Papaver (to which lat- 
ter belong all the true poppies) in the disposition of their stig- 
mas, which form a kind of cross at the top of the ovary, by 
which they may be at once ascertained. There are several 
species, all natives of Mexico, of which the one represented in 

100 The Collinsia. 

the plate, is the most common. It is about two feet in height i 
the leaves are very deeply cut, covered with prickles, and of n 
bluish-green color, which is varied with white blotches along 
the principal veins. The capsule is oblong, and also studded 
with prickles. From this circumstance, and from the shape 
of the capsule, it was called by the Spaniards, at their inva- 
sion of Mexico, Figo del inferno, or Devil's fig. The whole 
plant abounds in a yellow juice, glutinous and milky, which 
when hardened in the air, is not distinguishable from gamboge 
is used for the same purposes, — and is probably of equal effi. 
cacy, in cases of dropsy, jaundice, and cutaneous diseases. 
(The true gamboge probably comes from a species of Garcinia 
which belongs to the order Guttiferae.) It is also used in mala- 
dies of the eye, and is said to form a principal ingredient in 
certain eye ointments. The narcotic quality of the seeds is 
said to be much stronger than that of Opium, and an oil is 
pressed from them, which is used in Mexico by painters, and 
for polishing wood. When cultivated, the seeds are to be 
sown early in the spring, and the plants require little attention. 
They flower from August to October. 

Another species of Argemone, is named ochroleuca. It is a 
large plant, and the flowers are cream colored. The hand- 
somest species is A. grandijlora, whose flowers are a pure 
white, and frequently four inches in diameter. 


Natural Order, Scrophularineae. Linnrean Class, Didynamia; Order, Angiog- 
permia. Generic Distinctions: — corolla, gibbous above the base; limb, 
very irregular ; capsule, two-valved ; valves, two-parted. 

C, heterophilla. — Lower leaves, trilobate; upper ones, ovate, acuminate: 
peduncle, shorter than the flower ; calyx, covered with a glandular pubes- 
cence ; segments of the corolla, rounded at the apex, crenate ; middle 
tube of the lower lip, acute ; border of the upper lip, nearly entire — 
Plate 17. 

This is a genus of very beautiful plants, and was named by 
Nuttall in nonor of Mr. Collins, formerly of the Philadelphia 
Academy of Natural Sciences. The species are all North Ameri- 
can plants, and the first discovered was C. verna, which Nuttall 


/ I itriaMe . leaves/*. J 


The Collinsia. 101 

found on the borders of Lake Erie, in Ohio, in 1810. He lost 
the specimens then gathered, and in the spring of 1816, he 
made a long journey in search of it at the place where he had 
first observed it. Not being able to find it here, and after look- 
ing for it in vain for a distance of a hundred miles, he at length 
found a withered specimen on the banks of the Ohio river, 
from which he saved the seed. Another Collinsia, at first sup- 
posed to be a different species, but now considered the same, 
was discovered, in 1826, near the Columbia river, and since 
that year, three others, which are well defined species, have 
been sent from California, and introduced into England, where 
they are much cultivated and highly valued. They are very 
hardy plants, can endure a low temperature much better than 
heat, and will live in almost any soil or situation, though from 
differences in these, some of the species will become so varia- 
ble in appearance, as to be hardly recognisable. The seeds, 
to grow in perfection, should be sown in the autumn, and the 
plants removed in the spring to a bed of rich and strong soil, 
where the roots can be shaded and kept moist, when they will 
grow two feet high, with an erect stem, and produce a profu- 
sion of splendid, large, clear, and brilliant flowers. If the 
seeds are sown, as is generally the case, in the spring, the 
flowers will be small, and the stems weak. Care must also 
be taken not to expose the roots to the sun, since if this takes 
place, the plants will wither and die. The species here en- 
graved is perhaps the most showy and elegant. Its leaves, of 
which the lower ones are divided into three lobes, are of a fine 
dark green, and the flowers are large, and beautifully colored 
with deep violet, shaded into light purple, and the veins of the 
petals are a delicate red. 

102 Candy Tuft. 


Natural Order, Cruciferse. Linnaean Class, Tetradynamia ; Order, Silica 
losa. Generic Distinctions : — two outer petals, largest; silicle, compresi. 
ed, truncate, emargiuate. 

/. umbdlata. — Herbaceous, smooth ; leaves, lanceolate, acuminate ; lower 
ones serrate, upper entire ; pods, umbellate, acutely three-lobed. — p^ 
18. Fig.l. 

I. coronaria. — Pubescent; leaves, wedge-shaped, obtusely toothed; podg 
corymbose, acutely two-lobcd, margins crenated ; seeds, winged ; stem 
branched.— Plate 18. Fig. 2. 

The ancient name of Spain was Iberia, from which is 
derived the name of this genus, some of the first known spe- 
cies of which, came from that country, and were called Spanish 
Tufts. Another species was brought from Candia, which 
gave the common name of Candy Tufts to the whole genus. 
They all possess the peculiar properties of the Cruciferae, 
which we shall notice at length when that order is described 
in its proper place. The seeds of all the Candy Tufts are 
pungent, and have been used as mustard, and their leaves and 
young shoots may be eaten as pot herbs. I. umbdlata is best 
known as a garden plant. It is about a foot in height, with 
spreading branches and large heads of purple flowers. It has 
long been a favorite in the gardens of Great Britain, as well as 
of this country — and is well known to every cultivator. Mrs. 
Loudon gives th following directions for its culture, which are 
probably as well suited to the meridian of New York as to 
that of London. 

" It does best on a rich soil, if not too moist ; and as it will 
not bear transplanting without serious injury, it should be sown 
where it is to remain. As it looks well in masses, it may be 
sown in square beds, mixed with mignonette, or a row may be 
sown at the back of a border, and smaller flowers planted or 
sown in front of it. It may be sown in autumn, or in March, 
April, or May. When it is wished to have the flowers very 
fine, the seed should be sown rather thinly in August or Sep- 
tember ; and when the plants produce their second pair of 
leaves, they should be thinned out. They should be kept 

Annual Flowers. 103 

ther dry during the winter, and protected from frost. In the 
nrinff, as soon as the plants begin to grow, they should be 
rhinned again, and a third lime when they begin to branch. 
After this, they should be watered with liquid manure, taking 
care not to let the liquid touch the plants, but to let it sink in 
the ground, so as to afford nourishment to the roots. When 
thev are going into flower, the heads should be examined, and 
if they appear too numerous, the weakest should be removed. 
By this treatment, and keeping the ground free from weeds, 
and occasionally loosening it around the plants, flowers of the 
common Purple Candy Tuft have been grown three inches 
across, most beautifully colored, being of a very dark purple 
on the outside, softening to white in the centre. The great 
points are, thinning the plants gradually as they increase in 
size, and supplying their roots with abundance of rich food 
when they are going into flower." The seeds may also be 
sown in the spring, but the flowers of such never attain the 
same size as those sown in autumn. There are several varie- 
ties of this species, some having crimson, and others white 

I. coronaria is the most splendid of the genus. It will 
grow, if properly treated, to a height of more than two feet, 
branching widely, and producing racemes of flowers from 
eight inches to a foot in length. The mode of cultivation is 
the same as that recommended for the other species. It would 
seem that little is known of the history of this plant. No work 
which has mentioned it, so far as we know, has given any 
information as to its native country, though it appears to have 
oeen cultivated for a considerable length of time in France. 
There are several other species, as the sweet scented, the pin- 
nate, and the bitter Iberis, which are often raised by florists. 


After the foregoing descriptions of several commonly cultiva- 
ted annual plants, it may not be improper to introduce some 
remarks respecting the culture of such plants as an appro- 

'/^<f l///r/^>£//u</a, t'iir/>/s fand] 

I. r ' /■* 

^y/,i <\'/<>/W///l [iae?t>/ farut^ 

104 Annual Flowers. 

priate and agreeable occupation for ladies. We quote from 
a work of great authority. 

Of all kinds of flowers, the ornamental garden annuals are 
perhaps the most generally interesting ; and the easiness of 
their culture renders it peculiarly suitable for a feminine pur- 
suit. The pruning and training of trees, and the culture of 
culinary vegetables, require too much strength and manual 
labor ; but a lady, with the assistance of a laborer to level 
and prepare the ground, may turn a barren waste into a flower 
garden with her own hands. Sowing the seeds of annuals, 
watering them, transplanting them when necessary, training 
the plants by tying them to little sticks as props, or by leading 
them over trellis-work, and cutting off the dead flowers, or 
gathering the seeds for the next year's crop, are all suitable for 
feminine occupations, and they have the additional advan- 
tage of inducing gentle exercise in the open air. 

It is astonishing how much beauty may be displayed in a 
little garden only a few yards in extent, by a tasteful arrange- 
ment of annual flowers. All that is required is a knowledge 
of the colors, forms and habits of growth of the different kinds. 
Many of the flowers now grown in our gardens are not worth 
culture ; but they are grown year after year, because their 
cultivators know them, and do not know anything better. 
Many beautiful flowers have been introduced, grown for a 
season or two, and then thrown out of cultivation from the 
want of a demand for them ; and this want has arisen from 
very few flower-growers being aware of their existence. 

The culture of annuals has two great advantages over the 
culture of all other flowers whatever. In the first place it is 
attended with less expense than any other description of flower 
culture ; and in the second, all the enjoyment it is capable of 
affording is obtained within the compass of six or eight months. 
Bulbous or tuberous-rooted plants, like annuals, produce their 
blossoms in the first year; but they are attended with a 
greatly increased expense. Perennial herbaceous flowers 
never come to perfection until the second year, and, like bulbs, 
can be beneficially purchased only by those who expect to re- 
tain the occupation of their garden for several successive 
years. To a resident of New York, who generally 'moves' 

Annual Flowers. 105 

T^vM a y d a y' tms l atter circumstance is a stronger argu- 
ment than to any one else, in favor of annual flowers. On the 
other hand, the seeds of annual flowers cost a mere trifle ; 
the expense of stirring the soil, sowing them, and thinning 
them when they come up, is also very little ; while the effect 
produced is as great, or greater, than that of most bulbs, and 
most perennials. The flower of a choice hyacinth, the bulb 
of which will cost a dollar or two before planting, is not much 
more beautiful than that of a double larkspur, which may be 
reared to perfection in three months, from a seed, a hundred or 
two of which may be had for sixpence. Annual flowers are 
therefore, above all others, suitable for the gardens of residen- 
ces which are hired for not more than a year ; while they are 
equally fit for decorating all other gardens whatever, and 
peculiarly so for those which are defective in soil, situation, or 
exposure to the sun. In one of the numbers of " Paxton's 
Magazine of Botany" the leading botanical periodical of 
England, the editor, who is the chief manager of the gardens 
of the Duke of Devonshire, observes, " Considered as the prin- 
cipal ornaments of the flower garden throughout the most 
delightful period of the year, and during a considerable por- 
tion of it as the most interesting features in the green house, 
annual plants have great claims to our attention, and should be 
very extensively cultivated in every pleasure-garden. But the 
vast number and variety of sorts that are now known in our 
collections, the whole of which it is impossible to introduce 
into even the most extensive gardens, renders necessary a 
judicious selection of the best kinds, in order to compensate for 
any deficiency in number or variety by the superior beauty of 
those which are admitted." It is a common error, then, to 
suppose that all that is necessary to make a showy flower 
garden is to sow the ground with a great many kinds of 
flower seeds. A few of the most brilliant and ornamental 
kinds, so arranged as to harmonize in their colors and habits 
of growth, cultivated with care, and trained and pruned into 
regular and compact shapes, will produce more effect than 
three or four times the number sown injudiciously, and after- 
wards neglected. On looking into most flower gardens, it will be 
found that the annuals are crowded together, each tuft having 

106 The Natural System of Botany. 

been left unthinned ; and that the plants having neither be 
trained nor pruned, present, as they grow up, the most tawdrv 
appearance, without either the grace and elegance of wS 
nature, or the trimness and neatness of art. A flower card 
is essentially artificial ; not only from the avowed art displayed 
in its general shape, and in the artistical forms of its beds, but 
from the collocation of the flowers of so many different coun- 
tries and climates. Everything in the flower garden, in short 
shows that it was planted by the hand of man, and the 
flowers themselves, to be in keeping with the garden, should 
also show the effects of human care in their training. 




First Class, or Grand Division.— Vasculare s, or Flower- 
ing Plants. 

Plants having distinct flowers furnished with stamens and pistils. 

This division includes all plants of the Linneean System, 
except the class Cryplogamia ; and is therefore by far the 
most important part of the vegetable kingdom. 

They are called Phasnogamous plants, because they bear 
visible stamens and pistils ; and Cotyledonous plants, because 
their seeds consist of cotyledons. Both these terms distinguish 
them from the cryptogamia, in which no such parts exist. 

The plants of this division are characterized by internal 
spiral vessels, and woody fibre ; but more obviously, by their 
flowers containing stamens and pistils, and the veiny appear- 
ance of their leaves. 

The Natural System of Botany. 107 

Sub-Class I. — Exogen^j, or Dicotyledonous Plants. 

Leaves reticulated ; stem with wood, pith, bark, and medullary rays ; cotyle- 
dons, two or more, placed opposite to each other. 

This sub-class contains all such plants as have seeds com- 
posed of two or more cotyledons. The species of this latter 
kind are, however, very few in number, nearly all Exogense, 
having seeds with only two cotyledons. 

Tribe I. — Angiosperm-e. — Seeds enclosed in a pericarp. 

This tribe includes all such plants as have two cotyledons, 
and seeds enclosed in apod or shell, or in a coat which proceeds 
from the germen. Examples : Pea, Chestnut, Larkspur. 

This tribe is divided into Polypetalous, Apetalous, Achlamy- 
deous, and Monopetalous plants. 

A. PolypetaljE. — (Many-petaled.) — These have a calyx 
and corolla composed of more than one petal. Ex. : Rose, 

B. Apetal^e. — (Without petals.) — These have a calyx, but 
no corolla. Ex. : Mignonette, Spurge. 

C. AchlamydejE. — These have neither calyx nor corolla. 
Ex.: Birch, Willow. 

D. Monopetal^e. — The corolla of these consists of a single 
petal. Ex. : Trumpet Flower, Morning Glory. 

The three last of these divisions are sub-divided no farther, 
but the first is separated into Thalamiflorje, in which the 
stamens are hypogynous, or adhere to the sides of the ovarium ; 
and Calyciflor^:, in which the stamens are perigynous. 
Each of these latter is again divided into Apocarpee, in which 
the carpels are distinct, and Syncarpce, in which they cohere in 
a solid pericarp. 

Tribe II. — Gtmnospersle. — Seeds destitute of a pericarp. 

The plants of this tribe have neither stigma nor style, the 
influence of the pollen being communicated directly to the 
seed through a foramen or orifice. They must not be con- 
founded with the Gymnospermse of Linnaeus, which all belong 

108 The Natural System of Botany. 

to the natural tribe Angiospermae. The only two divisions of 
Gymnospermae are Conifer a and Cycadeee. 

Conifers. — The Fir Tribe. Ex. : Pine, Juniper. 

Cycadeee. — Ex. : Cycas, the Sago-plant. 

Sub-Class II. — Endogenjs, or Monocotyledonous Plants 

Leaves, with parallel veins ; stem, with no distinction of wood, bark, and 
pith ; flowers, chiefly with a ternary division ; cotyledon, one, and if two 
placed alternate. 

The plants of this sub-class hold an intermediate rank be- 
tween the Exogenae, or Dicotyledonous plants, in which vege- 
tation acquires its highest degree of developement, and Cellu- 
lares, or Cryptogamia, whose vegetation is of the lowest 
degree. In Exogenae there are two cotyledons, in Endogena* 
there is one cotyledon, and in Cellulares none. The scale of 
vegetable developement appears to be graduated in exact con- 
formity to these circumstances, exhibiting a striking proof of 
the harmony that exists between the great features of vegeta- 
tion and the seed from which they originate. The fact, already 
mentioned, that the kind of seed is indicated by the appearance 
of the leaf, is a still more obvious and forcible illustration of 
the same harmony. It may be remarked as another distinc- 
tive character of the Endogenae, that their leaves generally 
have no articulation with the stems. 

Endogenae are divided into two tribes. 

Tribe I. — Petaloidej:. 

The plants of this tribe are characterized by having a calyx 
or corolla, and sometimes both, in three, or six divisions, or if 
these parts are wanting, then the stamens and pistils are naked. 
This tribe comprehends all Endogenae except the Grasses and 
Sedges, and is further divided into three sections. 

1. Tripetaloideje. — The calyx of these is herbaceous 

that is, of a different structure, and usually of a different 
color, from the corolla, and the latter is petaloid. Ex. : Spider- 
wort, Water-plantain. 

2. Hexapetaloideje. — In these, the calyx and corolla are 
the same in color, and nearly equal in size, both being fully 

The Natural System of Botany. 109 

developed and petaloid, or petal-like. Ex. : Amaryllis, Hya- 
cinth, Lily, Orchis. 

3. SpadicejE. — These possess no calyx or corolla, but in 
their place herbaceous scales, equal in size and uniform in 
color. Ex.: Arum, or Indian Turnip, Ictodes, or Skunk's 

Tribe II. — Glumaceje. 

Flowers destitute of a true calyx or corolla, but enveloped in 
scales or chaffy bracts. This tribe comprehends the Grasses, 
properly so called, and the Sedges, with which in many 
respects they are nearly allied. Ex. : Wheat, Oats. 

Class II. — Cellulares, or Flowerless Plants. 
Plants having neither stamens, pistils, flowers, nor spiral vessels. 

This, the second of the grand divisions, as has been before 
mentioned, includes all those plants which are destitute of any 
perceptible organs of fructification, and is separated into the 
three following sections : — 

1. FilicoidejE. — These have a distinct stem or axis, and a 
vascular system. Ex : Ferns, Club-moss, Equisetum, or Horse- 

2. Muscoide^e. — These have a distinct axis, but not a vas- 
cular system. Ex. : Moss, Liverwort. 

3. Aphyllje. — These have neither a distinct axis, nor a vas- 
cular system. Ex.: Mushroom, Sea-weed. 

The above comprise all the primary divisions of plants, 
according to the system of Lindley, a general view of which is 
given on the following page. Of these, the sections into which 
Angiospermoe, and Petaloideae are divided, are called Artifi- 
cial Divisions. 






Flowering Plants. 

f 1. Angiospermae. < 

'Sub -Class 1. — Exogenic, or 


Plants. [ 2. Gymnospenrue 


( Apocarpae. 
( Syncarpae. 
C Apocarpae. 
( Syncarpae. 

Sub-Class II. — EndogexjE, orf 1. Petaloideae. 
Monocotyledo- < 
nous Plants, f 2. Glumaceae. 



Tripe taloide^e. 



— 1. Filicoideae. 

CELLULARES,<( 2. Muscoideae. 

or 3. Aphyllae. 

Flowcrlcss Plants, f 

The Natural System of Botany. 


Sub-Class L—Exogenje.— Tribe /.— Angiosperm*:. 

Order, Ranunculaceje. The Crowfoot Tribe. 

In our descriptions of those of the natural orders which we 
intend to mention, we shall follow the method and arrange- 
ment usually pursued in the best works on the subject, and 
shall particularly refer to that admirable book, " The Ladies' 
Botany," of Professor Lindley. In the selection of plants to 
illustrate the essential characters of each order, we intend 
however, to be governed by the principle that those are to be 
preferred which are most familiar to the American reader, and 
accordingly, when practicable, such will be chosen. 

The species belonging to the Crowfoot tribe, and especially 
to the genus Ranunculus, are so abundant in the United 
States, that the one used as the illustration of the order at pre- 
sent to be considered, can be readily obtained by every one. 
The most common species is perhaps Ranunculus acris, known 
by the familiar name of Butter-cup. Let the reader take an 
individual of this species, while in blossom, and examine with 
us the parts of the flower. The petals are five, of a brilliant 
yellow, and underneath them are the sepals of the calyx, also 
five in number, like small, hairy leaves. Upon separating one 
of the petals, near its base, on the inside, will be seen a little 
scale from which exudes honey. Within the corolla are the 
stamens, which are, with the sepals and petals, separately 
inserted into the receptacle. In the centre of the flower, are a 
number of little green grains, collected together, and seated on 
an elevation of the receptacle. When examined by a magni- 
fying glass, they are found to be rounded at the bottom, and 
contracted into a short, curved horn at the top. Each of these 
grains is a single carpel, the horn-like top is the style, and the 
tip of this, which is somewhat broader, and more shining, is 
the stigma. Each carpel contains a single ovule, or young 
seed. When young, the ovule occupies but a small part of the 
cavity of the carpel, but afterwards fills it entirely. After the 
calyx, corolla, and stamens have fallen off, the cluster of car- 
pels remains, and ripens into the fruit. Their form is not 
changed, but they increase in size, and become dry, hard, and 
brown. In this state they are ordinarily called seeds, but in 


The Natural System of Botany. 

reality, as we have seen, they are only the seed vessels, each 
containing a single seed. If one of these be cut through with 
a sharp knife, the inside will present only a mass of white 
flesh, which is the albumen ; unless the division has been made 
exactly through the centre, from top to bottom, when a very 
minute oval body will be seen near the base. This can be 
taken out by the point of a needle, and when submitted to the 
microscope, proves to be the embryo, or the part which grows 
when the seed germinates, and is composed of the plumule, or 
rudiment of the stem, the radicle, or part which forms a root 
and the cotyledons, which are the beginnings of leaves. 

Some of these parts are represented in Fig. 2 ; 1, a petal 
with the scale on the inside ; 2, a carpel, its ovary being 
marked a; style, b ; and stigma, c; 3, section of a carpel ; d, 
the ovule within it ; 4, section of the ripe carpel filled with the 
seed ; a, .the embryo, b, the albumen ; 5, the carpels and some 
of the stamens adhering to the receptacle. 

Fig. 2. 

On turning attention to the other parts of the plant, the 
leaves are found to be dark green, and very much divided into 
lobes. It will also be observed that their form is more simple 
at the upper part of the stem, than near the root, the lobes in 
the former heing more narrow, and not themselves divided- 
while in the latter they are more expanded, and their edges 
more deeply cleft. Beneath the flower, near the bottom of its 
stalk, are two small leafy bodies, called bracts. These are 


The Natural System of Botany. 113 

mediate between the true leaves and the leafy parts of the 
fl vver being sometimes lobed like the leaves, and sometimes 
• j e like the sepals. The netted, branching arrangement of 
the veins of the leaves, at once indicates that the Ranunculus is 
Exoo-en, and that its embryo, as we have already dis- 
covered, has two cotyledons. 

The characters thus indicated, are those by which the Order 
Ranunculaceae is distinguished from all others. The greater part 
of these characters are, to be sure, presented by many different 
plants, and on the other hand are not all presented by every mem- 
ber of this order. Some Ranunculaceae have three or six sepals in 
their calyx, instead of five, and the petals of others are sometimes 
more than five, and sometimes wanting altogether. The number 
of stamens is indefinite ; that of the styles is also variable, since 
the styles of all the carpels may unite into a single one, or may 
remain, as in the Ranunculus, entirely distinct. What then 
are the essential characters which distinguish all the plants of 
this order from all others ? These essential characters are 
simply* 1st, a great many stamens which arise from beneath 
the carpels, such stamens being hypogynous, as in Fig. 1. a ; 
and 2d, several carpels which are not joined together, but 
are separate and distinct. It is thus obvious, that in order to 
ascertain whether a plant belongs to the Crowfoot tribe, it is 
not necessary to pay attention to all its different parts, but a 
decision is at once made by ascertaining the presence or 
absence of these two very easily determined characters. The 
structure of the other parts of the flower may not be conforma- 
ble to that of the Ranunculus ; and it is by minor variations 
that the genera of the order are limited. A mistake may 
sometimes be made, on account of the general resemblance of 
some of the flowers of this order, to those of Rosaceae, the Rose 
Tribe. It will be readily observed, however, that the stamens 
of the latter do not arise at once from the receptacle, but 
adhere to the calyx, or are perigynous. 

All the plants which agree in the characters essential to 
Ranunculaceae, also agree in their properties ; their juice being 
watery, acrid, and nauseous; that of several species raising a 
blister on the skin, and being poisonous if taken into the stom- 
ach. Some of them have a narcotic principle, on account of 

114 The Natural System of Botany. 

which they are occasionally used as medicine. They^T" 
agree in being either herbaceous, or shrubby plants— n ? 
becoming trees. et 

Of this order there are about twenty genera, and one h 
dred and seven species, belonging to North America. Of 1, 
genus Ranunculus alone there are reckoned thirty-eight spec' * 
Several of these are well known, and are common in eve^ 
meadow and by the side of every brook. B.. multifi&us, aflo^ 
ing species, is curious from the delicate capillary form '" 
which its leaves are divided. Several foreign species a 
much cultivated in gardens, on account of their tendency t 
become double. Among these, the varieties of R. asiaticus^ 
endless. A single cultivator in England, once exhibited eight 
hundred different ones. 

To this order belong the Anemonies, some species of which 
are among the earliest spring flowers of this country. Othe 
species are well known florist's flowers, and are cultivated 
everywhere. In these the petals and sepals are colored alike 
so that the corolla cannot be distinguished from the calyx! 
When the flower has dropped off, there are seen in its place 
little tufts of feathery tails, or oval woolly heads, instead of the 
clusters of grains found in the Ranunculus. These tails are 
the styles, which, having grown large and hairy, serve the 
purpose of wings, by which the seeds are disseminated. Here 
also belong the Hepaticas; one of which, the only native spe- 
cies, H. triloba, is known to the youngest student of botany, 
when he sees its delicate blue corolla peeping up from its 
woolly leaves, on the side of a sunny bank, almost before the 
snow is melted away. They differ from the Anemonies by 
having either six or nine sepals and petals. 

Clematis, a genus of climbing plants, is found here, one of 
which, C. Virginica, is familiar to country people under the 
name of Virgin's Bower, and in July fills every thicket with 
the fragrance of its white blossoms. These are almost the only 
plants of the order which have woody stems. 

A subdivision of this order contains the Aconitum, or Helle- 
bore, the Trollius or Globe Flower, the Coptis, or Golden- 
thread, and also the Larkspur and Columbine. It would seem 
as if the flowers of these two latter, bore litde resemblance to 

The Natural System of Botany. 


that of the Ranunculus ; but by examining the stamens and 
the carpels, they will present the same essential characters. 

The Paonies, so generally cultivated in gardens for their 
showy flowers, also belong to this Order. They differ from 
the Ranunculus in having a persistent calyx, and a smaller 
number of carpels, but the essential characters are the same. 
Nearly all the Ranunculaceae belong to the Linnaean Class 

It would far exceed our limits to give anything like a com- 
plete description of the plants of this order, but for the conve- 
nience of the student, we add here a list of the North Ameri- 
can genera, with the number of their species. This list may 
be considered as nearly accurate, having been prepared by 
Dr. Torrey. 




Hepatica - 





Caltha - 

Trollius - 

Coptis - 



Eneniion - 

- 5 




- 1 




- 1 



Macrotys - 

- 38 




- 1 







116 Vegetable Physiology. 



In the preceding articles we have described what are call <\ 
the Elementary Organs of plants, or those whose nature i 
disclosed by the aid of tbe microscope, and we now come 
those various combinations of these, which are called Com 
pound Organs, or simply, Organs, and which have been al- 
ready mentioned as being divisible into Organs of Nutrition 
and Organs of Reproduction. These do not all exist in every 
plant, nor do they in any case show themselves all at once 
but are developed successively, and sometimes are transformed 
into each other. To obtain a general idea of them, it will be 
proper to follow the progress of growth in some common plant 
from the period when the seed begins to germinate, to that at 
which it produces its own seed. 

In every seed is contained within the envelopes, a small or- 
ganized body, called the Embryo. When germination lias com- 
menced, this body swells, bursts its covering, and shoots out 
into two parts, one of which penetrates into the ground, and 
the other rises into the air. The descending part is called the 
radicle, and ultimately becomes the root. The ascendin« part 
is the plumule, or caulicle, and is the rudiment of the stem 
leaves and flowers. From the point of junction of the plum- 
ule and radicle, proceed laterally one or more appendages, 
which are the cotyledons, and are the first leaves of the plant. 

When the root has attained its full growth, it usually be- 
comes a fleshy body, variously branched, and furnished with 
fibrils, or rootlets, having spongioles at their extremities, by 
which nourishment is drawn from the soil. The plumule shoots 
up into a stem, which subdivides into branches and twigs. 
The Leaves are flattened, expanded organs, generally of a 
green color, which absorb nutritious fluids from the atmosphere, 
and exhale others. 

After them appear the Flowers, which decay and fall off, 
except the part containing the seeds, which continues to grow! 
and forms the Fruit. Thus the essential organs of plants may 

Vegetable Physiology. 


. duced to five, of which the Root, the Stem, and the 
, v s being subservient to the growth and preservation of 
^ Tant, are named Organs of Nutrition ; while the Flowers 
A Fruit, whose office it is to continue the species, are the 
Organs of Reproduction. 
S e fore examining these in succession, it is necessary to enter 
a short explanation of some circumstances, to which allu- 
has already been made, both in our articles on the present 
biect and in those on Natural Botany. We have seen that 
11 vegetables are first divided into Flowering plants, or Vas- 
• lare°s and Flowerless plants, or Cellulares, and that Vascu- 
lares are further divided into the great classes, Exogenae and 
EnaVena?. We propose, before going farther, to give such 
explanations, and such engravings in illustration of the differ- 
ences of structure on which these divisions are founded, as to 
fix them more firmly in the mind of the student. 

The cellular structure is the most obvious physiological cha- 
racter of the Acotyledonous, or flowerless plants, of which it 
forms the entire substauce. By this they are distinguished 
from the Cotyledonous, or Vascular plants, which possess not 
only cellular tissue, but spiral vessels and woody fibre. This 
distinction may pass without farther remark at present. Ex- 
owena? and Endogenae, or Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons, 
are distinguished from each other by obvious physical proper- 
ties, both in the structure of their internal organs, and of their 
leaves and seed. The peculiar characters of Endogenae are 
shown in 

Figure 9. 


a represents the transverse section of a stem of sugar cane, 
showing no medullary rays, nor concentric layers, but appearing 
to be composed of little else except cells and membranes in a 


Vegetable Physiology. 

confused mass, with strings or fibres interspersed. A longit u . 
dinal section of the same stem is represented in b, in which the 
membranes between the cells are more distinctly shown. ^ 
fig. 10, a, is represented the germination of a monocotyledonous 
seed, and b shows the leaf of a plant of this class, with its 
characteristic parallel veins. 

Fig. 11. 


Figure 10. 

Figure 11, represents a transverse section 
of the stem of an Exogen or Dicotyledonous 
plant. In this, the distinctions of wood, pith 
and bark, the concentric rings, and the me- 
dullary rays are apparent. The seed of an 
Exogen is represented in a state of germina- 
tion, in fig. 12, «, and an exogenous leaf, with 
its reticulated structure, in b. 

Figure 12. 

Such are the very plain distinctions between the two great 
Masses of Flowering plants, and it will at once be evident that 

Vegetable Physiology. 119 

a leaf, or even a fragment of a leaf, or a piece of a stem, is 
sufficient to indicate with certainty whether the plant to which 
it belonged had one cotyledon or two, whether it had pith, wood 
and bark, or none of these, and whether it increased by inter- 
nal or external additions. 

We are now ready to proceed to the examination of the five 
essential organs of plants, the parts of which they are com- 
posed, and their uses in vegetable economy. The structure 
and functions of the Root are of primary importance. The 
Root may be defined as that part which terminates the plant 
below, and penetrates into the soil. It generally consists of 
two parts, the caudex, or body, and the radicles, or fibres. 
These latter are terminated by soft, succulent extremities, 
called spongioles, which, as we shall see, perform an important 
office. Upon the roots the plant is dependant for the supply 
of moisture required for its growth. That they actually absorb 
a great amount of fluid matter, may readily be proved by 
placing those of almost any plant in a tumbler of water. It has 
been found that four plants of spearmint, weighing altogether 
four hundred and three grains, have taken up in fifty-six days 
fifty-four thousand grains, or almost seven pints, of water. The 
greater part of this is exhaled from the leaves, by a process 
hereafter to be mentioned, and only a small proportion is 
retained as food for the plant. This great supply of fluid 
appears to be necessary in order to aflbrd the plant a suffi- 
ciency of the solid matter which it also requires, and which is 
contained in the liquid in very minute proportions. In some 
plants, as the sea-weeds, this power of absorption is not con- 
fined to the root, but belongs to the whole surface. Upon 
examining the root of a Rose, it will be found to branch and 
spread beneath the ground, in much the same way as the 
branches above. From the sides and extremities of the prin- 
cipal divisions proceed delicate fibres, each terminated with its 
spongiole. That the fibres are the parts by which alone 
absorption takes place, can be readily proved. If a radish be 
taken from the ground, while growing, and the root be so bent 
that it can be covered with water, and the leaves, and the 
fibres at the point of the root, be kept dry, the plant will soon 
wither. But if only the points of the fibres be allowed to 

120 Vegetable Physiology. 

touch the water, they will absorb moisture sufficient to make 
the plant flourish. The knowledge that the fibres arc the true 
and only organs of absorption, has a very important practical 
application. It often happens in transplanting trees, or other 
plants whose roots are much branched and extend deeply into 
the ground, that sufficient care is not taken to preserve the 
delicate fibres and spongioles uninjured, and the consequence 
is that the plant languishes or dies. This may be obviated bv 
carefully digging around the roots so as to include the whole 
and then removing the earth from among them in so gentle a 
manner as not to break ofFor bruise their fibres. The growth 
of roots always takes place in that direction where they can 
find moisture, and on this account, some writers have attributed 
to them a species of instinct. The fact can, however, be 
explained on the principle that the soft points of the fibres will 
naturally extend themselves most where there is least resist- 
ance ; and moist earth is always softer than dry. The same 
principle will account for the occurrence, which sometimes 
takes place, when the roots of a tree insinuate themselves 
between the stones of a wall, or ruined building. In this case 
meeting with an obstacle to their growth, in the stones, they 
turn into the crevices, and the fibrils grow by their own 
absorption and the nourishment sent to them, until they become 
so distended as to force the stones apart, and even throw down 
the wall. Roots are ordinarily distinguished from stems, not 
only by their direction, and by the presence of the absorbing 
fibres, but also by the absence of buds. This last circumstance 
is more characteristic of the root than any other, since the part 
of the axis above ground is not always a stem, nor that under 
the ground always a root. The two parts may sometimes 
indeed be transformed into each other. The branch of almost 
any tree, upon being stuck into the ground, will produce root- 
fibres, and form a new plant, while there are some instances 
in which a tree or shrub may be inverted, and made to grow 
with the roots in the air. A very beautiful example of the 
structure of the fibre and spongiole, may be observed in the 
little Duckweed, (Lemna minor,) which is found floating like a 
green scale, in every piece of stagnant water. From the cen- 
tre of each leaf hangs down a single fibre into the water, with 

Vegetable Physiology. 121 

little cup at its extremity : under a microscope, the structure 

f these is very beautifully developed. 
The force with which the roots absorb fluid, and the quan- 
tity of sap thereby formed, are remarkable. Experiments have 
been made, by which this force may be measured, and it is 
found to be very great. If the stem of a vine be cut off, in the 
soring when the sap is ascending, and a piece of bladder be 
tied firmly over the section of the part which remains, it will 
soon burst from the force with which it is distended. The 
attention of several distinguished observers has been directed 
to the explanation of the means by which the absorbing action 
of the roots and the force which accompanies it, are produced, 
and such investigations have resulted in the adoption of the 
theory of Endosmose and Exosmose. M. Dutrochet was the 
first to promulgate this theory, and his experiments seem to 
have established its truth. It has been before stated, that 
although vegetable membrane has no visible pores, yet liquid 
will pass through it. The same is found to be the case with 
animal membrane. If, then, a thick syrup, or a mucilage, be 
enclosed in a funnel-shaped glass vessel, over the mouth of 
which a piece of bladder is tied, and then immersed in water, 
a portion of the sugar or gum will pass through the bladder 
into the water, and a portion of the water will pass upwards 
into the vessel. It is the same with milk or any other liquid. 
If, on the other hand, the vessel were filled with water, and 
immersed in syrup, the result would be reversed. The gene- 
ral law, deduced from such experiments, according to M. Du- 
trochet, is, that when two fluids of unequal density are sepa- 
rated by a membrane, the denser fluid will attract the less 
dense. The principal current, or that from without inwards, 
he calls Endosmose, (flowing in,) and the one from within out- 
wards, Exosmose (flowing out). Now all the conditions of this 
action are found in roots. The fluid already absorbed by 
them is rendered denser than the water around, by the mixture 
of the descending sap ; and the partitioning membrane is sup- 
plied by the spongiole. Thus, as long as the fluid within is 
more dense than that without, absorption will continue. The 
Exosmose is shown to take place, by growing a plant with its 
roots in water, when the fluid is soon found to be impregnated 

122 Fossil Botany, 

with the peculiar substance formed by the plant, and contained 
in the descending sap. Thus a Poppy would saturate th 
water with a flavor of opium, and a Spurge would give it a 
acrid taste. The theory of Endosmose has given rise to con 
siderable discussion among botanists, and some have used 
strong arguments in opposition to its truth. Our limits forbid 
more than a bare statement of the principle on which it de- 

Roots appear to have a certain power of selecting the proper 
matter for their nourishment, and will absorb some substances 
in the fluid around, and reject others. If a stalk of Wheat, 
and a Pea, grow in the same soil, the former will absorb all 
the silex, or flinty matter which the water can dissolve, and 
this is deposited in the stem. On melting a wheat straw with 
the blowpipe, there will remain silex enough to form a glass 
bead, and in some other grasses, as the Bamboo, it is often 
collected in the joints, in large masses, and in the Rattan, it is 
so abundant as to turn the edge of the best tempered knife. 
The Pea, on the other hand, will reject this, and confine its 
selection to calcareous substances, or those formed of lime. As 
to the nature of the fluid absorbed by roots, their food, and the 
manner in which they are nourished, we shall speak hereafter. 



Fossil remains of plants are found in various conditions; 
sometimes little changed in their appearance. Sometimes 
their substance is completely saturated with mineral matter, 
and yet both the external and internal structure completely 
preserved. There are fossil trees which so nearly resemble 
decayed wood, that the utmost scrutiny cannot detect the dif- 
ference, until the weight and hardness are ascertained. In 
some cases, the most delicate tissue of the original is to be seen, 
and is most distinctly and beautifully displayed. The husks. 
and shells of some fruits, the cones of the pine and fir, the 

Fossil Botany. 123 

parts of fructification of the ferns, the resinous secretions of 
pine, and even the pollen of some coniferous plants, have been 
found in good preservation. But vegetables occur not in such 
conditions only, but in beds of great extent, consisting wholly 
of plants transformed by the process which vegetable matter 
undergoes, when under great pressure, and excluded from the 
air, into masses of lignite and coal. " There are stages in this 
process, when the form and structure of the plants can be dis- 
tinguished, and a gradual transition may be traced from the 
peat and submerged forests of modern periods, in which 
leaves, fruits, and trunks of recent species are found, to those 
accumulations of the ancient Flora, whose vegetable origin the 
eye of science can alone detect." 

As fragments of the stem, or branch, or a single leaf, may 
be the only vestiges of a fossil plant, some knowledge of the 
internal structure which characterizes the principal divisions 
of the vegetable kingdom, is obviously necessary. Here we 
see one of the advantages of the Natural method. Were there 
no other way of arranging plants, except that depending on the 
construction of their flowers, the classification of fossil plants 
would be impossible. By referring to our articles on the 
Natural System, and on Vegetable Physiology, and to the 
engravings in the article on the latter subject in the present 
number, the following remarks on the mode of investigation of 
fossil plants will be readily understood. 

Messrs. Lindley and Hutton, the distinguished authors of 
the British Fossil Flora, remark, that a few isolated, and often 
very imperfect data, exclusively afforded by the remains of the 
organs of vegetation, are the sole guide to the class, order, or 
genus of the fossil plants which are to be examined, and 
hence only a general idea can be obtained of the nature of the 
original. Their suggestions for the guidance of the student, in 
his investigations, form the basis of the following directions for 
the investigation of vegetable remains. If the wood in a trans- 
verse section of the stem be disposed in concentric circles, (see 
Veg. Phys., Fig. 11,) it belonged to an Exogen. If, on the 
contrary, the wood appears irregularly deposited in spots, 
(Fig. 9, a.) then the plant was an Endogen. If a transverse 
section show remains of sinuous, unconnected, layers, like arcs 

124 Fossil Botany. 

with their ends directed outward, imbedded in a looser tissue 
then it belonged to an aborescent fern. Hereafter will be 
described the method of preparing slices of fossil wood for 
investigation by the microscope. If by means of such investi- 
gation, it is ascertained that the structure is entirely cellular it 
belonged to the cryptogamia ; if it consist of parallel tubes, and 
has neither pith nor rays passing from the centre to the circum- 
ference, it was endogenous ; if any trace be present of tissue 
crossing the longitudinal tubes at right angles, this will prove 
the existence of medullary rays, and it must have been exoge- 
nous ; and if the walls of the tubes are studded with glands 
(Fig. 5, c.) it belonged to the coniferae. If any vestige of a 
central pith be discovered, the exogenous nature of the original 
is undoubted. If the fossil has a distinct bark, it is exogenous 
if it has merely a rind not separable from the inside, it is 
monocotyledonous, if neither bark nor rind, cryptogamous. 
The scars or cicatrices left on the stems by the separation of 
the leaf-stalks, afford important evidence, as they are often 
present, even when the trunk is flattened into a thin layer. By 
these scars the position of the leaves may be ascertained, and 
the form of the bases ; their probable direction, whether they 
were opposite, alternate, verticillate, or spirally arranged, 
deciduous or persistent, imbricated or remote. 

The texture and surface of the leaves are sometimes pre- 
served in a fossil state, but generally only the outline of the 
leaf, its division and arrangement, and mode of venation, can 
be ascertained. The venation or form and distribution of the 
fibrous parts or veins of the leaf, is a most important character 
for our guidance, and the following suggestions on this point 
are offered by Dr. Lindley. If the veins be all parallel, not 
branched, or only connected by little transverse bars, and the 
leaves undivided, (see Fig. 10, b,) as in the lily and hyacinth, 
the plant was probably endogenous ; but if the leaf be divided 
or pinnated, it may be referrible to the cycadea?. Leaves hav- 
ing veins of equal, or nearly equal thickness, and forked, or 
very fine, and simply divided, belong to the fern tribe, the fos- 
sil genera of which have been constructed principally from the 
venation. If the veins be of unequal thickness, and reticulated, 
(see Fig. 12, &,) or arranged in a net-like form, the original was 

Sea Weeds. 125 

- genous. Large leaves, having no veins, and irregularly 
/Tvided are to be referred to the fuci, or other marine plants. 
The application of these rules for the investigation of fossil 

lants is quite easy, and by this means may be obtained some 
general indications of the nature of the original plant. 


The last and lowest of all plants are the Sea-weeds and their 
allies. These productions, which inhabit water exclusively, 
and appear at one end of the scale of their developement in 
the form of enormous Fuci, many fathoms in length, but at the 
other as merely simple bladders sticking together in rows, form 
the link between the Animal and Vegetable worlds. Like 
Lichens and Fungi, they have reproductive organs of the most 
simple construction ; in those species which have the most 
complex organization, the spores are stored up in peculiar re- 
ceptacles, as in the larger and more perfect sea-weeds ; but in 
others they are distributed vaguely through the whole sub- 
stance of the plant, and start into life when liberated from their 
nests by the destruction of the individual that generated them. 
In the Lavers, whether of fresh or salt water, they lie clustered 
in threes or fours, in the substance of a green membrane ; in 
the true Confervae they are nothing but granular matter, locked 
up in little transparent tubes. It is of a vegetation of this lat- 
ter kind that consist the green slimy patches which are seen 
floating in water, or adhering to stones and rocks from which 
water has receded. 

What is most remarkable in these singular productions is 
their approach to the nature of animals ; an approach which 
is not only indicated by the apparently spontaneous motions of 
some, but in a much more unequivocal manner by other kinds. 
No one has investigated this subject with more unwearied as- 
siduity than Mons. Gaillon, from whose "Observations surles 

126 Sea Weeds. 

limites qui separent le regne Vegetable du regne Animal " a* 
translated the following amusing and surprising details. 

On the rocks that are found at low water mark on the coast 
of Normandy and Picardy, there grows a production called b 
botanists Conferva comoides ; it consists of fine brownish-yellow 
threads, collected in the form of a hair-pencil, half an inch o 
an inch in length, and at low water spreads over the surface 
of the little round calcareous stones, to which it gives something 
of the appearance of the head of a new-born child. These 
threads are loosely branched, and are finer than the most deli. 
cate hair ; the plant owes its apparent solidity to the clustering 
and entanglement of many such threads. Viewed under a 
microscope that magnifies 300 diameters, the threads seem to 
be rounded, slightly compressed, and about as large as a fine 
pack-thread. They are of a mucous nature, and contain im- 
mersed within their substance a number of small yellowish 
bodies, which look at first like dots, afterwards become oval 
and end in something of the shape of a radish, leaving the ends 
transparent, and the centre marked by a patch of yellowish mat- 
ter. If they are at that time separated from the mucous matter 
in which they are packed like herrings in a barrel, you may 
see them moving, expanding, contracting, advancing gravely 
and slowly, retreating in like manner, altering their direction, 
and finally possessing a spontaneous, incessant, measured, vol- 
untary motion. These little creatures, which at most are not 
more than the thousandth of an inch long, when once they are 
separated from the thread that contains them, fall down in 
countless multitudes, in the form of a chocolate brown deposit 
on the neighboring rocks. Once there, they distend and emit 
a globule of colored particles, which are evidendy their fry. 
Each particle gains motion and volume, and the little globular 
mass, lengthening and branching, reproduces, by the develope- 
ment of the germs, that are collected together, the long green 
pencilled appearance, which has led botanists to consider this 
as a plant. 

In another production, green ditch-Laver, (Ulva Bullata, or 
minima, or Tetraspora lubrica,) still more astonishing circum- 
stances have been observed by M. Gaillon and others. This 
plant appears to the naked eye, a thin green membrane, within 

An Unlucky Botanist. 127 

„hich the microscope reveals a number of green granules, ar- 
ranged in forms. Let this membrane be kept in quiet water, 
and at a high atmospheric temperature, and the granules may 
be seen, under a powerful microscope, to present at their sur- 
face certain convexities and depressions, which are the effect 
of the repeated contraction and distension of these granules* 
If they are carefully watched for several days, the granules 
will be seen to be reciprocally displaced ; after a certain time 
they separate from the membrane, and may then be perceived 
to have a rapid and regular movement, as if in chase of each 
other; cool with a drop of water, that in which the granules 
are floating, and their motions will become slower, they will at- 
tach themselves by some part of their circumference, and will 
acquire a swinging motion from right to left, and from left to 
right. In this sort of imperfect reeling and twirling, one sees 
the granules approach in pairs, just touch each other, retreat, 
approach again, and glide away to the right or left, staggering 
as it were, and trying to preserve their balance ; at last, in- 
stead of pairs, fours combine to execute the movements of the 
dance. Imagine the field of the microscope covered, shortly 
after, with a hundred of these animated globules, whose diam- 
eter is not, in reality, more than the 4000th of an inch, chasing 
each other, retreating and intermingling, as if executing the 
mazes of a fantastic reel, and you have one of the most curious 
spectacles that the microscope can exhibit. 

Such are, in part, the wonders revealed by the microscope 
in these ambiguous productions ; many others of equal interest 
might be named, but what has been said will suffice to show 
how marvellous a store of curious facts remains to be collected 
by those whose time and disposition are favorable to such 
inquiries. — Ladies 1 Botany. 


Charles de l'Ecluse, better known under the name of Clusius, 
was one of the most excellent and learned botanists who ever 
lived, and the author of many works whose value will ever be 
appreciated. His mental ability was not more remarkable 

128 An Unlucky Botanist. 

than his personal misfortunes. He was born at Artois in F] 
ders, in the year 1526. While yet a very young man he gcT 
menced a course of travel through Portugal, Spain, Hungary* 
England and other countries, in pursuit of plants, in those da 
no small undertaking. Through the excessive fatigue which 
he underwent in these journeys, he contracted, so early as i 
his twenty-fourth year, a dropsical complaint, of which he wa! 
afterwards cured. At the age of thirty-nine, on one of his bo- 
tanical excursions, he had the mishap to break his right arm 
and within a short time afterwards this calamity was followed 
by a second, which was no less than breaking his right thigh 
When about fifty years old, he became director of the imperial 
Gardens at Vienna, and while there, in his fifty-fifth year, he 
dislocated his left ankle, and about eight years afterwards', his 
right hip. On account of the unskilful treatment of these in- 
juries, he was ever afterwards obliged to use crutches. The 
consequent deprivation of his usual and natural exercise, 
brought on other diseases, among not the least distressing of 
which, were calculus and hernia. After remaining at Vienna 
for fourteen years, he finally returned to his native country, and 
was appointed professor of Botany at Leyden, where he gave 
botanical lectures for sixteen years, when he died in 1609, at 
the age of 73, overwhelmed by the multitude of his bodily in- 
firmities, but retaining his powers of mind unimpaired to the 
last. In his honor was named the genus Clusia, the species of 
which are curious and beautiful trees, belonging to the southern 
parts of the American continent. 

The Cineraria, 129 


Natural Order, Composite. Linnsean Class and Order, Syngenesis, Super- 
flua. Generic Distinctions : — Receptacle, naked ; pappus, simple. In- 
volucre, simple, many leaved, equal. 

C lanata. Peduncles, one-headed ; leaves, cordate, roundish, with seven 
angles, woolly beneath.-— Plate 19. 

This genus of well known ornamental flowers, is said to 
take its name from the Latin, cineres, ashes, in reference to the 
soft white down which clothes the lower, and often the upper 
surface of the leaves. The species are distributed over many 
parts of the world, but principally come from southern coun- 
tries. Many of them are in great favor among those who ad- 
mire and cultivate flowers, as well on account of their beauty, 
as the ease with which they are cultivated, and their capability 
of enduring the confined air of sitting rooms. By crossing 
one species with another, florists have succeeded in producing 
many splendid and graceful varieties. They bloom at all sea- 
sons, from January to December, according to the circumstan- 
ces in which they are placed. All the species are herbace- 
ous, or half shrubby plants, with perennial roots ; the leaves 
are alternate, the flowers grow in a corymb, or panicle, and 
are often yellow, sometimes purple, white or blue, in the culti- 
vated kinds. Although they are familiar to every one who 
has paid the least attention to floriculture, the following direc- 
tions for the cultivation of the Cineraria may-fiot be superflu- 
ous. The modes of cultivation are either by the seed, in which 
way many beautiful varieties are obtained, by cuttings, or by 
division of the roots. If the seeds are sown in the spring, the 
proper way is to fill shallow pans with a light sandy soil, and 
scatter the seed regularly over the surface, then cover them 
with a similar soil, supply them with a gentle heat and frequent 
waterings, until the young plants appear. As scon as they 
have put forth two or three pair of leaves, they should be 
transplanted singly into pots filled with peat-earth mixed with 
a small portion of garden mould, or almost any light soil will 

answer. If they can be kept in a green house the seed may 


<&6net<vt*-4t /an*i'A!Z.Y7 / ft)0ly Cineraria/ 

130 The Cineraria. 

be sown as late as September, and when in pots the plant 
may be kept in-doors during the winter. 

If it is desired to increase the number of the plants rapidk 
cuttings may be used. Each of these should be pl ace( i 
close to the side of a pot, so as to touch it throughout its length* 
the pot should then be filled up with bits of broken pots, ci* 
ders and stones, to within two inches of the top, and over this 
should be placed a layer of moss, and the pot then filled with 
white sand, or light peat earth. The pot should then be placed 
in a shady and moist border, with a bell glass over it, and the 
cuttings must be watered each day. The root of the Cinera- 
ria, being perennial, all the stems die each year, when they 
have performed their functions, and are succeeded in the fol. 
lowing season by new shoots from the main root. 

This property of putting forth new shoots, or suckers, 
from the old root, is a very common property among herba' 
ceous and shrubby plants, and advantage has been taken of 
it to increase the number of plants by dividing each root 
into as many pieces as there are incipient stems, provided 
each portion of the root so separated have also a sufficient 
number of fibres as purveyors of nutriment from the soil to in- 
sure vigorous vitality in the scion. For making this division, 
of the roots of the Cineraria, August is considered the proper 
month. The professional florist commonly anticipates nature 
by removing the flower stems and old leaves as soon as the 
bloom has gone ; by which means he causes the root to expend 
all its vigor in the production of new stems, and increases the 
strength of those which have not yet flowered; and for the 
purpose of promoting this tendency to the utmost, he places 
his plants, when so cut down, in a cold pit, where he allows 
them to remain for some weeks, keeping them for a while 
somewhat close, and when they begin to grow, a little air is 
admitted during the day, and excluded at night. If this 
has been done in proper time, when August arrives the roots 
will be in proper condition for being divided. The pieces 
of root are then to be planted in pots in a light soil, composed 
of peat, a little loam, and some exhausted dung, from a melon 
or cucumber bed. When this is done, the pots should be 
placed in a close frame until they have recommenced growing, 

J>&. 2<>. 

^ma/tof. /(Treat AfajturUum'.J 

The Indian Cress. 131 

i a s they increase in size the plants may be transferred to 
1 r^er pots? an ^ supplied with water drained from a manure 
, This operation of division of the roots is applied to 

many other plants besides the Cineraria, and the foregoing 
directions may serve as general ones. 

A bed of these plants, properly arranged, is very ornamental 
. ^g flower garden. A situation sheltered from the sun in the 
hot part of the day suits them best. The soil must be loose, 
and sufficient water afforded. As soon as the flowers have 
fallen, the care of the amateur must be exerted to promote 
the growth of the plant, so as to strengthen it for enduring the 
coolness of autumn and winter. Those plants which have 
bloomed in pots must then be turned out and planted in 
a situation where they will be protected from too much heat. 
The greater part of the ball of earth around the roots must be 
removed, the flower stems cut off within two inches of the 
base, and then set at about a foot apart. The crown of the 
root should also be sunk a little below the surface, by which 
means the shoots which are intended for separation will have 
acquired a sufficient supply of roots for their maintenance 
when the season arrives for their removal. When planted in 
the open air, they require frequent watering in dry weather, 
and the bed must be kept free from weeds. 


Natural Order, Tropseolacese. Linnsean Class and Order, Octandria, Mono- 
gynia. Generic Distinctions : — Calyx, of five united sepals, the lowest 
spurred. Petals, five, unequal. Stamens, eight. Ovary of three united 
carpels. Stigmas, three. Nuts, coriaceous, furrowed, three-celled, one- 

T. majus. Leaves, peltate, repand ; petals, obtuse, some of them fringed. 
Plate 20. 

The name of this well known genus is derived from the 
latin, tropaum, a trophy. The leaf is shaped like a shield, and 
the flowers resemble an empty and blood-stained helmet, which 
defensive armor formed a part of those trophies which were 

132 Bell Flower. 

anciently constructed in honor of a victory. The genus com. 
prises several species which are familiar both as ornamental 
and culinary plants. Under the name of Nasturtion, or Indian 
Cress, the present species is cultivated very generally, f or \U 
sake, not only of its showy and curious flowers, its graceful 
and perfectly shaped leaves, but of its fruit, which, when 
pickled in salt or vinegar, forms an excellent pickle, used as » 
substitute for capers, to which it is decidedly superior. The 
flowers possess the same pleasantly pungent flavor with the 
fruit, and may be used as a salad. The cultivation of the 
Nasturtion is attended with no great difficulty. Trained over 
a frame work, it grows luxuriantly, and produces its showy 
flowers all summer. The only care necessary is not to tie 
the stems to the frame too tightly, since their softness and sucu- 
lence renders them liable to be easily bruised. A curious fact 
was first observed, in regard to the flowers of this plant, by 
the daughter of Linnaeus. During the evening they emit spon- 
taneously, at certain intervals, sparks, like those from an elec- 
trical machine. This phenomenon may be witnessed on a 
warm cloudy summer evening to the best advantage. 

There are about a dozen other species, all of which are na- 
tives of Peru. They agree with the Nasturtion in their prop- 
erties, and are used for the same purposes. One species pos- 
sesses a tuberous root, which is eaten in Peru, and another is 
in common use as an anti-scorbutic medifcine. 


Natural Order, Campanulacese. Linnaean Class and Order, Pentandria, 
Monogynia. Generic Distinctions :— Corolla, campanulate, funnel-shaped, 
or broadly tubular ; stigma, three to five cleft ; capsule, inferior, open- 
ing by lateral pores. 

C. divergens. Plant, pilose ; stem, panicled ; radical leaves, sub-spatulate, 
crenulate ; cauline leaves, sessile, lanceolate, acuminate ; peduncles, many 
flowered, diverging ; lobes of calyx, acuminate. — Plate 21. 

Campanula signifies a little bell, and is a remarkably ap- 
priate name for the plants which in its generic application it 
includes. The species are very numerous, amounting to nearly 

The Bell Flower. 133 

hundred, and are very widely diffused over the cold and 
era te countries of the earth, very few of them being found 
• tropical regions. Their beauty, and the ease with which 
thev are cultivated, has made some of the species familiar to 
verv one. The subject of the plate resembles very greatly 
the common species, called Canterbury Bell. It is a handsome 
nlant, bearing flowers of a very fine purple, which are erect 
when budding, but drooping when fully blown. It is a native 
of Hungary, and Siberia ; from which two countries, it may 
be remarked, come several other elegant and much cultivated 


Its cultivation is by no means difficult in this country. The 
seeds must be sown as early as the frost will permit, in the 
place where the plants are to grow ; or if the cultivator has 
a green house, they should be sown in the winter, and planted 
out in April or May. The young plants should be well sup- 
plied with water, and they will grow luxuriantly, producing 
sometimes fifty flowers from a single root. 

One of the most delicate of all the Campanulas is a native 
of the Northern and Eastern States. This is C. rotundifolia, 
known to many as the Harebell, or Bluebell. Its slender stem, 
delicate linear leaves, flowers of a lovely blue, the grace and 
sweetness of its whole aspect, make it one of our most inter- 
esting plants. It grows on rocks, on the sides of hills and 
mountains, frequently on the very verge of the deepest preci- 
pice, down which its blue eyes seem to gaze without terror, 
secure in its own beauty. To one who should gather it while 
in flower, the specific appellation, rotundifolia, would seem a 
sad misnomer, its only rounded leaves being the radical ones, 
which fall off before the blossoms appear. Another handsome 
species, commonly cultivated, is C. Americana, a native of 
some of the Middle and Western States. It is a tall, erect, 
ornamental plant, with blue flowers. 

Of the foreign species, the best known are, perhaps, the pretty 
C.speculum, orVenus' Looking-glass, the polish of whose corollas, 
and their form, which is like that of a little, round, concave mir- 
ror, have given it a name so appropriate ; C. lilifolia, with pale 
blue flowers ; C.glomerata, with clustered, violet-colored flowers, 
and C, persicifolia, with large blue flowers. This last species, 

l&tZTrifa&rzet&z '/7s*'S*ys?/*/. {SjorootafiuyTiettF/on'er'., 

134 Tobacco, 

with one or two others, have been much cultivated in France 
and Italy, and somewhat in Great Britain, for the sake of 
their roots, which are boiled till they are tender, and then eaten 
either hot, with sauce, or cold, with vinegar and pepper. It 
is not known that the Campanulas possess any peculiar 
properties, medicinal or otherwise j their value arises almost 
entirely from their beauty. 


Natural Order, Solanaceae. Linnsean Class and Order, Pentandria, Mono- 
gynia. Generic Distinctions : — Corolla, funnel-shaped, or salver-shaped; 
limb equal ; stamens rather unequal, inclosed or exserted ; capsule open- 
ing by four parts at the apex. 

N- tabacum. Leaves, sessile, oblong lanceolate, acuminate ; lower ones 
decurvent ; throat of the corolla inllately ventricose ; segments of the 
limb acuminate. — Plate 22, Fig. 1. 

N.multivalvis. Clothed with viscid hairs or down ; leaves, fleshy, ovate 
lanceolate, lower ones petiolate; flowers, axillary, solitary ; calyx, many 
parted ; capsules, many celled. — Plate 22, Fig. 2. 

This genus received its name from John Nicot, of Nismes, 
in Languedoc, who seems first to have made it known in 
Europe. The first tobacco plant raised in Europe is said to 
have been presented to the celebrated Catherine de Medicis, 
from which circumstance it was called Herbe a la Heine, a 
name which is still preserved by the French. The species 
commonly grown for the production of tobacco, the use of 
which has become more extensive than that of any other nar- 
cotic, are two, N. rustica and N. tabacum. The latter is the 
one more commonly called Virginian tobacco, and is cultivated 
over a great portion of the southern regions of this country. 
It is supposed to have been known in Europe as early as 1560, 
but was first introduced into England by Ralph Lane, in 1586. 
He brought some of it prepared for smoking, either from the 
island of Tobago, in the West Indies, or from the province of 
Tobasco, in Mexico, whence was derived its common name. 


Tobacco. 135 

•~~\Valter Raleigh was probably the first smoker in England. 

1 caU i re d the practice in Virginia, and introduced it up- 

]- of tw° centuries ago, and in commemoration of this 

h r nuestionable service to mankind, he took as the crest 

r 1 '- coat of arms, which is still to be seen in his house at 

M' (?ton, a tobacco plant. A well known but somewhat apoc- 

} al story relates that his servant, bringing in a tankard of 

1 to him in his study, and seeing, for the first time in his life, 

h mouth of his master emitting a cloud of smoke, in his 
iety to quench what he no doubt thought to be a case of 
ntaneous combustion, dashed the contents of the tankard 
r gi r Walter's head, to the great detriment of his beard 

and ruff. 

Tobacco, as used by man, says Du Tour, gives pleasure to 
the savage and the philosopher, to the inhabitant of the burn- 
ing desert, and of the frozen zone. Its use, either in powder, 
to chew, or to smoke, is universal ; and for no other reason 
than a sort of convulsive motion (sneezing,) produced by the 
first and a degree of intoxication by the last two modes of 
usage. A hundred volumes, adds he, have been written against 
it. Among these every one has heard of the " Counterblaste" 
of King James. The Grand Duke of Moscow forbade its 
introduction into his territories, under pain of the knout for 
the first offence, and of death for the second. The emperor 
of the Turks, the King of Persia, Pope Urban VIII, all issued 
similar prohibitions, but the object of their wrath steadily in- 
creased in popularity, till, at present, there is scarcely a gov- 
ernment on the earth which does not derive a great portion 'of 
its revenue from tobacco. It is cultivated in Europe as far 
north as Sweden, and in Asia both the Chinese and Japanese 
raise it in great quantities. 

The species mostly in use is JV. tabacum, a flower of which 
is figured in our plate. Its appearance is so familiar to the 
American reader as to make a description unnecessary. In 
England its cultivation is prohibited in order to increase com- 
merce with this country, and consequendy it is principally 
raised for curiosity, as a border flower. 

In most of the Southern States tobacco is a staple produc- 
tion, and vast quantities are yearly exported. To some north 

136 Tobacco* 

ern readers, the following description of the method of cultu 
may prove new. The plants are raised on beds, early T 
the spring, and when they have acquired four leaves, a^ 
planted in the fields, in well prepared earth, at about 'th^ 
feet distance from each other. Twice a day they are examin^ 
in order to destroy a worm which often attacks them. I 
soon as they have eight or nine leaves, and are ready to pu ! 
forth a stalk, the top is nipped off, in order to make the leaves 
longer and thicker, by directing all the energies of the pl ant 
to them. After this the buds, which spring from the axils of 
the leaves, are all picked off, and great care is taken to keep 
the leaves free from the caterpillar. When they are fit for 
cutting, which is known by the brittleness of the leaves, they 
are cut with a knife close to the ground, and after lying'some 
time, are carried to the drying shed, where the plants are hung 
up by pairs on lines. When perfectly dry, the leaves are 
stripped from the stalks, and made into small bundles. These 
are laid in heaps, and covered with blankets. Care is taken 
not to over heat them, for which reason the heaps are spread 
out and laid open to the air from time to time, until no more 
heat is generated, when the whole is packed in casks for ex- 

In the manufacture of tobacco, the leaves are first made 
very clean, then moistened with water in which salt and some 
other ingredients are dissolved ; the midrib of the leaf is re- 
moved, the leaves mixed together, cut to pieces with a fixed 
knife, crisped before a fire, then twisted into rolls. The tobac- 
conist then cuts it into shreds by a machine like a straw cutter, 
for smoking and chewing, or twists it into rolls, or presses it 
into a mass for the latter purpose ; and dries and grinds it 
for making snuffl 

Some of the species, besides N. tabacum, are used in those 
places where they grow. The best Havana segars are made 
of N. repanda ; and the Indians of the Rocky Mountains, and 
on the banks of the Columbia River, prefer for their tobacco 
the species N. quadrivalvis, figured in our plate. This is a 
strong, robust species, with leaves of peculiarly rank and pow- 
erful odor, sometimes almost foetid. The flowers are very 
large and showy, the calyx is ribbed and inflated, and when 

The Natural System of Botany. 137 

divides into several valves. It is often cultivated in 
Si nd as a garden flower, and is grown in the open border 
1 in the spring, when it blossoms in August and Sep- 




Order — Magnoliace^e. The Magnolia Tribe. 

This order comprises only a few genera, but contains some 
of the noblest of vegetable productions. Several species of 
the genus Magnolia are familiar to the American reader. Of 
these perhaps the most magnificent is M- grandijlora, which 
is found in most of the Southern States, and less commonly, as 
far north as Pennsylvania. This splendid tree grows to the 
height of from sixty to eighty feet, its leaves are very large 
and of a brilliant green, and its flowers are white, fragrant, and 
nearly a foot in diameter. M. glauca is a native of New Eng- 
land, and is the species best known in the North, where it is 
usually called White Bay. Although inferior in height, and 
in the size and brilliancy of its flowers, to its gigantic brother 
of the South, it is yet one of the most striking objects in the 
forests of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Its leaves are of a 
regular, elliptical form, and have a bluish bloom on their lower 
sides. Its bark and berries, which latter are red, are in some 
esteem for the cure of coughs and some other diseases. 
Another American species is M. acuminata, also a large and 
handsome tree, which produces cones of fruit, having some 
resemblance to a small cucumber, whence^its common name, 
Cucumber Tree. " It is in the East, however," says Lindley, 
"that the Magnolia tribe has its fragrance most elaborated. In 
the dwarf Talauma of the Chinese, (Magnolia Pumila,) with 
its yellow and brown flowers, and the Tsjampaca, the most 
beautiful of trees, beneath whose majestic foliage the native 
Indian constructs his cottage of Bamboo stakes and palm 

138 The Natural System of Botany. 

leaves, the essence of the Magnolia perfume is developed i n 
all its power. These trees are indeed the living altars from 
which a perpetual cloud of incense is ascending unto heaven 
day by day, as if in gratitude for the profusion with which the 
gifts of Nature are so prodigally poured forth from the lap f 
earth in those favored regions." 

It would hardly be supposed that there should be any rela. 
tion between these stately princes of the vegetable kingdom 
and the insignificant Ranunculus, and yet an examination and 
comparison of their flowers shows a near alliance. The calyx 
of the Magnolia consists of three sepals, and the corolla of six 
petals ; within these are placed many stiff stamens, arranged 
in several rows upon a conical receptacle ; each anther has two 
cells so situated that the pollen falls outward towards the petals. 
The carpels are numerous, each containing a single cell, and 
terminated by a narrow, thread-like stigma. These cells grow 
together into a solid pistil, and ripen into a cone-shaped fruit. 
This structure of the flowers and fruit differs very little from 
that of the Ranunculus, but there is a difference by which 
the Magnolias may with certainty be distinguished. Many 
plants possess, at the base of each leaf-stalk, a pair of small 
leafy bodies, called stipules, which are to the leaves very much 
what bracts are to the flowers. Now the stipules of the Mag- 
nolia are large, and perform an important function. Each of 
the branches is terminated by a horn-like projection springing 
from the base of the last leaf. This horn is a pair of stipules 
rolled together for the protection of the next leaf which is to be 
unfolded ; and that next leaf has a similar pair of stipules thai 
roll up over the still younger leaf lying in its bosom, so that 
if the horn be cut through, several generations of leaves will 
be found thus enfolded within each other. This is the charac- 
teristic peculiarity of the Magnolia tribe, by which it may at once 
be distinguished from the Crowfoots and other allies. It is not 
only a curious, but important and interesting mark of distinction. 
The bud is very tender, and requires protection from the air, 
from cold, and from accidents. This protection is afforded by 
many different contrivances of nature, and in this instance by 
the stipules. The seeds of the Magnolias are attached to the 
inner suture of the carpels, from which they are suspended 

The Natural System of Botany. 139 

long cords ; in which peculiarity, as well as in the con- 
ization Q f t he carpels, they also differ from Ranuncu- 

Resides the Magnolias, there is another fine tree belonging 

the same order, which inhabits the United States. This is 
the Liriodendron tulipifera, or Tulip Tree, one of the most re- 

-L-nhlp in American forests. It is found in the Atlantic 
States, from Massachusetts to the Carolinas, and is particularly 
abundant in the Western States. It grows to the height of 
piffhtv an ^ sometimes even one hundred feet. The trunk is 
straight, and the branches disposed with great regularity. Its 
flowers are large, marked with spots of green, yellow and pur- 
ple and when abundant, present a most brilliant display. The 
leaves are very singular, being truncated, so that they appear 
as if cut off at the end, and having very much the shape of the 
body of a violin. The whole appearance of this tree is in- 
deed so peculiar as to render a description of it unnecessary 
to any person of observation, who has ever lived in the regions 
which it inhabits. The Tulip Tree has been introduced into 
Europe, and is now common, both in France and Italy ; and 
in England it forms a conspicuous ornament to the pleasure 
grounds of many of the gentry. 

The Magnolia tribe all possess a tonic and stimulating prin- 
ciple, and their bark has been used with success for medical 
purposes; that of the Tulip Tree having been considered 
equal to the Peruvian bark. 

Very closely connected with this tribe, in which, indeed, it 
was formerly included, is the small order, Wi?iterea, which 
contains the genus Illicium, the seeds of one species of which, 
I. anisatum, produce a very fragrant oil, are burned by 
the Chinese in, their temples, and under the name of aniseed 
are employed by Europeans to flavor liqueurs. A very pleasant 
cordial, which owes its taste and aroma to these, is well knowr 
as Anisette de Bordeaux. Two or three other species are found 
in the southern parts of North America. 

140 The Natural System of Botany. 

Berberidace^e. The Barberry Tribe. 

This is an humble, but still very interesting tribe. Every body 
is well acquainted with the common Barberry, Berberis vulgaris 
of the Northern States, and not a few New England farmers 
have a strong prejudice against it, and take every opportunity to 
root it up, on account of their belief that it injures the corn 
near which, along the fences, it so generally grows. Not- 
withstanding its bad character, it is by no means an ill-looking 
shrub, either in spring, with its pendulous racemes of yellow 
flowers, or in the autumn, with its branches of brilliant red berries. 
The leaves.have a very pleasant acid taste, and the berries make 
an agreeable jelly when preserved in sugar, and are also made 
into pickles. The branches are covered with very sharp spines, 
sometimes divided into several parts. The manner in which 
these are formed is curious, and will serve to illustrate the 
theory, now generally adopted, which considers all the parts of 
plants as different developments of the leaf, and which will be 
stated fully in the course of our articles on physiology. 

These parts, (we quote from Prof. Lindley,) are not pric- 
kles like those of the Rose, for they are regularly arranged 
over the stem, and will not break off by a slight pressure side- 
ways ; nor spines like those of the Hawthorn, for in the Haw- 
thorn the spines originate in the bosom of the leaves, but in 
the Barberry the leaves originate in the bosom of the spines. 
These parts are an exceedingly curious state of the leaf. They 
are the first kind of leaf that the Barberry produces when it 
shoots forth from the bud ; but immediately after, or perhaps at 
the same moment with, their production, other perfectly formed 
leaves break out from their axils, and thus at nearly the same 
instant, the branches are covered with spines for their defence, 
and with leaves for their adornment. That these spines really 
are leaves you may easily ascertain by looking for a very 
vigorous shoot of the Barberry, when you will find some 
of them with the space between the stiff spiny lobes 
filled up by a web of parenchyma, (the fleshy portion of the 

The Natural System of Botany. 141 

rVhetween the veins) others with the web hardly visible, and 

h rs with the spines only remaining. The leaves are them- 
° 1 s bordered by spiny teeth, which are the points of their 

' s and there is a little joint near their base by which they 
2e articulated with their stalk. 

From the midst of a cluster of leaves appear the yellow 
fl wers in a drooping raceme something like that of a currant. 
V ch flower consists of three little external scales tipped with 

i . they are the outermost sepals ; then of three petal-like 

its the inner sepals ; and within these of six genuine petals. 

The great similarity between the parts thus differently des- 
. ated s }j 0WS that the distinction between a calyx and corolla 
*s in many instances very arbitrary, although in other instan- 
ces it may be plain enough. At the base of each of the true 
petals are two parallel yellow oblong glands, the nature and 
use of which are unknown. Between these glands, and op- 
posite t the petals are the stamens, six in number, consist- 
ing of a filament somewhat thickened at its upper end and an 
anther, whose lobes, growing to each side of the end of the fila- 
ment, have a singular mode of opening. At first the lobes 
resemble those of any common anther, but when the time comes 
for the fertilization of the stigma, instead of splitting along 
the middle, the anther opens at the edge all round, except 
near the point, and liberates its valve or face, which curves 
back and allows the pollen to drop out. This is a very curious 
phenomenon, and is technically called bursting by recurved 
takes. The ovary is oblong, the stigma flat, round and sessile, 
and in its centre is an opening which leads to the single cell 
of the ovary. 

The two essential characters of the Barberry tribe are 
stamens as many, or twice as many as the petals, and oppo- 
site to them, and anthers opening by recurved valves. 

This tribe contains, besides the Barberry itself, several in- 
teresting plants, among which in the United States, is the May 
Apple or Wild Mandrake, Podophyllum peltatum, which is a 
native of various parts of the Northern and Eastern States, and 
is curious for its peltate leaves, and its reticulated petals. It is 
a low, neat looking plant, with a drooping white flower often 
overshadowed by tie broad leaves, and the fruit, from which 

142 The Natural System of Botany. 

its common name of May apple has been given it, is about 
the size of a plumb, has a pleasant acid taste, and is often eaten 
and its root is an excellent cathartic. Another singular little plants 
the Jeffersonia diphylla. It was named from President Jefferson 
and is remarkable for the curious structure of its seed vessel 
which opens with a lid like a snuff box. In Ohio it is in some 
repute as a medicine, and is termed Rheumatism Root. The 
Lco?itice, or Pappoose Root, is another plant of this tribe, very 
commonly known in New England. It is proper to remark 
that the two first of these genera were separated from the 
Barberry tribe, and formed into another order, whose type \va3 
Podophyllum, but on no good ground, as it would seem, since 
they have been replaced by the best American authorities in 

We must not forget to notice a curious instance of irritabil- 
ity which occurs in the flower of the Barberry. The stamens 
• are in a recumbent position when the flowers first open, lying 
back close pressed upon the petals. But, if you touch one of 
their filaments with a pin, the stamen rises gently up, and 
strikes its anthers against the stigma, just as, says Lindley, 
the figures in old fashioned clocks strike their hammers 
upon the bells when chimes are sounded. No one, continues 
our authority, knows the cause of this curious habit ; it is one 
of those certain but inscrutable facts, the explanation of which 
is probably beyond the faculties of man. There is one thing, 
however, connected with it that deserves to be noticed, although 
it does not throw light upon the nature of the phenomenon. If 
you dose the Barberry with laudanum or any opiate, the sta- 
mens are stupified and lose their elasticity ; and if you poison 
the plant by some corrosive substance, such as arsenic, which 
produces inflammation in animals, a sort of vegetable inflamma- 
tion is produced in the stamens of the Barberry. We are not, 
however, on that account to conclude that this plant approaches 
animals in its nature, but merely that the principle of life 
which pervades all nature is the same in its essence, and is 
affected by similar causes, whether it exists in an animal or a 

There are two small orders, nearly allied to the Magnolia 
Tribe, the members of which belong to tropical countries, 

The Natural System of Botany. 143 

r" f^these, AnonacejE, or the Custard Apple tribe, is distin- 

. -j ^y t he structure of its seed, the inmost coat of which 

f UIS s several folds or plaits. The fruit of some of the species 

ell known by the name of Custard apple, and is eaten 

13 commonly in the West Indies. Its taste is a pleasant 



Another order, intermediate between the last mentioned and 
tip Barberry tribe, is Menispermaceje, the Moon Seed, or Coc- 
ulus tribe. They are twining, shrubby plants, chiefly distin- 
guished by the deficiency of parts in their flowers, the same 
fl wer never having both stamens and pistils, and some of them 
re dioecious. The number of carpels varies, as does also the 
decree of their adhesion, so that it is difficult to character- 
ize the order. The genera, however, correspond in their 
medicinal characters. Their roots are bitter and aromatic. 
That called Colombo Root is much used as a tonic, in dyspep- 
sia diarrhoea, and dysentery. Their seeds, on the other hand, 
are mostly narcotic, in various degrees. The drug called Coc- 
culus Indicus, is the seed of an East Indian species, and has 
been much employed by brewers in England, and perhaps in 
this country, to heighten the intoxicating properties of their malt 
liquor, and to such an extent was this practice carried, that an 
act of parliament has made it illegal for a brewer even to have 
the article in his possession. Mixed in the form of a pow- 
der, with crumbs of bread, and thrown into the water, the fish 
who swallow it become intoxicated, rise to the surface, play 
strange antics, like all other drunken beings, and are easily 
taken. This method of capture is sometimes resorted to among 
us, by boys, or poachers, but never by gentlemen or anglers. 
Of this tribe one species, Menispermum Canadense, is a native 
of the Northern States : it climbs among the hedges, bears 
small yellow axillary flowers in July, and is known by the 
name of Moon Seed. 

There are two other small orders which may be mentioned 
here. The order Cabombace^b, or Water Target tribe, contains 
only two genera. They are curious aquatic plants, and one 
species, Brasenia, or Hydropeltis purpurea, grows in the fresh 
water ponds of New England, in company with the Water 
Lily. The leaves are perfectly elliptical, and float on the 

144 Vegetable Physiology. 

surface of the water : the petioles are inserted exactly in th 
centre, and are very long and slender. The flowers are p Ur . 
pie, on similar stalks, and the whole under surface of the 
leaves, together with the stem, is covered with a white slime 
The order Nelumbiace^e comprises only one genus, a species 
of which, Nelumbium luteum, or Water Chinquapin, is a fine 
plant, growing in the lakes of the South and West, but some- 
times met with in some parts of New England. The nuts are 
roasted and eaten, or are ground into a kind of flour. 



Form and Stuctube op the Stem. — The stem may be 
defined as that part of a plant, which, proceeding from the 
root, either extends under ground, or ascends into the air, and 
supports the leaves and flowers, and its chief office appears to 
be to elevate these into the most favorable position for receiving 
the influence of heat, light, and air, on which their due action 
depends. All flowering plants are furnished with stems, though 
in some instances the stem does not rise above the ground, or 
is so short as to appear wanting. In annual plants the stem is 
generally herbaceous, consisting mostly of soft cellular tissue, 
but containing some woody fibre and spiral vessels, which are 
traceable in the stalks of the leaves, and in the strings of such 
vegetables as the Asparagus. In longer lived plants, however, 
the stem becomes more and more solid, by the formation, each 
year, of new bundles of this fibre, which, in time, nearly displa- 
ces the soft tissue. 

We have already seen that the stems of flowering plants 
are not all formed in the same way, but that there are two 
different modes in which the woody matter is arranged : that 
one set of plants increases by the deposition of this matter in 
the interior of their stems, and another by its deposition on the 
exterior ; that the former are called Endogens, and the latter 
Exogens ; and that the Exogenous stem consists of pith, wood, 

Vegetable Physiology. 145 

nd bark. The pith is a soft, spongy substance, occupying 
the centre. Under a magnifier, it is found to consist entirely 
of cellular tissue, containing, when young, a good deal of fluid, 
but when old becoming dry, and often nearly disappearing. 
This is the first formed portion of the stem, and is the remain- 
der of the cellular structure which originally formed the whole, 
but which has gradually given place to the woody texture, 
which is deposited on its outside, and has gradually com- 
pressed it into the centre. The pith of a branch is always 
an extension of that of the parent branch, and if the latter be 
cut through, just where a bud is rising from it, the bud will be 
seen to consist mostly of a prolongation of the central pith. 

Around the pith are disposed the woody layers, at first in the 
form o( strings, arranged in a circle between it and the bark, 
and separated from each other by prolongations of pith, which 
is thus connected with the bark. When the stem grows older, 
a second circle of woody layers is formed, beneath the bark, 
and enclosing the first layer, and as it increases in age, circle 
after circle succeeds in the same manner, till the pithy pro- 
cesses between becoming narrower in each ring, appear at 
length merely as lines diverging from the centre, and are then 
called medullary rays. Their office is to maintain a constant 
connexion between the interior portion of the stem and the 
bark. These rays form what is called silver grain, so conspic- 
uous in several kinds of wood, such as Maple and White 
Oak, and which add so much to their beauty when polished. 
In general, in temperate climates, a single ring or layer of 
woody matter is added each year, so that the age of a tree 
may be reckoned by counting these in a cross section ; but in 
tropical climates, where many trees have several successions 
of leaves yearly, there is reason to believe that a corresponding 
number of layers is formed. This may account for the great 
number of layers in the Baobab trees of Senegal, which have 
been supposed, reckoning their age in this way, to be more 
than five thousand years old. In most timber trees, the inner 
and older portion, called the duramen, or heart-wood, is much 
more hard and dry than the exterior alburnum, or sap-wood ; and 
sometimes, in the hardest and heaviest woods, as lignum- 
vitae and black walnut, the line of separation between them is 

146 Vegetable Physiology. 

very plainly marked. But in most cases this change is more 
gradual. It is produced by the consolidation of the interior 
portion, whose tissue becomes so pressed together, and its cells 
so filled up by different secretions, as to prevent the passage of 
any fluid through it. It then becomes of no use to the system 
except to give it strength and durability, since it is through the 
new layers, or sap-wood, that the passage of the sap is effected 
As the pith and the inner layers thus gradually become unfit 
for their original use, and as in the outer portion alone the pro- 
cesses of vegetation go on, the former may be removed without 
injuring the latter ; and this operation is often produced by 
natural decay, which destroys the heart of an old tree, leaving 
the outside only a shell, though still capable of producing 
buds and branches. 

A variety in the structure of exogenous stems, is that before 
mentioned as belonging to the Pines and Firs. Their annual 
layers are generally marked with great regularity and distinct- 
ness, especially in those which are natives of cold or temperate 
climates, where the process of vegetation is quite interrupted 
by cold after the formation of each layer, while in warmer 
regions they pass into one another more gradually. In the 
latter case, too, the thickness of the layers is nearly uniform, 
while in the former, it differs according as the seasons have 
been favorable or otherwise. In examining fossil plants, these 
facts are important and interesting, as will be seen. 

In a circle around the pith, and between it and the first 
layer of wood, is arranged a series of spiral vessels, which 
seldom occur in any other part of an exogenous stem. This 
forms the medullary sheath. 

The outermost coat, enclosing the wood, is the bark. This 
is also formed in regular layers, from the interior, which are so 
much thinner than those of the wood as not to be so easily 
distinguished. The oldest layers of course are on the out- 
side, and become gradually lost, by decay, or by falling off, 
so that it is in general impossible to trace the same number as 
in the wood, although they are formed at the same time. As 
each new layer of wood is formed on the outside of the pre- 
vious one, and therefore at the circle where it is in contact with 
the bark, and as the new layer of bark is added to the inside of 

Vegetable Physiology. 147 

the previous one, it is obvious that they are both produced at 
the same spot, and that the newest layers of both will always 
be in contact with each other. They seem to be produced in 
this way. In tne spring, the bark becomes loosened, and may 
often be readily separated from the wood. A kind of mucila- 
ginous fluid, called the Cambium, is then formed between them. 
This is gradually developed into cells, and from these are 
formed the ducts and cellular portion of the woody layer, and 
the layer of bark is at the same time added, both being inter- 
sected by the medullary rays. Bark sometimes is nearly all 
composed of cellular tissue, and becomes thick and spongy, as 
is the case with cork, which may be regarded as a kind of exter- 
nal pith. The inner bark, or liber, however, is usually thin and 
delicate in texture, and has been applied to various useful pur- 
poses. One of these is indicated by the meaning of the word 
liber, which signifies both a book and the inner bark. In fact it 
was used by the Romans for writing upon. By many of the Pa- 
cific Islanders, the liber of several trees is used for cloth, mats 
and sails. It is in the vessels and woody tubes of the albur- 
num that the fluid absorbed by the roots is carried through the 
stem, and these vessels communicate with those of the leaves, 
which receive it from them. In the liber, on the contrary, the 
fluid, after being elaborated by the leaves, and converted into 
nutritious sap, descends again through the trunk, for the purpose 
of nourishing its various parts. A part of this sap is carried 
inwards by the medullary rays, which thus diffuse it through 
the whole stem, as also through the substai.ce of the roots, 
down which it is conveyed by their bark. In this descent it 
mixes with the ascending current, particularly at its lower part, 
and being much superior in density, adds to that of the ascend- 
ing fluid, and thus maintains the conditions necessary for end os- 
mose. The vessels of the bark down which the sap runs, 
form a complete network, in which it may be seen to move in 
various directions. 

The endogenous stem is formed very differently. The woody 
bundles are distributed irregularly through the mass, and in- 
stead of being united into rings, remain separate, and only 
form any thing like hard wood, on the exterior, where they are 
pressed together by the addition of new matter within. Each 

148 Vegetable Physiology. 

annual set of woody bundles, proceeding from the leaves, 
passes down through the soft interior of the stem, and after- 
wards turns outwards, and interlaces itself with those pre- 
viously formed. The cellular portion of the stem, which in 
exogens was separated by the wood into the pith and bark, 
here remains intermingled with the wood during the whole 
life of the plant. Each woody bundle contains ducts 
and spiral vessels, besides woody fibre, arranged so that 
the spiral vessels are on the side next the centre, and pro- 
tected by the woody fibre on the exterior. From this pecu- 
liar structure endogenous stems increase little in diameter, the 
hardness of the outside preventing their enlargement. On 
this account too, their age is generally limited, since the exte- 
rior vessels become so compressed as to admit no further pas- 
sage of fluid. A remedy for this is sometimes provided by 
Nature, in the splitting of the hard envelope which allows the 
interior to dilate ; and this has been imitated by splitting the 
outside of a Palm with a hatchet, when its vigor was restored. 
The same cause which limits the age of endogens prevents 
them from being injured like exogens, by ligatures around their 
stems. If a cord be tied tightly around the trunk of a young 
cherry tree, it will prevent the sap from descending to the 
roots, and a protuberance will be formed above the cord, which 
will increase by the superfluity of nourishment afforded it, so 
as to bury the ligature beneath it. The same effect is pro- 
duced by the embrace of several kinds of climbing plants, 
though as they generally wind in a spiral direction, the descent 
of the sap is not so completely prevented, but the woody mat- 
ter accumulates above the whole line of the spiral, so that 
when the creeper is removed, a deep indentation is seen pass- 
ing round the branch or stem from one end to the other. This 
never takes place in endogens. 

The twining stems alluded to appear to have a peculiar ten- 
dency to turn to one side, which constantly operates in con- 
nexion with the general tendency of all stems to grow upright 
The direction of this turning tendency is usually contrary to 
that in which the sun appears to move, but sometimes the 
same with it. The common direction may be observed in 
the case of most plants of the Pea tribe, the Convolvulus, and 

Vegetable Physiology. 149 

."passion Flower, and the exception in that of the Hop. 
There is, however, in almost all flowering plants, some tenden- 
v to a spiral growth, and we shall find when treating of 
leaves that their regular arrangement on the branches is in a 
spiral line. In many trees the bark, when stripped off, will 
follow a spiral direction, and spiral fissures are seen in many 
kinds of wood, after the bark is removed. 

The stems already described have been solid, but both Exo- 
ens and Endogens often have hollow stems ; as among the 
former, such as those of the Angelica and Hemlock, and 
among the latter, those of the grasses. In these cases the 
hollowness is due to the expansion of the outer portion faster 
than the interior. The young stem is not hollow, and it is a 
beautiful instance of mechanical contrivance, that in such 
rapidly growing plants, which are to become independent of 
support from others, the limited quantity of hard tissue which 
they form should be disposed at such a distance from the cen- 
tre as to give the greatest strength with the least expenditure 
of material. In hollow stemmed Endogens, as the Bamboo, 
and Sugar Cane, certain divisions of the stem are seen, which 
are called nodes, or knots. When the remainder is hollow, the 
stem is always solid here, and the partition becomes very 
firm from the interlacing of fibres from all sides ; and when, as 
in the Sugar Cane, it is filled up with soft tissue, the knot is 
still solid. The space from one knot to another is termed the 
internode, and from each of these divisions leaf buds gener- 
ally spring. 

Some peculiarly modified stems are often confounded with 
roots. Such are what are usually called bulbous roots, as 
those of the Onion and Lily, which are in reality underground 
stems. The base of the bulb is the real division between the 
stem and the root, and the fibres proceeding downwards from 
this are the roots themselves. The scales of such a bulb are 
really but leaves, altered from their usual character, and at 
the base of each scale is a little bud, placed in just the same 
relation with the scale as the buds to the leaves on the higher 
portiens of the stem. In this case, then, the stem is in a con- 
tracted state, the internodes not being developed, and the 
leaves and buds of several nodes arising close together. Other 

150 Vegetable Physiology. 

stems sometimes creep beneath the ground or along its surface, 
producing buds which become new stems, or branches. Of this 
kind is the rhizoma, instances of which may be seen in the so- 
called roots of the Iris, the Solomon's Seal, and many kinds 
of Ferns, and in the part of the Ginger plant which is eaten 
as a sweetmeat. The runners of the Strawberry are also stems, 
which send down roots, and shoot forth buds at intervals. 
Several kinds of grass, possessing similar creeping stems, ren- 
der themselves a dreadful nuisance to the cultivator, who finds 
it utterly impossible to exterminate them, since each node, 
having buds and roots, becomes a new plant. 

One of the most distorted forms of the stem is that observed 
in the Potato. The tuber of this plant is evidently a form of 
the stem, as is shown by its power of producing buds at the 
points, called the eyes. When, therefore, the tuber is divided 
into pieces, each one of which has an eye, from which, when 
placed in the earth, a young plant will spring, the same 
method of propagation is adopted as that used in regard to 
the Sugar Cane, whose stem is divided into its internodes, 
each of which is planted separately. The nature of the 
potato is also well shown by an accidental case, (an engra- 
ving representing which is given by Dr. Gray,) in which some 
of the buds and branches above ground showed a strong ten- 
dency to develope in the form of tubers. The tubers of the 
artichoke are of the same nature. There are other subterra- 
nean modifications of the stem, such as the Cormus, a solid 
bulb, like that of the Colchicum, and the curious bulblets of some 
species of Lily and Onion, which grow in the axils of the 
leaves, or flowers, and spontaneously drop off to the ground, 
where they take root and form separate plants. 

Buds and roots may spring not only from those parts of the 
stem which grow beneath or on the ground. Many trees exist 
whose branches naturally hang downwards, and reaching the 
ground, give rise to a new set of root, and becomes secondary 
stems. In this way are formed the celebrated Banyan trees 
(Ficus indica) of the East Indies, one individual of which some- 
times forms a small forest. One of these possessed three hun- 
dred and fifty principal trunks, and more than three thousand 
smaller ones, each of which was casting out new branches, and 

Vegetable Physiology. 151 

roots, to form future trunks. The space which 
nangi"& t t * 

• overed was so large that it was estimated that seven 

, usan d persons might find room beneath its shade. Milton 

, me ntioned this remarkable tree in the following lines : 

"The fig tree ; not that kind for fruit renowned ; 
But such as at this day to Indians known, 
In Malabar or Deccan, spreads her arms, 
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground 
The bending twigs take root, and daughters grow 
About the mother tree, a pillared shade, 
High over arched, with echoing walks between." 

The Tree Ferns of tropical countries are the only flowerless 
plants w hich form true woody trunks. The stems of these 
are sometimes hollow, and sometimes contain a kind of pith. 
Their mode of growth differs from that of either Exogens or 
Endo^ens. When cut across, the stem is seen to consist of a 
number of hard woody plates, adhering rather loosely together, 
and these are found to be either continuations of the flat- 
tened footstalks of the leaves which crown the summit, or the 
remains of those which have dropped off. Each year the 
leaves fall off, and are replaced by a new set, formed above, 
so that the stem goes on increasing in length, but very little 
in diameter. It is generally the case in these and other cryp- 
togamia, that the portions first produced undergo little change, 
and hence such plants have received the name of Acrogens, 
which signifies growth by the point, or by addition to the ex- 
tremities alone. 

152 The Herbarium. 


As the season has commenced for the enjoyment of the most 
delightful branch of botanical study, that of the collection of 
plants for preservation, with all its accompanying pleasures of 
free air, fine scenery, and the promotion of health, some direc- 
tions in that behalf will no doubt be acceptable. To a quiet 
and contented mind there is no more pleasant and desirable 
recreation than that of roving the fields in search of plants, 
seeking them out in their own fair homes, and studying the 
structure of their delicate parts. It is a natural feeling 
which prompts the wish to collect and preserve what has af- 
forded so much pleasure, and many a tender thought, many a 
dear recollection, many a loved scene, is suggested to the mind 
by the withered flowers which so delighted us when they were 
blooming and fresh. 

The following brief directions for the examination, the col- 
lection, and the preservation of plants, are compiled from good 
sources, and contain some of the suggestions of experience. 

For the examination and analysis of plants, a good magni- 
fier is necessary, in order correctly to observe the more minute 
parts, such as the stamens, pistil and seeds. A very excellent 
single lens, put up in a compact and portable form, with proper 
conveniences, may be obtained at a very moderate price at 
Mr. Pike's, Optician, in Broadway. One of these will be found 
to magnify sufficiently for ordinary purposes, and should be 
carried in the pocket on all Botanical excursions. There are 
many curious flowers, which are so delicate as to wither in a 
very short time after they are gathered, and to examine these 
properly, the magnifier should be always at hand. The fresh- 
er, and more fully in blossom, the better is always a flower 
for such examination. It would be superfluous to enlarge 
upon the benefit to the botanist of the analysis and examination 
of the objects of his study. Without this all reading is of 
little avail, and more can be learned from correct observations 
upon the plant itself, even when it is dried, than by a thousand 
printed descriptions. During the flowering months', says that 

The Herbarium. 153 

llent New England botanist, Mr. Wood, the learner will 
e . • hi s walks meet with plants in blossom, with which he 
° >t unacquainted, and he who is duly interested in his pur- 
S > will by no means fail to seize and analyze each spec- 
• n while the short hour of its bloor* may last, and to store 
hi memory with the knowledge of its names, habits and uses. 
Thus in a few seasons, or even in one, he will have grown fa- 
rniliar with nearly or quite every species in his vicinity. 
The student, then, should devote particular attention tocollect- 
. an( j preserving his plants so that he may at his leisure 
study their characters fully, compare them with each other, and 
arrange them correctly. To form such a collection, or Her- 
barium, the following apparatus is necessary. A tin box made 
in a portable form, say twenty or twenty-four inches long, by 
four or five in depth, with a close fitting cover. In this the 
plants are to be placed when first gathered, without bruis- 
ing or breaking them. As much of the plant as possible, in- 
cluding, in the smaller herbaceous plants, a portion of the roots, 
should be taken, and of the larger species, entire flowers, and 
leaves, with the shoot from which they spring. If necessary, 
they may be kept in the tin box for several days. Next a 
press of some kind should be provided. For this purpose two 
thin boards about 12 by 18 inches, connected by hinges, are prop- 
er, or even the covers of a large book may be sufficient. Next, 
a few quires of printing paper, the smoother and more porous 
the better, should be provided. Between several thicknesses 
of this paper, the specimens should be placed in such a man 
ner as to preserve as much as possible their natural form and 
appearance. This often requires some care in spreading out 
the leaves and arranging the flowers. The whole is then put 
into the press, or between the covers of the book, and subjected 
to a proper degree of pressure. This is effected by fitting the 
press with a screw, or more simply, and as well, by laying on 
weights, always taking care not to make the compression so 
great as to crush the plants. Some collectors recommend 
that they should not be meddled with, after this is done, until 
they are quite dry, but we have found the best plan to be, to 
expose them to the air daily for a short time, so as to allow the 
moisture to evaporate, until they are quite dry. By the other 

154 The Herbarium. 

plan, succulent plants will often become mouldy. When thev 
are perfectly dry, the next object is to arrange them properly 
To do this, each one, or perhaps more, if small enough, and 
belonging to the same genus, should be fastened to a half sheet 
of good white paper, by loops of paper, or by stitching them down 
with a needle and fine thread. The ends of the leaves, oranv 
thin part which will not lie flat without, may be touched witha" 
little glue or gum Arabic. The name of the species should be 
written near the specimen, with any remarks as to its peculiar!, 
ties, the place where, and time when it was gathered, or some 
other interesting circumstances connected with it. Let all the 
specimens of the same genus, be then enclosed in a sheet of 
different colored paper, with the generic name, and the names 
of all the species collected, written on the outside. The aene- 
ra should then be arranged in their proper orders, (this sun. 
poses that the Natural arrangement is the one adopted,) those of 
each order being wrapped in a larger sheet, on which should 
be written the names of the order and of the genera. The 
orders may then be laid on the shelves of a cabinet, or in any 
other proper place. The collector should also take care to pro- 
tect his specimens from the attacks of insects, and for this 
purpose, each one should be washed with a solution of cam- 
phor, or a piece or two of camphor gum, or sponge mois- 
tened with oil of turpentine, be placed among them. Large 
seeds or fruit, sections or branches of wood, and other such 
articles, which are too bulky to be pressed between paper, may 
be preserved separately on a shelf. 

April and May Flowers, 155 


In a preceding article, we have given some brief directions 
to the best method of preserving specimens of plants. Of 
the importance to the botanist of collecting and forming into a 
herbarium the objects of his study, it is superfluous to speak. A 
student will learn more in a few botanical excursions rightly 
prosecuted, than by reading a thousand pages. He should 
make it a rule never to allow a single plant he meets with to 
escape the process of dissection and examination. " It may be 
asserted confidently," says an experienced teacher, " that there 
is not a botanist in the world, and there never can be one, who 
has not analyzed and prepared with his own hand, at least three 
hundred species of growing plants." For this purpose the pro- 
ductions of unassisted nature are far more proper than the 
often distorted monsters of the green-house and garden. Let 
the student, then, betake himself to the green fields, to the 
solemn woods, to the banks of brooks, to the dells of mountains, 
where he can find, in their unsophisticated beauty, the favor- 
ites of the sun and the air. And ever, as in some shady glade, 
with the fresh spring wind blowing cool on his brow, weary 
with walking, he seats himself to examine and admire the 
treasures he has been collecting, let their varied shapes, the 
harmony of their tints, the wonderful formation of their minutest 
parts, suggest to him humble thoughts of their divine Author 
and his, and fill his soul with admiration, awe and love. 

Old Izaak Walton has drawn so charming a sketch of the 
feelings produced in a contented heart by contemplation of ru- 
ral scenery, that we cannot forbear to quote it entire, since it is 
applicable as much to the botanist as the angler. "I sat 
down," says his pupil, " under a willow tree by the water 
side, and considered what you had told me of the owner of 
that pleasant meadow in which you then left me ; that he had 
a plentiful estate, and not a heart to think so ; that he had at 
this time many lawsuits depending, and that they both damped 
his mirth, and took up so much of his time and thoughts, that 
he himself had not leisure to take the sweet content that I, who 

156 April and May Flowers. 

pretended no title to them, took in his fields ; for I coul 1 
there quietly, and looking on the water, see some fishes sport th 

selves in the silver streams,others leaping at flies of several sha 
and colors ; looking on the hills, I could behold them spJ^ 
with woods and groves ; looking down the meadows, col) 

see, here a boy gathering lilies and ladysmocks, and there 
girl cropping culverkeys and cowslips, all to make garland" 
suitable to this present month of May. I say, as I thus 
joying in my own happy condition, and pitying this poor rich 
man that owned this and many other pleasant groves and 
meadows about me, I did thankfully remember what my Savio 
said, that the meek possess the earth ; or rather, they enjov 
what the others possess and enjoy not, for anglers (botanists) 
and meek, quiet-spirited men are free from those high, those 
restless thoughts, which corrode the sweets of life. There 
came also into my mind at that time, certain verses in praise 
of a mean estate and an humble mind. They were written by 
Phineas Fletcher, in which you shall see the picture of this 
good man's mind ; and I wish mine to be like it. 

* This certain life, that never can deceive him, 

So full of thousand sweets and rich content ; 
The smooth leaved beeches in the field receive him, 
With coolest shade, till noontide's heat be spent; 
His life is neither tossed in boisterous seas, 
Or the vexatious world, or lost in slothful ease : 
Pleased and full blest he lives, when he his God can please.' " 

Among the more common wild flowers of April and May, 
are several of the Ranunculaceae. Everybody knows the 
Butter Cup, Ranunculus acris, which begins to flower in May, 
and soon covers whole fields with the brilliant yellow of its 
petals. Several other species flower about the same time, and 
some continue in flower till July and August. The Meadow 
Rue, Thalictrum dioicum, is also a May flower, and the Ane- 
mone, nemorosa, or wind-flower, is one of the earliest in April, 
except the Hepatica triloba, which is earlier than all. Theso 
two last are to be found on the sunny sides of hills, near old 
woods. Who that has pursued the " windings bright and 
mazy like the snake" of a trout stream in May, albeit intent 
on the capture of its speckled inhabitants, and ever and anon 

April and May Flowers. 157 

~~Twraising> playing, reeling in, and placing in his pannier 

"Sly fish, without waiting a moment before a new cast 

*m/ flies to pluck and admire the dark green leaves and 

e bright flowers of the Marsh Marigold !— This Caltka 

' f is (we give its botanical name for the benefit of the stu- 

r not of the aforesaid angler) is indeed one of the hand- 

st of our early flowering plants, and is in its way useful 

80 f r " greens" — every yankee, though personally a stranger 

the color, knows what they mean. Towards the middle and 
1° of the month, the red and white Baneberries, Aetata rubra 

d alba, are found in the woods, and earlier in the month, or 
in April, the Blood-root, Sanguinaria Canadensis, with 
. ren iform leaves and curious white flowers. Let us not forget 
to mention the wild Columbine, Aquilegia Canadensis, which in 
April adorns dry hills and rocks with its delicate flowers, far 
more delicate than any pet of the garden, nor those comical look- 
ing Aracese, the Skunk Cabbage, Pothos foztida, or Symylocar- 
or Ictodes, (for by all these names is it known to botanists) 
^hich well deserves its common appellation, with its purple 
spathe drawn like a cowl over and around its spadix ; the 
Orontium, or Golden Club, with its clavate spike of yellow 
flowers, so curiously constructed, and the Arum itself, with its 
trifoliate leaves, hood-shaped spathe, and acrid roots, which 
we have wickedly, (for which sin of our youth may we be 
pardoned,) offered to some one of our school fellows, less ac- 
quainted with its properties than ourselves, as a rare and 
delicious morsel. 'Young reader, do not imitate this injudicious 
trick. These last are found in wet places, in low ground, by 
the sides of brooks and ponds. Of the Cruciferse, only a few 
flower early, such as the Draba, or Whitlow Grass, the Bar- 
tered, or Winter Cress, and the Sisymbrium, or Flax Weed — 
all, insignificant plants. In the open fields, spring up more 
than one species of the Violet, and open their blue or white 
petals to the first warm rays of the vernal sun. Nobody, 
whether a botanist or not, can mistake a violet for any thing 
else. In going through some old, open, moist wood, near the 
base of a rock, the eye of the rambler is often caught at this 
season by a cluster of delicate white flowers, veined with pur- 
ple, terminating a slender stalk about half a foot high, with 

158 April and May Flowers. 

a single pair of opposite leaves. This is the Claytonia, one of 
the neatest of early flowers. The little Homtonia, or Hcdytf 
coeulea, now covers large patches of damp fields with the paT 
blue tint of its petals, varied, here and there, with a cluster f 
the more showy Dandelion. In dry, stony places, on high 
banks, from beneath a sheltering rock, peep out the small 
white flowers of the Early Saxifrage, while on the gree n 
slopes, the beautiful little Dog's tooth Violet, most delicate of 
lilies, Erythronium Americanum, shoots up from its bulbous 
root its spotted leaves, and drooping yellow corollas. The 
Trilliums, conspicuous for their whorls of broad green leaves 
and nodding white flowers, are budding, though they can 
hardly be said to be fully blossomed till June. That low 
small trailer, with woody stem and hairy evergreen leaves' 
and clusters of fragrant flowers, white, or shaded with pink or 
purple, is the Epigaea repens, sometimes called Ground 
Laurel. A more rare plant than any of these, is the May 
Apple, Podophyllum peltatum. It has two peltate leaves, from 
the fork of which, rises a single peduncle, bearing a white droop- 
ing flower, the calyx of which, falls off as the petals expand, 
succeeded by an eatable fruit about as large as a plum. The 
root of the May apple is used as a cathartic, in place of Jalap. 

Of trees and shrubs, a great number produce their flowers 
in April and May. Among these are various species of the 
Elm, the Willow, the Birch, the Alder, the Ash, the Hazel, the 
Poplar, the Maple, and the Cherry. These will be readily 
recognised without description. One of the most conspicuous 
trees at this season, is the Shad Berry tree, Amela-nchier Cana- 
densis, or Mespilus arborea, whose large racemes of white 
flowers, make it remarkable at a great distance. The thickets 
too are fragrant, a little later, with that beautiful and well 
known shrub, the Wild Honeysuckle, or Swamp Pink, Rhodo- 
dendron nudiflorum. 

Our limits will not allow a further extension of this subject 
at present, and we conclude by assuring the student that he 
will have learned more than he can ever do from reading what 
we write, if during this month, he shall have collected, exam- 
ined, properly preserved, arranged and labelled, specimens of 
the species here mentioned. 

On Window Gardening. 169 


There are no plants which are looked upon with more in- 
terest, or attended to with more care, than those which are cul- 
tivated in the rooms of dwelling houses ; and yet from our fair 
window gardeners imagining that there is something very dif- 
ficult in the management of these plants, or from not properly 
understanding what that should be, they often fail in accom- 
plishing what their labor and anxiety most richly merit. Now, 
there is in reality no great secret in the treatment of window 
plants. It must be a general principle in their cultivation, to 
give them all the light possible in winter, by placing them close 
to the window, and in the summer months in a sheltered situa- 
tion out of doors. Although this situation is best in summer, 
yet in some places it may not be convenient, and in others it 
may be desirable to have them on the outside of the window, 
or on a balcony erected there for that purpose, where they will 
grow and flower under the eye, and perfume the air of the 
room when the window is opened on a summer evening. In 
this case it is necessary to have some protection from the burn- 
ing heat of the mid-day sun, which is very much increased by 
the reflection of the rays from the wall of the house. Every 
one will readily invent something to answer this purpose ; an 
awning, for example, or merely moving the plants to the in- 
side of the window. Of course these remarks apply only to 
the summer season, when the sun's rays are very hot in the 
middle of the day, and to windows with a southern aspect. 
High winds are very injurious to window plants, and should 
be guarded against, and for this reason windows on the ground 
or second floor are best adapted to their cultivation. 

Plants in a natural state send their roots in every direction 
in search of moisture and food. In this respect they differ 
from those grown in rooms, confined to pots, and supplied with 
water by artificial means. The latter are more liable than the 
former to suffer from dryness in summer, having fewer mouths 
to absorb the moisture evaporated from the leaves ; and more 
liable to be injured by excess of wet in winter, owing to the 

i60 On Window Gardening. 

drainage of the pots getting choked. It is impossible""^" 
how often, and how much water should be given, beca ^ 
this depends upon the plant itself, its state of health, and \C 
season. As a general rule, however, they should never be w * 
tered until the soil at the surface of the pot will readily crn 
ble between the finger and thumb, and when in this state 
much water should be given as the soil will receive ; in oth 
words, never water till the plants are dry, and then give pl en t - 
of it. Rain water is by far the best, and should always be 
used in preference to that obtained from springs. In winte 
very little water is required, and it should always be cautiously 
given, because the air is more moist, and the light not so in- 
tense, and therefore less demand is made upon the roots bv 
the leaves. 

When the plants are inside the room, some contrivance is ne- 
cessary to prevent the water from running through the pots and 
wetting the floor, and this is most simply done by placing the 
pot in a flat pan, which receives any superfluous water, which 
is absorbed by the roots when the soil gets dry. Pouring the 
water into these pans instead of on the soil, is not to be re- 
commended. Watering over the leaves is of the utmost im- 
portance to the health of window plants, exposed as they are 
to dust, which forms a crust upon them and prevents the ac- 
tion of the pores. This operation should be performed every 
day in summer, in the afternoon, when the sun does not shine 
on the plants. 

PL H- 


/JDark. Jfed Urtentitfa.) 

, <4ckfmanj JJjM . 

The Cinque/oil. 161 


1 Order, Rosace®. Unniean System, Icosandria, Polygynia. Generic 

^TV^iDCtions': Calyx, four to five cleft, with an equal number of alternate 

"erior segments ; petals, four to five, obcordate ; stamens, numerous ; 

'* ents, slender ; ovaries, collected into a head, seated on a small, 

dry receptable. 

trosanguinea. Stem, decumbent ; leaves, temate ; leaflets, obovate, 
/eply serrated, clothed with white down beneath; petals obcordate, 
longer than the calyx— Plate 23. 

Potentilla is derived from the Latin, potentia, power, 
the plants belonging to this genus having been supposed to 
ossess powerful medicinal properties. Like many other 
botanical names, however, it is misapplied here, since none of 
the species have been found to possess any healing principle. 
The genus contains several very pretty and ornamental spe- 
cies some of which are commonly cultivated, and others are 
well known wild plants. On examining the flowers of the 
Potentilla, they will be found to bear a striking resemblance to 
those of the Strawberry, but the fruit will always distinguish 
t h e two genera ; that of the Strawberry being juicy, highly 
flavored and delicious, while the Potentilla only bears a clus- 
ter of dry, tasteless seed vessels. All the species possess 
compound leaves. The common name, Cinquefoil, is from 
the French, and signifies five leaved ; and a very common 
New England species, which flowers early in Spring, P. Cana- 
densis, is called Five-Finger, for the same reason. Another na- 
tive species, P. argcntca, or Silvery Five-Finger, is curious 
on account of the silvery appearance of the down beneath 
its leaves, which is also characteristic of P. anserina, Silver- 
Weed, or Goose-Grass, one of the handsomest American 
species. There are more than thirty species of Potentilla 
belonging to North America, of which seven or eight grow in 
the Eastern States. The color of their petals is generally 

The species represented in our plate, is one of the most 

162 The Larkspur. 

beautiful of the cultivated exotics. It is a native of Ncp au i 
whence it was introduced into England about twenty-five years 
ago. It is a hardy plant, growing in any common garden soil 
and producing its large, splendid dark crimson flowers from the 
ends of its decumbent shoots. 


Natural Order, Ranunculacese. Linnsean System, Polyandria, Triey n i a 
Generic Distinctions : Calyx, petal-like, irregular, of five colored sepals 
the upper one spurred ; corolla, five petalled, irregular, the two up per 
petals drawn out into a tubular, nectariferous spur, enclosed in the spur of 
the calyx. 

D. grandiflorum. Leaves, palmately many parted into linear lobes ; pedicels, 
longer than the bracts ; petals, shorter than the calyx ; racemes, spread- 
ing, few-flowered, diverging. — Plate 24. 

The Greek word delphin is the original of, and means the 
same as our word dolphin, and from it is derived the name of 
this genus, on account of a fancied resemblance betwen the 
shape of the flower, with its curved and projecting spur, and 
that of the dolphin. From another supposed likeness between 
the same peculiar appendage and the foot of a bird, is taken 
also the common name, Larkspur. This is a well known 
genus of annual and perennial plants, some of which are 
among the most generally and easily cultivated garden flow- 
ers. They are usually tall and showy, their flowers arranged 
in a long terminal raceme, and their leaves are commonly 
divided into numerous lobes. Their flowers are never yellow, 
but always either blue, red, or purple, or some shade of these 
colors mixed with white. Of the garden varieties, which are 
very numerous, are several of the kind called the Bee Lark- 
spur, " which look as if the insect from which they take their 
name were glued to their inside," Rocket Larkspurs, and Sibe- 
rian Larkspurs. The genus is so large that it has been divided 
into sections, two of which contain only annual plants, and 
have only one petal, drawn out into a tail, within the spur of 

The Larkspur. 163 

the calyx, and the other sections, which contain no annuals, 
have the appendages of two petals in the spur. In one of the 
latter, the species are all perennials, and the petals are bearded. 
This section is divided into the Siberian, and Bee Larkspurs. 
The other section consists of biennials, whose petals are not 
bearded, and whose carpels are ventricose. The leaves of all 
the Larkspurs are poisonous, and it is said that no insect will 
touch them. Only two or three species are natives of this 
country, one of which, D. cxaltatum, an inhabitant of the mid- 
dle, and rarely of the Northern United States, is a fine plant, 
with brilliant blue flowers. 

Various kinds of the species in the plate are cultivated in gar 
dens, and they have the advantage of flowering all summer. 
D. grandifloruin was introduced into England, and thence into 
this country, from Siberia, in 1816. The flowers are larger 
than those of any other species,, and when made double by 
cultivation, they form one of the most splendid objects in a 
border. The sepals are of a most intense blue, spotted with 
red, the outer spur being greenish. Two of the petals are 
very small, upright, and fleshy ; the two others are nearly 
round, with an oblique claw, having a small hook at the base, 
near which is a slightly bearded yellow spot. The intense 
metallic hue of the flower is finely contrasted with these golden 
yellow spots. The varieties are all hardy, and are easily 
propagated by seeds or divisions of the root. 

The flower of the Larkspur and that of the Ranunculus 
would seem to be so widely different as to cause their position 
in the same Natural Order a matter of surprise, which may be 
increased by contrasting the colors of the two. Our wild 
Ranunculus has always yellow flowers, the Larkspur never. 
"But," says Lindley, " setting aside this, which is of no bo- 
tanical importance whatever, let us look at the calyx of the 
Larkspur. It is composed of five leaves, or sepals, the upper- 
most of which has a horn arising out of its back ; so is that of 
the Ranunculus, excepting the horn. It has four petals, of 
which two have long tails, hidden within the horn of the 
sepal. Ranunculus has nothing of this, but five common pet- 
als instead. The Larkspur has a great many stamens ari- 
sing from below the carpels : this is the first essential character 

PI. 24. 


tftCWMS fZorye. flowered Zar/es/>ur 

- -nayt's Zitk*. 

164 The Ranunculus, or Crowfoot. 

of Ranunculus ; it has also several carpels, (two or three,) which 
are not grown together ; and this is the second essential charac- 
ter of Ranunculus, so that this plant has, in reality, no essen- 
tial character by which it can be distinguished from the 
Crowfoot tribe." The Larkspur further agrees with nearly all 
Ranunculacese in the poisonous properties of its juice. 


Natural Order, Ranunculacese. Linna>au System, Polyandria, Polygyria. 
Generic Distinctions : Calyx of five deciduous sepals ; petals, five, rarely 
eight or ten, with a nectariferous pore at the inside of the hase ; stamens, 
numerous ; seed vessels, numerous, ovate, crowded. 

jR. gramineus. Leaves, lanceolate, or linear, quite entire ; stem, erect, 
quite smooth, branching ; scales of the petals, tubular ; root, fascicled.— 
Plate25,Fig. 1. 

R. amplexicaulis. Leaves, ovate, acuminate, clasping the stem ; stem, 
many-flowered ; root, fascicled. — Plate 25, Fig. 2. 

R. aconitifolius. Leaves, palmate, three or five parted ; stem, branched, 
many-flowered ; calyx, smooth. — Plate 25, Fig. 3 

The plants belonging to this genus generally grow in wet, 
marshy situations, and hence the name, Ranunculus, derived 
from the Latin, rana, a frog, which animal lives in such places. 
This is a large genus, comprising several very common wild 
plants, and numerous garden flowers. The common name of 
some of the species, Crowfoot, is taken from the resemblance 
in shape of the divided leaves to a bird's foot, and the other as 
common appellation, Buttercup, from the rich golden yellow of 
the petals. The flowers, when not made double by cultivation, 
consist of five petals, numerous stamens, and carpels, each of 
which has a short, beaked stigma, without a style, all collected 
in a roundish head, on the receptacle. 

The three species figured in our plate are among the prettiest 
of the genus. R. gramineus, is a native of many parts of 
Europe, and is particularly distinguished by its grass-like 
leaves and large flowers. R. amplexicaulis, comes from the 

The Ranunculus, or Crowfoot. 165 

and is remarkable for its undivided glaucous leaves, 

hch clasp the stem, and its white flowers, which have some- 

• es a tin^e of pink or purple. R. aconitifolius, came originally 

r m the middle of Europe, and a variety of it, with double 

flowers, as represented in the plate, is very commonly cultiva- 

d as a garden flower, under the name of the Fair Maid of 
France, or White Batchelor's Buttons. It is hardy and easy 
of culture. These species we have figured in preference to 
the common native species, since the latter are so well known 
as to make their appearance familiar to every one. Equally 
familiar is the very common cultivated species, JR. Asiaticus, 
so many varieties of which are known to the lover of floricul- 
♦ure. The varieties are indeed innumerable, and scarcely any 
two plants raised from the seed will be alike. The following 
directions for cultivating the garden Ranunculus, in our climate, 
are given by Mr. Eley, a most experienced and skilful florist, 
of Hartford, Connecticut. 

As this plant is rather more tender than the Anemone, and 
more liable to be killed by the frost and wet in this climate, 
unless it is well protected, the best way to secure a show of 
flowers, is to prepare a bed in the fall, (say October,) and plant 
the roots in the spring. Having selected the bed intended for 
them, spread it two or three inches thick with decayed cow 
manure, and dig it in pretty deep, laying the soil up in a ridge 
in the centre, to carry off the water. Early in April, level 
down the bed, and spread over a thin coat of sandy loam ; 
mark with a rod some lines across the bed, six inches apart, 
place the roots carefully in the rows, with the crowns upwards, 
four or six inches apart, and lay a portion of sand round and 
upon each root ; then cover them over with about two inches 
of the loam. 

Never select the largest roots to plant in a flower-bed, for 
they generally divide into offsets, and seldom flower well ; but 
choose those of the middle size, with the crown high and 
firm to the touch. It is indispensable that the roots never be 
allowed to come in contact with the manure or decaying vege- 
table substance, as they will become more or less injured. 
When the leaves appear above ground, choose a dry day, and 
press the soil firmly about the roots with the hand, as if the 

PI. 25, 


st // (Y 71 CU&J Jpi4Z>77lt&l€6lJ '. f Grass, /eared Xanuncu lujt J 
?. 7tf(?ut*tcftGttJ <Z4?zfl/eM€a4luJ. (Stent- dasping Ha.7uwculus. ) 
3 SUt nei-Jtctt/Utf twemt&fP&UJ. fjtolmate. /eared Ranunculus.) 

166 The Ranunculus, or Crowfoot. 

weather proves dry, and the crowns of the roots are exposed 
they will suffer material injury. In dry weather, they require 
watering, and this must be continued, if necessary, until thev 
are in full bloom. 

In situations where the sun has great power, they should be 
shaded, or the leaves will become yellow, and few flower 
will be produced. They should also be shaded while hi 
flower, or they will soon fade. This shading may be effected 
either with an awning, or by bending hoops across the bed, and 
covering them with mats, always taking care to allow a cur- 
rent of air to pass underneath. As soon as they have done 
flowering, and the leaves have died away, take up the roots 
clean them, dry them on a tray or in an airy chamber, not ex- 
posed to the sun, and when dry, place them in a drawer till 
the season for planting again arrives. If protected from frost 
or damp, the roots will keep for two years. They will flower 
at various seasons, according to the time of planting. Those 
set out in April, will flower in July, and those planted in May 
and June, will flower in August and September. 

The Ranunculus also flowers well in pots in the green-house 
or room window. In August, fill some flower pots with rich 
sandy loam, nearly even with the rim ; give each pot a rap 
on the bottom, to settle the soil, but do not press it down ; level 
the surface, and lay on it a little sand ; then select the roots, 
and place them in a circle around the pot, about three or four 
inches apart, and put one in the middle ; press them gently 
down with the hand, and lay a little more sand over them, 
filling the pot level with the rim with soil, and give them a 
gentle watering ; then place the pots in a sheltered situation, 
until the appearance of frost, after which remove them to the 
green-house or room window. Supply the plants with water 
as they require it, and they will soon flower. Other plantings 
may be made monthly, during the winter, which will flower in 
succession. Roots that have been kept out of the ground one 
year, will be best for this purpose, as they will grow much 
quicker than those which were taken up the last season. The 
Ranunculus is increased by separating the offsets from the 
root, and by seeds from new varieties. 

A very neat, smooth species, R. abortivtts, not uncommon in 

PL. **• 

2 KcUL ^U<Zc/uz/cC. f&ooded Inlet-. J 


The Violet. 167 

T~ woods in New England, is well worth the attention of 
, cU itivator, as we are assured that with proper management 
. v be rendered a very ornamental plant. Indeed, there 
se veral other native species which would well repay the 
re of cultivation, and would doubtless receive attention, if, 
' stead of being native productions, they were only brought 
from India or New Holland. 


Natural Order, Violacese. Linnsean System, Pentandria, Monogynia. Gen- 
eric Distinctions : — sepals five, unequal, auricular at the base ; petals five, 
irregular, the upper one spurred at the base ; anthers connate, the lobes di- 
verging; capsule oue celled, three valved. 

V. cucullata. — Very smooth; leaves cordate, cucullate at the base, acute, 
crenate ; peduncles longer than the petioles ; stipules linear ; inferior and 
lateral petals, bearded. — Plate 26. Fig. 2. 

The origin of the word viola, given by the Latins to this ge- 
nus, is not satisfactorily explained The Greeks called it ion, 
which is supposed to be derived from Io, a mistress of Jupiter, 
who was transformed into a cow, for whose food the Violet 
was fabled to have been created ; and it is conjectured that 
the Romans, adopting the Greek story, made viola from vitula, 
a young cow. Whatever may be the derivation of its name, 
no plants have been more celebrated in song and story, than 
those of this beautiful genus. 

Violets dim. 
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, 
Or Cytheraa's breath, — 

have always been the poet's flowers, and truly their delicacy, 
beauly, and perfume, render them worthy of all that has been 
written and sung in their praise. The Sweet Violet, V. odor- 
ata, and the Pansy or Heartsease, V. tricolor, with their numer- 
ous varieties, have a place in every flower garden, from the 
conservatory of the prince, to the little patch of the peasant. 
The Sweet Violet, which is doubtless the species described by 

168 The Violet. 

the ancients, is very widely diffused over the Eastern Com" 
nent, being found in the British Islands, all over Europe a A 
extending even through Asia to China and Japan, and to som 
degree naturalized in America. The most highly prized va ' 
eties are the Russian and the Neapolitan. The latter are pal 
blue, and very fragrant, and may be made to flower during th 
whole winter. The other species, or Pansy, also receives th 
attention of florists, and is made to produce very large and 
beautiful flowers. We are again indebted to Mr. Eley for his 
method of cultivating this plant. The seed, he says, should be 
sown in spring, or as soon as it is gathered from the plant in 
summer. In April or May, make the bed in which it is intended 
to sow the seed. It should be of rich soil, and in a shady sit- 
uation. Lay just as much soil over the seed as will cover it 
and gently pat it down, and, if the weather is dry, water the 
bed a little. In ten days or a fortnight the plants will be up 
and when they are an inch or two high, transplant them with 
little balls of earth at their roots, into beds, placing them in 
rows four inches apart every way ; and as this is the bed in 
which they are intended to flower, always select a moist situ- 
ation, and keep them free from weeds. If any of the plants 
have remarkably fine flowers, they may be increased by layers 
or by dividing the roots. Layering should be done in May or 
September, and is performed by making a slight incision in the 
stem at a joint, and pegging it down about an inch in the soil. 
They can be taken up and divided at any time in Summer, 
except in hot, dry weather, and a moist, cloudy day should be 
chosen for the- purpose. To ensure a fine show, it is necessary 
to renew the plants by seed, layering, or dividing the roots 
every year, as old plants invariably produce small flowers. 

The species of which we have given a portrait is one which 
every one will recognise as our most common blue Violet. In 
almost every moist, grassy field, it is one of the earliest sprint 
flowers. In New England we have at least twelve well dis- 
tinguished species, several of which are worthy of mention. 
One, particularly distinct from all others, is the Pedate Violet, 
V. pcdata. Contrary to the usual habit of the genus, it grows 
in dry, sandy soils. Its flowers are very large, and of a pale 
blue color, and its root stalk is very curious, appearing as if 

The Fink. 169 

1 wer part were bitten off, and furnishing an excellent ex- 

1 of the premorse root. The leaves are perfectly pedate, 

ain ? f rom five to nine lobes. Another large and showy 

• es with yellow flowers, is V. pubcscens ; and V. Canadensis, 

t 11 violet, with white or light blue petals with yellow bases, 

' considered one of the most beautiful of the whole genus. 

The smallest, most fragrant, and most delicate of our native 

„;«« is V. blanda. whose sweet white flowers, streaked with 

1 nder veins of blue, are seen at this season near every brook 

S ' No plants are more changeable in their characters than the 
Violets ; all their parts being more or less influenced by acci- 
dents of situation, soil and season. In consequence of this 
circumstance, considerable confusion has arisen, some botanists 
naming as distinct species, what others consider mere varieties. 
Indeed, it would be difficult to find two precisely similar 
descriptions of a single species. 


On the same plate with the Violet, we have figured a pretty 
and delicate species of Pink, remarkable for its deeply 
fringed petals. For the genus Dianthus itself, and another 
species, the reader is referred to page 60, in the February No. 
of this work. The present species was introduced here, in 
order to give an opportunity for some promised directions as to 
the cultivation of these favorite plants, and more especially of 
the Carnation. The species from which have sprung the nu- 
merous varieties called by the general name of Carnation, is 
the Dianthus ca^ophyllus. This plant is found wild in some 
parts of England, growing among old ruins, and in greater 
abundance on the south side of the Alps and Pyrenees. It 
has been cultivated in most parts of Europe, from time imme- 
morial, and has always been in the greatest favor from its 
beauty and fragrance. From Germany and Italy, where it is 
cultivated to the greatest extent, are procured some of the best 

170 The Pink. 

varieties. All the garden carnations are more or less vane™ 
and are divided into three classes, Flakes, Bizarres 
Picotees, which altogether contain more than five hund 

named varieties. Flakes have only a single color, running I 
stripes, quite through the petals, on a white or yellow ground 
Bizarres are variegated in irregular stripes or spots, with 
less than two colors on a white or yellow ground. p[ Cote 
have a white or yellow ground, edged or spotted in fine spots 
with some darker color, and the edges of their petals fringed 
These kinds are again divided by their colors, as scarlet flake 
purple bizarre, &c. We are again indebted to Mr. Eley foj 
his very successful method of managing and propagating these 

Carnations are usually propagated by layers. These are 
shoots buried in the ground so as to force them to take root at 
a joint, without separating them from the parent plant. This 
operation should be performed as soon as the flowers becri n to 
fade, or the shoots are sufficiently long, which is generally 
about the end of July. A number of pegs, of wood or bone 
about five inches long, with a hooked end, should be provided. 
The shoot of which a layer is to be made may have four or five 
joints, and the lower leaves next the root are to be stripped 
off, up to within two or three joints of the top of the shoot 
Next stir up the earth around the plants, and lay on an inch ol 
fresh soil. Then, with a sharp penknife, the layer should be 
cut about half through, about a quarter of an inch below the 
second or third joint, on the side next the ground ; then pass 
the edge of the knife upwards, splitting the stem through the 
centre of the joint, to about one half or three quarters of an 
inch above it, and lastly, cut off horizontally the small portion 
left below, and connected with the joint, quite close to the 
bottom of the joint, taking great care not to injure the joint it- 
self, as it is from the lower outer circle of the joint that the 
root-fibres will spring. After the incision is thus made, the 
wounded branch is to be pressed gently into the soil, so as to 
avoid breaking it, and a peg pushed down, so as to bring its 
hooked end over the layer, securing it about an inch below 
the surface. The upper end of the layer should be raised as 
nearly upright as possible, the stem being only covered at the 

The Pink. 17 j 

joint, and none of the leaves being buried. As soon as this 
is done, give them a watering, which may be repeated as often 
as the weather may render it necessary, and they will be 
rooted and ready to pot off in about six weeks. When they 
have struck root, or by the end of September, cut them from 
the parent plant, with about an inch of the stalk below the in- 
cision attached, and plant them in small pots, filled with good 
loam, and a little decayed manure, or leaf mould. When 
potted, place them in a sheltered situation, till the middle of 
October, at which time they should be removed into the house 
or frame for the winter. 

Where a quantity of plants are prepared for the garden, the 
layers can be planted in boxes, twenty or more in a box, and 
be protected by a spare hot-bed frame, placed in the ground, in 
a warm situation facing the south. Dig out as much of the earth 
from inside the frame as will prevent the plants from touching 
the glass, and place the earth dug out around the outside of the 
frame as high as the top of it, beating it well down, so as to 
exclude the frost. Previous to placing the boxes in the frame, 
lay two or three inches of coal ashes on the surface, which 
prevents worms from penetrating, and allows the water to drain 
away. Put on the glass sash, and shade them from the sun a 
few days, until they are recovered from transplanting ; then 
begin gradually to give them air, and increase it till dry warm 
weather, when the sashes may be taken entirely off. Take 
care to close them down again in the evening, and preserve 
tbem at all times from excess of wet, otherwise, mildew will 
infest the plants, which should be wiped off when it appears, 
or the diseased plants removed, and all decayed leaves picked 
off, and give a little water to those that appear dry. Follow 
this mode of treatment till the winter sets in, then shut the 
sash down close, and cover with mats, or straw and boards, 
and let them remain as long as the severe weather lasts ; but 
when the weather changes and the clays lengthen, give air as 
before, till the beginning of April, and a week or two before 
finally removing them, give full air, night and day. If it is de- 
sired to have them flower in pots, they should be shifted in 
March or April, into pots nine inches in diameter, in the fol- 
lowing compost : two parts of good, fresh loam, one part de- 

172 The Pink. 

cayed manure, and one part of coarse sand, (and if convenient 
leaf mould may be used,) mixed well together; give them a 
little water, and as soon as frost is over, plunge the pots in the 
ground where they are intended to grow until in flower, the 
rims being just level with the surface of the ground. Place a 
neat stick in each pot, to which tie up the flower stems as they 
advance in growth, and water them in dry weather. When 
the buds begin to open, the pots can be lifted and removed 
where they are wanted to bloom, and if they are placed on a 
verandah, or in some other situation where they are partially 
shaded, the flowers will last much longer, and be finer colored 
than if exposed to the full sun. When the calyx has swelled to 
nearly its full size, it is apt to burst and let out the petals on 
one side, which destroys the beauty of the flower, and to avoid 
this, the calyx should be tied neatly round with a piece of 
twine, or a narrow slip of bladder be placed round it, the ends 
of which should be lapped over each other, and fastened with 

Seeds are seldom used in propagating carnations, except for 
raising new varieties ; but, says the Florist's Directory, when 
they are required, they should be chosen from those flowers 
that have not many petals, but their petals should be large, 
broad, substantial, and perfectly entire at the edge, and their 
colors rich and regularly distributed. Neither layers nor 
pipings should be taken from those plants which produce seeds ; 
and as soon as the petals wither, they should be drawn care- 
fully out of the calyx, as the claws are apt to decay and en- 
gender mouldiness, which will destroy the seeds. The seeds, 
when ripe, should remain in the seed-vessel, and be kept in a 
dry room till May, when they should be sown in pots, in light, 
rich mould, or carnation compost, and kept in the open air, or 
in an airy part of the garden, shaded from the heat of the sun, 
till the plants are about three inches high, when they should 
be planted out in a bed of good rich mould, about ten or 
twelve inches apart, and kept there till they flower, when it 
will be seen what are deserving of' being kept, and what 
should be thrown away. No carnations are esteemed that 
are not round, and regularly formed, and clear in color. 

The Natural System of Botany. 173 



Order — Papaverace*:. The Poppy Tribe. 

This Order contains many plants well known for their pecu- 
liar properties, and much cultivated. The insp.ssated juice 
of several of the poppies forms the much used, and much 
abused drug, opium. The order is nearly related, in some 
respects, to Ranunculaceae. The leaves are generally deeply 
divided, and the stamens are numerous, and arise from under- 
neath the carpels. In these points, the resemblance to the 
Crowfoot tribe is very strong ; but on examining any of the com- 
mon species of Poppy, the carpels, instead of being separate, 
will be found to have grown together into a single ovary ; the 
styles are wanting, the stigmas are elevated hairy ridges, which 
radiate from the centre to the circumference, of the top of the 
ovary, forming a kind of star-like crown. On opening the 
ovary, a single cell or cavity will be seen, with several little 
partitions projecting from the sides towards the centre of the 
cavity, and covered with a great number of very small ovules, 
or young seeds. The calyx of the Poppy has only two sepals, 
which completely enclose the bud before it expands, and the 
corolla has four petals. These are the usual numbers, but 
some of the tribe vary to three sepals and six petals. When 
the stem of a Poppy is broken, a thick, milky, turbid juice 
exudes, which contains the narcotic principle which gives its 
value to opium. We have seen before that the juice of all the 
Crowfoots is clear and watery — so that this is another striking 
means of distinguishing the two orders. As the ovary of the 
Poppy ripens, the outside becomes very hard and brittle, and 
forms a hollow capsule, with a brownish shell, and the seeds 
separate from their attachments, and when shaken rattle in 
their case. The shell of the capsule becomes so firm and hard, 
that the seeds could not find their way out, unless by some 
especial contrivance. The lid, or top of the caDSule, is so 

174 The Natural System of Botany. 

firmly united to the lower part, that it will not open, and 
remedy this, there are a number of little valves which on ° 
between the stigmas, and through these the seeds drop oT 
The structure of the Poppy capsule maybe understood by con 
ceiving that the several carpels have adhered together, their wall" 
being flattened against each other, but that the union of these not 
being complete, the partitions do not reach the centre. Tbea 
partitions, to which the seeds are attached, are called v la C en 
tas, and in this case they are parietal— that is, they spring from 
the wall of the seed vessel, and not from its centre. 

The essential characters of this Order are, then— Stamens 
very numerous ; Carpels united into one central ovary, with a 
single cavity ; Juice, milky. It, now, the reader has procured 
(as he should always do in studying the Natural Orders ) a 
flowering plant of the Ranunculus, and another of the Poppy 
and has examined all the parts as we have described them,' 
and compared the characteristics of the two together, he will 
have fixed the difference in his mind, and learned the nature 
of two important tribes of plants, so that he will never be in 
danger of mistaking the one for the other. 

There are several plants belonging to this Order, which dif- 
fer considerably from the true Poppy, in the formation of their 
seed vessels, and to save mistakes, it is well to notice one or 
two of these. In No. 4, PI. 16, of this work, is the portrait of 
a member of this Tribe, called the Horned Poppy. In this 
the fruit differs from that of the true Poppy, in being very long 
and slender, instead of short and globose. The reason of this 
is, that in the true Poppy there are a greater number of car- 
pels grown together, being just as many as there are stigmas, 
wliile in the Horned Poppy there are only two carpels. On 
opening the fruit, however, it will be found to contain, like the 
other, only a single cavity, with parietal placentae. 

There is a small plant generally known as Celandine, which 
is not uncommon in this country, growing by road sides, and 
under fences, whose yellow flowers are in umbels, and whose 
fruit is a long pod very like that of the Horned Poppy. Its is yellow, and is frequently used by school boys, with no 
great success, to cure warts. 

Another curious American member of this Order, is the 

The Natural System of Botany. 175 

Blood-root, Sanguinaria Ca?iadcnsk, a neat early spring flower, 
"th a single ^ ar ^ e ren '^ orm l ea *» anc ' a scape bearing a single 
white fl° wcr - Its J uicc is very dark colorecl » nearly red, and is 
emetic and purgative. Its pod is oblong, and acute at each end. 
There is a genus, Chryseis, which comes from California 
and Oregon, one or two species of which, under the name of 
Escholtzia, are commonly cultivated in gardens, which presents 
a curious anomaly. The flower, before it expands, is enclosed 
in a pointed green sheath, which is pushed up as the petals 
open, and at length falls off. This extinguisher-like organ is 
somewhat puzzling at first, but if examined, is found to be the 
calvx, the two sepals of which have grown together so firmly 
that they will not separate, in the usual manner, to admit, of the 
expansion of the flower, and since it must be got rid of in some 
ff ay, its attachment to the receptacle is made so loose, that it 
separates all round at that point. Similar instances of the 
adhesion of two parts which grow near each other, are not 
uncommon in plants, and sometimes prove difficult of explana- 

All the Papaveraceae possess narcotic properties in more or 
less intensity, but these properties are only manifested by 
those parts which yield the milky juice. The seeds abound 
in a kind of oil, which is much used in the manufacture of 
varnishes, on account of its being colorless, and drying easily. 
This oil does not partake of the narcotic quality, though the 
capsules, before they are ripe, supply the largest quantities of 
the milky juice from which opium is derived. There is a syrup, 
well known to nurses, under the name of White Poppy Syrup, 
by the effects of which, when improperly administered, there 
is no doubt that the lives of many infants have been lost, and 
equally fatal effects have been produced by some popular 
medicines, as Godfrey's Cordial, in the composition of which 
opium forms a large proportion. It ought to be known that 
infants are far more susceptible of the influence of narcotics, 
than of that of other medicines, so that these should never be 
administered except under the direction of a competent physi- 

All the Papaveracea? belong to the Linnaean class and 
order, Polyandria, Monogynia. 

176 The Natural System of Botany. 

Order — CruciferjE. The Cruciferous Tribe. 

This is a very large and important order, comprehendin 
nearly nine hundred species, among which are many of th 
most useful and ornamental plants. The Turnip, CaulinW er 
Cabbage, Mustard, Cress, Radish, are universally cultivated 
as edible vegetables, and the Wall flower, and Slock gilliflower 
as showy garden flowers. They all possess a peculiar acrid 
stimulating principle, dispersed throughout every part, often 
accompanied with an etherial oil. Their flowers are generally 
small, but marked with such obvious characters that they can 
hardly be mistaken. One of these characters is the number 
and arrangement of the stamens, which is scarcely subject to 
the least variation, and which is peculiar to this order. The 
number of stamens is six, of which two are shorter than the 
rest, corresponding to the most natural of the Linnaean classes 
Tetradynamia. Their arrangement, as well as that of the 
petals, is somewhat in the form of a cross, from which the 
name of the order is derived, the four long stamens being 
placed above and below, and the two shorter at the sides. 
There is a very common little weed, known to every body 
under the name of Shepherd's Purse, (Capsella bursa-pastor'u) 
which grows by every roadside, producing its minute white 
flowers all summer. Its name seems to have been given it 
from its seed vessel having small pockets, with minute flat 
seeds, like fairy coins. Let the student procure a specimen 
of this, and examine its construction. The flowers are 
arranged in a raceme, and are quite destitute of bracts, the 
absence of which is a mark of this tribe. Observe, I pray vou, 
says Lindley, how very useful it is to be aware of this. Ima- 
gine yourself cast away upon a desert island ; and there, sur- 
rounded with plants of unknown forms and tempting looks, 
none of which you dare use from fear of their proving poison- 
ous. Among them, however, you remark a good many of the 
same kind, one of which is just beginning to bear its tufts of 
flowers : the blossoms are too young to be examined, but old 
enough to show you that they grow without bracts ; the leaves 
you would easily see were those of Exogenous plants, and you 

The Natural System of Botany. 177 

ould immediately know that this species at least would be 
t only harmless, but the very best kind of vegetable for you 
to consume; a salad which might be eaten with the utmost 

To return to the Shepherd's Purse; the sepals are four, and 
t he petals four, arranged in the form which gives rise to the 
appellation of Cruciferae, or Cross-bearers. The pistil is green, 
wedge-shaped, and bears the short style and flat stigma on its 
summit. If the ovary be cut open, it will be found to contain 
two cells, in each of which are a number of ovules, hanging by 
slender thread-like stalks, and originating, not from one pillar, 
like central placenta, but from a kind of partition which 
extends quite across the ovary to its sides. This shows the 
reason why in this order the ovary is often one-celled, and also 
explains the peculiar mode of dehiscence of the seed vessel. 
The fruit becomes a triangular, wedge-like body, heart-shaped 
at the summit, and is composed of three pieces, two of which, 
the valves, separate from the third, the dissepiment, and it is to 
the edges of this last piece that the seeds are united. The 
mode in which this curious seed vessel is formed will serve as 
another illustration of the theory which refers all parts of 
plants to different developments of the leaf. In this case, each 
valve is considered to be a carpellary leaf, the two edges of 
which are not entirely folded in, and the ovules arise, therefore, 
from a placenta formed by the thickened edge of each leaf, so 
that there are really four separate placentae, and the ovules lie 
in four different directions. But the contiguous placentae of the 
two carpels unite together, and project towards the middle of 
the ovary, and in this instance the opposite ones meet toge- 
ther and form a complete partition. In many other Cruciferae, 
they do not meet, so that the ovary is one-celled, and the pla- 
centa parietal. This whole examination must of course be con- 
ducted by the aid of the microscope, and may be somewhat 
obscure and difficult, but the student will have learned the 
means of recognising with certainty the characters of this 
great tribe of plants, so widely diffused over the globe, all of 
which are quite harmless when eaten, and some of which are 
most excellent and salutary. 
The fruit of many Cruciferae differs from that which we 

178 The Natural Syskm of Botany. 

have examined, and it is on this difference that the Linriap 
orders of the corresponding group are founded. Instead f 
having a pod nearly as long as broad, called a Silicic lib 
that of the Shepherd's Purse, that of Cabbage, and Turn' 
and others, is very long and slender, and is called a Silim!! 
This difference is not made use of in dividing the Natur 1 
Order, however, but the genera, (which are so numerous ast 
make a division necessary,) are arranged in groups, founded 
on certain minute distinctions in the structure of the embryo 

The Cruciferae are all herbaceous, and most of them aunual 
plants. It is remarkable that while the characters of the order 
are so constant, those of the individual are liable to so great 
variation, under the influence of cultivation. This is shown in 
those which are cultivated for the beauty of their flowers, such 
as the Stock and Wall flower. Both these, says an often 
quoted authority, however lovely in their wild and single state 
are chiefly cultivated when their flowers have become what is 
called double, that is to say, when the parts which are usually 
stamens, and pistils, and sepals, are all transformed into petals* 
by which means, the quantity of gaily colored parts is much 
augmented. It may be a subject of wonder how these double 
flowers are increased, for if the stamens and pistils are con- 
verted into petals, it would seem that no means are left for 
multiplying the race. This would doubtless be so, if all the 
stamens and pistils were really thus transformed ; but among 
many flowers, some are found in which a perfect stamen or 
two remain ; and others, in which a perfect pistil or two can 
be found. If the stigmas of the latter are touched with 
the pollen of the former, ovules are fertilized, and seeds are 
produced, which will grow into other plants, the flowers of 
which will be as double as those of their parents. No one 
knows why double flowers should be capable of being thus 
perpetuated ; it seems as if any tendency which is once given 
to a plant, may be carried on from one generation to another, 
by a careful attention to stop all disposition to depart from the 
new character. In the Stock, any plant that produces flowers 
less double than usual, must have a tendency to depart from 
the double state, and, therefore, should not be allowed to bear 
seed, or to influence the seeds borne by others, but should be 

The Natural System of Botany. 179 

carefully eradicated as soon as its flowers are sufficiently ex- 
panded for their true character to be ascertained. By atten- 
tion to such rules, Turnip-rooted and Long-rooted, White, and 
Scarlet, and Purple Radishes, and all the different races of 
Turnips, have been preserved for years ; whereas, if great 
precautions had not been constantly taken to maintain them in 
their purity, they would long since have become thrown to- 
gether, and reconverted into the wild form from whence thev 

The varieties of Cabbage and Cauliflower, are very nume- 
rous, and many are too well known to require mention. One 
or two are, however, very remarkable for their. size. The 
palm-Kale, which is much cultivated in the islands of the 
British Channel, grows to the height often or twelve feet, and 
another kind, the Tree-Kale, used in France as fodder for cat- 
tle, sometimes attains the height of sixteen feet. A species of 
Brassica, very like the Turnip, furnishes Rape-seed, from 
which is pressed a much used oil, while the refuse is a nutri- 
tious food for cattle, under the name of oil-cake. 

Among other Cruciferae in common use, may be named the 
different kinds of Mustard, Cress and Horse-radish, and the 
Juris, from which the blue dye called Woad is obtained. 

The plants of this order are more abundant in Europe than 
in any other quarter of the globe, only ninety out of the nine 
hundred species being peculiar to America. Their general 
character, as already stated, is to possess, in some degree, ac- 
rid and stimulating properties, such as are observed in mustard 
and horse-radish. None of the order are poisonous, and most 
of the species are very useful remedies for that dreadful malady, 
the scurvy, which, until late improvements in provisioning ves- 
sels, was a terrible scourge to crews upon long voyages. In this 
connexion ought to be mentioned a striking illustration of the 
utility of a knowledge of the Natural System. During Lord 
Anson's voyage round the world, near the beginning of the last 
century, a very large proportion of his crew lost their lives, 
or were rendered unfit for service, by the Scurvy; and 
although new and unknown lands, teeming with luxurious 
vegetation, were constantly being discovered, yet the dread 
which the surgeon entertained of the men being poisoned, was 

180 Of Flowering, and its Results. 

so great, that he would allow them to use no other fresh vo 
table food than grass. If he had been acquainted with th 
simple fact that none of the Cruciferoe are deleterious, and th 
all possess, in a greater or less degree, those properties th 
render them more valuable than ordinary medicines in th 
treatment of that disease, he might have been able to resto 
many to health, by simply explaining to them the very evident 
marks by which this order is characterized, and encouragm* 
them to seek for such plants, and to make use of them without 


The article on Vegetable Physiology for the present month 
is delayed for the purpose of preparing some necessary wood 
cuts for its illustration, and in its place we offer the following 
interesting remarks of Dr. Gray on the subject of Flowering. 

Plants begin to bear flowers at a nearly determinate period 
for each species, which is dependent partly upon constitutional 
causes, that we are unable to account for, and partly upon the 
requisite supply of nutritive matter in their system. For, since 
the flower and fruit draw largely upon the powers and nourish- 
ment of the plant, while they yield nothing in return, fructifica- 
tion is an exhaustive process, and a due accumulation of food is 
requisite to sustain it. When the branch of a fruit tree, which 
is sterile, or does not perfect its blossoms, is ringed or girdled 
by the removal of a narrow ring of bark, the elaborated 
juices, being arrested in their downward course, are accumu- 
lated in the branch, which is thu3 enabled to produce fruit 
abundantly ; while the shoots that appear below the ring, being 
fed only by the crude ascending sap, do not bear flowers, 
but push forth into leafy branches. So also a seedling shoot, 
which would not flower for several years if left to itself, blos- 
soms the next season when inserted as a graft into an older 
trunk, from whose accumulated stock it draws. The actual 
consumption of nourishment in flowering may be shown in a 
variety of ways ; as by the rapid disappearance of the fari- 

Of Flowering, and its Results. igl 

na ceous store in the roots of the Carrot, Beet, &c., when they 
begin to flower, leaving them light, dry and empty j and from 
the* rapid diminution of the sugar in the stalk of the Sugar 
Cane (as also that of maize) at the same period. The stalks are 
therefore cut for making sugar just before the flowers expand, 
as they then contain the greatest amount of saccharine matter. 
Xhe consequence of this exhaustion may be illustrated by the 
facility with which annual plants are converted into biennials, 
or their life prolonged indefinitely, by preventing their flower- 
ing ; while, whenever they bear flowers and seed, whether 
during the first or any succeeding year, they commonly perish. 
go a common annual Larkspur has produced a double flowered 
variety in the gardens, which bears no seed, and has therefore 
become a perennial. So, also, cabbage stumps, which are 
planted for seed, may be made to bear heads the second year, 
by destroying the flower shoots as they arise ; and the process 
may be continued from year to year, thus converting a biennial 
into a kind of perennial plant. The effect of flowering upon 
the longevity of the individual, is strikingly shown by the 
Agate, or Century Plant — so called because it flowers in our 
conservatories only after the lapse of a hundred, or a least a 
great number of years ; while in its native sultry clime it gen- 
erally flowers in the course of five or six years. But whenever 
this occurs, the sweet juice with which it is filled at the time is 
consumed at a rate correspondent to the astonishing rapidity 
with which its huge flower stalk shoots forth, and the whole plant 
inevitably perishes when the seeds have ripened. So, also 
the Conjpha, or Talipot-Tree, a magnificent oriental Palm,' 
which lives to a great age, and attains an imposing altitude,' 
(bearing a crown of leaves, each of which is often thirty feet 
in diameter,) flowers only once ; but it then bears an enormous 
number of blossoms, succeeded by a crop of nuts sufficient to 
supply a large district with seed, while the tree immediately 
perishes from the exhaustion consequent upon this over pro- 

Flowering and fruiting, then, draw largely upon the plant's 
resources, while they give back nothing in return. In these 
operations, and perhaps in these alone, do vegetables act as 
true consumers; decomposing their own products, and giving 

182 On Flowering, and its Results. 

back carbonic acid and water to the air, instead of taking 
these materials from the air. It is in flowering that they 
actually consume most. In fruiting, although the plant is rob- 
bed of a large quantity of nourishment, this is mostly accu- 
mulated in the fruit and seed, in a concentrated form, for the 
future consumption, not of the parent plant, but of the new indi- 
vidual enclosed in the seed. The real and immediate consump- 
tion of nourishment by the flower, is shown by the action of 
flowers on the air, so different from that of leaves. While the 
foliage withdraws carbonic acid from the air, and restores 
oxygen, flowers take a small portion of oxygen from the air, 
and give back carbonic acid. While leaves, therefore, purify 
the air we breathe, flowers contaminate it ; though of course 
only to a degree which is relatively and absolutely insignificant. 
When carbon is consumed as fuel, and by the aid of the 
oxygen of the air converted into carbonic acid, an amount of 
heat is evolved uniformly and directly proportionate to the 
quantity of carbon consumed, or of carbonic acid produced. 
The same amount is more slowly generated in the slower 
decomposition of an equivalent amount of vegetable matter, 
by decay, — a heat which is employed by the gardener, when 
he makes hot-beds of decaying tan or leaves, or by the breathing 
of animals, where it maintains their elevated temperature. 
Now, since flowers consume carbon, and produce carbonic acid, 
acting in this respect like animals, they ought to evolve heat in 
proportion to that consumption. This, in fact, they do. The 
evolution of heat in blossoming was first observed by Lamarck, 
about seventy years ago, in the European Arum, which just as 
the flowers open, " grows hot," as Lamarck stated, " as if it 
were about to burn." It was afterwards shown by Saussure, 
in a number of flowers, such as those of the Bignonia, Gourd, 
and Tuberose ; and the heat was shown to be in direct propor- 
tion to the consumption of the oxygen of the air ; or in other 
words, of the carbon of the plant. The increase of tempera- 
ture in these cases was measured by common instruments. But 
now that thermo-electric apparatus affords the means of mea- 
suring variations inappreciable by the most delicate thermome- 
ter, the heat generated by any ordinary cluster of blossoms 
may be detected. The phenomenon is most striking in the 

Of Flowering, and its Results. 183 

f s ome large Aroideous plants, where an immense num- 
ber ai blossoms are crowded together and muffled by a kind of 
hood, or spadix, which confines and reverberates the heat. In 
come of these, the temperature rises at times to twenty or even 
fifty degrees (Fahrenheit) above the surrounding air. The in- 
crease o( temperature occurs daily, from the time the flowers 
open until they fade, but is most striking during the shedding 
f the pollen. At night the temperature fails nearly to that of 
the surrounding air; but in the course of the morning, the 
heat comes on, as it were, like a paroxysm of fever, attain- 
ing the maximum, day after day, very nearly at the same 
hour of the afternoon, and gradually declining towards evening. 
The source of the heat in flowering is evident. As to its ob- 
ject, we cannot say whether its production is the immediate 
end in view, and the plant burns some of its carbon merely as 
fuel, or whether the evolution of heat and the formation of 
carbonic acid are incidental consequences of certain necessary 
transformations. We have remarked that the principal con- 
sumption takes place in the flower; and that a store is laid up 
in the fruit and seed. But much even of this is consumed, with 
the evolution of heat, when the seed germinates. It may be 
said, therefore, that in the Century Plant, which, after living a 
hundred years, consumes itself for the benefit of its offspring, 
who literally rise from its ashes, we have the realization of the 
fabled Phoenix. 

There is another condition, which, if not essential to the 
production of flowers, exerts an important influence. When 
plants are in continual and luxuriant growth, rapidly pushing 
forth leafy branches, they seldom produce flower buds. Our 
fruit trees, in very moist seasons, or when cultivated in too rich 
a soil, often grow luxuriantly, but do not .flower. The same 
thing is observed when our northern fruit trees are transported 
into tropical climates. On the other hand, whatever checks 
this luxuriance, without affecting the health of the individual, 
causes blossoms to appear earlier and more abundantly than 
they otherwise would do. It is for this reason that transplanted 
fruit trees incline to flower the first season after their removal, 
though they may not blossom again for several years. A season 
of comparative rest is essential to the transformation by which 

184 Of Flowering, and its Results. 

flowers are formed. It is in autumn, or at least after the 
ous vegetation of the season is over, that our trees and shrub 
and most perennial herbs, produce the flower buds of th' 
ensuing year. 

The requisite annual season of repose, which in temperat 
climes is attained by the lowering of the temperature in autumn 
and winter, is scarcely less marked in many tropical countries 
where winter is unknown. But the result is brought about in 
the latter case, not by cold, but by excessive heat and dryness 
The Cape of Good Hope, or the Canary Islands may be taken 
as illustrations. In the Canaries, the growing season is from 
November to March — the winter of the northern hemisphere— 
their winter also, as it is the coolest season. But the rains fall 
regularly, and vegetation is active ; while in summer, from 
April to October, it very seldom rains, and the mean tempera- 
ture is as high as 73°. During this dry season, when the 
scorching sun reduces the soil nearly to the dryness and consis- 
tency of brick, ordinary vegetation almost completely disappears, 
and the Fig-Marigolds, Euphorbias, and other succulent plants 
fitted to this condition of things, alone remain green, not unaptly 
representing the Firs and other evergreens cf high northern 
latitudes. The dry heat there brings about the same state of 
Vegetable repose as cold with us. The roots and bulbs then 
he dormant beneath the sun-burnt crust, just as they do in our 
frozen soil. When the rainy season sets in, and the crust is 
softened by moisture, they are excited into growth under a 
diminished temperature, just as with us by heat ; and the 
ready formed flower buds are suddenly developed, and at 
once clothe the arid waste with a profusion of blossoms. 
This season of interruption to growth, produced either by cold 
or dryness, occurs in a more or less marked degree, through 
every part of the world. 

These considerations explain the operations of forcing plants, 
by which we are enabled to obtain in winter the flowers and 
fruits of summer. The gardener accomplishes these results 
principally by skilful alterations of the natural period of 
repose. He gives the plant an artificial period of rest by 
dryness at the season when he cannot command cold, and then, 
by the influence of heat, light and moisture, which he can 

Wild Flowers in June. 185 

nrays command, causes it to grow at a season when it would 
i ave been quiescent. Thus he retards or advances, at will, the 

eriods o( flowering, and of rest, or in time completely inverts 


June, 'leafy June,' has come at last, though long delayed 
by the clouds and frosts of this late cold spring. It is re- 
markable to observe how the first warm weather has brought 
forward the foliage and flowers. It would seem as if the trees 
and herbs, having had their energies locked up so long, had 
made a redoubled effort, and burst forth at once into full green- 
ness and beauty. Whoever has jounced through any north- 
ern section of the country during the past month, must have 
observed the striking difference between the aspect of the 
scenery, as it appeared a week ago, and as it appears now. 
Then scarcely a green thing broke the dull gray monotony; now 
buds are springing, flowers are blooming, birds are singing. 
Then, the farmer, as he looked upon his frosty fields, almost 
despaired of the fulfilment of the promise of seed time and 
harvest ; now he is merrily watching the result of his toil and 
patience, in his growing crops. It is a difficult thing, among 
the thousand fair productions of Nature, all at once expanding, 
adding fragrance to the air and glory to the earth, to select 
those which are most interesting. Many May flowers continue 
toblossom during a great part of this month. A few days ago 
we found the Wild Columbine in full flower upon the highest 
rock of a craggy mountain in Connecticut, giving grace to a 
savage scene, with its slender upright stems and nodding flow- 
ers. Now will be seen, among the thickest foliage of the 
forest, the showy white involucres of the Dogwood, Cornus Flo- 
rida, and, in the undeigrowth, its humble, though scarcely less 
conspicuous relative, C. Canadensis. Of shrubs indeed a great 
number are in flower. The Swamp Pink, Rhododendron nudir- 
forum, with its fragrant flowers, so winning in their beauty that 

186 Wild Flowers in June. 

the most careless hand hesitates to pluck them frorn^theirlTk 
home ; and the large spreading corymbs of red and white a 
shining leaves of the Large Laurel, Kalmia latifolia, make A 
road-side through the woods like the borders of a great shr k 
bery, while the sandy level of the open glades is blue with 1 
Pedate Violet. The Wild Cherry, Cerasus serotina, puts forth 
its racemes of white blossoms, giving to the feathered peonl 
promise of summer sustenance. On the warm hill sides, uncfe 
the sheltering hedges peeps up the sweet little Milkwort, Pq. 
lygala paucifolia, with its curiously fringed purple blossoms" 
so large in proportion to its height, and near and around k 
grow its neighbors, Convallaria, Uvularia, Geranium, and 
a hundred other "vagram posies." Now is the time to 
look for the Side Saddle Flower, Sarracenia purpurea 
that vegetable spider, which is nourished in part by the un- 
lucky flies who enter its hollow leaves. The Sarracenia is 
generally to be found in low, muddy, wet places, by the side 
of swampy ponds, among moss, and its nodding flower, with 
the singular peltate stigma, is quite as curious as the leaves 
For its singularity this plant well deserves cultivation, and if 
taken up with a considerable portion of its native soil, with 
the Sphagnum, or White Moss, which almost always surrounds 
it, and planted in a large pot, which must be set into a pan or 
tub of water of sufficient depth to reach nearly the rim of the 
pot, it will thrive very well. We have found that a shady 
situation is also necessary. The pretty little Wood Sorrel, Ox- 
alisviolacea t \vhh its frail purple blossoms, and one or two other 
less handsome species of the same genus, the Golden Alexan- 
ders, Smyrnium, or Zizia, conspicuous for their yellow umbels, 
the great Cow Parsnep, Hcracleum, the delicate creeping 
Pennywort, Hydrocotyle, the Sweet Cicely, with its aromatic 
root, and other Umbelliferae, are June flowers. As to Wild 
Roses, now is the season for their greatest profusion, and 
towards the latter part of the month, and the first of July, 
they perfume every thicket. We need not describe them; 
every one knows the Roses. Now the white blossoms of nu- 
merous Raspberries and Blackberries promise an abundant 
supply of their delicate fruit for the later months, and the Wild 
Currant promises to the same effect, but performs not. The 

Wild Flowers in June. 187 

•suckles, Lonicera, or Caprifolium, are now twining 
ff the shrubs, and displaying their pale and fragrant blos- 
°and those fine shrubs, the Hobble Bush, Arrow Wood, 
^^ the other species of Viburnum, are adorning the wood-sides, 
Vie under their shade creeps the delicate Partridge Berry, 
,. j n a repens. Let no one fail to examine and admire its 
v-work petals. Only a few of the Compositoe flower so 
i an d those which do, are the less beautiful species, such as 
, , eQ [Eri< r cron, Senccio, and Gnaphalium. Pyrolarotundifolia, 
f the neatest of plants, with its broad leaves and droop- 
• - fragrant white flowers, together with several other species 
f the same genus, will now delight the student, who seeks 
them among the dead leaves of old woods. Some of the Or- 
hidacece are expanding their unique and puzzling flowers. 
Orchis spectabilis, Arethusa bulbosa, Pogonia ophioglossoides, 
(jMrivedium acaule, and parvijlorum, are all among the most 
curious and interesting plants which the collector will meet 
with. We shall shortly have a word to say about the cultiva- 
tion of these and other natives of the same order, our especial 
favorites. The large blue flowers of the Iris are showing 
themselves among the grass by the pond side, along with the 
more humble Speedwells, Veronica. Along by the fences, 
near rocks in open grounds, may be found the Silk weed, As- 
clepias syriaca ; but the handsomer species of Asclepias do not 
flower till nearly a month later. Among the high grass in the 
meadows, the eye of the rambler will be attracted by the 
yellow flowers of the Star grass, Hypoxis crecta, and the blue 
flowers of the Sisyrinckium anceps, which show, indeed, as if 
they might have suggested the thought which 

Spake full well, in language quaint and olden, 

One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine, 
When he called the flowers, so blue and golden, 

Stars, which in Earth's firmament do shine. 

One of the most showy of native plants is the Lupine, 
Luyinus perennis. We stopped the other day, after a long ride, 
with a thunder shower coming on, to collect specimens of it, 
which were covering the side of a sandy wood with the blue 
tint of their long regular racemes. The Celandine, Cellelido- 
nium majus, is displaying its yellow flowers, and smooth spread- 

188 Wild Flowers in June. 

ing leaves, under the fences. Mitclla diphrjlla is a pretty pl am 
which is now in flower. One glance at its two opposii ' 
leaves about halfway up the stem, and its beautifully fringed 
petals, is sufficient for recognising it. It grows in the woods 
and with it is often found a near relation, Tiarella cordiMu, 
which much resembles it in general appearance. Let the stu- 
dent pay particular attention to the peculiar capsule of both 
On the roots of old trees, that curious parasite, the Indian Pipe 
Monotropa unifiora, will attract the eye to its white, pellucid 
stem and leaves, and solitary flower, which give it very 
nearly the shape which suggested its common name. Its 
woolly brother, M. lanuginosa, does not flower till Au<mst, 
The Loosestrifes are, two or three of them, in bloom, and one 
Lysimachia quadri folia, will be noticed for the regularity of its 
whorls of leaves, each with a flower in its axil. One of the 
same Order, (Primulaceae,) is remarkable, not only for its 
pretty star-like white flowers, shining leaves, and delicate 
aspect, but for its being the only native example of the Lin- 
naean Class, Heptandria, having seven stamens, and seven 
divisions of the calyx and corolla. It is a low, neat plant, and 
must be handled carefully. It is very strange to observe with 
what singular innppropriateness botanists have in many cases 
given names to plants. They appear to be the least judicious 
of all sponsors. Now here is a plant all in sevens, and not at 
all in sixes, and yet it is called from triens, the third part of a 
thing, Trientalis Americana. Among the high grass of wet 
meadows, the most indifferent observer must notice the bril- 
liant scarlet bracts of the Painted Cup, Euchroma, or CastiU 
leja, coccinea. This beautiful plant is figured in a former num- 
ber of this work. A few others of the Labiatae are in flower, 
such as the Prunella, and Galeopsis, and some of the Mints, but 
most of the Order do not bloom till autumn. A rough, coarse 
stemmed plant, with very handsome violet-colored flowers, in 
open fields and waste places, is the Bugloss, Echium vulgare, 
and another of the Boragineae, rougher and coarser if possible, 
and known also as Bugloss, is Lycopsis arvensis. It is not 
exactly a native, but has been here long enough to have 
become naturalized. Along fences, by the sides of woods, the 
flowers of the small Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis, are con- 

The Duckweed. 189 

r~ous, and the long, slender, twining stem, with its hastate 
ps is easily recognised. A larger flowered species, but 
. , gjfnilar leaves, C. Sepium, is found in the same places, 
the surface of stagnant waters at this season will often be 
patches of green, which when examined will be found to 
■ st f a collection of small floating leaves, each about an 
• h Ion", with a cleft in one side, from which proceeds a 
nute flower, with two stamens and a single style. From the 
entre of the leaf hangs down into the water a solitary root, 
with ci kind of sheath at the end. This is Lemna. minor, Duck- 
mea t and is well worth placing under the microscope. A 
more rare plant than almost any we have mentioned, is that 
slender and delicate vine, which may sometimes be found 
mon(r hedges, with its three-nerved, heart-shaped leaves, and 
fascicles of small greenish flowers. This is Dioscorea villosa, a 
species of the same genus which produces the Yam. It is pre- 
sumed that the collector has already, if he has been at all 
among the woods and thickets, had his coat torn and his 
hands scratched by that nuisance, the Bull Brier — called so, 
we suppose, from its being strong enough to stop the progress 
of the maddest of the Vaccine family — with its long thorny 
stems. If he has made its acquaintance in this way, we need 
only direct his attention to its umbels of green flowers, and 
remind him that its name is Smilax rotundi folia. As to the 
Grasses, Cyperaceae, and Juncaceae, hundreds of which are 
now flowering, we can but hope that the reader will have 
patience to study them. 


As we have mentioned the Duckweed {Lemna minor) among 
those plants which flower in June, the following description 
of its structure may induce the reader to seek for and exam- 
ine it : — 

In Duckweed there is nothing but a fleshy floating green 
body, which looks like a green scale, and which is in reality a 

190 The Duckweed. 

compound of both root and stem. Most people fancy iC 
Duckweed never flowers. If, however, you will fix your eve 
attentively upon a mass of it, on a still sunshiny day \ n t u 
month of June or July, you will probably discover exceed, 
ingly minute straw-colored specks here and there on the edge 
of the plants ; they have a sparkling appearance, and notwith- 
standing their minuteness, readily catch the eye. These are 
the anthers, and they being found, you have only to carry 
home the plants, and place them under a microscope, when all 
the secrets of their flowering stand revealed. Where the 
anthers have caught the eye, will be seen a narrow slit, out 
of which they peep ; if you widen this slit with your dissect- 
ing instruments, you will be able to extract the blossom entire • 
and you will have before your eyes the simplest of all known 
flowers, as Duckweed itself is the simplest of all known flow- 
ering .plants. The flower consists of a transparent membranous 
bag, split on one side; within it are two stamens, and one 
ovary with a style and simple stigma. The fruit contains 
but one cell, in which are one or more seeds ; its shell is a 
thin, cellular integument. 

Such are the simple means that Duckweed possesses of 
propagating itself; means, however, which appear to be abun- 
dantly sufficient, if we are to judge from the immense quanti- 
ties which sometimes rise to the surface of our ponds. Besides 
the species under consideration, there are three others, which 
appear to be common both to Great Britian and North Ame- 
rica. We have here no other genus belonging to the same 
natural order ; but in tropical countries, its place is occupied 
by a plant called Pistia, which is a sort of gigantic Duckweed, 
with broad lobed leaves, like some Lichens, and a more highly 
organized flower. 

Effect of Plants upon the Air. 191 


All nature is in a continual state of decay and renovation. 
rpjj e perishing remains of animals and plants exhale putrid 
effluvia* which mix with the atmosphere, and render it impure; 
the incessant action of respiration through the whole animal 
world) increases the impurity by abstracting the vital air or 
oX ygen, and substituting foul air or carbonic acid. This com- 
bined action has been going on from the beginning of the 
present order of created things, and yet it does not appear that 
the air we breathe is less suited to our constitutions now, than 
itwas in the beginning. This is owing to the agency of plants, 
which existing wherever man or animals can exist, are perpet- 
ually at hand to catch up and consume the impure particles of 
the atmosphere, as fast as they are generated, and by fixing 
the carbonaceous part in their own systems, and again libera- 
ting the vital air or oxygen with which the former was in com- 
bination, they restore to the air all the purity which it had lost. 
Here, then, you have another of those admirable proofs of 
wisdom and design that meet the philosophical observer at 
every step. Plants are Nature's eternal laboratories for the 
decomposition of what would be injurious to man and other 
animals ; the means by which the nicest equipoise is main- 
tained between two most important opposite principles. Hence 
it is that the most tiny grass, or the most obscure weed, be- 
comes in the hands of Providence an efficient means of 
working out the great designs of the creation. 

This is not a phenomenon, liable to derangement or inter- 
ruption, but ordered with the most admirable precision in every 
portion of its details. Thus, for example, although it is through 
the agency of leaves that the salubrious effect upon the air is 
brought about, yet we are not to suppose that when the leaves 
have dropped from the trees, and the forest exhibits nothing 
but bare and naked branches, this agency is diminished. 
Leaves fall off indeed in winter, but at that time the corruption 
of the air, by the putrefaction of organized matter, is either 
arrested or very much diminished, and the green carpet which 

192 Effect of Plants upon the Air. 

even in the driest countries springs up at that season, p res . 
an elaborating surface of immeasurable extent, and am l 
sufficient to consume such gaseous impurities as may then L 
engendered. On the other hand, in the spring, when an el 
vated temperature sets rapidly at liberty the elastic impuriti * 
that the winter had bound in chains, leaves too are produced 
with renewed vigor, and still carry off from the atmosphere all 
that the rapidly decaying matter is mingling with it, separating f or 
themselves what man is incapable of respiring, and generating 
in its room, in infinite abundance, that vital air or oxygen 
without which, living things would perish. 

Hence in bright floods the vital air expands, 
And with concentric spheres involves the lands ; 
Pervades the swarming seas, and heaving earths, 
Where teeming nature breathes her myriad births; 
Fills the fine lungs of all that breathe or bud, 
Warms the new heart and dyes the gushiug blood ; 
With life's first spark inspires the organic frame, 
And as it wastes, renews the subtle flame. 

These very beautiful lines are from the " Botanic Garden" 
of Darwin, a writer of an ingenious and philosophical mind, 
whose poetry is now forgotten, although it has some splendid 
passages, and contains numerous descriptions of natural phe- 
nomena, expressed in language remarkable alike for its magni- 
ficence, and for its fidelity to what were, in the author's time, 
considered facts. — Ladies' Botany. 

Ladies' Slipper. 193 


Natural Order, Orchidaceae ; Linnsean System, Gynandria, Diandria. Gene- 
ve Distinctions : — Corolla, four-petalled, spreading ; lip, inflated, ventri- 
c ose, obtuse ; column, terminated by a petaloid lobe ; capsule, three- 
valved, one -celled. 

Q, ctcauk- — Scape, leafless, one-flowered ; leaves, two, radical, elliptic- 
oblong* rather acute ; petals, lanceolate ; lip, longer than the petals, cleft 
before.— Plate 27. 

Cypripedium is compounded of two Greek words, meaning 
Venus' Slipper, in allusion to the form of the lip, which, how- 
ever, bears no very striking resemblance to that of a slipper. 
The genus contains several very curious and beautiful plants, 
f which the one in our plate is perhaps the best known in the 
Northern States. It is not easy to mistake this species for any 
jjiinor else, or to confound it with any other Cypripedium. It 
differs from all others of the same genus in having no stem 
leaves. The leaves are never more than two ; they spring 
from the root, are large, plaited, and downy. The scape is 
from eight to twelve inches high, the flower single, nodding. 
The petals are four, of a purplish green color, the two lateral 
ones twisted. The chief beauty of the flower consists in the 
lip, or nectary, which is a large, veined, inflated bag, of a deli- 
cate pink color. This plant grows in old, dark woods, not 
uncommonly, in most parts of New England, and blossoms in 

Three other species are natives of the United States. One 
of these, C. parvijlorum, is readily known by its leafy stem, and 
yellow flowers, and another, C. arietinum, often called Ram's 
Head, has a much smaller flower than the rest, with linear 
petals. The most beautiful, and largest species, is C. spectabile. 
It is more than two feet in height, with large leaves, and a 
white purple striped lip at least two inches long. 

We ought to add, that the portrait in our plate was litho- 
graphed from a drawing of a fine fresh specimen of the plant 
itself, and is a very correct likeness. 

The Natural Order to which these plants belong, contains 
Vol. I.—13. 

/v >; 





Uitwacau/e (ladies Sl^operJ 

j 94 The Gentian. 

some of the most singular and interesting species of the Ve ge . 
table Kingdom. They are almost always remarkable for the 
vivacity of their colors, the singularity of their organization, the 
grotesque appearance of their tortuous roots and stems, or the 
delicious perfume of their flowers. They are distributed i a 
abundance over the whole earth. In tropical countries they 
often constitute the chief beauty of the forest, many of them 
being epiphytes ; and hanging from the branches of trees, or 
springing from prostrate trunks, of dead timber, they adorn the 
one with bright hues and rich odors, and render the other more 
beautiful in .death than in the full vigor of existence. To 
detail the singular traits of these plants, and to explain the 
peculiarities of their structure, belongs to the notice of the 
order, which will come in in its proper place. There are 
several other well known and very beautiful and curious 
American genera, which we shall hereafter have occasion to 
mention, and figures of some species of which we shall offer. 

The Ladies' Slipper may be cultivated with ease, by taking 
up with the roots a portion of the black earth in which it 
grows, setting the plants out in a moist, shady situation, and 
giving them plenty of water. They may be increased hy 
planting the seeds ; and in order to have the seeds fertile, it is 
a proper precaution, to take some of the pollen from the 
anthers and apply it to the stigma. 


Natural Order, Gentianacese ; Linnxan System, Pentandria, Monogynia. 
Generic Distinctions: — Calyx, four or five cleft; corolla, campanulas, 
tubular at base ; border, four or five cleft; stamens, four or five, included; 
capsule, two-valved, one-celled, many seeded. 

G. Saponaria. — Leaves, oval, lanceolate, three-nerved, acute ; flowers, in 
whorled heads, sessile ; corollas, ventricose, clavate, campanulate, closed 
at top, ten-cleft, the inner segments plicate and fringed.— Plate 28. 

The name of this genus is derived from Gentius, a king of 
Dlyria, who is said to have discovered its tonic properties. 
The species are widely distributed over the temperate parts 

The Gentian. 195 

f Europe, Asia, and America. Their properties are tonic, 
and many of them are intensely bitter. The flowers are often 
ver y handsome, and generally of a blue color. We have 
several elegant North American species, of which the one here 
engraved is perhaps the most showy. It is not uncommon by 
the sides of streams, in meadows and moist ground, and pro- 
duces its flowers in September. The stem is about a foot in 
height, with smooth, opposite, three or five nerved leases. 
The flowers are deep bright blue, in bunches on the top of the 
stem, and are singular, from their never fully expanding. 
They might indeed be easily taken for buds, and one not 
acquainted with this peculiarity, would naturally wait for them 
to open. By drawing apart the outer segments of the corolla, 
the fine fringe of the inner segments will be seen. The color 
of the flowers sometimes varies to purple or white in different 
shades. Another very beautiful and delicate American spe- 
cies, is the Fringed Gentian, G. crinita, which may be at once 
known by its large light blue flowers, and the elegantly fringed 
borders of the petals. There are numerous other species of 
Gentian, growing in various parts of the Eastern continent, 
some of which are in request as garden flowers, and others are 
of use as affording medicinal substances. G. lutea, an Euro- 
pean species with yellow flowers, is the one which produces the 
bitter so much used in tonic medicines, under the name of gen- 
tian, from its roots, which are thick and yellow. According 
to Dr. Gray, any of our native species may be substituted 
for it. 

G. Saponaria, as well as the others, may be cultivated in 
almost any light, rich soil, and may be increased by sowing 
the seeds, or by dividing the roots. It is said that the seeds 
should be sowed as soon as they are ripe, as, if left for a few 
months, they are not likely to germinate. 

196 Swallow-wort, or SilJcweed. 


Natural Order, Asclepiadacese ; Liutuean System, Pentandria, Digy n u 
Generic Distinctions: — Calyx, small; petals, united at base, reflexed- co. 
rona, (nectary,) five-lobed, with five averted horns at the base of th 
lobes ; antheridinm, (connate mass of anthers,) five-angled, truncate 
opening by five longitudinal fissures ; pollinia, (masses of pollen,) in f lv » 
distinct pairs ; follicles, two, ventricose ; seeds, comose. 

A. tuberosa. — Hairy ; branches, spreading at the summit ; leaves, distant 
alternate, oblong-lanceolate; umbels, numerous, sub-corymbose, termi 
nal.— P/.29. Fig. 1. 

Asclepias is the Greek name of Esculapius, the god of 
medicine and physicians, and was applied to the plants of 
this' genus, in reference to their supposed sanitary virtues. In 
some respects, these plants are very curious. All of them are 
filled with a milky juice, which, when the stem is broken 
flows most copiously, and abounds in the substance called 
caoutchouc, or Indian Rubber. The most common American 
species, A. syriaca, is well known from its juice, which is re- 
puted to cure warts, and is usually called Milkweed. There 
are about ten or twelve native northern species, several of 
which are very ornamental. Of these, the one which forms 
the subject of our plate is the most showy, neat, and beautiful. 
It is commonly called Butterfly-weed, from the circumstance 
of its flowers being great favorites with the Butterflies, and 
often covered with those elegant insects. The construction of 
its flowers is very singular, and the description of them in the 
following notice of the plant, by Dr. Bigelow, will guide the 
student in his examination of other species, the flowers of all 
having the same peculiarities. 

The root of this plant is large, fleshy, branching, and often 
fusiform. It is only in comparison with the other species, that 
it can be called tuberous. The stems are numerous, growing 
in bunches from the root. They are erect, ascending, or pro- 
cumbent, round, hairy, green or red. Leaves scattered, the 
lower ones pedunculated, the upper ones sessile. They are 
narrow, oblong, hairy, obtuse at base, waved on the edge, and 
in the old plants sometimes revolute. The stem usually divides 
at the top into from two to four branches, which give off 

Swallow-ioort, or Silkwccd. 197 

crowded umbels from their upper side. The involucrum con- 
sists of numerous short subulate leaflets. Flowers numerous, 
erect, of a beautifully bright orange color. Calyx much 
smaller than the corolla, five-parted, the segments subulate, 
reflexed, and concealed by the corolla. Corolla five-parted, 
reflexed, the segments oblong. The nectary, or stamineal 
crown, (corona,) is formed of five erect cucullate leaves or 
cups, with an oblique mouth, having a small, incurved, acute 
born, proceeding from the base of the cavity of each, and 
meeting in the centre of the flower. The mass of stamens, 
(antheridium,) is a tough, horny, somewhat pyramidal sub- 
stance, separable into five anthers. Each of these is bor- 
dered by membranous, reflected edges, contiguous to those of 
the next, and terminated by a membranous, reflected summit. 
Internally they have two cells. The pollen forms ten distinct, 
yellowish, transparent bodies, of a flat and spatulate form, 
ending in curved filaments, which unite them by pairs to a 
minute dark tubercle at top. Each pair is suspended in the 
cells of two adjoining anthers, so that if a needle be inserted 
between the membranous edges of two anthers, and forced out 
at top, it carries with it a pair of the pollen masses. Pistils 
two, completely concealed within the mass of anthers. Germs 
ovate, with erect styles. The fruit, as in other species, is an 
erect, lanceolate, ventricose follicle, on a sigmoid peduncle. In 
this it is green, with a reddish tinge, and downy. Seeds ovate, 
flat, margined, connected to the receptacle by long silken hairs. 
Flowers in August 

Another very handsome species is A. incarnata, which is 
rather taller than the Butterfly-weed, with large leaves, and 
deep purple or rose-colored flowers. Another remarkable 
species is A. verticillata. The stem is very slender and deli- 
cate, the flowers small and greenish white, and the leaves in 
whorls of five or six. This plant is reputed in some parts of 
the south and west to be a cure for the bite of the rattlesnake, 
and it is said that the Indians will sometimes, by the use of it, 
prevent any injury from that venomous reptile, which for a 
little whiskey they will allow to bite them. Whether in such 
cases the fangs of the snake had not, by a well-known opera- 
tion, been previously drawn out, our authority does not state. 

t/fee/<?A/<z<* --/tiJ-e'iuHfa ; fin for fly -weed- / F^ . / 

AjUrifvunit .<ZvOt^7r 

198 The Wintergreen. 


Natural Order, Ericaceae ; Linnsean System, Decandria, Monogynia. G 
ric Distinctions* — Calyx, five-parted; petals, five; stamens, ten, ere t* 
anthers, fixed by the middle ; style, very short and thick ; capsule fi 
celled, opening from the summit. 

C. vmbtllata. — Loaves, in fours or sixes, lanceolate, cuneate, toothed • fl 
ers, corymbose ; style, immersed in the ovary. — PI. 29. Fig. 2. 

Chimaphila is compounded of two Greek words, signifying 
winter, and to love, a kind of translation of the common name 
Wintergreen. This, and the genus Pyrola, in which it was 
once included, are composed of low, small plants, some of the© 
half shrubby, and bearing very pretty and neat flowers. Thev 
are all called Wintergreen, though the spicy aromatic shoots 
and scarlet berries sold in the New England markets under that 
name, and used for flavoring beer, are produced by another 
plant of very similar habit, Gaultheria procumbe?is. The spe- 
cies figured in PI. 29, is one of the most common and handsome. 
The root is creeping, and woody, sending up angular stems.— 
The leaves grow in whorls or clusters of from four to six. They 
are evergreen, coriaceous, on short petioles, wedge-shaped, 
serrate, smooth and shining. The flowers are in a small 
corymb, on nodding peduncles, which are furnished with linear 
bracts. The calyx has five roundish teeth or segments, much 
shorter than the corolla. The petals are five, roundish, con- 
cave, spreading, cream colored, with a tinge of purple at the 
base. The stamens are ten, each with a two-celled anther, 
each cell opening by a tubular orifice. The ovary is roundish, 
depressed, furrowed, with a funnel-shaped cavity at top. The 
style is straight, inversely conical, inserted in the cavity of the 
germ, and concealed by the stigma, which is large, peltate, 
convex, and moist. The capsules are erect, five-valved, five- 
celled, and the seeds chaffy, very minute and numerous. It 
inhabits dry woods, flowering in June and July, and some- 
times is found in great abundance. 

Another beautiful species, very striking in its appearance, is 
the Spotted Wintergreen, C. maculata. Its leaves are curiously 

The Sage. 299 

variegated with white lines along the mid-rib and nerves. 
Both these species, as well as the Pyrolas, are cultivated and 
highly prized in England, and doubdess we should see them 
often in American collections, if they were not natives of our 
own soil. They may be cultivated with ease in shady situa- 
tions in gravelly ground, and require frequent waterings. 


Natural Order, Labiatae ; Linnsean System, Diandria, Monogynia. Generic 
Distinctions :— Calyx, tubular, striate, two lipped, the upper lip entire or 
three-toothed, lower lip bifid ; corolla, ringent ; the upper lip straight, or 
falcate, lower lip spreading, three-cleft, emarginate ; stamens, two ; con- 
nectile, transversely articulated to the filament, supporting at each end a 
cell of the dimidiate anther ; achenia, four. 

S.ftdgens.—Le&ves, cordate ovate, crenate, woolly below. Flowers, verti- 
cillate ; bracts, ovate, long, acuminate ; calyx, trifid ; helmet of the corolla, 
hairy.— PI- 30. 

Salvia is from the Latin solvere, to save, in allusion to the 
salutary properties of the genus. The species are very nume- 
rous, and widely distributed over the world. They are all 
herbs or somewhat shrubby plants, with leaves generally wrin- 
kled or rough, an aromatic smell, and flowers in spikes. They 
are all easily cultivated, and some of them are in great favor 
as ornamental garden flowers. S. officinalis, in such common 
use as a culinary plant, in various operations of cookery, is a 
native of the South of Europe. It was once in great repute as 
a sudorific and antiseptic medicine, and sage tea is still an 
approved prescription in many womanish ailments. Several 
other species are in use for various purposes, and all agree in 
possessing tonic and aromatic qualities. Only seven or eight 
species are natives of North America, of which a single one, 
S. lyrata, with blue flowers, inhabits the Northern States. 

S.fulgens, is undoubtedly the most splendid species, and its 
superb scarlet flowers make it very ornamental. It is a native 
of Mexico, and has for some years been introduced into our 
northern gardens. The stem is about four feet in height, 

200 A Visit to Chatsworth. 

shrubby at the base, dividing into numerous branches, thickly 
covered with whitish hairs. The leaves are wrinkled, and 
hairy on both sides, the hairs on the lower side being so dense 
as to make it appear white. It only needs to be planted in the 
open border in a very rich soil, and it will flower abundantly 
all summer. In frosty weather it should be protected, and may 
be propagated by cuttings, planted out in the spring. 

Another very beautiful Mexican species, is S. patens, with 
very large flowers, of a most intense and brilliant blue 


The celebrated seat of the Duke of Devonshire, at Chats- 
worth, with its conservatories and gardens, the most extensive 
and best managed probably in the world, have been for years 
a source of great curiosity and interest to all travellers who 
have a taste for the cultivation of plants. The grounds are 
under the management of Mr. Paxton, the editor of the splendid 
work, " Paxton's Magazine of Botany." The following descrip- 
tion of Chatsworth, by a correspondent of " The Magazine 
of Gardening," will be new and interesting to many American 
readers : — 

I went to Chatsworth on business, with a letter of introduc- 
tion to Mr. Paxton. On inquiring for his residence, I was 
directed to pass through the kitchen garden, which, I found to 
my astonishment, contained eight acres of ground. At the 
extremity of this gigantic potarium I found the house, a large 
and very handsome one, with two beautiful conservatories 
attached to it, filled with exquisite specimens of the rarest 
plants. Mr. Paxton was unfortunately gone to London, but 
we were shown into a drawing room exceedingly well and 
tastefully furnished, with a grand piano, pictures, &c; and 
what interested us most, some dozen of silver cups, presented 
by various horticultural societies to Mr. Paxton. Mrs. Paxton, 
a very unaffected, nice woman, soon made her appearance ; 
she expressed her regret that Mr. P. was from home, but she 

A Visit to Chatsworth. 201 

a we would amuse ourselves by seeing Chatsworth, and 
t one of the gardeners with us to show us every thing. 
Where I shall begin with my description of the most complete, 
st extensive, and best cultivated garden I ever saw, whether 
• exotic plants, stove and hot-house fruits, kitchen stuff, hardy 
f nits, or herbaceous flowers, I hardly know. You must 
ccompany me, attended by an intelligent gardener, into the 
two conservatories, attached as wings to Mr. Paxton's house, 
which were filled, on one side with stove plants, all gigantic 
but flourishing, and such as are in season in full flower, the 
narasitical plants falling from the roof in clusters of flowers ; 
on the other side, conservatory plants, among the most con- 
spicuous of which were some Ericas (Heaths) standing two or 
three feet high, and five or six feet in circumference, so covered 
with flowers as to leave hardly a space through which you 
could discern the leaves and branches. We next went to the 
succession fruit houses, consisting of eight ranges of hot houses, 
three in each range, and each range measuring two hundred 
and forty feet long. In the first six houses were Pine-apples 
in every state, from young plants to ripe fruit. In the next 
six houses were Grapes, each house in succession to the prece- 
ding one, and with the most superb crop of grapes you can 
conceive. Then came Peach-houses, filled with fruit; then 
Melon-houses, and last of all, Fig-houses, with full crops of figs 
just ripening. These houses, though very interesting, I have 
hurried you through to accompany me to the mushroom houses, 
or rather cellars ; I dare not say what was the length of these, 
but I should think at least one thousand feet. We next walked 
through a part of the kitchen-garden, consisting of half an acre 
of asparagus beds, quarter of an acre of onions, the same of 
carrots, and the same of rhubarb, the finest I ever saw, and 
every other vegetable in the same proportion. " Why," said 
one of us to the gardener, " you can never consume these 
vegetables ?" The reply was, " When the Duke is here, we 
make a pretty considerable hole in them, when you recollect 
we have one hundred mouths in the servants' hall, besides 
from fifty to sixty at his Grace's table, and the stewards' 
table, housekeepers' table, &c, to supply in addition." The 
orchard also consists of eight acres, and contains the finest 

202 A Visit w Chutsworth. 

sorts of apples, pears, plums, damsons, and other fruits; but 
I will not take you there, but walk across the park to the orna- 
mental garden ; first taking a peep into the orchideous house 
which contains, I believe, specimens of every Orchidaceous 
plant known in England. The house is not ornamental, being 
built so as to suit the plants, but it covers an immense space 
of ground, and finer specimens, many in full blossom, I never 
saw. Now we cross the magnificent park, which I might fill 
a sheet by describing, as it is the most beautiful of parks by 
nature, and is improved by art to its highest perfection. I will 
only stop one moment to look at the mansion — or I ought 
rather to say small town, for it is the largest house I ever saw 
(Buckingham palace would be lost in it) and of the purest 
Grecian architecture. Though splendid in the extreme, no 
part of it is gaudy or tinsel-looking, but every thing is noble 
and princely. The ornamental garden is a quarter of a mile 
distant from the house, forming one of the vistas from the 
windows, the beds of flowers cut out of the finest velvet car- 
peting of turf you ever saw ; each flower having its own pecu- 
liar bed, the formality of it broken by standard rose trees, 
climbers, running up real antique pillars, baskets of flowers, or 
broken ruins covered with the tribe of rock plants ; the garden 
backed by a fine wood, in front of which is the green house, 
filled with Camellias, five and six, and even ten feet in height; 
Geraniums, Botany Bay trees, (for I cannot call them shrubs), 
Mimosas, Ericas, Palms, Musas; in fact, a mixture of the pro- 
ductions of all countries. An iron staircase leads from below 
to a gallery, so that after admiring the plants, you may 
go above and see their tops reaching ten or fifteen feet high. 
Nothing can be finer than the condition of these plants. From 
this we descended to the Italian garden, which is close under 
the windows of the house ; stopping on our way to admire the 
different vistas over lakes of water, which as if by magic throw 
up. fountains on different sides, the jet of one of which reaches 
sixty feet high in a single column. Arrived at the Italian gar- 
den, we might fancy ourselves really in Italy. It is a level 
plot of two or three acres, with marble divisions for the 
flowers, some in form of immense baskets, others in that of 
vases, others in that of immense sea-shells ; in fact, every 

A Visit to Chatsworth. 203 

• ty f form, all filled with plants in flower. The plants, 
, - na j n pots, are taken away when out of flower, and replaced 
, °hers, so that under the windows of the house they make 

perpetual flower garden. The formality of this arrange- 
ent is broken by large plots of roses, and the whole garden 
. f orm ed in terraces, in the Italian style, each fenced with a 
stone balustrade. 

We must now walk on, or our time will not permit us to see 
tae waterfall, which terminates one of the vistas. The 
machinery of this is so good, and the deception so well man- 
aged, that you see a broad sheet of water, apparently falling 
500 or 600 yards, perpendicular, when it falls over only a suc- 
cession of broad steps, from the top of a hill about 200 feet high, 
being supplied with water from a resevoir of sixteen acres on 
the top. The water is amply sufficient, and falls with great 
force, occupying about three minutes in reaching the bottom, 
and there disappearing as if by magic, being conveyed under 
ground. Now we arrive at what will be, when finished, the 
wonder of wonders, the new conservatory, situated in a se- 
cluded spot, surrounded by magnificent oaks, which, sheltering 
it from the winds, do not shade it from the sun. I cannot de- 
scribe it. The centre is finished, and consists of one oblong, 
oval dome, 60 feet high, 360 feet long, and 140 wide ; with 
two wings, each 100 feet long, entered through an arch of 
rock-work, as if going into a cave, but the entrance large 
enough for a carriage to drive in, and a carriage road goes ac- 
tually through the whole. The plants are all to be planted in 
the soil, without pots, and some idea of its size may be formed, 
when I tell you that the pipes for heating it would form a line 
six miles long. I never saw anything so magnificent ; when 
we drove into the park, the sun was shining on it, and we 
took it for a sheet of water, surrounded by hanging woods. 
Our time has been so taken up with this immense conservatory, 
that we shall only be able to see the water garden on our road 
to the house. This garden consists of weeping willows and 
other trees, collected together in a clump, at a little secluded 
spot, which, on a sudden, throw jets of water from the point 
of every leaf, thus forming an artificial shower of rain ; but, 
although very pretty, and certainly very ingenious, the trees 

204 On the Culture of Roses. 

being all artificial, still, after the princely grandeur we ha7 
been admiring, it seems small and insignificant. 

Our space would not suffice, and the subjects are not suited 
to a floral work, to describe the splendor and magnificence of 
the interior of the mansion at Chatsworth, (a full account of 
which would indeed fill a large volume,) and we must be con- 
tented with alluding to a single room, in which is produced a 
most enchanting effect when lighted up at night. This is a 
large gallery, lighted from above, fitted with large specimens 
of oranges, lemons, Camellias, Rhododendrons, Bananas, and 
a great variety of other plants, in large tubs and boxes, placed 
on the floor, so as to leave plenty of space to walk about, and 
forming a complete promenade garden in the house. 


Roses may be planted either in autumn or spring ; but 
many persons prefer the latter. The advocates of spring, 
planting say that it is almost impossible to take up roses with- 
out injuring their roots ; and if planted with broken roots in 
autumn, when the plant is in a languid state, the wounded part 
is more likely to rot than to heal ; whereas, in spring, when 
the sap is in motion, the vigorous state of the plant enables it 
to heal the wound immediately. However, though opinions 
may differ on this subject, there can be no doubt but that 
spring is the season for planting all the China, and other deli- 
cate roses, and that the first week in April, or as soon as the 
frost is out of the ground, is the suitable time. 

The first point is to select a suitable situation, fully open to 
the sun and air ; as, though some few kinds of roses may be 
planted as under-growth under the drip of trees, the greater 
part must have abundance of sun and air. The situation of 
the rosery having been chosen, care should be taken that the 
ground be well drained ; and where the expense is not ob- 
jected to, a bed may be excavated, two feet deep, and a layer 
of brickbats, stones and rubbish, six inches deep, laid at the 

On the Culture of Roses, 205 

m . The bed should then be filled up with a compost of 
nearly equal parts of turfy loam, or loam from old pasture 
land, and vegetable mould, or very rotten manure, mixed with 
about the eighth part of the whole of sand. When climbing 
roses are planted for forming pyramids or pillars, a pit about 
eighteen inches in diameter, or rather more, should be pre- 
pared in this manner for each rose ; and a similar plan should 
be adopted in every situation where any particular rose is 
wanted to grow with great luxuriance. 

The bed or pit having been prepared, and raised a little 
above -the general level of the garden, to allow for the new 
ground settling, the roses should be taken up, and their roots 
having been carefully examined, and all the bruised parts cut 
off, they should be planted about two feet apart, if of the del- 
icate growing kinds; or three feet apart, if of those kinds 
which are very strong and robust. Roses should always be 
planted carefully, with their roots well spread out ; and they 
should be kept out of the ground as short a time as possible. 
They should be frequently watered, for some time after plant- 
ing, and a little fresh stable manure should be laid on the sur- 
face of the ground, over the roots. 

The hybrid China roses are the best for forming pyramids 
and pillars, as they make shoots generally from six to ten feet 
long every season, and their branches are flexible, as well as 
vigorous. Their foliage is also very luxuriant, and healthy, 
and their flowers very beautiful, and of clear and delicate 
colors. They require a very rich soil, and when pruned, 
their shoots should never be shortened ; but those that have 
become old should be cut of close to the main stem, and abun- 
dance of young wood left, as shoots two years old always pro- 
duce the best flowers. 

The season for budding roses extends from July to Septem- 
ber ; and as it is an operation admirably suited to ladies, from 
its requiring skill rather than strength, we shall here give 
some directions for performing it. The first thing necessary, 
is to procure a proper knife ; that is, one with the haft made 
thin at the end, for the purpose of raising the bark after the 
incision is made. The knives usually sold for budding are 
sharply pointed, but if one can be procured with a round 

206 On the Culture of Roses. 

point, it will be found easier to manage. Some bastrrT^ 

must then be pulled into ribbons or strands, and laid in ? 

to be ready. A stock must then be selected, and this ma \! 
either an old tree-rose, or a wild brier transplanted from i* 
hedges the preceding year, or a wild rose raised in the m t a 6 
from seed, and two or three years old, or a sucker sn " 
from the roots of some garden rose. When the stock is * 
lected, a small part of the stem must be chosen, and all rfc 
side shoots, above and beneath it, except those forming the he A 
of the stock, must be cleared away. An incision should th 
be made in the bark, about half an inch long, horizontal! • 
and from the centre of this a perpendicular cut one or tw 
inches long must be made, downwards. The great art ' 
doing this is to cut entirely through the bark, without woundino 
the wood ; and it is for this reason that a blunt pointed knife i 
better than one with a sharp point, as with the latter it is verv 
difficult to avoid wounding the wood. The bud must then be 
prepared, by cutting it out of a shoot of the current year'* 
growth. This is done by inserting the knife about half an inch 
above the bud, and then cutting downwards, so as to take oot 
the bud with the wood of about half the thickness of the shoot. 
This piece of wood must then be separated from the bark 
without injuring the bud ; and this is the most difficult part of 
the whole operation, as if it be done carelessly, the eye of the 
bud will be probably pulled away with the wood, and the bud 
will be rendered useless. The separated bark must therefore 
be carefully examined on the inner side, and if no hole is found 
where the bud is, it is in a proper state. The bark of the 
stock must then be carefully raised with the haft of the knife, 
on each side of the perpendicular incision, and the bud, being 
first reduced to the proper size, must be slipped carefully in. 
The bark of the horizontal incision is then raised to admit the 
upper part of the bud, and the operation is finished, except 
tying the stem several times round with the strands of bast 
matting, in order to keep the bud in its proper place. 

, In about a month, if the bud be found to look full and fresh. 
it has become united to the stock, and the bandage may be 
loosened to allow it room to swell ; and when the operation has 
been performed in July, the head of the stock is general!? 

The Natural System of Botany. 207 

off about a week afterwards, in order to throw all the 
th into the bud. If, however, the operation be deferred 
Str *l August or September, the head of the stock is generally 
UI J. t j|i s pring. All the shoots below the bud should be rub- 
bed or pinched off as soon as they appear. 

Magazine of Gardening. 



Order — Viol ace m. The Violet Tribe. 

After Cruciferse, in the natural arrangement, come several 
orders, which comprise but few genera, and those of no great 
interest. Passing by these, we come to a small, but interesting 
order, which contains some well known and favorite plants. 
This 'is the order Violaceae, the Violet Tribe. To study its 
structure, take the common garden Violet, or Heartsease, 
Viola tricolor, which is easily obtained, and the parts of which 
are larger and more readily examined than those of most other 
species. The leaf is narrow, oblong, and undivided. At its 
base are a pair of large, sessile stipules, deeply cut, and these 
give the leaf the appearance of. being lobed. The sepals of 
the calyx are five, of unequal size, and prolonged at the base. 
The petals are also five, unequal, and two of them stand 
upright, so as to appear above the others, and a third has a 
horn or spur at its base. The stamens are also five, without 
filaments. Two of them have long projections which are hid- 
den in the horn of the petal, and they are all terminated by a 
membranous expansion. The ovary is superior and one-celled, 
with three parietal placentae, covered with young seeds. There 
is but one style, in one side of which is an aperture leading to 
the stigma. The reason of this peculiarity has not been 
explained. The calyx is persistent, and the fruit to which it 
adneres, after the other parts of the flower are gone, opens into 

208 The Natural System of Botany. 

three valves. The essential characters of Violaceae are th 
a persistent calyx, irregular flower, anthers with a membrano ' 
crest, and a three-valved fruit, with a parietal placenta in th 
middle of each valve. 

The order is not a large one, but contains several useful and 
ornamental species, some of which are among the most com 
mon favorites of the garden. The roots of nearly all the orde 
possess emetic properties, and the Ipecac, so generally used in 
medicine, is produced by a South American species. For th 
genus Viola, the reader is referred to the last number of this 
work, where he will find more particular mention made of its 

Order — Droserace.*:. The Sun-dew Tribe. 

This is a small order, containing some very curious plants, 
They are all small and delicate, and are distributed in wet 
places over a great portion of the world. Two or three species 
of Drosera, from which genus the order takes its name, are 
found in the Northern States. A description of the most com- 
mon species, Drosera rotundifolia, will show what singular 
characters belong to these plants. This Sun-dew may be 
found in bogs, on those roundish tufts which are surrounded by 
water, and on the muddy shores of ponds and rivers. It is a 
litde plant, not more than four or five inches high. The leaves 
are nearly round, on long hairy stalks, lying flat on the ground. 
At first they are rolled up, but when spread out and full 
grown, they form a concave disk, covered with long, red, 
shining hairs, on the point of each of which is a drop of clear, 
clammy fluid, which appears like dew glistening in the sun. 
That it is not real dew is readily ascertained ; since it is most 
conspicuous at mid-day, when the dew is entirely dried up. 
These hairs, when placed under the microscope, are found to 
consist of a great number of parallel cells, and to be most 
beautifully variegated with pink, green, and yellow. Each 
hair is tipped with a most brilliant red point, from which 
exudes the fluid, which is acrid to the taste. The hairs, when 
an insect alights on them, curve inwards so as to retain it. 
The flowers are very small, white, arranged on one side of the 

The Natural System of Botany. 209 

scape, and when young are coiled inwards. The sepals are 
five in number, as are also the petals and stamens. In their 
organs of fructification these plants are nearly allied to the 
Violets, but they have been placed in different positions in the 
natoral arrangement. We have followed the best American 
authorities in assigning them a place next to Violaceae. Dr. 
Lindley considers it probable that their true affinity is with the 
Side Saddle Flowers, Sarraceniaceae. 

There is another very remarkable plant of this order, which 
is a native of the Southern States, and is sometimes seen in 
northern collections. This is Venus' Fly Trap, Dionsea 
muscipula. The following description of it, taken from Mr. 
Curtis's Plants of North Carolina, will interest those who have 
never seen it in its native soil : 

» The leaf, which is the only remarkable part, springs from 
the root, spreading upon the ground, at a little elevation above 
it. It is composed of a petiole, or stem with broad margins, 
like the leaf of the Orange tree, two to four inches long, which, 
at the end, suddenly expands into a thick and somewhat rigid 
leaf, the two sides of which are semi-circular, about two-thirds 
of an inch across, and fringed around their edges with some- 
what rigid ciliae, or long hairs, like eye-lashes. The leaf, 
indeed, may be very aptly compared to two upper eye-lids, 
joined at their bases. Each portion of the leaf is a little con- 
cave on the inner side, where are placed three delicate, hair- 
like organs, in such an order that an insect can hardly traverse 
it without interfering with one of them, when the two sides 
suddenly collapse and enclose their prey, with a force surpass- 
ing the insect's efforts to escape. The fringe or hairs of the 
opposite sides interlace, like the fingers of the two hands 
clasped together. The sensitiveness resides only in these hair- 
like processes on the inside, as the leaf may be touched or 
pressed in any other part, without sensible effect. The little 
prisoner is not crushed and suddenly destroyed, as is some- 
times supposed, for I have often liberated captive flies and 
spiders, which sped away as fast as fear or joy could hasten 
them. At other times I have found them enveloped in a fluid 
of mucilaginous consistence, which seemed to act as a solvent, 
the insect being more or less consumed by it. This circum- 


210 The Natural System of Botany. 

stance has suggested the possibility of the insects being m a( j 
subservient to the nourishment of the plant, through an anna 
ratus of absorbent vessels in the leaves. It is not to be sun. 
posed, however, that such food is necessary to the existence of 
the plant, though, like compost, it may increase its growth and 
vigor. But however obscure and uncertain may be the final 
purpose of such a singular organization, if it were a problem 
to construct a plant with reference to entrapping insects, I can- 
not conceive of a form and organization better adapted to 
secure that end, than are found in the Dionaea muscipula,—! 
therefore deem it no credulous inference, that its leaves are 
constructed for that specific object, whether insects subserve 
the purpose of nourishment to the plant or not." 

Order — Cistace^. The Rock-Rose Tribe. 

This is a small order, containing some ornamental plants, 
cultivated in gardens under the name of Rock Rose. Several 
of the species are very handsome, and all are very singularly 
constructed. Their flowers are very frail, blossoming princi- 
pally at night, and perishing under the heat of the sun. The 
leaves of some possess a very fragrant odor. From one spe- 
cies, the Gum Cistus, Cistus ladaniferus, a very popular garden 
shrub, and from one or two others, is extracted the gum called 
ladanum, the fragrance of which has caused it to be used in 
fumigating preparations. Most of the genus Cistus belong to 
the Southern parts of Europe and the Mediterranean islands. 
The American genera are of little note, either for ornament or 
use. The construction of the seed vessel, and of the embryo, 
is very curious, and forms one of the distinguishing peculiari- 
ties of the order. We shall offer a detailed description of it in 
another place. 

Order — Caryophyllacbje. The Pink Tribe. 

Between the last mentioned order and this, there are two 
or three orders which possess no general interest, and contain 
no plants worthy of particular notice. The Pink Tribe, or 
Chickweed Tribe, as it is often called, includes some plants 

The Natural System of Botany. 211 

r great beauty, though most of its members are of little inter- 
Some very common weeds, such as Sandwort, Chick- 
ed an d Carpetweed, belong here. The Pink, in all its 
h utiful varieties, is the genus which'givesthe order its name, 
a contains almost the only species remarkable in point of use 
beauty. To examine the structure of the flower, any Pink 
y be chosen, so it is not a double one. The joints of the 
-tern, at the points where the leaves are set on, are very much 
woln, and this is one of the marks of the order. The calyx 
lias five sepals separated only at the points. The petals are 
five each having a stalk and a blade. The stalks or claws, 
are much narrower than the blade, and stand side by side in the 
calvx, the blade spreading over, and being fringed or lacerated 
at the outer border. The stamens are ten, rising from beneath 
a superior ovary, which has one cell and many seeds. The 
styles are two, and the stigmas are fringed. The capsule 
opens with four valves. The characters by which the Pink 
Tribe may be distinguished, are : — Stems, swollen at the 
joints ; leaves, opposite and undivided ; stamens, few and 
bypogvnous ; ovary, with many styles, one cell, and a cen- 
tral receptacle. 

The order is divided into two sections, one of which has the 
sepals all distinct, and the other has them united in a tube. In 
the tubular division, besides the Pink, are contained the Catch- 
fly, the Cockle, (Agrostemma.) the Ragged Robin, and a few 
others. In the other division are the numerous species of 
Chickweed (Stellaria*) and Sandwort {Arenaria). 

Order — Linacejb. The Flax Tribe. 

This order contains only a few plants, but these are very 
commonly distributed, and afford a product of the greatest im- 
portance. In some points the Flax Tribe bear a resemblance 
to the last order mentioned, and indeed were formerly included 
in it, but the difference is so plain and in so many important 
characters, that the separation is entirely proper. The stems 
of the Flax are not swollen at the joints, nor are the leaves 
generally opposite. The five sepals are arranged, three in an 
inner, and two in an outer series. The stamens, petals, and 

212 The Natural System of Botany. 

sepals, are always equal in number. The ovary contains ten 
cells, and the seed vessel opens into ten valves. By these dif. 
ferences the Flax Tribe may easily be distinguished from the 
Pink Tribe. 

" Scarcely any plant is less affected than the common Flax 
(Linum usitatissimum), by differences of soil and climate 
The same species, with all its characteristics unaltered, flour- 
ishes in the cold as well as in the temperate regions of Europe 
in North and South America, in Africa and in Asia. There 
are few plants which are made subservient to so great a variety 
of uses. It is from the woody fibre of its stem that all the 
thread is obtained, which has been from very ea7ly ages em- 
ployed in the manufacture of linen fabrics, and it is now used 
for that purpose to a greater extent than ever, in spite of the 
degree in which it has been superseded by cotton. From the 
seeds is obtained, by pressure, linseed oil, and the dry cake 
which is left is used for feeding cattle. The seed coats also 
contain much mucilage, so that an infusion of the seeds, known 
as linseed tea, is often of great utility as a soothing remedy. 
Further, the seeds, when ground into meal, form a most excel- 
lent material for poultices ; and great quantities are used for 
this purpose, especially in hospitals. The greatest supplies of 
Flax consumed in manufactures are furnished by Russia and 
Prussia. The annual imports into Great Britain are said to 
be from forty thousand to seventy-five thousand tons of flax, 
and nearly two millions of bushels of linseed. The best Irish 
linen, however, is made from flax cultivated in that country. 
In some parts of the United States it is also raised to a con- 
siderable extent; but the greater value of the corn crops has 
taken away the inducement to its general cultivation. The 
appearance of the common flax is so familiar as to make a 
description unnecessary, and our limits forbid an attempt to 
detail the operations requisite to prepare it for use. 

Order— Geraniace^. The Geranium Tribe. 

This is an interesting order, on account of the great number 
of species which are favorite cultivated plants. Nearly all the 
species are commonly called Geraniums, though the exotics 

The Natural System of Botany. 213 

which are so much prized for their fragrance and beauty, 
belong to the genus Pelargonium. Several species of the real 
Geranium are natives of North America, and one, G. mactda- 
m , usually called Cranesbill, is a common inhabitant of the 
w00( Js and fields o£ the Northern States. This plant, like 
other Geraniums, has leaves lacinated, or cut in three or five 
parts, on petioles which are much swollen at the base where 
they join the stem. This is a character of the whole order. 
The flowers are in an umbel, or rather would be in an umbel 
if more than two grew from the same point. The sepals are 
five, and the petals five, purple, and strongly veined. The 
stamens are ten, disposed in two rows, of which the outer is 
shortest. In the cultivated Geraniums, or Pelargoniums, there 
is less regularity. The stamens are generally less than ten in 
number, and the two upper petals of the corolla are larger than 
the three lower, and stand apart so as to make the flower 
appear as if it had a pair of lips. The pistil of the Geranium 
consists of five carpels clustered together round a prolongation 
of the disk, and each cell contains a single seed. The styles 
adhere together so as to form a single column, divided at the 
top into five stigmas. The ripe fruit much resembles the head 
and long bill of the Crane, whence are applied both the com- 
mon name Cranesbill, and the name of the genus, which is 
made of a Greek word signifying a crane. «» This singular 
appearance is owing to a very simple circumstance. In most 
plants the styles shrink up or fall off at the same time that the 
flower fades, and by the time the fruit is ripe, entirely disap- 
pear. But in the Geranium, the styles continue to grow and 
harden as fast as the fruit itself; and when the latter is ripe, 
the styles project from the ovaries in the form of a beak. At 
the same time the seeds are shut up in the cavities of the 
ovary, so that one would wonder how they are to get out. If 
you would wish to catch the Geranium in the act of sowing its 
seed, gather a little branch of the ripe fruit in a fine summer's 
morning, before the dew is off, and place it in the sun. By 
degrees the fruits will dry, and if you watch them, you will be 
surprised by some of them, on a sudden, emitting a snapping 
sound, and you may see first one and then another of the ova- 
ries quickly curving upwards towards the top of the style, 

214 The Natural System of Botany. 

opening, at the same time, by their face, so as to let the seed 
drop out. This is caused by the styles contracting from dry- 
ness, and shortening ; they stick so close together at the points, 
that they cannot separate there, and so they actually pu u up 
the ovary by the roots, and then roll up upon themselves as 
though frightened at what they had done." 

The Geraniaceae are extensively diffused over the globe. 
The chief residence of the cultivated Pelargoniums is at the 
Cape of Good Hope. By cultivation, and hybridizing, many 
new varieties have been raised. The effect of hybridizing f s 
to produce in a single individual the characters of two others. 
Thus, if the pollen of a plant with blue flowers is placed upon 
the stigma of one with red flowers, the seed will produce a 
plant with purple flowers ; or, if a sort with large, coarse flow- 
ers, be intermixed with one which has small, neat flowers, the 
result will be a large and neat flower. The Pelargoniums 
intermix very readily, and this is the reason of the numerous 
varieties, and improved kinds. This intermixture, however, 
it must be remembered, will only be effectual among varieties 
of the same species, or among species which are very nearly 
related to each other. 

The plants of this order possess an astringent principle, 
which, in our common spotted Geranium, is so powerful as to 
make its roots a valuable medicinal article. They also have 
an aromatic, resinous principle, which causes the dry stem 
of one species to emit when burning a most agreeable odor. 

Nomenclature, 21b 


•$$ have desired to offer our readers an article on the impor- 
tant subject of nomenclature, and had partly prepared one ; 
but we find the requisite information so concisely and properly 
summed up by Dr. Gray, that we are pleased to adopt his 
remarks in preference of our own. 

The names of the Natural Orders, which are always plural, 
sometimes express a characteristic feature of the group ; as for 
instance, Leguminosa, or the Leguminous plants, such as the 
Pea, Bean, &c, whose fruit is a legume ; Umbellifera, or Um- 
belliferous plants, so named from having the flowers in an 
umbel ; Composites, an order having what were termed com- 
pound flowers by the earlier botanists ; Labiata, so called from 
tfae labiate or two-lipped corolla which nearly all the species 
exhibit ; Cruci/era, which have their four petals disposed in the 
form of a cross. But more frequently, and indeed as a gene- 
ral rule, the name is formed from that of some leading or well 
known genus, which is prolonged into the adjective termination 
acett. Thus, the plants of the order which comprises the Mal- 
low, (Malva), are called Malvacea; that is, Planted Malvacea, 
or in English, Malvaceous plants ; those of which the Rose, 
(Rosa) is the well known representative, are Rosacea, or Rosa- 
ceous plants. This termination in acea being reserved for 
orders, should not be applied to suborders, or tribes ; which 
usually bear the name of their principal or best known genus 
in an adjective form, without such prolongation. Thus the 
genus Rosa gives name to a particular tribe, Rosea, of the 
order Rosacea ; the genus Malva to the tribe Malvea of the 
order Malvacea. 

The number of genera in an order is quite as indefinite as 
that of the orders in a class, or other great division. While 
some orders are constituted of a single genus, as Equisetaceae, 
Grossulaceae, &c, (just as many genera contain but a single 
known species,) others comprise a large number ; nearly nine 
hundred being embraced in the last general enumeration of the 
Composite. The names of genera are Latin substantives, in 

216 Nomenclature. 

the singular number, and mostly of Greek or Latin derivat 
Those which were known to the ancients generally p res ,' 
their classical appellations ; as Fagus, Prunus, Myrtus Vi l 
&c; and even the barbarous or vulgar names of plants ' 
often adopted, when susceptible of a Latin termination a A 
not too uncouth ; for example, Thaa and Cojfcea, for the T 
and Coffee plants, Bambusa for the Bamboo, Yucca, Negund 
&c. But more commonly, generic names are formed to e ' 
press some botanical character, habit, or obvious peculiarity f 
the plants they designate ; such as Arenaria, from arena, sand 
for a plant which grows in sandy places ; Dentaria, from dens 
a tooth, for a plant with toothed roots ; Lunaria, from luna, the 
moon, for one with crescent-shaped pods ; Sanguinaria, from 
sanguis, blood, for the Blood-root; Crassula, from crassus, thick 
for some plants with remarkably thick leaves. These are 
instances of Latin derivatives ; but recourse is more commonly 
had to the Greek language, especially for generic names com- 
posed of two words; such as Menispermum, or Moon-seed* 
Lilkospermum, for a plant with stony seeds ; Melanthium, mean- 
ing black flower, for a genus whose flowers turn of a black or 
dusky color ; Epidendron f upon a tree, for Orchideous plants 
which grow upon trees ; Liriodendron, lily, or tulip, tree, for a 
tree which bears lily-shaped flowers. Genera are also dedi- 
cated to distinguished persons, a practice commenced by the 
ancients ; as in the case of Paonia, the Peony, which bears 
the name of Paeon, who is said to have employed the plant in 
medicine ; and Euphorbia, Artemisia and Asclepias, are also 
examples of the kind. Modern names of this kind are given in 
commemoration of botanists, or of persons who have contri- 
buted to the advancement of natural history. Magnolia, Big- 
nonia, Lobelia, and Lonicera, dedicated to Magnol, Bignon, 
Lobel, and Lonicer, are early instances of the practice ; Lin- 
naea, Tournefortia, Jussiaea, Gronovia, &c, bear the names 
of more celebrated botanists ; and at the present day, almost 
every devotee or patron of the science is thus commemorated. 
The names of species, as a general rule, are adjectives, 
written after those of the genera, and established on similar 
principles ; as Magnolia grandijlora, the Large-flowered Mag- 
nolia j M. macropkyllaj the Large-leaved Magnolia ; Bignonia 

Nomenclature. 217 

"^ans, the Rooting Bignonia. The generic and specific 
s, taken together, constitute the proper scientific appella- 
• n of the plant. Specific names sometimes distinguish the 
untry which a plant inhabits, as Viola Canadensis, the 
Canadian Violet ; or the situation where it naturally grows, as 
y mlustris, which grows in swamps ; V. arvensis, in fields ; 
they express some obvious character of the species, as 
V rostrata, where the corolla has a remarkably long spur ; 
f, tricolor ; which has tri-colored flowers ; V. rotundi/olia, with 
rounded leaves ; V. lanceolata, with lanceolate leaves ; F. pri- 
nuUfolia, where the leaves are compared to those of the Prim- 
rose ; V. asarifolia, where they are likened to those of Asarum,; 
y, pubescens, which is hairy throughout, &c. Frequently the 
species bears the name of its discoverer or describer, when it 
takes the genitive form, as Viola Muhlenbergii, Muhlenberg's 
Violet, V. Nuttallii, NuttalPs Violet. When such commemo- 
rative names are merely given in compliment to a botanist, 
unconnected with the discovery or history of the plant, the 
adjective form is preferred ; as Carex Torreyana, C. HooJcer- 
iana, &c. ; but this rule is not universally followed. Specific 
names are sometimes substantive;- as Ranunculus Flammula t 
Hypericum Sarothra, Linaria Cymbalaria ; in which case they 
do not necessarily accord with the genus in gender. These, 
as well as all specific names derived from the names of persons 
or countries, should always be written with a capital initial 

218 Flowerless Plants. 


Although the Cellular or Cryptogamous plants do not 
come directly within the scope of this work, yet they form too 
large and important a class to be entirely unnoticed. Some of 
them, though unadorned with the bright hues and delicate 
proportions which have made a love for flowers so universal 
are yet both interesting and useful, and some of the phe- 
nomena connected with their organization are very curious. 
We propose to devote an occasional brief article to their 
history. The Mosses, perhaps the most abundant and widely 
diffused of the Cryptogamia, are found in all parts of the 
world in which the atmosphere is moist, but they are much 
more numerous in temperate climates, than between the tropics. 
In newly found countries, they are among the first vegetables 
which clothe the soil ; and they are the last to disappear when 
the atmosphere ceases to be capable of nourishing vegetation. 
The first green crust upon the cinders with which the surface 
of Ascension Island was covered, consisted of minute mosses. 
This tribe forms more than a fourth of the whole vegetation 
of Melville Island, one of the most northerly spots in which 
any plants have been observed ; and the black and lifeless soil 
of New South Shetland, one of the islands nearest the South 
Pole, is covered with specks of mosses, struggling for exis- 
tence. Besides their power of resisting extremes of tempera- 
ture, Mosses exhibit a remarkable tenacity of life, when their 
growth is checked by the absence of moisture ; so that their 
life may often be restored, even after being dried for years. 
Hence, they offer abundant sources of interest to the observer 
of Nature, at a season when vegetation of other kinds is almost 
entirely checked. For it is most curious to observe how gay 
these little mosses are, on every wall during the winter months, 
and in the early spring, seeming like the only things which 
enjoy the clouds and storms of the season. They choose the 
most exposed situations, spread out their leaves, and push up 
their delicate urns amid rain, frost and snow ; and yet there is 
nothing in their simple and tender structure from which we 

The Cactus. 219 

could infer their capability of resisting influences so generally 
destructive to vegetation. But it is with the plant as it is 
v jth the animal. The more simple and lowly the being, the 
ater is usually its tenacity of life under circumstances 
which depress the vital powers of higher kinds, while the in- 
fluences which they require are often too powerful for it. Thus, 
Mosses and Lichens, over stimulated by heat and dryness, 
either in summer; but vegetate freely at a season when there 
jg no other vegetation, and when their humble fabrics cannot 
De overshadowed by a ranker growth. Mosses were fanci- 
fully termed by Linnaeus, servi, servants, or workmen ; for they 
seem to labor to produce vegetation in newly-found countries, 
where soil can scarcely yet be said to exist. This is not, 
however, their only use. They fill up and consolidate bogs, 
and form rich vegetable mould for the growth of larger plants, 
which they also protect from cold during the winter. They 
likewise clothe the sides of lofty hills and mountain ranges, 
and powerfully attract and condense the watery vapors float- 
ing in the atmosphere, and thus become the living fountains 
of many streams. They are sometimes 30 completely dried 
up by drought, that they escape notice, and then when moist- 
ened by rain, they appear to have suddenly clothed a barren 
heath, or overspread a dry wall with verdure. 


All the species of the Cactus tribe are destitute of true 
leaves, except when they are first beginning to grow. Just at 
that time they do indeed produce little succulent bodies, which 
we know to be rudiments of leaves ; but such parts drop off 
soon after they are born, and the only representatives they 
leave behind are the stiff, hooked spines, with which so many 
species are covered. The parts which are mistaken for leave? 
in the Indian fig, or some of the more common species of 
Cereus, are only the flattened joints of the stem. 

It would be difficult to find any race of plants, where a 

220 The Cactus. 

more obvious connexion exists between the manner in wh' », 
they are constructed, and the situations it is their destinv 
live in. The greater number grow in hot, dry, rocky pl ace 
where they are exposed for many months in the year to tk 
fiercest beams of a tropical sun, without a possibility f i 
taining from the parched and hardened soil, more than th 
most scanty supply of necessary food. Under such circum 
stances, plants of an ordinary structure would perish ; bm 
Cactuses have a special power of resisting heat and drought, 
and, like the Camel, they carry with them a supply of water 
for many, not days, but months. It usually happens that once 
a year, during several weeks at least, the air that surrounds 
them is saturated with moisture, and the soil they live in j s 
drenched by ceaseless rains. At this time they grow fW 
all the little cavities in their tissue, of which there are count- 
less millions, are filled with liquid nourishment, and they may 
be literally said to gorge themselves with food. Then, when 
the rains cease, and the air dries up, and the Spirit of the 
desert reassumes his withering dominion over their climate 
Cactuses are in the most robust health, and their cells are 
abundantly filled with provision against scarcity. But these 
supplies would be quickly consumed by plants only protected 
by a thin epidermis, and having their surface pierced by 
millions of breathing pores, all actively exhaling the evapor- 
able matter that lies beneath them, and an early death would 
be the inevitable result. Such, indeed, is the lot of all the gay 
companions of the Cactus, which surround it during the sea- 
son of feasting and prosperity, and to which Nature has given 
no special means of enduring the hardships to which their lot 
exposes them ; a few days or weeks suffice to sweep their 
forms from the face of creation ; their leaves rapidly consume 
the stores deposited in the stems ; their stems turn in vain to 
the roots for a renewed supply, for after but a little while, the 
arid earth has nothing to part with, and then the leaves wither 
and fall off, the stems shrink up and crack with the dry heat, 
and the roots themselves, in many cases, follow the same fate. 
With Cactuses this is different ; they have so tough and thick 
a hide, that what liquid substances they contain, can only pass 
through it in minute quantities ; the breathing pores of their 

Embryology. 221 

rface are comparatively few, and so small as to act with 
' ^6 slowness, when the air is dry ; so that in proportion to 

aridity of the air, and the heat to which such plants are 
wjosed, is their reluctance to part with the food they contain. 
They digest and redigest it with extreme slowness, and may be 
^y said to live upon themselves during all those months 

>n they cannot feed upon the soil or the atmosphere. 

Ladies' Botany. 


The peculiar construction of the embryo of the Cistaceae is 
alluded to on page 210. The following notice, by Dr. Lindley, 
of this peculiarity, and incidentally of the method in which it 
is supposed that the impregnation of seeds is effected, will 
show the minute care and patience which have been devoted 
to this obscure subject. 

The ovule of the Cistaceae has a perforation or foramen at 
its point; all ovules have such a perforation, but not all in the 
same place. In most ovules it is next the base ; in a few only 
does it exist at the point, as in the plants before you. The 
use of the foramen is not a little curious. You are aware that 
when the ovule is first formed, it is no more than a mass of 
pulp, in which little or no organization can be detected inter- 
nally; but, in process of time, a small, cloudy speck forms in 
this pulpy interior, and keeps growing larger and larger, till at 
last it becomes an embryo. It has been observed that the 
speck always first becomes visible next the foramen ; and 
there is great reason to believe that in reality the speck is in- 
troduced into the ovule through the foramen. Further, it is 
supposed that it is in the anther that this speck is first formed ; 
that it originates in the inside of a grain of pollen ; that when 
the pollen falls upon the stigma, the former puts forth an ex- 
cessively fine tube, much finer than the most delicate hair ; that 
the tube passes down the style, and continues to lengthen till it 
reaches the foramen; that the contents of the grain of pollen 

222 Embryology. 

are discharged into the tube, and then, by some hidden and 
mysterious agency, carried down the tube ; and that, fi na jj 
they are thus conveyed into the ovule through the foramen, a J 
form the speck. 

For all the evidence, and the many curious facts, connected 
with this part of Botany, I must refer you to modern Introduc- 
tions to this subject; in this place, you must be satisfied with 
my assurance that this extraordinary statement is supported 
not only by observations of my own, but by the concurrent 
testimony of all the most cautious and skilful microscopical 
observers who have engaged in the inquiry. 

What I have already stated to you is extraordinary enough, 
and much cause as you have already found at every step to 
admire the wonderful care and skill with which all the actions 
of vegetable life are conducted, yet I think you must here find 
a fresh and unexpected source of admiration. You see that in 
the formation of the seed of even what we may deem the most 
worthless weed, there is the same unerring Providence, as in 
the preservation of the race of man. Only think for a moment, 
upon the long journey that the little speck, the tiny rudiment 
of a seed, has to take before it can arrive at the only place in 
which it is possible that its destiny can be fulfilled, or that it 
should be developed into a new being. Born in the pollen 
grain, it is originally enclosed in a double-guarded prison: its 
own little spherical vault, and the more extensive walls of the 
anther. The anther must open before the pollen can escape; 
and it must open too at a particular time, at the very moment 
when the stigma has secreted a clammy dew which will hold 
fast the pollen if it falls upon it. Then the pollen must fall on 
the stigma; to fall elsewhere is useless. This accomplished, 
the microscopic rudiment of the seed has to commence along 
winding journey through all the intricacies of the style, and the 
ovary, till its guardian tube conducts it to the ovule, and 
deposits it in safety. And all this is so provided for that we 
find every adjustment exactly that which is best suited to the 
object in view ; invisible springs in the anther, acted upon by 
the very same cause as that which renders the stigma clammy, 
combine their million little forces to pull open the sides of that 
case; to enable their forces to act with certainty, the sides of 

Watering. 223 

the anther are weakened in a particular line, which in every 
anther of the same species is constantly the same. It is sup- 
posed that the clamminess of the stigma is not merely to stick 
the pollen-grain fast, but also to cause the formation of the pol- 
leri-tube ; to enable the latter to reach the ovule, notwithstand- 
ing its excessive delicacy, the whole texture of the stigma and 
style is loosened, so as to offer as little resistance as possible to 
^ passage of the pollen-tube. In the Rock-Rose Tribe we 
have a still farther example of the facility with which obstacles 
to communication between the pollen-tube and the opening in 
the ovule are overcome. 

If we suppose a grain of pollen to fall on the stigma of a Cis- 
tus, its tube may be easily understood to reach the place where 
the ovules grow ; but when there, it is cut off from the foramen 
by the whole length of the stalk and sides of the ovule, for the 
foramen is at the other end of the latter. In order to overcome 
this difficulty, we are told by M. Adolphe Brongniart, that the 
pollen-tube does not follow the placenta till it reaches the ovule, 
but quits the style at the top of the cavity of each cell, and 
thence lengthens in the open space inside the ovary, in the 
form of the finest imaginable cobweb, till it reaches the foramen 
in the end of the ovules. 



Injudicious watering does more injury to plants in rooms and 
conservatories than most persons imagine, as plants suffer from 
too much water, as well as too little. Many persons think 
that they want water every day, and the more they give the 
better. Others, being very cautious, will scarcely give them 
sufficient to sustain life. When plants have had too much 
water, the leaves turn dark and flabby, and when too little, 
they turn yellow, and finally drop off. The best plan is not to 
water them till the soil in the pots appears dry, or their leaves 
droop : then give them sufficient water to wet the soil thorough- 

224 Watering. 

ly down to the bottom of the pot, and do not give them" 
more until they become dry again. Pour the water on tl? 
top of the pot, and let it soak down to the roots, but do not 1 * 
it stand in the pans under the pots, for it causes the root 
decay, and injures them very much. Of course, this does 
apply in the case of aquatic plants, and such as require a m 
plentiful supply in the time of flowering. The water for th" 
purpose should not be taken fresh from the pump or cistern ' 
the winter season, but should stand in the room some time 
be a little warmed to take off the chill. When the weather i 
warm and dry, as it usually is at times in the spring and sum 
mer, and the plants in full flower, they will require watering 
freely every day, especially such as are in small pots, and the 
pots full of roots. Those in larger pots, with more room for 
their roots, will not require it so often. The best time to water 
plants in summer, is in the evening, as they will have the night 
to refresh themselves in ; and in the winter season in the morn- 
ing, that the pots may be warmed in the sun, and they will not 
be subject to be chilled ; although in rooms heated by furnaces 
where a regular heat is kept, it will make but little difference- 
they may be watered when most convenient. As some plants 
evaporate their moisture much faster than others, they will re- 
quire watering more frequendy, which will be indicated by the 
drooping of their leaves. In cloudy or rainy weather they 
will not need so much water, unless they are in the house, or 
the soil is dry. Plants accustomed to the house should not be 
set out in heavy rains in winter, or early in spring, as the raia 
is cold, and if they become saturated, it gives them a chill from 
which they are some time in recovering ; but in a warm rain 
in summer they may be set out for an hour or two, and then 
taken in again, which will greatly refresh them, and persons 
having only the house to keep them in, will find them much 
benefited in summer, by setting them out in the evening, to re- 
ceive dew, and taking them into the house again in the morn- 
ing. Plants in warm rooms at all times require to be kept a 
little moist, though they need most water when growing and 

The Sweet Pea. 225 


Natural Order, Leguminosse ; Linnaean System, Diadelphia, Decandria. 
Generic Distinctions :— Calyx, campanulate, the two upper segments 
shorter; style, flat, dilated above; corolla, papilionaceous ; stamens, dia- 
delph° us ' 

ipandifiorus.— Hairy ; stems, four-angled, winged ; leaves, with one pair 
f ovate, obtuse leaflets; stipules, small, lanceolate; peduncles, two, 
tbree-flowered, longer than the leaves ; teeth of the calyx, acute, longer 
than the tube: legumes, long, linear, tuberculous PI. 31. Fig. 1. 

Lathyrus is the ancient Greek name of the Sweet Pea, or 
some other leguminous plant. The genus is well known from 
the beautiful annual sweet peas which it includes, and which 
are so common in gardens. The species figured here, is a 
perennial, and is a very handsome climber, its flowers being 
as large and brilliant as the largest sweet pea, but destitute 
of fragrance. It is a native of the South of Europe, where it 
grows in great abundance among hedges and bushes. It is 
said to be particularly abundant in Sicily and on Mount Etna. 
It is somewhat cultivated in this country, where it will grow, 
like the common sweet pea, in any common garden soil. Its 
root is creeping, and when it has once taken possession of the 
soil, it is difficult to eradicate it. It is easily propagated by 
dividing the roots, or by planting the seeds. 

There is an European species, L. sativus, which has been 
used in making bread, and the history of which is so singular 
as to be worthy of notice. The seeds being ground and 
mixed with wheat flour in half the quantity, produce a very 
good bread, which appears to be harmless. But bj ead made 
with this flour only, has brought on a most surprising rigidity 
of the limbs in those who have used it for a length of time, 
insomuch that the exterior muscles could not by any means be 
reduced, or have their natural action restored." These symp- 
toms usually appeared pn a sudden, without any previous 
pain ; but sometimes they were preceded by a weakness and 
disagreeable sensation about the knees. Swine fattened 
with this meal lost the use of their limbs, but grew very fat 
lying on the ground. A horse, fed some months on the dried 
Vol. I.— 15. 


226 The Ground Nut. 

herb, was said to have his limbs perfectly rigid. pjg ec 
especially young ones, lost the power of walking by feeding on 
the seed. The effects of this plant were so dreadful, that the 
use of it was prohibited by the Duke of Wirtemberg, and hr 
edict was enforced by two of his successors. 

Other species of Lathyrus are well known ornamental plants 
L. odoratus, the Sweet Pea, in particular. Another species 
produces tubers, which are highly esteemed as food in Holland. 


Natural Order, Leguminosa; ; Linnsean System, Diadelphia, Decandria. 
Generic Distinctions: — Calyx, campanulate, with four almost obsolete 
teeth, the lower one acute and elongated; keel, falcate, bent back upon the 
vexillum ; ovary, sheathed at the base. 

A. tuberosa. — Roots, tuberous : leaves, unequally pinnate ; flowers, in atfl- 
lary racemes. — PI. 31. Fig. 2. 

Apios is taken from a word signifying a pear, in allusion to 
the shape of the tuberous roots. This is the only species of the 
genus. It is a very pretty little climbing vine, putting forth its 
handsome racemes of flowers among the hedges and woods, in 
July and August. The leaves have seven or five ovate lance- 
olate leaflets, and the flowers are of a beautiful purple. It 
grows in all the Northern States. The roots produce tubers, 
which are sweet, and very nutritious, resembling those of the 
Jerusalem* Artichoke. It is not improbable that they would 
form a good substitute for the potato, if the crop of that plant 
should ever fail here. Indeed at present in Germany, the 
Apios is cultivated to considerable extent for the sake of its 
tubers, which are sold in the markets. 

/V. J?. 

■i. r/rf///fsrr*/ /(/ tf'/rnsUSfM ( * * ^ 

The Spring Beauty. 227 


Mural Order, Berberidacese ; Linusean System, Octandria, Monogyuia. 
Generic Distinctions:— Calyx, of four sepals; petals, eight; stamens, 
eight, surrounding the ovary ; capsules, opening by the whole circumfer- 
ence of the apex. 

jjiphylla.— Leaves, cleft into two lobes; peduncles, one-flowered; petals, 
white; anthers, yellow ; calyx, deciduous, colored.— PL 32. Fig. 1. 

This pretty little plant is the only one of its genus, and was 
named by Dr. Barton after President Jefferson. The flower 
is large, regular, and grows at the top of a peduncle about half 
a foot high- The petioles are long, and have each a leaf so 
deeply cut as to make it appear like a pair of leaves placed 
base to base. The structure of the capsule is curious; it 
opens like a box, the upper part forming a regular persistent 
lid. The JefFersonia grows in the Northern and Western 
parts of the United States, and in some places has considera- 
ble reputation as a remedy for rheumatism and similar disorders, 
whence it is often called Rheumatism Root. 


Natural Order, Portulacea? ; Linnscan System, Pentandria, Monogyuia. 
Generic Distinctions :— Sepals, two; petals, five, obcordate, clawed; 
stamens, five, inserted on the claws of the petals; stigma, three-cleft; 
capsule, three-valved ; two to five seeded. 

C. Virginica.— Leaves, narrow, linear, obsoletely three-nerved ; petals, eraar- 
ginate; racemes, solitary, nodding; pedicels, slender. — PL 32. Fig. 2. 

C. Caroliniana<— Root, tuberous; radical, leaves spatulate, cauline ones 
obloug ; sepals, very blunt. — PL 32. Fig. 3. 

This genus was named in honor of Dr. John Clayton, a 
Virginian botanist. The two species in our plate are not un- 
common in the Northern States, flowering among the rocky hills 
very early in spring. They are both very elegant and deli- 
cate plants. They have tuberous roots, situated very deep in 

228 The Evening Primrose. 

the ground, so that the length of stem below the surface is 
great as that above. The tuber of C. Virginica, is about 
large as a hazel nut ; the stem is five or six inches high w\ 
a pair of opposite linear leaves. The flowers are about e' \ 
or ten in number, on very slender pedicels, rose-colored 
white, with purple veins. The tuber of C. Carolinians ' 
brown, and somewhat flattened. The root-leaves, if m,. 
spatulate. The stem-leaves are two, opposite, about half w 
up the stem, ovate, obtuse, and tapering into the petiole. Th" 
flowers are rather darker in color than those of the other sne- 
cies, and are beautifully veined with purple lines. These 
pretty plants are among the earliest spring flowers. Thev 
have been introduced into England, where they are often culti- 
vated, and much admired. A peat soil is said to be proper for 
planting them in, and they may be increased from the seed 
or by dividing the root. 


Natural Order, Ouagraceae ; Linnseau System, Octandria, MonogyDia. 
Generic Distinctions: — Calyx, four-cleft, tubular; segments, reflexed- 
petals, four ; capsule, four-celled, four-valved, inferior ; seeds, naked. 

(E. maerocarpa. — Stem, simple, prostrate, downy ; leaves, lanceolate, quite 
entire, with the margins and nerves downy ; petals, broad, obcordate; 
stamens, arched, shorter than the corolla ; lobes of stigma, blunt, cylindri- 
cal ; capsule, large, sessile, oblong, four-winged. — Plate 33. 

The roots of a species of this genus were formerly used as 
an incentive to drinking wine, as olives are eaten at the present 
time. From this circumstance is derived the generic name, 
which is compounded of two Greek words signifying wine, and 
to hunt. Many of the species are in common cultivation under 
the name of Evening Primroses. They all close their flowers 
during the heat of the day, and open them again in the even- 
ing, or when it is cloudy. This phenomenon is best observed 
in a common species, a native of the United States, CE. bien- 
nis. The mode in which the flowers expand is curious. The 

/7 33. 



Wi/< >'/</>/(// J,//,, 

>r/rtew^a' tzftem/UH 

PI. ,u. 

U f. A J , ■y.rf/r«/<ty#y c ) \ *J.yl/e*U ,/*njp/rff/,/ra tffcnsudvesttan /v// 

.) , /,/</,< ,vt/r<<E/c//ft. riU&ttl -../mtw/ &//r^%j J 

The Catchjly. 229 

petals are held together at top by the hooks at the end of the 
caly x ' l ^ e se o ments °f which first separate, and discover the 
corolla, a long time before it acquires sufficient expansive force 
t0 unhook the calyx at the top. When it has expanded suffi- 
ciently, the calyx suddenly bursts open with a perceptible 
sound, and the corolla expands almost instantaneously to a 
certain point, then stops, and after a little time spreads out to 
its full extent. 

Most of the species, are natives of North America, and they 
are about thirty in number. The one in our plate is perhaps 
the largest and most showy. The flowers are very large, and 
the tube of the calyx is sometimes more than four inches long. 
The stems trail near the ground, the flowers lying on the large 
leaves. It grows in several of the Western States, on the 
banks o[ the Mississippi River. 


Natural Order, Caryophyllacese; Linnaean System, Decandria, Trigynia. 
Generic Distinctions : — Calyx tubular, five-toothed, without scales at the 
base ; petals, five, bifid, uuguiculate, often crowned with scales at the 
mouth; stamens, ten; styles, three; capsules, three-celled, many seeded. 

S. Pensylvanica. Viscidly pubescent, radical leaves, spatulate ; cauline 
ones, laueolate ; petals, obtuse, somewhat emarginate, subcrenate. — Plate 
ai. Fig.l. 

8. regia. Clammy, pubescent ; leaves, ovate, lanceolate ; flowers, large, 
panicled ; calyx, downy, long, tubular ; petals, undivided, crowned with 
bicuspidate appendages ; stamens, very long. — Plate 34. Fig. 2. 

5. chlorafolia. Very smooth, and glaucous ; stems, branched ; leaves, 
elliptical, pointed, upper ones cordate; flowers, in a terminal panicle, 
large ; calyx, long, downy ; petals, two-lobed.— Plate 34. Fig. 3. 

The ancient poets represented the god Silenus as being con- 
stantly drunk and covered with slaver. The plants of this 
genus have generally upon them a viscid, frothy secretion, and 
so are named from the aforesaid jolly god. This moist secre- 
tion is also said to attract flies, whence the common name, 
Catchfly. The species are numerous, and about fifteen are 

230 The Catchfiy. 

natives of North America. They are readily recognised K 
their resemblance to the Pinks, from which they may be 
once distinguished by the absence of scales at the base of th 
calyx. Several species are not uncommon in gardens, and ar 
of easy culture. S. Pensylvanica grows in most of the northern 
and middle states, where it is usually called Wild Pink. I t ; 
rather a pretty plant, being of low stature, with numerous 
stems, and frequently a great profusion of flowers. The calyx 
is long, and very hairy and glutinous. The petals are wedee- 
shaped, the edges generally slightly crenated. It is found in 
dry sandy soils, and flowers in June. 

S. regia, or Royal Catchfly, is altogether the most beauti- 
ful and showy of all the species. In some of the Western 
States it often grows in great profusion, sometimes to the 
height of three or four feet, producing its splendid scarlet 
flowers in abundance. When cultivated, it will grow in anv 
common garden soil, and thrives best in a mixture of peat and 
loam. The stems are hollow and jointed, and the leaves pale 

S. chloraefolia is a neat, low plant, with large pure white 
flowers, and pinkish calyxes. It grows compactly, and its 
leaves are broad and of a good color, having but little of the 
clammy secretion of the others. It is a native of the West. 

The Natural System of Botany. 231 



Order — Malvaceae. The Mallow Tribe. 

There is a low, branching plant, with roundish leaves, and 
purplish flowers, growing commonly about houses, in cultiva- 
ted ground, and producing those elegant little cheeses, of which 
every school-boy is so fond. This is one of the Mallow Tribe, 
and belongs to the genus Malva. To ascertain the characters 
of the important tribe of plants to which it belongs, let the 
reader get a specimen of this plant. The leaves are obscurely 
five-lobed, on long, hairy stalks, at the base of which is a pair 
of small stipules. The sepals are five, and are placed in a 
uniform whorl, and below them are three bracts. The petals 
are also five, and are curiously twisted together in the bud. 
The stamens are united into a tube, at the top of which, on 
short filaments, are a great number of kidney-shaped anthers. 
The pistil is composed of several united carpels, each of which 
has its own style, and the styles are grown together at the bot- 
tom, like the stamens, but separate at the top. The fruit, or 
cheese, is divided into numerous cells, each of which contains 
an ovule. When ripe, the carpels become dry, and are easily 
separated. All these characters are common to the order, ex- 
cept the number of petals and sepals, which varies in some of 
the species. 

All the Mallows yield a transparent, mucilaginous fluid, 
which has been thought to relieve some pectoral complaints. 
The unripe fruit of one species, called Ochro, or Gobbo, is in 
great estimation in the West Indies, for thickening soup. Others 
have a coloring principle, and the petals of one species stain 
black whatever touches them. The Hollyhock, so universally 
cultivated, and all the species of Hibiscus, so esteemed* for 
their showy and beautiful flowers, belong to this order ; and 
fibres of the stems of some species are used for making cord- 

232 The Natural System of Botany. 

age. " But it is the hairy clothing of the seeds of differed 
plants belonging to a genus that botanists call Gossypi m 
which is of such pre-eminent importance as to claim for th' 
Mallow tribe a rank in the vegetable kingdom second only t 
corn. That hairy substance is Cotton, which, for no conceivn 
hie purpose except to yield man the means of clothing himself 
is formed in prodigious abundance upon the back of the seed^ 
of the Cotton plants, whence it is torn by machinery, and ai- 
terwards cleaned and spun into thread." The fibres of 
Cotton are packed round the seeds, to which they adhere with 
such firmness as to make their separation very difficult. The 
invention of the Cotton-gin overcomes this difficulty in the 
most rapid and effectual manner. The usual color of Cotton 
is white, but there is a Chinese species which produces a yel- 
low fibre, and it is from this that the stuff called Nankeen is 
manufactured. To give an idea of the quantity and value of 
cotton as an article of commerce, it may be stated that in 
the year 1838 there were imported into the British Islands up- 
wards of five hundred millions of pounds, and of this was 
manufactured and exported in the form of woven stuffs, nearly 
seven hundred million yards, and of twist and yarn about one 
hundred and fifteen million pounds. The value of these, to- 
gether with that of other cotton fabrics exported in that year, 
was over twenty-four milli : s sterling, or about one hundred 
and twenty million of dollais. 

Order — Bombace^:. The Silk-cotton Tribe. 

The plants of this order differ little from the Mallows, ex- 
cept in habit and size. Their calyx is not exactly valvate, 
and the tube formed by the stamens has five divisions. Like 
Malvaceae their juice is mucilaginous, and their properties are 
wholesome. The order is remarkable as containing some of 
the largest trees in the world. The Baobab trees of Senegal 
have long been the wonder of travellers. Their trunks are 
sdfnetimes sixty, and even ninety or a hundred feet in girth. 
Their height is, however, not in proportion to their thickness, 
being generally but little more than their diameter, and spread- 

The Natural System of Botany. 233 

jng into huge, horizontal branches. In the interior of Africa, 

the natives cut off the heads, and hollow out the trunks, which 

serve them for tanks to hold water. 
A far taller and more elegant Jree is the Ceiba-tree {Bombax 

Ceiba) of the West Indies. This is one of the most magnifi- 
cent o( vegetable creations, sometimes rising to the height of 
a hundred and fifty feet. A description of the Ceiba-tree, as 
it appears in its native country, by an esteemed friend and 
correspondent, will be found on another page. This, as well as 
other species of Bombax, bears a kind of silky cotton, which 
is used for stuffing cushions and beds ; but it cannot be spun 
into threads, like the true cotton. 

Order — Bromace^s. The Cacao Tribe. 

This order is also nearly allied to the Mallows, from which 
it differs in some of the species having no petals, the sta- 
mens of some being often abortive, and the number of carpels 
being less. The most interesting plant of the order is the 
Theobroma Cacao, which produces the material used for ma- 
king chocolate. This tree is a native of Mexico and South 
America, and usually grows to the height of from twenty to 
thirty feet ; its leaves are large, oblong and pointed ; the 
flowers are small, reddish, and without fragrance. The fruit 
is yellow or red, of an oval shape, about three inches long, 
covered with rounded protuberances, and marked by ten fur- 
rows. The seeds are imbedded in a whitish pulp, with a 
sweet, and not unpleasant taste. This pulp is removed from 
the seeds, after which they are dried in the sun, and then 
roasted, by which their hard husks are detached. The interior 
kernel is beaten into a paste* dried, and formed into rolls for 
exportation or use. In Mexico, chocolate is the common bev- 
erage, being, indeed, an article of prime necessity. Its use is 
also universal in the West India Islands, and immense quanti- 
ties are consumed in Spain and France. In the United States, 
the prepared cocoa, made of the shells of the cocoa-nut, is 
generally preferred to chocolate, as being easier of digestion, 
and not so oily. 

234 The Natural System of Botany. 

Order — Tiliace^e. The Linden Tribe. 

This order is also nearly related to Malvaceae, as is shown bv 
its characters. The calyx hat four or five sepals, and the co- 
rolla as many petals. The stamens are numerous, and are 
not united into a tube. The pistil is made up of about ten 
united carpels, with an equal number of stigmas. The an- 
thers are two-celled, opening lengthwise. They differ from 
Malvaceae by the separation of their stamens, and by their two- 
celled anthers, and resemble that order in their general pro- 
perties, and the quantity of mucilage which they contain. 

Most of the plants belonging to this order are herbaceous or 
shrubby, and inhabit the tropics, but some species are large 
trees, and are found in temperate countries. Of these, the 
common Lime-tree, Bass-wood, or Linden-tree, (Tilia Ameri- 
ca?ia,) is a well-known species, being native in most of the 
Middle and Northern States. It is a fine tree, growing to a 
large size, and its wood is much used in cabinet work. The 
inflorescence is singular ; the flowers forming a cluster upon 
an oblique foot-stalk, proceeding from the centre of a lon<r, 
narrow bract, or floral leaf. There are several European spe- 
cies of Tilia, the wood of which is in great, use for carving. 
Many of the most splendid works in this department of art, 
such as the choir of Trinity College Library at Cambridge, are 
made of Lime-tree wood. 

Order — Camelliaceje. The Camellia Tribe. 

This is an important and interesting group of plants, whether 
considered in reference to the great beauty of the flowers of 
some species, or the universal use of the product of others. 
The elegant Camellia Japonica is cultivated and admired in 
every collection, and Tea is drank at every table. The char- 
acters of the order can be observed in any garden species of 
Camellia. The calyx is composed of from five to seven se- 
pals, unequal in size, and somewhat overlapping each other. 
The petals are from five to nine, also occasionally imbricated, 
and sometimes adherent at the base. The stamens are many 

The Natural System of Botany. 235 

• nUt nber, and generally united at the base into several bun- 
dles. The ovary is formed of from three to six carpels, more 
or less united, with separate styles; each cell originally con- 
taining several ovules. In the ripe capsule, there are only 
three cells, each having but one seed, the other ovules not hav- 
ing been developed. This seed is large, with fleshy cotyledons, 
which contain a large quantity of oil, and are destitute of al- 

The species are celebrated . for the beauty of their foliage, 
and the fine colors of their flowers, which vary through every 
shade of red and white. To some remarks upon the culture 
of these plants, and upon the manufacture of tea, we shall de- 
vote a separate article. 

Order — Aurantiaceje. The Orange Tribe. 

This order, which contains the Orange, Lemon, Lime, Cit- 
]on, and Shaddock, is one of much interest. Its structure is 
very peculiar, and it possesses several characters which are 
singular. To man it is of great value, on account of the great 
quantities of wholesome, agreeable, and refreshing fruit with 
which it supplies him. These fruits are remarkable as being 
more easily preserved and brought to colder regions, than al- 
most any other tropical productions ; and in consequence, some 
•>f them are so cheap and plentiful in northern countries, as to 
place the enjoyment of them within the reach of all. To give 
an idea of the immense quantity of these fruits which are sent 
from their native countries, we may state, that of oranges alone, 
it has been calculated that about two hundred and seventy- 
two millions are annually brought to England. So great a 
supply could not be sustained unless the Orange-tree was very 
prolific. A single tree has been known to produce twenty 
thousand oranges fit for exportation, exclusive of the damaged 
fruit, and waste. It is partly due, also, to the construction of 
the fruit. The rind being thick and spongy, resists changes 
of temperature, and the immense number of minute receptacles 
filled with oil, in its surface, prevent the evaporation of the 
watery fluid within, and by their acridity, the attacks of in- 
sects from without. Hence, oranges will keep for a long time, 
if they are well ventilated, and free from moisture. 

236 The Natural System of Botany. 

On examining the leaves of an Orange or Lemon tree, they 
will be found covered with minute yellowish or semi-transparent 
dots. These are filled with an oil of peculiarly pungent taste 
and very fragrant smell, which is especially perceived when 
the leaves are crushed by the fingers. These little cavities 
exist not only in the leaves and fruit, but in the leafy parts of 
the flower, which owes to them most of its fragrance. It will 
also be observed that the leaves are jointed, or articulated at 
the junction of the blade with the petiole, and that the latter is 
expanded into a sort of supplementary leaf, by the develope- 
ment of a narrow blade from each side. In some species, the 
leaves are pinnate ; and it sometimes happens that the leaflet 
of one side only is developed, or that even both are absent, so 
that the petiole, then much enlarged, has to perform the func- 
tions of a true leaf. The calyx is cup-shaped, having three or 
five sepals^ which fall off early. The number of petals is the 
same as that of the sepals, and in the orange their color is 
white, dotted with green. The stamens are equal in number 
to the petals, or twice that number ; their filaments are flat- 
tened, sometimes united at the base, and sometimes free. The 
ovary is nearly globular, and composed of several adherent 
carpels. The style is thick, and the stigma slightly divided. 
Each cell of the ovary has a double row of ovules, a large 
proportion of which perish during the ripening of the fruit, 
and in the orange and its nearest allies, the cavity of the seed- 
vessel becomes filled up with a pulp consisting of separate 
vesicles, each containing a portion of the sweet-acid fluid. The 
aggregation of these vesicles cannot be distinctly seen in the 
usual state of the orange, but in an over-ripe specimen, they 
are very easily separable. 

The various species of the Orange Tribe are nearly all na- 
tives of the East Indies and China, whence they have been 
introduced into other countries within or near the tropics. 
They nearly all contain sugar, citric acid, an aromatic essen- 
tial oil, and a bitter principle, having tonic properties, combined 
in various proportions in different fruits. Thus, in the common 
Orange the sugar prevails, and the acid, when the fruit is ripe, 
is subordinate. In the Lemon, the acid is always predominant 
in the pulp, and the oil is more abundant in ftie rind. In the 

The Natural System of Botany. 237 

Shaddock and Seville Orange, the bitter principle manifests it- 
self- The fVuit of the ° r ange and its allied species requires 
two years to come to maturity, and as the flowers are produced 
all through the summer, a healthy tree exhibits, during a con- 
siderable portion of the year, every stage of production, from 
the flower-bud to the ripe fruit. Most of the Oranges and 
Lemons intended for export, are collected before they are fully 
ripe, since otherwise they would be more likely to spoil. They 
are generally gathered in the autumn, while they would require 
until the spring following to ripen fully on the tree. It is also 
remarkable that the Orange trees from which the fruit is 
plucked while green, bear plentifully every year, while those 
on which the fruit is suffered to ripen, afford abundant crops 
only in alternate years. The best Oranges are those which 
come from St. Michael, where the tree was introduced by the 
Portuguese, as it was by the Spaniards into America. Into 
Spain and Portugal it was brought by the Moors, and is exten- 
sively cultivated in both countries. Near Cordova are Orange 
trees supposed to be six or seven hundred years old, and in 
Andalusia are extensive orchards which have formed the reve- 
nue of the monks for ages. 

Order— Vitaceje. The Vine Tribe. 

This order is chiefly important as containing the common 
Grape Vine. Nearly all the plants belonging to it are climbers, 
and support themselves by tendrils. » Here let me pause to 
tell you what a tendril is ; by its name you would suppose it 
some especial kind of organ formed expressly for the purpose 
of helping the Vine to raise itself among the forests, and to as- 
cend from the shady thickets where it is born to the free light 
and air that are necessary to its existence. Not at all ; tins' is 
not the plan of Nature. Plants are furnished with certain 
general parts, such as leaves, flowers, &c, and when any par- 
ticular and unusual office is to be performed, some one of 
these parts is specially altered, in order to meet the emergency. 
Thus, in one instance, the stem is enabled to rise among other 
bushes, by the soft and yielding stalks of the leaves being 
changed into stiff, inflexible hooks ; in the Sweet Pea, the same 

238 The Natural System of Botany. 

office is performed by the principal leaf-stalk, which lengthens 
branches, and twists itself round bushes and the branches of 
smaller shrubs. In some plants, indeed, this office is actually 
performed by the tips of the petals. In the Vine, the arrange- 
ment is different from all those just mentioned, and equally sim- 
ple; a considerable number of supernumerary panicles are 
prepared, on which no flowers are formed, but, in their room 
a power of twisting round other bodies is communicated to the 
branches ; and these form what we call tendrils." 

The flowers of the Vine grow on short stalks which diverge 
from others, and these branch from the central stem; in this 
manner, when the fruit is ripe, a cluster is formed, differing 
considerably from that in which the fruit-stalks at once proceed 
from the stem, as in the Currant. The former arrnngernentis 
a panicle, the latter a raceme. The calyx is very small, and 
undivided into sepals. Within it are seen in the bud, five 
petals which are held together at the point, though separate at 
the base. The stamens are five, opposite to the petals, and 
alternately with the stamens are five small glands. The ovary 
is two-celled, and the stigma sessile. The fruit is, as every 
body knows, a succulent berry, with several hard seeds in the 
pulp. An additional character of the Vine, is the tendency of 
the branches to swelling near the points from which the leaves 
proceed ; this is very strongly developed in the young plant. 
Most of the tribe differ so little in these peculiarities from the 
Grape, as to be at once recognised. The chief differences are 
in the size of their flowers and fruit, and the taste of the latter. 
In our native Fox Grape, for instance, the fruit is utterly unfit 
to eat, having a very disagreeable taste ; and other species re- 
semble it in this respect In the common Virginian Creeper, 
{Ampelopsis,) the leaves are divided into five distinct segments, 
and every one has remarked the fine crimson color to which 
they change in the autumn. 

The cultivation of the Vine may be traced to a very high 
antiquity. Its growth, and the preparation of wine from the 
fruit, were probably understood before the deluge, since we 
read that immediately after that catastrophe, Noah planted a 
vineyard, and became intoxicated by drinking the wine. It 
appears that the culture of the grape was practised in Egypt, 

The Natural System of Botany. 239 

from the earliest period. It spread, with the progress of civili- 
sation, from its habitation in Asia, to Greece, Sicily and Italy, 
and thence to Portugal, Spain and France. « The culture of the 
vine as an article of husbandry, extends over a zone extend- 
ing from about the twenty-first to the fiftieth degree of North 
latitude, and consequently about two thousand miles in breadth, 
reaching in length from the western shores of Portugal to the 
north of India. The best wines are made at about the centre 
of the zone; those of the north being harsh and austere, while 
the juice of the grapes of the south too soon passes into the 
acetous fermentation, so that they are better adapted for being 
dried as raisins. Hence, in Spain and Greece, the vineyards 
of the higher grounds produce the best wines ; while those 
upon the low, hot shores, have always to be dried. On the 
other hand, in Madeira and the neighboring islands, in which 
the near proximity of the sea on every side tends to prevent 
intense heat, some of the most highly prized wines are pro- 
duced, although they are much nearer the southern border of 
the zone." " A vineyard, associated as it is with all our ideas 
of beauty and plenty, is, in general, a disappointing object. In 
France, the vines are trained upon poles, seldom more than 
three or four feet in height. In Spain, poles for supporting the 
vines are not used, but cuttings are planted, which are not per- 
mitted to grow very high, but gradually form thick and stout 
stocks. In Switzerland and in the German Provinces the 
vineyards are as formal as those of France. But in Italy is 
the true vine of poetry, surrounding the stone cottage with its 
girdle, flinging its pliant and luxuriant branches over the rustic 
verandah, and twining its long garland from tree to tree. It 
was the luxuriance and beauty of her vines and olives that 
tempted the rude people of the North to pour down upon her 
fertile fields. In Greece, too, as well as in Italy, the shoots of 
die vines are either trained upon trees, or supported, so as to 
display all their luxuriance, upon a series of props. This was 
die custom of the ancient vine-growers, and their descendants 
have preserved it in all its picturesque originality. The vine- 
dressers of Persia train their vines to run up a wall, and curl 
over the top. But the most luxurious cultivation of the vine in 
hot countries, is where it covers the trellis work which sur- 

Vegetable Physiology. g.» 

rounds a well, inviting the owner and his family to gather be. 
neath its shade. ' The fruitful bough by a well' is of the high- 
est antiquity." 

The vine lasts to a considerable age, and spreads to a large 
extent, or, when supported, rises to a great height. Although 
it bears plentifully when only three or four years old, it is as- 
certained that vineyards improve in quality till the age of fifty 
years. In France and Italy there are vineyards still existing 
and in full bearing, which were in the same condition at least 
three centuries ago. In England there are many vines more 
than 100 years old. The celebrated vine at Hampton Court 
covers a surface of 22 feet by 72, and seldom bears less than 
2000 clusters each season, every cluster weighing at least a 




The nutritious fluid, taken up by the roots, and diffused 
through the stem, requires exposure to the air, in order to make 
it fit for maintaining the life of the plant. Another requisite 
condition for the same purpose, is the influence of light upon 
the sap. To effect these objects, the green surface of the plant 
must necessarily be extended, so as to expose to both air and 
light a greater portion of the sap than can be done by the sur- 
face of the stem. The leaf, then, may be said to consist essen- 
tially of an extension of the skin or cuticle into an expanded 
surface, supported by a frame-work of ribs or veins prolonged 
from the woody tissue of the stem or branch, and, like the 
stem, is composed of cellular tissue, which forms the paren- 
chyma, or soft portion between the veins, and of woody fibre, 
which forms the veins themselves. This woody portion has 
the same office in the leaves as in the stem, giving firmness to 

Vegetable Physiology. 241 

the softer part, and distributing the sap throughout the whole. 
The parenchyma is composed, as can be seen in many leaves 
tfitb the naked eye, of separate cells, which when magnified, 
^e found to contain each a globule of the chlorophylls which 

• ves them their green color. These cells are arranged differ- 
ently in different parts of the leaf, being usually more closely 
packed together near the upper surface than the lower, where 
there are more interspaces between them. The cuticle or 
outer skin of the leaf is furnished with stomata, heretofore 
described, by which watery vapor can pass out, and air can 
enter. These breathing pores communicate with the cells, so 
as to allow the passage of air through the whole interior of the 
leaf. When the plant is too full of sap, they open in a peculiar 
manner, so as to allow the escape of the superabundant moist- 
ure, and when it becomes dry, they close so as to retain a suffi- 
cient amount to sustain life. These pores are principally 
found on the lower surface of the leaf, since they are too deli- 
cate to endure the full influence of the sun. 

The object of this arrangement, says Dr. Gray, will appear 
evident, when we consider that the spaces between the cells, 
filled with air, communicate freely with each other throughout 
the leaf, and also with the external air, by means of the 
stomata, and when we consider the powerful action of the sun 
to promote evaporation, especially in dry air, and that the thin 
walls of the cells, like all vegetable membrane, allow of the 
free escape of the contained moisture by transudation. The 
light and air necessarily being freely admitted into the texture 
of the leaf, the sap it contains would be liable to escape by- 
evaporation faster than it can be supplied from the stem and 
roots ; and the leaf consequently shrivel and perish just as it 
does when plucked from the stem. A safeguard against 
excessive evaporation is to some extent afforded by the more 
compact arrangement of the upper stratum, which is exposed to 
the direct action of the sun, as well as by the form and vertical 
position of these cells, which present the least possible surface 
to the sun's rays. This provision is the more complete in the 
case of plants indigenous to hot, arid regions, where the soil is 
frequently so parched for long periods as to afford only the 
scantiest supply of moisture to the roots. 


Vegetable Physiology. 

The following figures will illustrate the difference 1 
respect between the leaf of the Lily, where the upper strati 
contains but a single layer of barely oblong cells, and that f 
the Oleander, a native of dry and sun-burnt places in the E a 
the upper stratum of which consists of two layers of very l on ' 
vertical cells as closely compacted as possible. 

Fig. 13. 


I li i.liii 1 tliilTl'i J III 

■ it- JLuV 1 it Hvi 1 ■ L 1 J if 

In Figure 13 a represents a magnified section through the 
thickness of a leaf of the White Lily, showing the parenchyma 
and the epidermis of both surfaces ; the lower pierced with 
stomata. c shows the appearance of two of the cells of the 
upper stratum of parenchyma, detached and more magnified, 
snowing the contained grains of chlorophylle. /, a magnified 
view of the hundredth part of a square inch of the epidermis of 
the lower surface, with the stomata, or breathing pores, it bears. 
These are unusually large in the Lily, so as to be visible by a 
very moderate magnifying power, and are proportionally few 
in number. One them is shown more magnified, at e in the 
closed state ; and open at b. d is a magnified perpendicular 
section through the thickness of the epidermis and upper stratum 
of parenchyma in the leaf of the Oleander, showing the epider- 
mis composed of three layers of thick-sided cells, and the 
upper parenchyma of very compact vertical cells. 

Vegetable Physiology. 243 

A more effectual provision for restraining the perspiration of 
I lV es within due limits, is found in the epidermis or skin, that 
• vests the leaf, as it does the whole surface of the vegetable, 

(1 which is so readily detached from the succulent leaves of 
-uch pla ,lts as tne Stone-crop and the Live-for-ever of the gar- 
dens- The epidermis is composed of small cells belonging to 
t |ie outermost layer of cellular tissue, with the pretty thick- 
«jde<l walls very strongly coherent, so as to form a firm mem- 
brane. Its cells usually contain no chlorophylle. In ordinary 
herbs that allow of copious evaporation, this membrane is made 
u p of a single layer of cells ; as in the Lily and the Balsam. 
It is composed of two layers in cases where one might prove 
insufficient ; and in the Oleander, besides the provision already 
described, the epidermis consists of three layers of very thick- 
sided cells.* All these means of preventing evaporation might 
be injurious to the plant, by entirely checking the necessary 
evacuations; but Nature has provided against such a mis- 
chance by the stomata already mentioned. 

Most leaves which grow in the usual position, are constructed 
similarly to those just described. There are, however, many 
leaves which grow upright, exposing each side equally to the 
light. In these both sides are generally alike, and their colors 
are the same. Each surface is equally furnished with inter- 
cellular surfaces and stomata. This is found to be the case in 
the common Iris. In other instances, the former plan is com- 
pletely reversed, the stomata are only found on the upper sur- 
face, and the upper parenchyma is much looser in texture than 
the lower. In plants whose leaves float on the surface of the 
water, this is usually the case. In the White Water Lily, for 
example, the leaf is thick, and spongy, and contains large 
reservoirs of air which give it buoyancy; but these are all just 
beneath the upper surface, while in the lower surface which 
lies on the water, and therefore performs none of its usual 
functions, the cells are closely packed as in the upper surface 

* Thes* remarks, together with the figure, are extracted from Dr. Gray's " Botan- 
ical Text Book," a work of which too much cannot be said in commendation, and 
the principal inconvenience attending the possession of which is the overwhelming 
temptation to appropriate its contents. 

244 Vegetable Physiology. 

of other leaves. How singular that in the wonderful a< 
tion of these different structures to the different circumstance 
and positions ill which the plants are to grow, any one should 
fail to perceive the foresight, wisdom, and skill of a Divi n 
Being. Many other instances of this adaptation of structure 
to circumstances might be given. It will be sufficient to refer 
to the organization of the Cactus, as described on page SJ19 
which will also explain how those plants are enabled to endure 
for a long time the confined air of hot houses, in which ordinary 
plants will wither and perish. 


In the leaves, as already stated, that process goes on, which 
converts the crude moisture absorbed by the roots into nutri- 
tious sap, which supplies the necessary materials for the 
growth and production of new parts, and also for those pro- 
ducts which plants offer for articles of diet, use, or medicine. 
This is called the process of elaboration, and in it several dis- 
tinct changes take place. The first is the concentration of 
the fluid by the loss of a considerable portion of its moisture 
by a perspiration like that of animals, the leaves giving off, 
under certain circumstances, a quantity of watery vapor. 
That such a vapor is really exhaled may easily be tested by 
placing a large wide-mouthed glass vessel, with its mouth 
downwards, over a growing plant, or the surface of a meadow, 
in a warm summer day. Its interior will be rendered dim by 
the accumulation of the vapor, which will soon collect into 
drops, and run down the inner surface. It has been calculated 
that an acre of grass land transpires in this way no less than 
six thousand four hundred quarts of water in twenty-four 
hours. Experiments have been made to show that this tran- 
spiration takes place through the stomata. A very simple 
method of showing that this is the case, may be made by hold- 
ing a piece of glass near the under surface of the leaf of a 
vigorous vine, when it will soon be found to be covered with 
moisture, while no effect will be perceived if it is held near 
the upper surface. When the stomata exist on both surfaces 
in equal numbers, they seem to transpire alike, and if on nei- 
ther surface, no effect is seen. Again, if a plant, actively 

Vegetable Physiology. 245 

transpiring under the influence of sun-light, be carried into a 
Jark room, the transpiration is at once, and almost entirely 
checked, and if the stomata are examined, they are found to be 
closed. This transpiration, or exhalation, is regarded as a 
kind of evaporation from the interior of the plant, and appears 
to be controlled by the stomata, which by admitting or ex- 
cluding the air, permit or check it, according to the influence 
of light upon themselves. This is one way in which light 
influences the growing plant. If light be excluded, exhalation 
is prevented, and the fluid which is transpired must pass off 
by the slower process of evaporation, and absorption soon 
ceases, since the tissues can contain no more moisture. The 
share which the leaves have in promoting and maintaining the 
absorption of fluid by the roots, can thus be understood. The 
exhalation which takes place in the leaves occasions a new 
demand for fluid from below, as the combustion of oil in the 
wick of a lamp gradually exhausts the supply. If the flame 
be extinguished, the absorption ceases, and if the leaf no 
longer exhales, the root ceases to absorb. This connexion is 
shown by an experiment, which also goes far to explain the 
cause of the rising of the sap in spring, after it has remained 
stationary during the winter. If a vine be growing on the out- 
side of a hot-house, and a single shoot be trained within, in 
mid-winter, the warmth to which the latter is exposed, will 
cause its buds to swell and unfold ; while those on the outside 
are inactive. A demand for fluid will thus be occasioned 
along this particular branch, and this will be supplied by that 
existing in the vessels below. When these are emptied they 
will be again supplied from the parts below them ; and thus 
the motion will be propagated to that division of the roots, 
whose fibres are connected with those of the vegetating branch, 
which will absorb fluid for its support, while all the others are 
completely at rest. In the spring of the year, when the cheer- 
ful rays of the sun call the whole of the buds into activity, the 
whole of the roots are similarly affected ; and that the sap 
begins to move in the upper branches, before it commences 
ascending in the trunk, h^s been shown by experiment, 
notches having been cut at intervals, by which the period of its 
flow could be ascertained in each part. 

246 Vegetable Physiology. 

Various experiments have been made at different time 
ascertain the quantity of fluid thus exhaled by plants, and tn° 
results of some of them are very interesting. There is no g 
difficulty in ascertaining the amount upon a small scale • f v 
a plant be supplied with a known weight of water, and in 
weight it has gained during a certain time be deducted fr 
this, — allowance being also made for the evaporation fromth 
surface of the water in which its roots are immersed, the quan- 
tity of which may be easily estimated, — the difference must b 
the proportion exhaled. This differs much in different plant 
according to the rapidity of their growth. It has been ascer- 
tained that the young leaves and shoots of the Wild Cornel 
exhale twice their own weight of water daily. A common 
sized cabbage was ascertained by Hales, (one of the best 
experimenters upon this interesting subject) to exhale from 
fifteen to twenty-five ounces daily, according to the light and 
warmth to which it was exposed. This is more in proportion 
to the surface, than is given off" by the skin of man in the same 
time. The transpiration of a Sun-flower in full growth 
during fifteen days and nights, was carefully observed by 
Hales. This plant was three and a half feet in height, three 
pounds in weight, and the surface of its leaves was estimated 
at five thousand six hundred and sixteen square inches, or 
about two and a half times that of the human body. The 
average transpiration during the whole period was found to be 
twenty ounces per day; but in one warm dry day it was us 
much as thirty ounces. During a dry warm night, it lost three 
ounces — probably by simple evaporation j when the dew was 
sensible, though small, it neither lost nor gained ; and by 
heavy dew, it gained two or three ounces. When this amount 
is compared with that perspired by man, it may be shown 
that, if their surfaces were equal, the man would perspire fifty, 
and the plant fifteen ; but that, for equal weights, the plant 
exhales seventeen, while the man perspires one. Experiments 
upon single leaves, when not too long separated from the plant 
so as to lose their vitality, yield fully as striking results. Thus 
a leaf of the Sun-flower, weighing thirty-one and a half grains, 
absorbed in four hours, by its petiole immersed in water, 
twenty-five grains of that fluid $ the leaf had increased in 

Vegetable Physiology. 247 

we j(rht only four and a half grains; so that twenty and a half 
trains had disappeared by exhalation. 

Experiments of this last kind maybe very easily performed by 
an y one who has command of a pair of scales adapted to weigh 
small substances ; and it is well that the student should avail 
himself of such opportunities of learning how to " put Nature 
to the question" in matters of this simple character, in order to 
cultivate habits of accuracy and caution, which are useful in 
every condition of life. Let him take several leaves of different 
plants,— such, for example, as the Vine, Oak, Elm, Beech, 
Lime, Apple, Pear, — weigh them separately, and estimate as 
nearly as he can the comparative surface presented by each. 
He should then place their foot-stalks in glasses or bottles of 
equal size, into which has been poured a certain weight of 
water, carefully ascertained to be the same in each. All 
these should be placed in similar circumstances for a certain 
time, and a corresponding glass should be kept, without a leaf, 
in order to estimate the amount lost by evaporation from the 
surface of the water. By ascertaining how much had been 
absorbed by each leaf, and the weight each had gained, he 
would thus be easily enabled to calculate the quantity it must 
have exhaled ; and then by comparing this with the extent of 
the surfaces of the different leaves, he would estimate the pro- 
portional rapidity of the process in the various species he had 
chosen. Care should be taken to select, in the first instance, 
trees in equal stages of growth, and leaves of a similar degree 
of freshness and development.^ 

Whenever the vapor given off from the skins of animals, for 
any cause exceeds the amount which the atmosphere can take 
up, it collects into drops, and forms sensible perspiration. 
In like manner, when the sun first rises, some plants exhale so 
rapidly, that the lower temperature of the air causes the fluid 
to accumulate in drops at the points of the leaves. This is 
often mistaken for dew, but that it is really condensed perspira- 
tion may be readily understood, by observing that it occurs not 
only on plants which are in the open air, but also on those under 
shelter, and to which the dew could not possibly have had access. 

* Cyclopedia of Natural Science. 

24S Tea. 


Notwithstanding the many different kinds of Tea exporte 1 
from China, there is good reason to believe that they are al 
the produce of one species ; and that the differences of qualitv 
are the result of variations in the character of the plant, which 
are induced by differences of soil, climate, &c, in the exten 
sive tract over which it is grown, and in the age of the trees 
the time of gathering the leaves, and the mode of preparino 
them. The tea districts of China extend from about the 27th 
to the 33d degree of North latitude ; but the plant may be 
cultivated in regions more distant from the equator, if the 
climate be mild and equable. It seems to succeed best on 
the sides of mountains, in dry rocky places, where there is but 
little accumulation of vegetable mould. The plants are raised 
from seeds sown where they are to remain. Three or more 
are dropped into a hole four or five inches deep, and come on 
without further trouble, requiring little culture except that of 
removing the weeds, until the plants are three years old. The 
first crop of leaves is then gathered, at three periods during 
the year, — about the middle of April, in June, and in August. 
After the shrubs have attained the age of six or seven years, 
their produce becomes so inferior that they are removed to 
make way for others. The gathering is performed with care 
and selection, the leaves being plucked oflf one by one. Those 
which are earliest gathered are of the most delicate color and 
flavor ; leaves of the second gathering are full grown, and of 
less valuable qualities than the first ; while those of the last gath- 
ering are still coarser and of still less value. The first form 
what is called imperial tea ; but as to the other names by 
which tea is known in other countries, the Chinese themselves 
know nothing ; and the compounds and names are supposed 
to be made and given by the merchants at Canton — who, from 
the great number of varieties brought to them, have ample op- 
portunity of doing so. Formerly, it was thought that green 
tea was gathered exclusively from one species, but that is now 
considered untrue ; though it is certain that there is what is 

Tea. 249 

ailed the green tea district, and the black tea district, and 
hat the varieties grown in the one district differ from those of 

t he other. 
The tea leaves being gathered, are cured in houses which 
ontain from five to ten or twenty small furnaces, each having 
t the top a large flat iron pan. There is also, a long, low 
table covered with mats, on which the leaves are laid, and 
rolled by workmen who sit around it. The iron pan being 
heated to a certain degree, by a little fire made in the furnaqe 
underneath, a few pounds of the fresh gathered leaves are 
placed upon it ; being fresh and juicy, they crack when thev 
touch the pan, and it is the business of the operator to shift 
them as quickly as possible with his bare hands until they be- 
come too hot to be touched. At this instant, he takes off the 
leaves with a kind of fan-shaped shovel, and pours them on 
the mats, before the rollers, who, taking small quantities at a 
time, roll them in their hands, while others fan them so that 
they may cool the sooner, and return their curl the longer. 
This process is repeated several times, before the tea is 
packed, so that the moisture maybe more thoroughly dissipated 
and the cure more completely preserved. On every repetition 
the pan is less heated, and the operation performed more 
slowly and carefully. The tea is then separated into the dif- 
ferent kinds, and deposited in the store for domestic use, or 
exportation. As more select sorts of tea, the blossoms and 
buds are used, and the strongest kind, which is called yulicn, 
and is only used on occasions of ceremony, scarcely colors the 
water, and consists of buds and half expanded leaves. 

Tea was first imported into Europe by the Dutch East 
India Company, in the early part of the seventeenth century, 
but It does not appear to have found its way to England until 
about the year 1660. The first historical notice of it is in an 
Act of Parliament of that year, in which it was enumerated 
as one of the beverages sold in coffee houses, on which a duty 
was to be laid. That it was not then a common drink is evi- 
dent from an entry in the private Journal of Mr. Pepys, Sec- 
retary to the Admiralty, who says, Sept. 25, 1661, " I sent for 
a cup of tea, (a China drink,) of which I had never drunk 
before." In 1664, the British East India Company sent ttoo 

250 Culture of the Camellia. 

pounds of tea as a present to the King. In 1667 they issued 
their first order to import tea, directed to their agent at Ban- 
tarn, to the effect that he should send home 100 pounds of the 
best tea he could get. Since then, the consumption has gone 
on regularly increasing, and since the abolition of the monopoly 
of the East India Company, and the consequent reduction oi 
prices, the amount imported into England has increased, s 
that in some years it has reached fifty million pounds. 


One of the handsomest native plants which flower in the 
present month, is Tephrosia Virginica, sometimes called by the 
odd name of Cat-gut, probably from the roots, which are long, 
stringy, and yellow. It is a Leguminous plant; it grows 
about two feet high, with pinnate leaves, having ten or twelve 
pairs of small, regular leaflets. The flowers are in a short, 
thick, round, terminal raceme, and are very beautiful. The 
upper petal, or banner, is yellowish white, the wings are a fine 
red, and the keel white. It grows in bunches, in dry, sandy 
soils, near the edges of woods. This plant is worthy of culti- 
vation, and would make a splendid ornament of the border. 
Another very elegant Leguminous plant now in flower, is the 
one of which a figure is given in the present number. This 
is the Ground-nut, Apios tuberosa. It twines its slender stems 
over bushes, and with its dark-purple flowers, and smooth pin- 
nate leaves, it is worthy of observation. Another pretty little 
vine is Glycine, or Amphicarpaa, monoica. This is more del- 
icate than the other. It has ternate leaves, and pale, purple 
flowers. Many species of Lespedeza, and Desmodium, are now 
in flower, among which may be mentioned the singular V. un- 
ijlorum. The flower-stalk of this is connected with the leaf- 
stalk, by a long stem which runs under ground, so that the two 
are frequently at the distance of a foot or more from each other. 
It would be a matter of surprise to one unacquainted with this 
peculiarity, on pulling up what appears to be a leafless stalk of 
flowers, to find that he is also gathering what appears a sepa- 

July and August Flowers. 251 

rate plant, with ternate leaves. The flowers are pretty, in a 
long, terminal panicle, of a purple color. D. Canadense is also 
a handsome plant, and is very apt to make the acquaintance 
of the rambler, by means of its pods, which are jointed, like 
those of all the species, and adhere to his clothes. July and 
August are, indeed, the especial season for the Leguminosae; 
and various genera, as Lathyrus, Vicia, Baptisia, Astragalus, 
Cassia, Crotalaria, embellish the woods and fields at this time. 

Now the ponds, where that splendid plant grows, are whke 
with the fragrant flowers of the White Pond Lily, Nymphcea 
odorata, so appositely named after the water-fairies. Ah ! 
in what profusion it lines the shores of a certain blue lake 
which we wot of ; and how insufficient has been even the ex- 
citement, so well understood by the angler, of hooking, play- 
ing and capturing those noble pike with which its depths 
abound, to withdraw our admiration from the glossy leaves, 
and glorious flowers of this queen of the waters ; and what a 
picture did our fine five or six-pounders make, decorated, (we 
confess the profanation,) with those white petals, so contrasted 
with their swelling, dark green sides ! In this lake, the vulgar 
yarvenu, relative of the Nymphaea, Nuphar advena by name, 
does not grow ; though its yellow flowers may often, in less 
deep and pure waters, be found at this season. 

The curious little Drosera, Sundew, is now in flower, and 
we have observed the unfailing drops at the tips of its glandu- 
lar hairs, during all this dry and hot weather. The Hypericums 
and the Lysimachias, are now among the most common plants 
in flower, and one of the latter, L. quadrifolia, is remarkable 
for the perfect symmetry of its whorls of leaves and blossoms. 
Now the Umbelliferae are beginning to flower, and some of 
them are already in full bloom. Very few of these are inter- 
esting to the lover of floral beauty, their flowers being small, 
and of no brilliant colors, and their properties being often of 
the most dangerous nature. Every body ought to know the 
villainous Hemlock, Cicuta maculata, so as to avoid it as one 
would a murderer. It may easily be recognised by its tall, 
smooth, hollow, spotted stem, somewhat suggestive of a sleek, 
venomous snake, and its large umbels of white flowers. The 
mbels have no general involucre, and the partial umbels have 

252 July and Augiist Floivers. 

each an involucre of acute, short and narrow leaves. Ti, 
umbels, too, are not crowded together, but spread apart. T 
wet places now flowers that handsome shrub, Cephalanthus o . 
cidc7italis, the Button Bush, with its globular heads of white 
flowers, bristling with the long projecting styles ; and in dryer 
spots, among underbrush, the sweet-scented Spircea alba 
which ought to be cultivated. Now, too, the numerous Com- 
positae are flowering, and some of them continue in flower till 
the end of the autumn. Perhaps the handsomest native 
plants of this order are the species of Liatris, especially £ 
squarrosa. The stem of this is tall, bristly, and covered with 
linear, stiff, nerved leaves, and terminated with sometimes 
more than twenty heads of the most brilliant purple flowers. 
Why this fine plant, and another species scarcely less elegant, 
L. scariosa, have not been long ago introduced into the Ameri- 
can flower garden, is only to be accounted for by that prefer- 
ence for everything foreign, which often displays itself in such 
ridiculous contrast with our republican institutions and profes- 
sions. There is certainly no foreign species of Chrysanthe- 
mum, of Cineraria, or even of Aster, which can make so fine 
an appearance, as would a border of the neglected Liatris. 
Various species of Eupatorium are in flower, and the best 
known of these is E. perfoliatum, so commonly used in the for- 
mation of a tonic decoction, by old ladies, under the name of 
Thoroughwort. Perhaps the tallest herbaceous plant in this 
part of the country, is another species, E. purpureum, or 
Trumpet-weed, which sometimes grows to the height of eight 
or nine feet. The Solidagos, and the Asters seem to take pre- 
cedence of all other plants in the months of August and Sep- 
tember. There is scarcely a spot to be found without some 
species of one or the other genus ; from the dusty roadside, 
and even the busy street, to the most retired and cool brook- 
side, and the thickest depths of the forest. We need not de- 
scribe any of these, the yellow racemes of Solidago, and the 
various colored corymbs of Aster being familiar to every one. 
The species of the latter, found in the Northern States, are 
reckoned at more than thirty, and of the former at at least 
twenty-five. A very handsome genus of Composite is Rud- 
beckia. R. lacinata is the most common species, and its high 

July and August Flowers. 253 

stem, with large yeltow flowers, whose conical disk, and 
drooping rays will at once identify them, forms a very conspic- 
uous object. The Sunflowers, Helianthus, of which there are 
five or six species, also are now in their glory ; and H. divari- 
catus, especially, is very showy. This makes a very fine 
plant by cultivation. Senecio aureus, Hieracium venosum, Na- 
ylus albiis, or Prenantkes alba, Mikania scandens, are all Com- 
posite, worthy of examination. Several of the genera Pyrola 
and Chimaphila are in flower, and if an emblem of neatness is 
needed, you have it in P. rotundifolia. Both these Ericaceae. 
indeed, are among our prettiest low plants. Their species are 
called by a variety of names, such as Prince's Pine, Winter- 
green, Shinleaf, &c. Now is the time to look for those singular 
parasites— or supposed parasites, — Orobanche, and Epiphegus, 
called Broom-rape, and Beech-drops. Many of the Labiatee 
and Scrophulariaceae are blooming. These, though there are 
many handsome flowers among them, we must pass over for 
the present without much notice, merely giving the names of 
some of the more remarkable. Of the Figwort tribe, the Mul- 
lein, Verbascum thapsus, is in every field, and its neater relative, 
V. blattaria, is much more pretty and rare. Linaria vulgaris, 
or Toad-flax, is frequent, sometimes in large patches by the 
roadside, and its queerly formed yellow flowers are worth 
looking at. Chelone glabra, or Snake-head ; Mimulus ringens 
and alatus, called Monkey-flower; Leptandra virginica, or 
Culver's (not our publisher, whose prescriptions are of a more 
satisfactory nature to us) Physic, a very handsome white flow- 
ered plant, by the way ; several species of Gerardia, a good 

looking genus, are all the Scrophu — (the word is too long) we 

have time to mention. Of the LabiatEe, are blossoming the 
mints, Spearmint, Peppermint, Horsemint ; the very common 
Lycopus, called Water hoarhound ; the Mountain mint, a pretty 
plant, with very variable flowers ; Pycnanthemum ; Collinsonia / 
Hedeoma, or Pennyroyal; Scutellaria, two or three species ; 
Prunella, Leonurus, Teucrium, and several other genera. The 
Fringed Gentian, Gentiana crinita, is one of our prettiest flowers. 
The bright bluish purple corolla, so finely fringed at the mar- 
gin, will attract the special attention of the observer. It lives 
in cool, wet places, by the sides of brooks and ponds. 

254 July and August Flowers. 

There are numerous other noticeable* plants, which fl 
in July and August, but we must conclude with some of t* 
Orchidaccae. Among them a very curious one is the Dra^o ' ^ 
claw, or Coral-root, Corallorhiza odontorhiza. It has no le 
but the stem is about a foot high, with several brown sheath ' 
The flowers are greenish, in a long spike, the lip bein<r wh*t 
with purple spots. The root is a collection of small, fl e v, ' 
tubes, branched and articulated like coral. Another splen Ya 
plant is Orchis grandiflora. This is the finest of the genus If 
bears a spike of large purple flowers, sometimes more thans' 
inches long, and we have made it by cultivation nearly twi 
that length. It will flower readily in the garden, if taken 
with a considerable quantity of its native soil, and set in 
shady situation. Several other species of Orchis are in flower 
A very pretty and delicate one is O. ciliaris, with fringed 
flowers, of a bright orange color. This is not, so common as 
most other species, and is found in swamps. All the species 
indeed, are among our most curious and interesting plants. We 
have also found lately the beautiful Arcthusa, worthy of its po- 
etical name. It is slender and delicate ; the stem with a few 
loose sheaths,, bearing upon the summit a single large, nodding 
fragrant flower, of the most splendid purple imaginable. ? ! 
gonia verticillata is a curious plant. Near the top of the stem 
is a single whorl of four of five leaves, and just above it a sin- 
gle flower, with most peculiar sepals, very narrow, twisted 
brown, and two or three inches long. Calopogon pulchcttum is 
perhaps the most perfectly beautiful plant of the whole tribe. 
It has a tuberous root, a very slender scape, of a foot or 
eighteen inches high, sheathed with a single long lily-like leaf 
and bearing about five or six large purple flowers, which, for 
beauty of color, and delicacy of construction, are unequalled. 
Goodyera, with its curious radical leaves, conspicuously veined 
with white ; Spiranthes, two or three species, with frail stems, 
and spirally twisted spikes ; and the superb Cypripedium spec- 
tabile, with its white, purple-striped lip, and large plaited 
leaves, are all remarkable plants, and well worthy the atten- 
tion of the curious. Why have we not a good Monograph 
of the American Orchidaceae ? 

Tropical Vegetation — The Ceiba Tree. 265 


BY H. H. B. 

A native of the North travelling in Cuba, will find his admi- 
ration excited by a continual succession of strange and luxu- 
riant tropical productions. Most attractive, from its novelty, 
is the Palm, which in its beautiful varieties is thickly scattered 
over the island. The royal palm (Elais ?) is perhaps the most 
symmetrical, though inferior in height to the wild Palms* of the 
fuclta-abajo, which often raise their straight and slender 
stems more than a hundred feet above the savannahs. In the 
mountains may be seen the massy trunks and rich foliage of 
the mahogany ; and the dark cedar, so agreeably suggestive 
of "approved brands" and their fragrant contents. On the 
sea-shore the Mangrove stretches far into the waves, and 
pioneers the way for new accessions to the soil. The Bam- 
boo, with its graceful and feathery arches, seems almost like 
the forest that might fringe Fairy-land. It forms, when strip- 
ped of its leaves, a sort of monstrous fishing-ro^, almost large 
enough to " bob for whales," and worthy to have been used 
by that ancient Fisherman, of whose accoutrements it is said — 

" You would have sworn, had you looked on them, 
He had fished in the flood with Ham and Shem." 

In some places the joints, which will hold a full gallon of 
water, are used as buckets. 

One of the most singular vegetable curiosities is a plant 
called, I think, the Mqjabue. When it first rises out of the 
ground, it is a slender vine, twining round some forest tree. 
By degrees it increases in size, the stems and tendrils inter- 
lace, and cross each other in numberless windings, forming a 
kind of net-work around the body of the tree, until finally the 
whole becomes united into one firm shell, and encloses its prey 
in a living grave. It now forms a large and beautiful tree, 
with roots, trunk and boughs, having for its core the body of its 
dead victim. 

* Areca Oleracea. 

256 Tropical Vegetation — The Ceiba Tree. 

Far above all the rest, towers the gigantic Ceiba-tree.* ThJ 
monarch of the forest, in its perfection, sends up a lofty column 
to the height of ninety or even a hundred feet, and then 
spreads forth horizontally in immense branches, each a huge 
tree. At its base large spurs or buttresses stretch forth, which 
serve to keep upright its enormous weight, and enable it to 
resist the storms, so violent in this region. The contrast be- 
tween the light clay color of the trunk and the dark green of 
the leaves produces a fine effect. Its diameter above the 
spurs is from six to eight feet, and sometimes more, somewhat 
decreasing upwards towards the branches. Riding with a com- 
panion on the South side of the island, we found one which 
had fallen from decay and the application of fire to its roots. 
As it lay extended on a level surface, and we rode on either 
side, we could just see each other's hats over the trunk. The 
wood of the Ceiba-tree is very light, and of not much use 
except for making canoes. A single trunk, hollowed out for 
this purpose, will carry twenty hogsheads of sugar. The seed 
vessels produce a kind of cotton, which is not, however, fit for 
spinning, but is used by the poorer classes for stuffing cushions 
and pillows. It is considered as an ill omen to cut one of these 
fine trees from an estate, and as boding no good to the pro- 

Many of them were prostrated by the furious " temporal," 
or hurricane which desolated the island in the autumn of 
1844. While walking in the dismanded woods, and survey- 
ing the wrecks scattered on all sides by a storm of whose 
violence a north-man can form no conception, the sublime pas- 
sage in Faust was most forcibly recalled : 

" Hark ! what a crashing through the forest ! * * • 
Hark, to the splintering of the pillars of the evergreen palaces ! 
the crackling and snapping of the boughs, the mighty groaning 
of the trunks, the creaking and yawning of the roots ! — All come 
crashing down, one over the other, in fearfully confused fall ; 
and the winds hiss and howl through the wreck-covered 
cliffs !" 

* Bombax Ceiba. 

The Peony. 257 


K raral Order, Ranunculacese ; Linn se an System, Poly andria, Di-Pentagynia. 
Generic Distinctions : — Calyx of five uuequal permanent sepals ; petals, 
from five to ten, roundish ; stamens, numerous ; disc, fleshy, encircling 
the ovaries; carpels, from two to five, with thick bilamellate stigmas ; 
deeds, numerous, somewhat globose and shiniug. 

p Russi. — Carpels, generally two; pilose, recurved; segments of the 
leaves elliptic, entire, somewhat pubescent beneath. — Plate 35. 

This is a very ornamental genus, and varieties of several 
species are among the most commonly cultivated plants. 
The name, Paeonia, is derived from Pason, a Greek physician, 
who is said first to have used the plant in curing Pluto of a 
wound inflicted by Hercules. The Peonies are both shrubby 
and herbaceous. The former kind are varieties of the Tree 
Peony, P» Moutan, a native of China. Of the latter, there 
are several species and numerous varieties, which are great 
favorites, from the easiness of their culture, their hardiness, 
and their showy flowers. Their roots are composed of several 
tubers, somewhat like carrots — and, by separating these, their 
propagation is easily effected. The roots of one species, 
P. edulis, are eaten by the Siberians, who boil them in their 
soup. The most common Peony of the gardens is P. officinalis, 
which has been in cultivation in England for three hundred 
years. Its varieties are very numerous, having single, double, 
and semi-double flowers, of various shades, from white to 
crimson, and they are all easily propagated. It is a native of 
several parts of Europe. 

The species engraved, is one of the rarer sorts. It is a 
native of Sicily, and has been cultivated since about 1820. 
Its flower is single, and of a bright crimson. The flowers are 
solitary, but there are usually several stems, arising from the 
same root. The leaves are usually whitish underneath. It is 
increased, like other species, by parting the roots, and by the 
seeds, and grows best in an open situation in a rich loamy 

Vol. I.— -17. 


- ■ Ar, 

/s&e??,/?* .-// //.j. is 

{ \Ao«WJ J/re'/'ts^-. J 

358 The Hellebore. 


Natural Order, Ranunculacese ; Linnsean System, Polyandria, Polygyny 
Generic Distinctions :— Sepals, five, persistent, roundish, obtuse, large, 
usually green ; petals, from eight to ten, tubular, nectariferous ; stigmas 
orbicular ; capsules, coriaceous. 

H. niger.— Radical leaves, pedate, quite smooth; scape, leafless, bearing 
one or two flowers and bracts.— Plate 36, Fig. 1. 

H. lividus.— Stem, many-flowered, leafy; leaves, ternate, smooth, glaucous 
beneath ; segments, ovate-lanceolate.— Plate 36, Fig 2. 

The species of Hellebore are perennial plants, with a lea- 
thery texture, and a very disagreeable smell ; generally ever- 
green, and flowering very early in spring. They have a 
creeping under-ground stem, the fibrous roots proceeding from 
which are the parts used in medicine. They are all poisonous; 
though in small doses one or two species are administered as 
cathartics. The name, Helleborus, alludes to their dangerous 
qualities, and signifies " deadly food." 

H. niger is very commonly cultivated in England, where 
it is called the Christmas Rose. "Every one," says Mrs. 
Loudon, " knows that first harbinger of spring, the Christmas 
Rose, though but few people are aware how very well it looks 
as a window plant. In the open air, the delicate texture of its 
flowers is often injured by the frost or melting snow, which so 
often covers the ground at the dreary season when it appears ; 
but when kept in a sheltered place, such as a room or a green- 
house, it becomes a very ornamental plant. The calyx of the 
Christmas Rose, consists of five large, white sepals, which 
are delicately tinged with pink. The petals are small and 
tubukr, but not^rnamental, as they are of a dingy green. 
They are, however, little seen, as they are nearly hidden by 
the numerous stamens which surround the eight or ten carpels 
that grow erect and close together in the centre of the flower. 
The involucre consists of two large bracts, which shade the 
flower in the bud, so as to resemble a green calyx. The 
leaves are very deeply cut, and the segments are disposed in 
a palmate manner, so as to look like separate leaflets. The 

JPI. Jf. 

?(///</*!<■ / 


The Globe-Flower. 259 

jpecies takes its name from the black bark of its underground 
stem. ^ is a native of the Apennines, whence it was intro- 
duced into England before 1596. It will grow in any soil or 
situation; but it prefers a dry soil, and a situation open to the 
sun. It is propagated by dividing the underground stem in 
summer, after the leaves have decaj'ed." 

The Livid Hellebore is a native of Corsica, and is sometimes 
cultivated. Its leaves are evergreen, in three leaflets, serrated 
on the margin, and those of the stem have sometimes a dilated 
leaf-like petiole. It is more difficult to propagate than the 
other species, since it has not the creeping underground stem, 
and the seeds do not ripen well. 


Natural Order, Ranunculaceae ; Linnaean System, Polyandria Polygynia. 
Generic Distinctions :— Calyx of five, ten, or fifteen petal-like sepals; 
petals, from five to twenty, small, linear, tubular at base; stamens and 
ovaries, numerous ; capsules, sessile, columnar; many seeded. 

T. Europeus.—Scpnls, fifteen, converging so as to form a globe, concealing 
the petals ; petals equal in length to the stamens.— Plate 36, Fig. 3. 

From the old German word trol, or trolhen, signifying round, 
is derived the Latin name which is applied to this genus, on 
account of the globular shape of the flowers. This shape is 
most remarkable in the European globe-flower — some of the 
other species differing in this respect. They all agree, how- 
ever, in having their sepals much larger and more ornamental 
than the petals, which appear rather like abortive stamens. 
The leaves, like those of most plants of the same order, are 
deeply cut, and their petioles are dilated, and sheathe the stem, 
which is hollow, and yields an acrid juice. T. Europeus is 
a native of Great Britain and other parts of Europe, and has 
long been a favorite in gardens. The flower stem is erect and 
branched, each branch terminating in a single flower. The 
flowers :ire at first small, but they gradually become larger, 
though without opening ; the sepals, which are numerous, pre- 

260 The Wood-Sorrel. 

serving their globe-like form till they fall off, \vhich~thev~iT 
long before the seed is ripe. The petals, which are entir 1° 
hidden by the converging sepals, are about the same length 
as the stamens ; and indeed they look more like abortive fil 
ments a little flattened, than petals. The stamens and earn t" 
are very numerous. The leaves appear palmate, so deepV 
are they cleft into five distinct lobes. This plant never im! 
proves by cultivation; and those species which have bee* 
propagated from others kept in gardens for a great many years 
produce flowers exactly similar to those which are found will 
in the meadows. In gardens, the globe-flower will grow i n 
any soil or situation, but it prefers one that is somewhat moist 
and shady. It is readily propagated, either by seeds or by 
division of the root. 

The only American species of Trollius is T. Americanus 
It is a native of all the Northern States, in swamps and low- 
grounds. The leaves are fivelobed; the sepals, unlike tho 
European species, spread widely apart, so as to show tho 
petals, which are very short and broad, and of a fine yellow 
color. Several stems, each bearing a flower, spring from tho 
same root. It flowers in May and June, and is easily culti- 
vated. A variety of thia species, discovered by Drummond 
near the Rocky Mountains, has white flowers. 


Natural Order, Oxalidaceae ; Linnsean System, Decandria, Pentagynia. 
Generic Distinctions :— Sepals, five, distinct, or united at base ; stamens! 
monadelphous at base; stigmas, pencil-formed, rarely capitate or bifid; 
capsule, oblong or cylindrical. 

O. Botaiei.— Stemless ; leaflets, three, roundish, cordate, emarginate ; pe- 
duncles, about the length of the leaves, umbelliferous Plate 37. 

This genus comprises a great number of species, which 
are found in widely separate regions of the world. From the 
Cape of Good Hope are brought many of the most beautiful 
kinds, while both Great Britain and our own country furnish 

The Wood-Sorrel. 261 

others. They have long been cultivated, and are great favo- 
rites for their delicacy and beauty. In a late English work, 
t he whole number of species, exclusive of florists' varieties, 
j s reckoned at seventy-one. They bear so strong a family 
likeness, that it is not easy to confound them with any other 
genus. They are pretty little plants, some shrubby and some 
herbaceous. The root is usually tuberous, the bulbs consisting 
of fleshy scales, sometimes closely imbricate, sometimes loose 
and diverging. In a few, the subterraneous stem, and the 
terminating fibre of the bulb, produce little dog-toothed bulbs, 
in such abundance as to fill the pot to the very bottom. Some- 
times the bulb strikes downwards a radical fibre, from the 
side of which grows a new bulb, which produces a new plant, 
while the former perishes. Some of the species have a proper 
stem, and others a scape, at the top of which are the flowers 
in an umbel. The leaves are usually petioled, and mostly 
ternate, in a few species binate and digitate. Almost all oi 
them have an acid taste, on account of which they take their 
generic name, which means sour, or sharp. This taste is 
owing to the presence of oxalic acid, which is usually made 
from O. Acetosella. The expressed juice of this plant affords 
this acid in the form of a crystalline acid salt. It is used for 
taking iron and ink stains out of linen, for scouring brass, and 
for various other purposes. For taking out spots in linen, the 
stained part is dipped in water, sprinkled with a little of the 
powde/e^ salt, then rubbed on a pewter plate, after which the 
spot is washed in warm water. 

Many of the species ripen seeds, from which, or from offsets, 
they are readily propagated, and grown in a light soil, the 
best being a mixture of sand, peat, and loam. They are best 
kept in pots which will hold a great many roots. The earth 
should be so light and sandy, as never to become hard, but 
always soft enough not to resist the point of the finger when 
pressed upon it. When the flowering time is passed, the pots 
should be put aside, where they require neither care nor 
water. In the beginning of August, they should be placed 
in the open air, and moderately watered. About the middle 
of September, after the leaves have appeared, they should 
be placed in a very sunny, airy greenhouse, when they will 


'.',///. j >y/v/y/v. ( /)<"//(/.> ( .tvf/f 

262 The Saxifrage. 

flower well. Some of the species can be planted out in th e 
open air, early in spring, when they will begin to flower i n 
May, and continue through the summer. 

The species in our plate is named from the gentleman who 
introduced it into England, from the Cape of Good Hope, and 
is considered the handsomest of all the species. The flowers 
are large, of a fine rose color, and produced in such abun- 
dance as to have a most brilliant effect in the garden. When 
placed in the open ground, says a cultivator, the plants flower 
in September and October ; but by potting them, and' keeping 
them quite dry, so as to allow them about a fortnight's rest in 
midsummer, or later, and then placing them in a stove, to 
start them, as the gardeners call it, they may be made to flower 
freely, and at any season required, according to the time when 
they are given their period of rest. 

A very pretty American species, is O. violacea, which ought 
to be cultivated. The scape is very slender, about a foot 
high, bearing an umbel of large, elegant, violet-colored flowers. 
It grows in woods, and flowers in May. Three or four other 
species are natives of the Northern States. 


Natural Order, Saxifragaccae ; Linnaean System, Decaudria, Digynia. Ge- 
neric Distinctions: — Calyx of four or five sepals, more or less united; 
petals, five, entire; capsule, two-beaked, two-celled, openiug between 
the diverging beaks ; seeds, many. 

<S. ligulata. — Leaves, obovate, subcordate, denticulated ; quite glabrous on 
both surfaces, but ciliated on the margin ; panicle, dichotomous; petals, 
broad, orbicular. — Plate 38, Fig. 1. 

S. stellaris. — Leaves, wedge-form, serrate, pilose at the margin ; stem, sim- 
ple, naked ; petals, acute ; capsule, superior. — Plate 33, Fig. 2. 

This is also a very extensive genus, comprising many spe- 
cies, which are generally inhabitants of northern regions, all 
over the world. Some of the species are easily cultivated, 
and, although naturally mountaineers, are not incapable of 
breathing the more impure air of towns and valleys. They 

/'J,. 3S. 

The Saxifrage. 263 

are mostly perennial plants, with thick roots, large fleshy 
leaves, and showy flowers, generally disposed in panicles. 
The name Saxifraga, signifies < break stone,' in reference to a 
supposed medicinal effect of the plants, or according to one 
rather doubtful authority, " from their insinuating themselves 
into the crevices of rocks, and breaking them." The parts of 
fructification are extremely variable, the calyx being some- 
times superior, and sometimes inferior, the stamens being in- 
serted into the calyx in some instances, and beneath the ova- 
rium in others. This has been the cause of dividing the genus 
into several others, though the new genera are not usually 

The Nepaul Saxifrage is one of the finest of the cultivat- 
ed species. The flowers are large, bell-shaped, and nearly 
white. The leaves are large, leathery, dotted all over with small 
punctures, and fringed at the margin with a border of fine 
short hairs. The root is horizontal and woody. It should be 
grown in very rich garden soil, and protected from the cold, in 
April and May, when it flowers. S. Stellaris is a pretty little 
plant, a native of the north of Europe, and America. 

There are many other American species, some of which are 
among the earliest flowers which blossom in our Northern 
Spring. One of these, S. Virginiensis, opens its white petals 
in April, among the stones of every dry, rocky hill. It is a 
small plant, with obovale, pubescent radical leaves, and a stem 
of six inches high, bearing a panicle of numerous small flow- 
ers. The whole number of North American species is above 
forty, many of which are native in Canada, Labrador, and 
the far North. The genus contains in all, above one hundred 
and fifty species. 

264 Culture of the Camellia. 



Camellia Japonic a, in the groves and gardens of Japan, 
is a lofty tree, much admired for its fine form, rich clothing of 
shining deep green foliage, and elegant red or white flower 
single or double. It is equally admired in China as in Japan, 
and much cultivated in both countries. It is of frequent oc- 
currence in Chinese paintings, with Hibiscus and Chrysanthe- 
num, two of their great favorites. There are several varieties 
of C. Japonica in China, most of which have been imported, 
and their number increased from seedlings raised in this 
country. Yet its management is not generally understood, ex- 
cept by cultivators, and persons having large green-houses. 
Many persons are deterred from having them in their rooms 
and small conservatories, as they consider them difficult to 
manage. The chief complaint is that they drop their buds 
before flowering. This may be in a great measure prevented 
by attending to the following directions. 

The chief points are to protect the plant from the sun in 
summer, to prevent the roots from matting around the sides of 
the pot, and not to give them too much water when they are 
not growing. When the plants are placed in the conservatory 
in the autumn, they should be shaded from the sun at noon- 
day in September and October, and also in the spring, in April 
and May. If exposed to the full sun, the leaves are apt to 
tarn yellow, and the plants get sickly. When placed out of 
the house in summer, they should be put in a shady situation, 
where, if they have any sun, it should be but little, and that 
early in the morning. When Camellias are flowering, and 
during their growth, they should be watered pretty freely, but 
not kept saturated, nor should they be suffered to become very 
dry before water is given them. In summer they should be 
kept moist, and be watered over their leaves in the evening, 
which is very beneficial to them ; and during winter it is best 
to keep them rather dry. 

Culture of the Camellia. 265 

As regards the temperature, ifit is desired to bring them into 
flower at the natural time in the spring, they should be kept as 
cool as possible during winter, for as the heat comes on more 
gradually, there is less danger of the buds dropping off, which 
is caused by too sudden a change of temperature. It is as- 
tonishing to observe how very easily the flower buds, when 
near ly ready to expand, are acted upon by either heat or cold. 
The variation of only a few degrees will considerably effect 
them, so that attention is necessary at this time. Keep them 
as regular as possible in temperature and moisture, in order to 
ensure their bloom. Previous to taking Camellias from the 
green-houses into a warm room, water them freely on the 
leaves (if the flowers are not expanded,) and they will come 
into flower much better than if taken in without watering 

The Camellia is well adapted to flower during the winter 
months, when but few plants cheer us with their expanded 
blossoms. They should be placed in the conservatory early 
in the fall, before the weather is very cold, and by keeping the 
temperature as regular as possible, between 50 and 60 degrees 
of heat, (about 50 to 55, by night, and 55, to 60, by day,) 
teeping them regularly moist, and giving them air in mild 
sveather, they will come into flower early, and provided they 
are good sized plants and well budded, they will flower a 
great part of the winter. It may be well to remark that 
Camellias are very full of buds, and will naturally drop some 
of them of their own accord, when they have more than the 
sap can supply, and therefore amateurs should not feel disap- 
pointed if they lose some of them. As soon as they have done 
flowering, which will be according as they flower early or 
late, from February to April, before the new shoots commence 
growing, they should be re-potted in fresh soil, and kept in the 
same heat as before, or the heat may be raised from 55 to 60 
degrees by night, and 60 to 65 by day. Syringe over their 
leaves early in the morning, keep the soil in the pots moist, 
shade them from the hot sun, giving them as much air as the 
weather will admit of, which will cause them to grow regularly, 
and they usually complete their growth in about a fortnight. 
When the young shoots have done growing, which can be 
easily perceived by the terminal bud at the point of the shoot, 

266 Culture of the Camellia. 

the heat may be raised to 70 degrees, as this increase of he 
will cause the flower buds to form with more facility and i 
greater numbers. But it should be observed, that such i 
crease of heat should be applied immediately on the pl ant 
perfecting their growth, and before the wood becomes ha^d 
or it will not have the desired effect ; for such plants as form 
their flower buds in the conservatory, previous to placing 
them out for summer, can be brought to flower much earlier in 
the winter, or by the end of November, and any that have not 
formed their buds in the spring, will form them in summer 
and come on in succession. 

The soil for Camellias should be a mixture of loam and 
peat, with some decayed manure and sand, so that it will be 
of a sufficient texture not to dry too rapidly, nor bake too hard 
in the pots ; for when potted in too hard a soil, or peat alone 
an impenetrable ball is formed, impervious to water, which 
runs down the sides of the pots without watering the roots, and 
in consequence the plants will be impoverished, the leaves 
drop off, although apparently green and healthy, and the 
death of the plant soon follows. The best soil is, one-third of 
good peat, one-third of loam, nearly one-third of decayed 
manure, and the remainder fine sand. In shifting them let 
the pots be proportioned to the size of the plant, and the quantity 
of roots. They may not always require a larger pot, but let 
them be taken out of the pots, a little of the soil removed from 
the sides, top and bottom of the ball, and the ball loosened a 
little, but no roots should be taken away, unless they are dead. 
The pots should always be well drained with broken potsherds 
of gravel, then place a little soil over the drainage, and return 
the plant and fill up the pot with the compost, pressing it 
down the sides with the finger or a piece of flat stick, leaving 
a little space between the soil and rim of the pot, to allow of 
watering. When Camellias are inclined to grow too strag- 
gling and tall, they should be pruned, the side shoots cut 
back, and the leader or top shoot shortened so as to reduce 
them to regular shape, which should be done as soon as they 
have done flowering. When they have completely set their 
flower buds, or by the beginning or middle ftf June, they will 
be sufficiently hardy to place out for summer ; precaution is 

Culture of the Camellia. 267 

essary t0 prevent worms from getting an entrance into the 
t by placing a piece of board under it, but if any do find their 
waV> they should be taken out, or the pots watered with lime 
ter once a week, for two or three weeks, which will cause 
them to come out, but be careful not to give them too much 
lime water, as it may injure their roots. As long as the weather 
continues favorable, that is, without .frost or excessive rains, 
they need not be taken in till the latter end of September or the 
beginning of October. Previous to taking them into the house, 
it may be necessary to take off a little of the old soil from the 
surface of the pot, but not deep enough to injure their roots, 
and topdress them with a little fresh compost, which will be 
ver y beneficial to them ; syringe them over their leaves and 
wash the pots clean, and keep them in a cool situation, till they 
are required to flower. When placed out for summer, they 
should be put in as cool and shady a situation as possible, for 
if much exposed to the sun they will turn yellow and get 
sicklv- The pots may be plunged about half their depth in 
the around, provided the soil is dryish sandy loam ; if it is a 
wet cold soil, it is a good plan to take a box and bore a few 
holes in the bottom to let water out, and set it on the ground, 
and place in the pots and fill in the interior with sand, as it 
will protect the roots from being injured by drouth, and they 
will not want watering so frequently. 

Camellias to be cultivated or flowered in rooms, should be 
of good size, and strong healthy plants, for small plants are 
not suitable, as they are more liable to be affected by the 
heat of the room than larger ones, and the pots being so small 
they dry much faster, and are apt to lose their buds. When 
they are brought in from the garden in fall, and it is desired 
to have them flower as early in the winter as possible, they 
may be placed in the room they are to flower in, and if the 
windows are much exposed to the sun's rays they should be 
shaded a little ; and they will come into flower according to 
the state of the plants, and the forwardness of the buds. If it 
is only wished to have them flower in the spring, they may be 
placed in a cool room where they will not freeze, and they 
will bear a darker room than most other plants, and can be 
brought into the parlor when they are wanted, and with the 

268 Propagation by Layers and Grafts. 

same attention they will soon come into flower. As in roo 
there is not the same convenience for potting or shifting them 
in a conservatory, they may be kept in such rooms till the seas 
arrives for placing them out in summer, when they can 1 
fresh potted if they require it, and they will perfect their fl 0We 
buds by autumn. 

Camellias are increased by grafting them on stocks of the 
single red variety, the cuttings of which may be taken off the 
parent plant at any season after the wood of the previon, 
growth is ripe, and planted in pots of white sand, which should 
be well drained, and two or three leaves left on each cutting 
Place them in a shady part of the green-house, for five or six 
weeks, and then plunge them up to their rims in a hot-bed, and 
when rooted, they should be separated into small pots, kept 
shaded when first potted, then nursed along till of fit size to 


In order to propagate any particular variety of fruit or 
flowef, the cultivator reserves some of the leafy buds of the 
tree or plant, and places these in circumstances favorable to 
their growth. In many instances, the leaves or leaf-buds have 
the power of forming roots for themselves ; and this is especially 
the case when the neighboring part contains a temporary sup- 
ply of nourishment for them, such as the tuber of the potato 
imparts to the eyes, or buds, which it contains. Thus, if the 
young branches of a vine be cut into as many pieces as there 
are leaf-bud3, and these be properly laid in a favorable soil, and 
stimulated to growth by heat and moisture, they will soon put 
out roots and become perfect plants ; being at first supported 
by the nutritious matter contained in the wood to which they ad- 
here, and afterwards by the products of its decay. It is in 
this way that sugar-cane is propagated ; the plants that spring 
from these cuttings being more vigorous, and coming earlier 
to maturity, than those raised from seed. This method is often 

Propagation by Layers and Grafts. 269 

employed by the gardener ; who sometimes varies it, by not 
detaching the bud from the parent stock, but by bending a 
branch into the earth, and letting it be partly supported by the 
juices of its parent, until it has put forth roots for itself. This 
j s termed propagating by layers. 

But there are many cases in which it is desirable not to trust 
to the power which the bud may possess of forming roots for 
itself; and advantage is then taken of the tendency which the 
growing parts of plants have to adhere and become united to 
each other. Such adhesions not unfrequently take place from 
natural causes. Thus, if two branches, either of the same or 
of different trees, be lying across each other, in such a position 
as to rub against one another when moved by the wind, the 
bark will be worn off from each, and a fluid will exude from 
the wounds, which will be in time converted into solid tissue. 
This is capable of conveying sap from one branch to the other ; 
for a tree which has been thus united (for the sake of experi- 
ment) to two others, and has been thus cut off from all com- 
munication with the soil, has continued to live, without any 
other supply than that which it has derived through these trees. 
This natural adhesion of vegetable tissue is well seen in the 
ivy ; the branches of which often interlace and graft together 
in various places, until the whole forms a rude net-work, en- 
closing the trunk of the tree on which it has climbed. 

Now the gardener imitates this process, when he wishes to 
supply the separated buds of a tree or plant which he is de- 
sirous of propagating rapidly, with nourishment ready to be 
elaborated by its leaves. He chooses a stock, or stem deprived 
of its own buds, and cuts off its top in a sloping direction, so 
as to expose a large surface of wood and bark. He cuts the 
lower end of the young branch, or graft, in a similar manner, 
and then fixes them together, taking especial care that the bark 
and wood of the one should meet and join with the bark and 
wood of the other. If the operation succeeds, the stock and 
the graft become so completely united together, as to form in 
time but one tree, in which all mark of the original separation 
has disappeared. The stock draws up from the soil the fluid 
which the leaves of the graft require ; these obtain carbon 
from the air, and elaborate the crude sap into proper juice, a 

270 Propagation by Layers and Grafts. 

portion of which is supplied by the graft to the stock for the ex- 
tension of its own tissues, just as if the stem really belonged i [♦ 
To effect this object, it is generally necessary to choose as 
the stock, a plant either of the same species as the graft, or 
one very closely allied to it ; and the less the relationship, ^ 
more care and precaution must be taken to secure a union, by 
bringing the newest layers of bark and wood into contact. It 
is customary to select for the stock some less valuable form of 
the same species. Thus the cultivated varieties of Pears and 
Apples are often grafted upon the Wild Pear and Crab. Or 
a species nearly allied, will sometimes answer nearly as well 
and from being readily procured, is commonly employed.- 
Thus, Peaches and Apricots are grafted on the common Pl ura , 
The operation does not always succeed between two species 
of different genera ; and it fails entirely, if an attempt is made 
to unite individuals of different families. Thus, for example, 
Pears answer well upon Pears, nearly as well upon Quinces, 
less freely upon Apples or Thorns, and not at all upon Pk, ms 
or Cherries, which are of a different family. The Lilac will 
take upon the Ash, notwithstanding their great apparent differ- 
ence, because they are of the same natural family ; but the 
Olive, which also belongs to the same family, cannot be profit- 
ably grafted upon the Ash, since the vegetation of these is too 
different to allow them to live long together. 

The cause which thus restrains the gardener in the choice 
of his stock, is not merely the difference in the properties of 
the fluids of the two kinds, but also the difference in the gene- 
ral character of their growth. It is essential that the stock and 
graft should be naturally in sap at the same time ; and this is 
more likely to be the case in nearly allied species than in 
others. However, in very succulent plants, such as the Cacti, 
of which the fleshy stems are always full of fluid, grafts of very 
different species succeed very well together ; and this excep- 
tion helps to prove the rule. It is necessary, also, that the rate 
of growth of the two should be nearly the same ; for, if the 
graft be of more rapid growth than the stock, and more be 
sent down to the latter than it can convert into tissue, a swel- 
ling will be formed above the line of union, like that which 


takes place when a cord is bound round a stem ; and this will 

Propagation by Layers and Grafts. 271 

ncrease so, as in time to cause the death of both parts, by al- 
together obstructing the passage of fluid. 

JJot only does the process of grafting enable the gardener to 
multiply with greater rapidity, and to preserve with more cer- 
tainty? an y valuable kind of flower or fruit, but by the judicious 
selection of a stock, a favorable influence may be produced up- 
on them. Thus the more delicate kinds of vines produce larger 
and finer grapes when worked upon coarser and more robust 
kinds ; and the Double Yellow Rose, which seldom opens its 
flowers, and will not grow at all in many situations, blossoms 
abundantly, and grows freely, when grafted on the common 
China Rose. Some statements, however, which impute to the 
stock a much greater influence, are without any foundation in 
truth. Thus, it has been asserted that Roses become black 
when grafted on Black Currants ; and Oranges crimson, if 
arown upon the Pomegranate : but this is altogether erroneous, 
as these species will not unite at all. 

Errors in regard to the success of the process have arisen 
from an occurrence that sometimes takes place, — the formation, 
bv the graft, of independent roots, which supply it partly or 
wholly with nourishment, with little or no assistance from the 
stock. In this way has been explained the fact, that the Olive 
has been made to grow upon the Fig-tree, (as recorded by 
Columella, one of the earliest writers upon Agriculture ;) for 
no proper union can take place between them, on account of 
the wide difference of their character. Mention is made by 
Pliny, of a tree in the garden of Lucullus, which was so 
crafted, as to bear pears, apples, figs, plums, olives, almonds, 
grapes, &c. ; and at the present time, the gardeners of Italy, 
sell plants of Jasmines, Roses, Honeysuckles, &c, all grow- 
ing together from a stock of Orange, or Myrtle, or Pomegran- 
ate, on which they say they are grafted. But this is a mere 
cheat. The fact is, that the stock has its centre bored out, so 
as to be made into a hollow cylinder, through which the stems 
of Jasmines, and other flexible plants, are easily made to pass, 
their roots intermingling with those of the stock. After grow- 
ing for a time, the increase in the diameter of the stems thus en- 
closed forces them together, and they assume all the appearances 
of being united. Such plants are, of course, very short lived. 

272 The Natural System of Botany. 



Order — Aceraceje. The Maple Tribe. 

This order contains some of the finest forest trees of northern 
countries. Several species of Maple are among the most com- 
mon and useful. Of these the wood is extensively used in th e 
manufacture of furniture, and for other useful purposes, and 
the sap of the sugar maple affords a well known and very 
pleasant saccharine substance. The characters of the order 
are easily ascertained. The leaves aro opposite, and without 
stipules; the flowers are small, regular, sometimes perfect, and 
often dioecious or polygamous. The calyx has five sepals, and 
the corolla, when present, the same number of petals. The 
fruit is always a Samara, or ovary expanding into wings. 
The shape and appearance of this is well observed in the com- 
mon white or red maple. 

Order — Hippocastaneje. The Horse- Chestnut Tribe. 

The species belonging to this order are ornamental 
The common Horse-Chestnut, so generally admired for the 
richness of its foliage, the beauty of its flowers, and the ele- 
gance of its whole aspect, is a native of the north of Asia, 
The characteristics of the order are readily observed in this 
fine tree. The leaves are digitate, without stipules ; the flow- 
ers are showy, in a large panicle ; the calyx has five united 
sepals ; the corolla is irregular, with five petals ; the stamens 
are from six to eight, usually seven, unequal in length; the 
fruit is roundish, with a leathery envelope, enclosing one or two 
large, smooth, roundish seeds, which contain much bitter, 
starchy matter. 


Order — CelastracejE. The Staff- Tree Tribe. 

These are shrubs or small trees, and arc possessed of a bit- 
ter or acid principle, which, however, does not appear to be 

l*he Natural System of Botany. 273 

f any use. One of the most peculiar of the American species, 
is the Bladder Nut, Staphyha trifolia. This is a shrub, of six 
r eight feet high ; the flowers are white, in a drooping raceme; 
the capsules are remarkable, being large, and inflated, and the 
seeds are very hard. The Spindle-tree, Enonymus, and the 
Staff-tree, Celastrits scandens, a climbing shrub whose scarlet 
arih or seed envelope, is so conspicuous through the winter, are 
other not uncommon members of this order. They all have 
four or five sepals, united at the base, and the same number 
of alternate petals, and perigynous stamens. The ovary is 
superior, composed of several adherent carpels, and immersed 
in a large fleshy disk. The fruit is either a capsule or a berry. 

Rhamnace^e. The Buck-Thorn Tribe. 

This order in some respects much resembles the last, but is 
readily distinguished by the position of the stamens, which al- 
ternate with the sepals, instead of with the petals. The calyx 
also is valvate, instead of imbricate. The ovary is partly en- 
veloped in the disk, the fruit is a capsule, berry, or drupe, and 
the seeds have no aril. The species of this order are distrib- 
uted over nearly all the temperate and warm regions of the 
earth. They are generally shrubs or small trees, and many 
of them possess spines, like the common Buck-thorn. The 
inner bark and fruit of most of the order are purgative, and 
some are also emetic and astringent. A well known medicine, 
(at present however fallen into disuse,) Syrup of Buck-thorn, 
is made from the fruit of one species, which also affords a val- 
uable coloring matter. The fruit of an Asian species, Zizyphus 
Jujuba, affords a gummy matter, which is a favorite dessert in 
Italy and Spain, and under the name of Jujube paste is much 
used in this country, as a remedy for coughs. The leaves of 
Ccanothus Americana, (the genus is peculiar to this country,) 
were used as tea during a certain period of the war of the 
Revolution, whence the shrub is commonly called Jersey Tea. 

Order — Leguminosje. The Pea Tribe. 

This is a very extensive and important order. It comprises 
some of the most interesting, and useful of all plants. Some 

274 The Natural System of Botany. 

Leguminosse furnish man with great quantities of excelle 
food, such as the Pea and the Bean, and others are equall 
valuable for cattle, as the various kinds of Clover and Lucem 
Others afford some of the most important dyes, such as Indian 
and Log-wood, and others again the finest woods, Brazil- wood' 
Rose-wood, and Locust-wood. The medicinal products of 
some species are in the most common use, as Senna, Cassia 
and Acacia. Others still are attractive on account of their 
great beauty, such as the Laburnums, and Robinias; and 
others are very interesting on account of their physiological 
peculiarities, as the Sensitive plant, the Gleditschias, and some 
of the Acacias. 

The most important point in which all Leguminosae agree 
is in the structure of their fruit, which is a pod or Leaumt. 
This is a carpel which grows long and flat, and separates 
when ripe into two valves. The pod of a pea is a ready iU us . 
tration. Leguminosa? are divided into two sub-orders, Papili- 
ONACEiE and Mimose^e. The first of these divisions is distin- 
guished by the singular arrangement of the petals, which have 
been thought to resemble a butterfly at rest. The flower of 
the pea is an example, and is constructed as follows. The 
calyx has rive small nearly equal sepals united into a short 
tube. The corolla consists of five petals, one of which is much 
larger than the rest, and is wrapped over them before the 
flower expands. This is called the vexillum. In front of this 
are two smaller petals, called wings, or alee. These are folded 
over a curved or boat-shaped part, which is placed in front of 
all the rest. It is formed of two petals, adherent at the lower 
edge, and is called the keel or carina. The stamens are ten 
in the pea diadelphous, but in some others monadelphous, or 

In the Mimoseae the flowers are more nearly regular, the 
stamens are definite in number, (from four or five to twenty,) 
or else very numerous, and are inserted separately on the re- 
ceptacle. In this division are contained the Senna, Mimosa, 
and Acacia. Many of them have a very elegant appearance 
their clusters of flowers being very numerous and often spleii 
didly colored. Besides the structure of the fruit, all Legumi 
nosae agree in that of the seed, the whole interior of which it 

The Natural System of Botany. 275 

occupied by the fleshy cotyledons, without any separate albu- 
men ; a character which is invariable, and which shows the 
or der to be a natural one. These plants are very generally 
diffused over the whole world, Papilionaceae being found in 
almost all countries from the tropics to high northern latitudes, 
and Mimoseae flourishing principally near the equator. The 
number of known species amounts nearly to four thousand. 

u A full account of the useful plants and products of this 
l ar oe order," says Dr. Gray, " would require a separate vol- 
ume- Many, such . as Clover, Lucerne, &c, are extensively 
cultivated for fodder ; Peas and Beans for pulse. The roots 
f the Liquorice, (Glycirrhiza glabra of Southern Europe,) 
abound in a sweet mucilaginous juice, from which the pectoral 
extract of this name is prepared. The sweet pulp of the pods 
ofCeratonia Siliqua (Carob-tree of the South of Europe, &c.,) 
of the Honey-Locust (Gleditschia,) &c. is likewise eaten. The 
laxative pulp of Cathartocarpus Fistula, and of the Tamarind, 
is welt known. A peculiar volatile principle (called coumarin) 
gives its fragrance to the well known Tonka-bean, and the 
Melilotus, or Sweet Clover ; the flowers and seeds of which 
are employed to give the peculiar odor to Gruyere or Scheip- 
zeiger cheese. 

Astringents and tonics are also yielded by this order : such 
as the African Pterocarpus erinaceus, the hardened red juice 
of which is Gum Kino; that of P. Draco, of Carthagena, &c, 
is Dragon's Blood. The bark of most Acacias and Mimosas 
contains a very large quantity of tannin, and is likely to prove 
of great importance in tanning. The valuable astringent 
called Catechu is obtained by boiling and evaporating the heart- 
wood of the Indian Acacia Catechu. Leguminosae yield the 
most important coloring matters ; such as the Brazil-wood, 
the Log-wood of Campeachy, (the peculiar coloring matter of 
which is called Hcematin;) and the Red Sandal-wood of Cey- 
lon. Most important of all is Indigo, which is prepared from 
the fermented juice of the Indigofera tinctoria, a native of In- 
dia, and also from I. cerulea, and other species of the genus. 
To the same order we are indebted for valuable resins and 
balsams ; such as the Mexican Copal, Balsam of Copaiva, of 
the West Indies, the bitter and fragrant Balsam of Peru, and 

276 The Natural System of Botany. 

the sweet, fragrant, and stimulant Balsam of Tolu. Thi s r - l 
order also furnishes the most useful gums ; of which we ne I 
only mention Gum Tragacanth, derived from Astragalus ver 
of Persia, &c. ; and Gum Arabic, the produce of nurnerou 
African species of Acacia. The best is said to be obtained 
from A. vera, which extends from Senegal to Egypt ; foUi 
Gum Senegal is yielded by Acacia Verek, and some other spe- 
cies of the river Gambia. The Senna of commerce consists 
of the leaves of several species of Cassia, of Egypt and Ara- 
bia. More acrid, or even poisonous qualities, are often met 
with in the order. The roots of Baptisia tinctoria, (called 
wild Indigo, because it is said to yield a little of that substance) 
of the Broom, and of the Dyers' weed, (Genista tinctoria, used 
for dying yellow,) possess such qualities ; while the seeds of 
Laburnum, &c, are even narcotico-acrid poisons. The 
branches and leaves of Tephrosia, and the bark of the root of 
Piscidia Erythrina, (Jamaica Dog-wood, which is also found 
in Southern Florida,) are commonly used in the West Indies 
for stupifying fish. Cow-itch is the stinging hairs of the pods 
of Mucuna (or Stizolobium) pruriens, of the West, and M. 
prurita of the East Indies. Among the numerous valuable tim- 
ber-trees, our own Locust, (Robinia Pseudacacia,) must be 
mentioned ; and also the Rose-wood of commerce, the produce 
of a Brazilian species of Mimosa. Few orders furnish so many 
plants cultivated for ornament." 

Order — Rosacea. The Rose Tribe. 

Whether considered in reference to the beauty and univer- 
sal culture of some of its members, the usefulness of the medi- 
cinal properties of many, or the excellence of the fruit of others, 
this order is one of the most important of all. The specie? 
are very numerous, and are generally natives of the temperate 
regions of the Northern Hemisphere. 

The structure of the flower is nearly the same in all the or- 
der, but from differences in the fructification, it has been divid- 
ed into several families, or sub-orders. Taking the flower of 
the Strawberry for examination, we find that the calyx con- 
sists of five sepals, on the outside of which are five bracts. 

The Natural System of Botany. 277 

The corolla has five equal petals ; the stamens are very nu- 
merous, and instead of arising from the receptacle beneath the 
carpels, are inserted on the calyx. The pistil consists of a 
cluster of separate carpels, each having a style, and contain- 
ing a single seed. The transformation of such a flower to the 
fruit of the Strawberry, appears singular. When the corolla 
has fallen off, the receptacle on which the carpels are situated, 
swells gradually, and separates the carpels from each other, 
bearing them on its outside, and becoming at length the soft, 
juicy fruit. In the Raspberry, the structure of the fruit is dif- 
ferent. The receptacle does not enlarge, but remains as the 
white convex core of the fruit ; and the fruit itself consists of 
the carpels, in which the seeds are imbedded, and which be- 
come pulpy and succulent. Now on examining a Rose, the 
structure of the flower will be found to be similar to that of the 
Strawberry ; but the fruit, or Hip, as it is called, is formed of 
the tube of the calyx, in the interior of which are the carpels. 
The Apple, Pear, and their allied fruits, are constructed some- 
what differently. In these the ovaries, and the tube of the 
calyx completely coalesce, and form one body, which becomes 
the fruit. The principal part of the flesh of the Apple consists 
of the tube of the calyx or the prolonged receptacle ; but in 
its interior are found the five carpels, whose walls have become 
thin and horny. In the Almond, the Plum, the Peach, and 
such fruits, there is only a single carpel developed ; and this 
in time becomes the fruit, which is termed a drupe, and con- 
sists of a fleshy outside, surrounding a hard shell, which con- 
tains the cotyledons. 

The first sub-order, then, following what appears the most 
natural division, is Amygdale^:, which have a single ovary, 
and single seed, a deciduous calyx, and bear a drupe. To 
this division belong some of the most delicious and esteemed 
fruits, as the Peach, the Cherry, the Apricot, the Plum, the 
Nectarine, the Almond, &c. All these agree in the peculiar 
properties which they derive from the presence of Prussic 
Acid, (which when of full strength is one of the most violent 
of known poisons,) in some of their parts. Generally the quan- 
tity is not sufficient to produce any deleterious effect, unless it 
is artificially concentrated, though the leaves of a species of 

278 The Natural History of Botany. 

Cerasus which grows in the Southern States, are said som 
times to destroy cattle which eat them. But such prepar 
tions as Laurel-Water, which is distilled from the leaves of 
European species of the same genus, and is used for flavorin 
some dishes and liquors, are eminently dangerous. Almond 
are the product of an Eastern species of Amygdalus, and th 
two varieties differ greatly in the quantity of the acid which 
they contain ; the oil of Sweet Almonds being harmless, while 
that of Bitter Almonds is most deadly. 

The second sub-order is Pome^e, which contains those im- 
portant fruits, the Apple, the Pear, the Quince, the Medlar, &c 
These need no further allusion. The characters which are 
peculiar to this division are : ovaries two to five, cohering with 
each other, and with the thickened or fleshy calyx tube. Fruit 
a pome. 

The third sub-order is Rosacea proper, in which the ova- 
ries are several, distinct, rarely solitary ; and the fruit becomes 
either follicles, or achenia. To this belong the Roses, the 
Blackberries, the Strawberry, the Raspberry, the Cinque- 
foil, &c. 

Order — Myrtace.e. The Myrtle Tribe. 

This order is chiefly remarkable for the aromatic and pun- 
gent oil, and the astringent principle which make some of its 
species so valuable as spices. It is well distinguished by these 
qualities, as well as the structure of its leaves. These, like 
those of the Orange tribe, are dotted with little receptacles, 
which contain the aromatic oil, and if bruised, they emit a fra- 
grant odor. In the Myrtle, as in most of the order, the calyx 
has five adherent sepals, and the corolla five small petals. The 
stamens are inserted on the tube of the calyx, and they are 
sometimes united into bundles. The ovary is three-celled, and 
the fruit is a berry. 

Cloves are the dried flower-buds of the Caryophyllus aro- 
maticus, a small tree which is native in many of the Islands 
of the Indian Ocean, whence it has been introduced into some 
parts of Asia, and the West Indies. Eugenia Pirnenta pro- 
duces Pimento or Alspice. The pleasant fruits called the 

Vegetable Phjsiology. 279 

Rose Apple, and the Guava, are the succulent berries of shrubs 
nf this order, as is also the Pomegranate. Cajeput oil is made 
from the leaves of an Indian species. It is considered a good 
external application for the cure of Rheumatism, and was once 
thought a specific for Cholera. Few Myrtaceae are found in 
other than warm climates. South America produces a great 
number of species, and many are natives of New Holland and 
the South Sea Islands. 




Besides being the special organs of exhalation, the leaves of 
plants are capable of supplying in some degree the functions 
of the roots, when these are in any way prevented from per- 
forming their appropriate office. The fact that leaves as well 
as roots are capable of absorption is easily shown. Every one 
knows that when plants have suffered from lack of water, or 
are faded from excess of light and heat, they will rapidly re- 
vive, if their leaves are moistened, though no fluid has been 
supplied to the roots. From numerous experiments, it appears 
certain that the leaves of trees and shrubs absorb most when 
their lower side is placed in contact with the water, while those 
of herbaceous plants abstract most by their upper surface, or 
equally by both. Thus, leaves of the White Mulberry, placed 
with their upper side in water, faded on the fifth day ; while 
those which absorbed by their lower surface remained fresh 
nearly six months. This effect was, however, no doubt due 
in part to the greater degree of obstruction to the loss of fluid 
by transpiration in the second case than the first, the stomata 
being principally situated on the lower surface. But in exper- 
iments on other plants in which they are similarly disposed, 
the contrary result has been observed. Thus, leaves of the 

280 Vegetable Physiology. 

Nettle, whose inferior surface was only kept moist, faded , 
the end of three weeks, while others whose upper surface wa 
in contact with the water, lived for two months. Lastly ri 
leaves of the Sunflower/ Kidney-bean, Cabbage, and man 
other plants, were observed to remain fresh for the same length 
of time, by whichever of their surfaces they received their sun- 
ply of fluid. 

The absorbing power of leaves has been shown by other 
satisfactory experiments. Some plants of Mercurialis (M e , 
cury) were placed in water, some of them being immersed bv 
their roots, and others touching it by a part of their leaves 
alone, a small shoot of each being left out, for the purpose of 
comparison with the rest. After five or six weeks, the shoots 
of the plants which were nourished by the leaves, differed little 
in vigor from those which had been supplied by the roots 
Experiments upon single leaves, which have already partially 
faded, are still more striking. Some leaves of rotamo(rp,t on 
natans (Pond-weed) after being wiped dry, were weighed' 
and after remaining out of the water for two hours, they were 
found to have lost from three and a half to five and a half 
grains each. They were then put in water, and after the lapse 
of two hours more, were again wiped dry and weighed. It 
was found that they had severally gained from three to five 
grains each ; and this increase, which was also evident from 
the restoration of their natural freshness and plumpness, could 
only have taken place by absorption through the cuticle, as the 
cut ends of their footstalks were defended by soft cement. 
Many similar experiments might be mentioned, but these are 
sufficient to show that leaves whose tissue has been deprived 
of fluid, have the power of replacing it by absorption from 
water, or from a moist atmosphere. This absorption appears 
to take place chiefly through the membrane of the cuticle, but 
more particularly by the downy hairs, which seem to act like 
so many root-fibres. They are chiefly developed in plants 
which grow in situations much exposed to the light, and to a 
dry atmosphere, whilst the same species in damp, shady situa- 
tions, will not form them. It has been noticed that they lift 
up their points and separate from one another at the approach 
of the evening dew, which collects in minute drops around 

Durability of the Ferns. 281 

them ; and that they fall down again, as soon as the heat of 
the sun begins to be perceived. In comparing the increase in 
weight when exposed to dew, in plants thickly furnished with 
hairs, and possessing few or no stomata, with that manifested 
by plants having a smooth surface and no stomata, it is seen 
that the former is much the greatest ; and that it also surpasses 
in about the same proportion the weight gained by immersing 
the footstalk in water. Thus two heads of common Hore- 
hound, the original weight of which was fifteen grains each, 
W ere placed, one with its stalk in water, and the other in a 
place exposed to dew, for a night ; the first was found to have 
gained two grains, and the second five grains. Both were ex- 
posed to dew during the next night, and on the following 
morning they each weighed twenty-three grains, each having 
gained eight grains, of which the first had acquired six in that 
night. A withered stem of Alpine Chickweed, weighing five 
grains, gained six grains by exposure to dew for two nights. 


The great preponderance of the ferns, and of the higher or- 
ders of the Cryptogamic plants, in the Flora of the ancient 
world, having excited, in a peculiar degree, the attention of 
naturalists, and it being conceived that the total absence of cer- 
tain kinds of plants, and the constant presence of others, with 
other points of the like nature and interest, might be accounted 
for by a difference in the capability of one plant to resist the 
action of water beyond another, Dr. Lindley resolved to try 
the result by actual experiment. 

He therefore, on the 21st of March, 1833, filled a large iron 
tank with water, and immersed in it 177 specimens of various 
plants belonging to the more remarkable natural orders, taking 
care, in particular, to include representatives of all those 
which are constantly present in the fossil state, or as univer- 
sally absent. The vessel was placed in the open air, left un- 
covered, and was untouched, with the exception of filling up 

282 Durability of the Ferns. 

the water as it evaporated, till the 22d of April, 1835, that is 
for rather more than two years. At the end of that time, what 
remained was examined, and the following highly curious m. 
suits were obtained. 

In the first place it was found that the dicotyledonous plants 
had in general wholly disappeared ; whence it was inferred 
that they could not remain for two years in water without be« 
ing wholly decomposed. On the contrary, the principal part 
of those found in an undecayed state, were the Coniferse and 
Cycadese, which are the very individuals found best preserved 
in the fossil state. 

Secondly, it seemed that monocotyledonous plants survived 
to a considerable degree ; whence it was concluded, that they 
are more capable of resisting the action of water, (the palms 
in particular,) than the exogenous tribes, which agrees with 
their fossil relics ; but the grasses and sedges had perished; 
whence it was concluded that although none of these may be 
found as fossils, still we have no right to infer that the earth, in 
the primeval state, was not clothed with the grasses, since 
there is reason to believe, that had this been the case, they 
might have entirely disappeared. 

Thirdly, the fungi and mosses, and all the lower forms of 
vegetation, were not to be found, and even the equisetums, 
though of considerable size, left no traces behind 

Fourthly, the ferns appeared to have the greatest power of 
all the plants tried, to resist the decomposing effects of water, 
especially if immersed in the green state, for not one of them 
had disappeared during the experiment ; there being no decay, 
except that the spots of fructification had disappeared ; a re- 
sult often, if not constantly, met with in the fossil state. 

From these experiments, Dr. Lindley assumes, as a general 
result, that the numerical proportion of different families of 
plants found in the fossil state, throws no light whatever upon 
the ancient climate of the earth ; but that the species and num- 
bers found, depend entirely upon the power which particular 
families may possess, by virtue of the organization of their cuti- 
cles, or otherwise, of resisting the action of the water in which 
they floated previously to their being fixed in the strata in 
which they are now found. 

Bzviving Plants. 83 


The following extract, describing a mode of reviving faded 
or dying plants, is taken from the Journal of Science for 1828. 
Experiments made by ourselves, have proved that this plan 
may be relied upon as effecting the object desired. We have 
found also, that a simple mixture of alcohol and water, will 
produce a similar effect, though in a less degree. 

« This is called a proved method' of reviving plants, when 
. their leaves and buds are faded, and their bark and roots hard 
and nearly dry. The directions are to dissolve camphor to 
saturation in alcohol, adding the former until it remains solid at 
the bottom ; a sufficient quantity of rain or river water is then 
to have the alcoholic solution added to it, in the proportion of 
four drops to one ounce of water. As the camphor comes in 
contact with the water, it will form a thin solid film, which is 
to be well beaten up with the water. For a short time the 
camphor will float in the water in small flocculi, but will ulti- 
mately combine with the fluid, and disappear. Plants which 
have been removed from the earth, and have suffered by a 
journey, or otherwise, should be plunged into this camphorated 
water, so that they may be entirely covered. In about two, or 
at most three hours, the contracted leaves will expand again, 
the young faded and drooping shoots will erect themselves, and 
the dried bark will become smooth and full. That being 
effected, the plant is to be placed in good earth, copiously 
watered with rain or river water, and protected from the too 
powerful action of the sun, until the roots have taken good hold 
of the ground. When large plants, as trees, are to be revived, 
their roots are to be plunged into the camphorated water for 
three hours, the trunk, and even the head of the tree, bein<* 
frequently wetted with the same water, so as to retain them in 
a properly moistened state. But it is always best, if possible, to 
immerse the whole plant. Shoots, sprigs, slips, and roots, are to 
be treated in the same manner. If plants thus treated are not 
restored in four hours, their death may be considered as cer- 
tain, for they cannot be recalled to life by any artificial means. 

284 Philosophy of Blanching. 

No plant should therefore be left more than four hours ' 
camphorated water, because the exciting action of the cam li ^ 
when it is continued for a longer period, may do injury j n j 
of good. It is not necessary to say that the final prospem 
the plants, thus reanimated by the camphor-water, must / 
pend upon their particular properties, the state of their r 
and the care bestowed upon them. The camphor prod ! 
no other effect than to restore to life plants nearly dead • aft 
that, all proceeds according to the ordinary laws, and th i 
ultimate state must be left to art and nature." 


Common Celery is a native of the meadows of many parts 
of England, where it forms a rank, weedy, strong-smelling 
herb, which is unfit for human food ; how different it is in oar- 
dens every body knows. It is thought that its ceasin« to be 
noxious when cultivated, is owing to the greater part of its 
stems and leaves being blanched. No doubt you must be 
curious to know why blanching a plant should destroy its un- 
wholesomeness. In my last letter, I told you that the business 
of leaves is to expose to light and air the sap they suck out of 
the stem. The consequence of light and air acting upon the 
surface of leaves, is the forming in their substance, which is 
originally of the same yellowish white that you see in seeds, a 
green color, which is more or less deep in proportion to the de- 
gree in which the light is powerful ; thus a plant which stands 
exposed to the sun all day long, has its leaves of a darker 
green than another which grows among other trees, or near a 
building which throws it into the shade for a part of the day; 
and the latter again is darker green than a plant which grows 
at the north side of a high wall, or in an enclosed court which 
the sun's rays never enter. In like manner, if 3'ou cause a 
plant, or any part of a plant, to grow in total darkness, it will 
be entirely destitute of greenness ; or in other words, the sub- 
stance of the plant will remain of its original yellowish white, 

Philosophy of 285 

because no green matter can be formed but by the action of 
light; and if a part already green is kept for a long time in 
darkness, it will become yellowish-white, in consequence of 
all its green being destroyed by the peculiar action of the 
atmosphere upon plants in darkness. This is the explanation 
f blanching. But mere loss of color is not the only conse- 
quence of plants being kept in the dark ; poisons, when it is the 
nature of plants to yield poisons, are also formed in leaves by 
the action of light ; the absence of this wonderful agent will 
therefore prevent the formation, as well as the formation of 
green color; and hence blanching renders poisonous plants 
harmless. Thus, in the Celery, but a small portion onlyof the 
leaves is exposed to light ; the whole of the stem and of the 
lower part of the leaves is buried in the earth ; the small quan- 
tity of noxious matter that might be formed by the few leaves 
which are allowed to bask in the sun, has to pass down the 
buried stalks of the leaves before it can reach the stem, where 
it would be laid up ; but you know the leaf-stalk of the Celery 
is very long, and any thing which has to filter from the upper 
part of such a leaf to its bottom, has to take a long journey, in 
the course of which it is constantly under the destroying influ- 
ence of darkness ; so that before it can reach the stem, it will 
all have perished. A similar effect is produced by the Italians 
upon Fennel, which, although not a poisonous plant, has too 
powerful a taste to be a pleasant food, except as an ingredient 
for flavoring sauces. The Italians, in their warm climate, 
cause Fennel to grow rapidly in darkness, and thus obtain 
it in a state very like Celery in appearance ; the darkness 
destroys the principal part of the flavor, no more of the Fennel 
taste being left than is sufficient to give the blanched stems a 
pleasant aromatic quality. — Lindley. 

286 Hybrid Flowers. 


It has been discovered, that if two plants are very near rel 
tions, the pollen of one will act upon the stigma of the oth 
just as well as if the pollen was produced by the anther f 
the plant to which the stigma belongs ; but when the seeds 
obtained are sown, the plants which they produce are n 
exactly like either of those from the intermixture of which the 
sprang, but bear a strong resemblance to both. For instance 
if the pollen of a plant with blue flowers, be placed upon the 
stigma of one with red flowers, the result will be a plant with 
purple flowers ; or if a plant with a very vigorous growth is 
thus intermixed with another of a very dwarf habit, the plants 
which spring from seeds thus procured, will be neither very 
dwarf nor very tall. Flowers produced in this way are called 
hybrids. This intermixture will only take place between plants 
closely related to each other. As a general rule, two different spe- 
cies will not hybridize, but there seems, in many cases, to be no 
limit to the power of intermixing different varieties of the same 
species. Toproduce a hybrid, the anthers of the plant which is to 
afford the seed, must be cut off* as soon as possible after the 
flower expands, and before they have burst to discharge their 
pollen. The anthers of the other plant must then be watched 
and as soon as they burst, the pollen must be collected with the 
point of a camel's hair pencil, and preserved in a paper till 
wanted. As soon as the stigmas of the seed-plant are observed 
to become moist, the pollen must be applied to them by means 
of the pencil. A very little will be sufficient. The stigmas 
usually become moist a few days after the flower has expanded; 
and the pollen should be applied to them in the morning, as the 
moisture often dries with the heat of the sun, and when the 
stigma is dry, it cannot suck up the pollen. The pollen will 
keep a long time ; in some cases two or three years. The 
plant that is to bear the seed should be planted in good soil, and 
frequently watered ; and a bit of thread should be tied round 
the stalk, below the flower, to indicate which seed has been 
hybridized. The seed should be sown in pots as soon as it is 

A Dream of Wild Flowers. 287 

ppe ; and if the plant is at all tender, the pots should be kept 
under cover during winter. For those who wish to try the 
experiment for curiosity, perhaps the most convenient subjects 
#ould be any two varieties of Pelargonium, or Geranium, as 
they are usually called, or of any species of Phlox. 


I dreamed, that, as I wandered by the way, 
Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring ; 

And gentle odors led my steps astray, 
Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring 

Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay 
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling 

Its green arms round the bosom of the stream ; 

But kissed it, and then fled, as thou mightest in a dream. 

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets, 
Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth, 

The constellated flower that never sets ; 

Faiut oxlips ; tender blue-bells, at whose birth 

The sod scarce heaved ; and that tall flower that wets 
Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears, 
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears. 

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, 

Green cowbine, and the moonlight colored may, 
And cherry blossoms, and white cups, whose wine 

Was the bright dew yet drained not by the day ; 
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine, 

With its dark leaves and buds, wandering astray, 
And flowers, azure, black, and streaked with gold ; 

Fairer than any wakened eyes behold. 

And nearer to the river's trembling edge, 

There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prankt with white, 
And starry river buds among the sedge, 

And floating water lilies, broad and bright, 

i>S8 A Dream of Wild Flowers. 

Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge, 
With moonlight beams of their own watery light; 

And bulrushes and reeds of such deep green, 
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen. 

Methought that of these visionary flowers, 

I made a nosegay, bound in such a way, 
That the same hues which in their natural bowel's 

Were mingled or opposed, the like array 
Kept these imprisoned children of the Hours 

Within my hand, — and then, elate and gay, 
I hastened to the spot whence 1 had come, 

That I might there present it • — Oh ' to whom ? 


The Lobelia, 289 


Natural Order, Lobeliacea ; Linnaean System, Pentandria, Monogynia. 
Generic Distinctions :— Tube of the calyx adhering to the ovary ; limb free, 
five-cleft; corolla irregular, tubular, cleft on the upper side, thickened or 
veolricose at the base; limb, five-parted, bilabiate; the upper lip in two 
narrow segments ; the lower lip in three roundish segments ; anthers 
uuited above into a curved tube ; stigma two-lobed ; capsule opening at 
the apex ; seeds small. 

I. fulgens.— Simple, erect, somewhat pubescent. Leaves elongately lan- 
ceolate, attenuated, nearly entire. Raceme many-flowered. Style and 
stamens longer than the corolla. — PL 39. 

This genus was named in honor of M. Lobel, a distin- 
guished botanist. He was born at Lisle, in 1538, wrote seve- 
ral valuable works, particularly one entitled Icones Plantarum, 
became physician and botanist to James L, and died in Lon- 
don, in 1616. The irregular bilabiate flowers are not easily 
mistaken for those of any other genus. Several of the Lobe- 
lias are very highly prized, and much cultivated by florists, 
especially L. fulgens, L. splendens, and L. cardinalis. The 
two former species greatly resemble each other. The princi- 
pal points of difference are, that L. fulgens is covered with a 
fine down, and its flowers are of a lighter and more brilliant 
scarlet than those of the other. Both species are natives of 
Mexico, and were introduced more than thirty years ago into 
England, where they are much cultivated. They both require 
a great abundance of water, and may be planted to advantage 
•by the side of a pond where their roots can have access to 
plenty of moisture. L. cardinalis, called in New England, 
Eyebright, is one of our most elegant and showy native plants. 
It is not uncommon in wet soils, near brooks and ponds, and 
puts forth from July to the middle of September its superb 
flowers, of a hue so intense as almost to dazzle the eye. In 
favorable circumstances, the raceme of this plant will become 
nearly two feet long, and produce nearly a hundred flowers. 
It is a shame that the Cardinal-flower, so much esteemed and 
so carefully cultivated in England, is not oftener seen in Amer- 
ican gardens. It costs the cultivator nothing, and the plant 
Vol. I.— 19. 


290 The Sheep Scabious. 


will amply repay the slight care and attention which it 

There are several other handsome species, worthy f cu i 
ture. A common American species, L. inflata, is in great us 
among a certain class of quacks, as an emetic, and an unskil- 
ful use of it has more than once caused the death of the patient 
According to Dr. Gray, less than a tea-spoonful of the seeds or 
powdered leaves would destroy life in a few hours. The 
juice of all the species, indeed, possesses an acid, narcotic 
poisonous principle, in greater or less intensity. There are 
nearly fifty species of Lobelia, the greater part of which are 
natives of America, while some inhabit the Cape of Good 
Hope, Japan, and the South of Europe. In New England 
there are seven or eight species, and five more in the Southern 


Natural Order, Campanulacese ; Linnacan System, Peutandria, Monogyuia. 
Generic Characters :— Flowers in heads ; common involucre ten-leaved* 
calyx five-cleft ; corolla deeply five-parted; segments linear lanceolate 1 
anthers cohering at base ; stigma bifid ; capsule two-celled. 

J. perennw. — Stems erect, simple. Leaves ralher hairy; radical onesobo- 
vate ; caulinc ones oblong linear, Qat. Peduncles naked. — PI. 40. Fig. I 

This genus has somewhat puzzled botanists. It was at first 
placed among Compositae, and it certainly bears a strong 
affinity to that order, in its headed flowers and united anthers. 
The seeds, however, are numerous, while the Composite have 
only one in each seed vessel, and the bracts are distinct instead 
of being grown together. The name of the genus was applied 
by Pliny to some unknown plant. 

The perennial species is a native of the South of Europe, 
and is sometimes cultivated. It is a very showy plant, with 
flowers of a deep blue. It is grown in the open border, and 
flowers abundandy all summer. 


I , /{.'rAsr/f.Tfts 'Wawrffimtfr/'aro. (Persia/* 5Wu ' F, 


The Persian Bell-Flower. 291 


Natural Order, Campanulacea? ; Liuusean System, Octandria, Monogynia. 
Geueric Character: — Calyx eight or ten cleft, with appendages covering 
the recesses; corolla eight or ten parted, rotate; stamens eight or ten; 
filaments very broad, membrauous, approximate at the base ; anthers cus- 
pidate ; style hairy ; stigmas eight, filiform ; ovary eight-celled ; seeds 
numerous ; capsule eight or ten valved, opening at the base. 

M.campanuloides. Stem pilose; leaves lanceolate, irregularly lobed ; peti- 
oles marginate ; appendages of the calyx shorter thau the lobes. — PI. 40. 
Fig- 2. 

This genus was named in honor of Andrew Michaux, the 
distinguished botanist, who discovered its only two species. 
Both species are biennial plants, and natives of Asia. The 
flowers are very singular. Those of M. campanuloides, when 
in the bud, much resemble a Campanula, but when they are 
fully open, the eight petals curl back, and expose the broad 
filaments growing together at their bases. The stamens are 
eiffht, with yellow anthers ; the limb of the calyx has eight di- 
visions, and there are eight stigmas. The flowers are white, 
with a tinge of pink ; the stems are reddish, the leaves are 
large, and irregularly lobed, with a very conspicuous midrib, 
and the root is fusiform. The plant grows about six feet high, 
and bears a profusion of its curious and showy flowers in July 
and August. It was discovered near Aleppo and on Mount 
Lebanon, and was introduced into England in 1787. It is 
found to be quite hardy, except that its seeds do not ripen 
well. The seeds should be sown in the autumn, and the 
young plants suffered to remain in the seed-bed till May, when 
they should be removed to where they are to flower. 

292 The Arctotis. 


Natural Order, Compositas ; Linnsean System, Syngenesia, Necessaria, 
Generic Character : Flowers radiate ; receptacle honey-combed, bristly 
seeds doubly furrowed ou the back ; pappus chaffy ^ involucre imbricate ; 
scales rough at the margin. 

A. tricolor. Stemless ; leaves lyrate, spreading, upper surface slightly hairy, 
lower tomentose ; scales of the involucre linear, sometimes club-shaped, 
downy, mucronate. — PI. 41. 

The plants which compose this genus are all natives of the 
Cape of Good Hope. There are more than twenty species, 
several of which are in much estimation for their beauty. 
Nearly all the species, indeed, are remarkable for the size and 
beauty of their flowers, which are often tinged with a reddish 
orange color, which forms a fine contrast with green. The 
following directions apply to the cultivation of all the species: 
" In situations where it is not convenient to protect the plant 
during the winter, cuttings should be made in the summer, 
which will strike root easily if planted in a border of light 
earth, and which may be potted in autumn, in order that they 
may be protected in a frame during the winter, till they can 
be planted out in spring ; or the cuttings may be struck at once 
in pots early in autumn, and protected in winter for planting 
out in spring. Plants of this genus do much better with this 
treatment in the open ground than they do in green-houses, as 
in the latter situation, old plants are very apt to become 
mouldy, and the leaves to decay. In the open ground, on the 
contrary, the plants grow freely, and produce abundance of 
handsome leaves and flowers of good size and brilliant color* 
They should all be grown in dry light soil, and supplied with 
abundance of water during the growing season." 

The three-colored Arctotis is a dwarf species, and its flowers 
are among the largest and most beautiful of all. The upper 
side of the ray florets is white, and the lower dark purple, 
while the disk is of a shining deep brown. The flower stems 
are about a foot high. It is easily propagated by suckers 

/ /l4C0€0t- . / Three -colored drcfttfr* 

The Arctotis. 293 

planted in a mixture of peat and loam, and flowers from May 
to July. 

The Botanical Register gives the following curious account 
of the remarkable method in which the ray florets of these 
flowers are fertilized : — " On a bright, warm day, under the 
shelter of a green-house, the stigmas of the various florets may 
be perceived to emerge from within the tube of the concealed 
anthers, carrying up the pollen parted with to them by these 
organs, and which is seen to adhere in a thick coat of yellow 
powder, to afford it from this new position the means of an 
access necessary to the otherwise unprovided stigmas of the 
surrounding ray, a task to which the proper organ is here evi- 
dently incompetent. By and by the stigmas are seen to retreat 
gradually within the cavity of the now empty anthers. When 
recently emerged and charged with pollen, they bend and 
incline themselves with a lively motion on the slightest touch, 
but always in the direction whence the impulse came ; and, in 
so doing, necessarily part with a portion of the pollen which 
covers them. And as the honeyed liquid which attracts insects 
to the flower, is deposited in the ray which surrounds the 
disk, the impulse will be the more certainly given by that 
means, from the side towards which it is requisite that the pol- 
len should be carried. The style, by the extension and con- 
traction of which the stigma is made to advance and withdraw, 
seems to consist of a substance resembling elastic gum (caout- 
chouc), and like that substance may be repeatedly drawn out 
to a considerable extent, contracting to its former dimensions 
when left to itself, with the same elastic force." 

294 The Primrose. 


Natural Order, Primulace« ; Linnaean System, Pentandria, Monogynia. 
Generic Character : — Corolla salver shaped, with an open orifice; calyx 
five-cleft, tubular ; stamens five, enclosed in the tube of the corolla ; stigma 
globose ; capsule ten-toothed at the apex. 

P. Auricula. — Leaves obovate, smooth, serrated ; scape many-flowered, 
about as long as the leaves. — PL 42. 

The genus Primula derives its name from Primus, the first— 
on account of the early flowering of many of the species. Per- 
haps there is no genus which contains a greater number of well 
known and much admired flowers. Some of these, under the 
names of Cowslip, Oxlip, Primrose, Polyanthus, and Auricula, 
witli their numerous varieties, have formed the most common 
ornaments of the garden for hundreds of years. No plants have 
received in a greater measure the attention of florists, whose 
treatises have given minute instructions for the cultivation and 
propagation of the different varieties. It is only, however, with 
the species which is known to every body as the Auricula, that 
we have here to do. 

The Auricula is a native of the Alps of Switzerland and the 
neighboring mountainous countries, whence it was brought to 
England in 1596, and was originally called the French, or 
Mountain Cowslip. In a very short time it became a favorite, 
and Parkinson, in 1629, enumerates twenty varieties, which he 
considers the best, though, he says, " many other varieties are 
to be found with those who are curious concervers of these 
delights of nature." The most common colors of the Auricula 
in its wild state, are yellow and red, sometimes purple, and 
occasionally variegated or mealy. In cultivation the varieties 
are innumerable, and some are of exquisite beauty and fra- 
grance. The leaves in different varieties differ nearly as much 
as the flowers. Near most of the manufacturing towns of Eng- 
land, and many in Scotland, the culture of this plant forms a 
favorite amusement of the weavers and mechanics. Lanca- 
shire ha-s long been famous for its Auriculas. It is no uncom- 
mon thing there for a working man who earns three or four 



s// ///<-/ as/Stm/a. 77/< AuriatfaJ 

The Primrose, 295 

dollars a week, to give two guineas for a new variety of Auric- 
ula, with a view of crossing it with some other, and raising 
seedlings of new properties. Much has been written as to the 
soil proper for cultivating the Auricula — and some highly arti- 
ficial compounds of bullocks' blood, sugar-bakers' scum, night 
soil, fullers' earth, &c, have been recommended.* An expe- 
rienced American florist gives the following directions, which 
can be put in practice without great trouble. 

« To cultivate the Auriculas to advantage, they should be 
protected from heavy rains, (which injure them, by washing 
the powdery bloom off their leaves), and shaded from the sun 
tn summer. Where any number of them is grown, it is a good 
plan to plunge the pots in a north border, and protect them by 
a garden frame, raising up the back of the sash to admit air, 
and watering them as they become dry. When the plants 
have done flowering, which will be about the month of May, 
they should be re-potted in a compost of loam, decayed ma- 
nure, and sand, in doing which, pick off the dead leaves; and 
if it is desired to increase them, divide them with the fingers, 
and break off the old stump at the bottom, but do not cut them 
with a knife, as it injures them very much. When potted, 
give them a little water, and place them in the frame for sum- 
mer. In the fall, previous to taking them in for winter, take a 
little of the old soil from the lop of the pot, and replace it with 
fresh compost ; and if they require a larger pot, shake them 
out and put them into a larger one with the same ball entire, 
filling up the pot with fresh soil, and giving them a little water; 
then place them in a cool, shady part of the house, and keep 
them rather dry, till they begin to grow, and when in flower 
they may be watered pretty freely." 

The names which florists have given to different varieties 
are innumerable, and entirely arbitrary, as are their rules for 
judging of the beauty or merits of a variety. All the Auriculas 
are divided by them into three classes ; those which have a 
green border and white centre ; those with a gray border and 
white centre ; and those of a single color. The variety repre- 
sented in the plate is one of the finest of the first class. 

■ —„ ■-■■■■ 1 I ■■ I I — I ■ I -I ■■ ■— ..,.t. « lm.^ t ■■-.., 1 ■ ! — ■ ■ 

* Loudon. Enc. PI. 

296 The Natural System of Botany. 



Order, Onagrace-E — The Evening Primrose Tribe. 

This Order contains many American plants, several of which 
are esteemed for their beauty. A specimen of the common 
Evening Primrose, (Enothera biennis, which is found in everv 
sandy field, will present the student with the characters of the 
order. The number four will be found to prevail in all parts 
of the flower. The calyx has four sepals joined into a tube 
which envelopes the ovary. The petals are four, and from 
within them arise eight stamens, with long anthers slightly 
attached by the middle to the filaments. The pollen is pecu- 
liar, the masses being of a triangular shape, and heid together 
by delicate threads. The ovary is four-sided, and four-celled 
and the style separates into four stigmas. Besides (Enothera 
this order contains the genus Epilobium, a species of which 
E. spicatum, called Willow-herb, is not uncommon in low 
grounds, and is one of our most showy native plants. Its long 
racemes of light purple flowers, and its tall, erect figure, make 
it very conspicuous. Other northern genera are Gawra, Lud- 
wigia, and Circaea. The beautiful and much cultivated Fuch- 
sia also belongs here. It is a native of Chili. This differs 
from all other plants of the order, in bearing a berry, the fruit 
of the rest being a dry capsule, and the seeds of Epilobium 
being furnished with a tuft of down. In Cireaea, the petals, 
sepals, stamens, and seeds are only two. No useful or medici- 
nal properties are known to belong to these plants. 

The sub-order Halorage*: contains a few insignificant 
plants of no importance, such as Hippuris, Horse-tail, and 
Myriophyllum, the Water Milfoil. In these the petals are often 
wanting, and the stamens sometimes reduced to two. 

The Natural System of Botany. 297 

Order, Cactace^: — The Cactus Tribe. 

These well known plants are among the most magnificent 
ornaments of the green-house. The splendor of their large 
flowers, and the grotesque shapes of their fleshy stems, render 
their appearance at once singular and beautiful. They are all 
natives of the New World, being principally found in the coun- 
tries between the tropics, though some species have become 
naturalized in various parts of the eastern hemisphere. Nearly 
all of them are destitute of leaves, the stem being very succu- 
lent, and covered with an integument which is constructed 
like the pulpy part of a leaf, and performs the same office. 
The shape of the stems is singularly varied. " You will form 
a general idea of this highly curious natural order," says Lind- 
ley, " when you are told that the plants called Indian Figs 
(Opuntia), with their prickly, jointed, flattened stems, on which 
the Cochineal insect feeds ; Torch-thistles (various species of 
Cereus), whose angular trunks rise erect and singly into the 
air, like fantastic vegetable columns ; creeping Cereuses, with 
their long pendant branches, which might be taken for the 
'ails of some animal, if it were not for the gay, rose-colored 
flowers they push out from time to time ; and all the strange 
races of Melon-thistles, (Melocacti), Porctipine-thistles (Echino- 
cacti) and Hedgehog-thistles (Mam miliarias), whose names suf- 
ficiently attest their extraordinary appearance, — I say, you 
will form a clear general idea of this curious Cactus tribe, 
when you have collected in your mind all the remarkable 
plants that have now been named." A member of this order 
may be distinguished at a single glance ; there is no mistaking 
the showy flower and the spiny stem. In the flower there is 
no distinction between the calyx and corolla, the sepals of the 
one, and the petals of the other being indefinite in number, and 
agreeing in color. The stamens are many, with long filaments, 
usually joined in a cylinder at the base. The style is single, 
dividing at the top into several spreading stigmas. The fruit 
is a pulpy berry, much resembling the Gooseberry in structure. 
The seeds are numerous, and nearly exalbuminous. 

One of the most splendid species is the night-blooming 

298 The Natural System of Botany. 

Cereus. The flower of this plant i-s nearly a foot in breadth 
the outer leaflets being of a brown color, the inner yellow' 
gradually fading into a pure white in the centre. They begin 
to expand early in the evening, are in full bloom at midnight 
and by daylight in the morning are quite decayed. 

At page 219, is a notice of the peculiar structure of the Cac- 
tus-stem, and of its remarkable power of resisting heat and 

Order, Grossulace^j — The Gooseberry Tribe. 

By many botanists this order is considered to be nearly allied 
to the last. The structure of the fruit is similar, and the leaves 
are often converted into spines. The species are small shrubs 
with alternate, lobed leaves. The most common and useful 
are the several varieties of Gooseberry and Currant, in a flower 
of either of which the characters of the order may be observed. 
The calyx is small, five-parted, and frequently colored. The 
petals are small, five in number, and the five stamens spring 
from between them. The style is single, with two small stig- 
mas, and the ovary is imbedded in the calyx tube. It is one- 
celled, and contains a considerable number of ovules, attached 
to two parietal placentae. This structure is easily observed by 
cutting a ripe gooseberry in two lengthwise. 

All the plants of this order are natives of temperate regions. 
Their fruit is generally of a pleasant acid flavor, and always 
wholesome. Several species from Western America are culti- 
vated for the beauty of their flowers, as the Crimson Goose- 
berry (Ribes speciosum), and the Golden-flowered Currant 
(R. aureum.) 

Order, Passifloraceje — The Passion Flower Tribe. 

u When the Spaniards discovered America, they found, 
among other curious things, a flower, which they thought was 
an allegorical representation of the sufferings of our Saviour. 
In its anthers they saw his five wounds, in the three styles the 
nails by which he was fixed to the cross, and in a column 
which rises from the bottom of the flower the pillar to which 
he was bound ; a number of little fleshy threads which spread 

The Natural System of Botany* 299 

from its cup, they compared to the crown of thorns. They called 
it in allusion to its mystical attributes, Flos Passionis, a Latin 
name signifying Passion-flower." The species which compose 
t he order, are twining plants, which support themselves by 
tendrils, and bear a large, juicy fruit. The structure of the 
flower is unique. The calyx has five sepals, usually green on 
the outside, and colored inside. The petals are of the same 
number, and always of the same color with the inside of the 
sepals. Next within the petals "come several rings of beau- 
tiful fleshy threads, which spread from the cup like rays, and 
are splendidly mottled with azure, and crimson, and white. If 
there be one part of a plant more beautiful than all others, it is 
this ray (or crown of thorns, as the Spaniards called it) in the 
Passion Flower ; the crimson blotches upon it do really look 
like stains of blood." Botanists themselves are hardly agreed 
upon the nature of these singular rays. Some consider them 
petals, and some stamens, in an imperfect state. In the centre 
of the flower, rises a column, having at its summit five stamens, 
each with a two-lobed anther, swinging from the point of a flat 
filament. The column itself consists of an outer sheath formed 
by the adhesion of the filaments, and an interior solid cylinder, 
on the top of which grows the ovary. This is egg-shaped, and 
has a single cavity, with three parietal placentae, from which 
spring the ovules. Its summit bears three swollen stigmas. 
The fruit is a fleshy body, of the same shape with the ovary, 
and very variable in size and color in differennt species. In 
the common Passion-flower it is about as large as a hen's egg t 
and of an orange color ; in others it is smaller, and quite 
round ; and in some tropical species, the Granadillas, it is as 
large as a cocoa-nut, and of a greenish color. These are culti- 
vated, and much esteemed for their refreshing pulp. The roots 
of some of the order are poisonous, containing a principle 
resembling Morphine j and this sometimes is found in the 
fruit and flower. 

Nearly all the plants of the order are natives of tropical 
America, whence the cultivated species are brought. Two 
species are native as far north ay Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 

300 * The Natural System of Botany. 

Order, Cucurbit ace m — The Gourd Tribe. 

This order is a small one, but it contains many plants of 
great use to man, such as the different varieties of Melon, Cu- 
cumber, Pumpkin, Squash, &c. With the Passion-flowers 
this order is in near affinity. All its members have twining 
stems, with tendrils ; their calyx is petaloid ; their stamens are 
united into a column ; the structure of the ovary is similar; the 
fruit is succulent. In these points they approach very near the 
last order, but in others they are essentially different. The 
Cucumber, for example, has no petals ; its flowers are monoe- 
cious ; the beautiful rays of the Passion-flower are entirely 
wanting. In some others of the Gourd tribe the flowers are 
dioseeious. The stamens are five, as are the other parts of the 

The whole tribe possesses a bitter, purgative principle, 
which, though not much apparent in the fruits commonly eaten, 
in several other species is powerful, and even deleterious. The 
drug called Colocynth is obtained from a kind of Gourd which 
grows in various parts of the East ; and from the Squirting 
Cucumber (Momordica Elaterium) a preparation has been 
made, a few grains of which will destroy life. From some of 
the Gourds are formed very useful vessels for various purposes. 
The Calabashes of the East and West Indies, are often capable 
of holding a large quantity of water, being sometimes six feet 
in length, by nearly two feet in circumference. Some of the 
fruits of which they are made contain so large a portion of the 
bitter principle as to make great care necessary in eradicating 
it. The whole pulp is carefully scooped out, and the shell 
filled with water, which is often changed, before it is safe to 
use it. 

Order, Crassulace.*: — The House LeeJc Tribe. 

The plants of this order are remarkable for their succulent 
stems and leaves, and for their capability of existing in situa- 
tions where few other plants can live. They are found in the 
thinnest and scantiest soil, even on the roofs of old houses, and 
the shingles of barren rocks. Several of the species of Semper- 

The Natural System of Botany. 301 

vivutn, House-leek, and Sedum, Stone-crop, are familiar to 
every one. The parts of the flower are subject to remarkable 
variations. The sepals vary in number from three to twenty; 
the petals equal the sepals in number, and they sometimes 
form a monopetalous corolla. The stamens are either equal in 
number to the petals, and alternate with them, or twice as 
inan y. The number of carpels is the same as that of the 
petals. Each contains several ovules, arranged in two lines. 

The common House-leek, (Sempervivum tectarum) is a na- 
tive of Britain, and is remarkable for often bearing ovules on 
its anthers, instead of pollen. So tenacious of life are some of 
these plants, that even when submitted to great pressure, and a 
high temperature, for the purpose of drying them for the Her- 
barium, they will continue to grow and send out long shoots. 

Order, Saxifragaces — The Saxifrage Tribe. 

Many of this order are alpine plants, inhabiting cold and 
mountainous countries, while others are among the most com- 
monly cultivated garden flowers. Of the former are the low 
I species of Saxifrage, which in New England expand their neat 
white flowers among the rocks in early spring, and of the lat- 
ter are the Hydrangea, with its many varieties, and the Phila- 
delphus, Syringn, or Mock Orange. The sepals of these plants 
are four or five, more or less adherent. Petals of an equal 
number, inserted between the lobes of the calyx. Stamens 
from five to ten. The ovary consists of from two to five car- 
pels, united at the base, and distinct above. The fruit is 
generally one or two-celled, and many-seeded. The order is 
divided by some botanists into four sub-orders, Saxifrages ; 


Order, Umbelliferje — The Umbelliferous Tribe. 

This is an order of great extent and importance, and the 
I plants which belong to it are very readily distinguished by a 
most obvious peculiarity. This consists in their manner of in- 
florescence, which may be observed in a specimen of any com- 
mon species, such as Parsley, Fennel, or Parsnip. The flower- 

302 The Natural System of Botany. 

stalk divides at the top into a number of rays, proceeding ljk e 
the sticks of an umbrella from a common centre. Each of 
these rays is again subdivided into others, on which the flo\v er8 
are borne. The whole constitutes a compound umbel, and 
this is characteristic of the order. The stems are almost alwavs 
hollow, and the leaves much divided. The flowers are usually 
small, and require a lens for the examination of their parts, 
The border of the minute calyx has five indentations, being 
composed of five adherent sepals, which also adhere to the 
ovary. The five petals are inserted on the tube of the calvx 
and between them arise five stamens. The styles are tw 
and the ovary is two-celled, and two-seeded. These charac- 
ters are nearly invariable, so that most of the order belong to 
Pentandria, Digynia of the Linnsean arrangement. In the 
ripe fruit the seeds adhere to the inside of the ovary, whose 
two divisions separate and form two grains, which are usually 
called seeds, though really consisting of the carpels enclosed in 
the tube of the calyx. In this envelope are secreted the essen- 
tial oils which give their taste to the Caraway, Anise, 
Fennel, &c. 

Few tribes of plants are better known to us than this, on ac- 
count of the numerous useful species which it contains. The 
Carrot, Parsnip, Celery, Eryngo, Angelica. Lovage, Caraway, 
Coriander, Dill, Anise, are much esteemed species, some of 
which are extensively cultivated as food. It is not common 
that an order so well marked as this, contains plants of such 
opposite properties ; but we have here, associated with those 
already mentioned, the Hemlock, one of the most deadly of 
plants, the Drop-wort, the FooPs-Parsley, and others of a simi- 
lar nature. The poisonous properties of these are owing to an 
acrid and narcotic principle, which is found especially in the 
roots. This principle, in the wild Celery, is removed by the 
process of blanching; see page 284. Many Umbellifene of 
warm climates 5 afford valuable medicinal gums, distinguished 
by their powerful and foetid odor. Of these, Assafoetida, and 
Galbanum are most in use, and are considered excellent reme- 
dies in hysteric and spasmodic complaints. The former is the 
inspissated juice of the roots of a Persian species of Ferula. 

The number of species of Umbelliferse is estimated at nine 

The Natural System of Botany. 

hundred, of which three-fourths are natives of the Northern 

Order, Araliaceje — The Aralia Tribe. 

This is a small order, whose botanical characters differs lit- 
tle from those of the Umbelliferae. The principal points of dis- 
tinction are in the ovary, whose carpels are more than two, 
which do not separate when ripe, but become a berry, having 
several one-seeded cells. The properties of the order are 
tonic and aromatic. Several American plants in common use 
belong here ; as the several species of Aralia, variously called 
Wild Sarsaparilla, Spikenard, and Pettymorrel, which are in 
demand for flavoring beer, and the Ginseng, which hag been in 
some estimation as a medicine. 

Order, Cornace^e — The Cornus Tribe. 

These are small trees or shrubs, inhabiting temperate coun- 
tries. The flowers are in cymes, or in small heads, surrounded 
with a white or colored involucre. The limb of the calyx is 
small, and four or five-toothed, adhering to the ovary. The 
petals and stamens are the same in number, and alternate with 
each other. The fruit is a two-celled drupe. The only North 
American genus is Cornus, the species of which, under the 
name of Dogwood, are common in all our northern forests, 
where in spring, they form Very' conspicuous objects, with their 
large, white, showy involucres. They contain a peculiar prin- 
ciple, called Carnine, which renders their bark bitter, tonic 
and astringent. That of Cornus Florida has been used success- 
fully in place of Cinchona. 

Order, Loranthace^e — The Misseltoe Tribe. 

These plants chiefly deserve notice on account of their singu- 
la! habits. They are nearly all parasitic, inserting their roots 
into the bark of trees, and drawing nourishment from their sap. 
The calyx is undivided, the petals and stamens are from ,four 
to eight. The ovary is one celled, the style single, or wanting, 
and the fruit a berry. Sometimes the flowers are imperfect, 

304 Vegetable Physiology. 

being destitute of calyx or corolla, or both. The fruit usualk 
contains a viscid matter, which in some species is made into 

The well known Mistletoe, (Viscum album,) once used in 
the superstitious rites of the old Druids, and still hung up at 
Christmas in every country-house in England, is the most noted 
plant of the order. Its roots insinuate their fibres into the wood 
of various kinds of trees, and from them springs a pendant 
evergreen bush, from two to five feet in diameter, covered in 
winter with small white glutinous berries. Several species of 
Loranthus are among the most beautiful of tropical flowers 
hanging in splendid scarlet clusters from the trees, which are 
thus clothed with a beauty not their own. 




A chemical change of great importance is effected on the 
sap when it is subjected by the le/ives to the action of li<rht. 
It consists in the decomposition of the carbonic acid gas, which 
is either brought to the leaves by the sap itself, or obtained 
directly from the surrounding atmosphere. In either case its 
oxygen is separated and disengaged in the form of gas; while 
its carbon is retained, and composes an essential ingredient of 
the altered sap, which, as it now possesses one of the princi- 
pal elements of vegetable structures, may be considered as 
having made a near approach to its complete assimilation. 

Two glass jars were inverted over the same water-bath ; the 
one filled with carbonic acid gas, the other filled with water, 
containing a sprig of mint; the jars communicating below by 
means of the water-bath, on the surface of which some oil was 
poured, so as to intercept all communication between the water 

Vegetable Physiology. 305 

and the atmosphere. The sprig of mint was exposed to the 
light of the sun for twelve days consecutively : at the end of 
each day the carbonic acid was seen to diminish in quantity, 
t he water rising in the jar to supply the place of what was lost; 
and at the same time the plant exhaled a quantity of oxygen 
exactly equal to that of the carbonic acid which had disap- 
peared. A similar sprig of mint, placed in a jar of the same 
size filled with distilled water, but without access to carbonic 
acid, gave out no oxygen gas, and soon perished. When, in 
another experiment, conducted by means of the same appara- 
tus as was used in the first, oxygen gas was substituted in the 
first jar instead of carbonic acid, no gas was disengaged in the 
other jar, which contained a sprig of mint. It is evident, there- 
fore, that the oxygen gas obtained from the mint in the first 
experiment, was derived from the decomposition by the leaves 
of the mint, of the carbonic acid which the plant had absorbed 
from the water. 

It is in the green substance of the leaves alone that this pro- 
cess is conducted ; a process, which, from the strong analogy it 
bears to a similar function in animals, may be considered as the 
respiration of vegetables. It is a process which takes place only 
in a living plant ; for if a leaf be bruised so as to destroy its 
organization, and consequently, its vitality, its substance is no 
longer capable either of decomposing carbonic acid gas under 
the influence of solar light, or of absorbing oxygen in the dark. 
Neither the roots nor the flowers, nor any other parts of the 
plant which have not this green substance at their surface, are 
capable of decomposing carbonic acid gas. They produce, 
indeed, an effect in some respects the opposite of this ; for they 
have a tendency to absorb oxygen, and to convert it into car- 
bonic acid, by uniting it with the carbon they themselves con- 
tain. This is also the case with the leaves themselves, when- 
ever they are not under the influence of light. Thus, during 
the whole of the night, the same leaves which had been ex- 
haling oxygen all day, absorb a portion of that element. The 
oxygen thus absorbed enters immediately into combination with 
the carbonaceous matter in the plant, forming with it carbonic 
acid : this carbonic acid is in part exhaled ; but the greater 
portion either remains attached to the substance of the leaf, or 

806 Vegetable Physiology. 

combines with the fluids which constitute the sap. In the lat- 
ter case, it is again ready to be presented to the leaf when day- 
light returns, and a fresh decomposition is then effected. This 
reversal at night of what was done during the day, mav at 
first sight appear to be at variance with the unity of pl an 
which we should expect to find preserved in the vegetable 
economy ; but a more attentive examination of the process will 
show that the whole is in perfect harmony, and that these con- 
trary processes are both necessary, in order to produce the re- 
sult intended. 

Thus the great object to be attained by this vegetable eera- 
tion is just the converse of that which is effected by the respi- 
ration of animals. In the former it is that of adding carbon 
in an assimilated state, to the vegetable organization ; in the 
latter il is that of discharging the superfluous quantity of car- 
bon from the animal system. The absorption of oxygen, and 
the partial disengagement of carbonic acid, which constitute 
the nocturnal changes effected by plants, must have a tendency 
to lessen the capability of the atmosphere to support animal 
life ; but this effect is much more than compensated by the 
greater quantity of oxygen given out by the same plants during 
the day. On the whole, therefore, the atmosphere is con- 
tinually receiving from the vegetable kingdom a large acces- 
sion of oxygen, and is, at the same time, freen from an equal 
portion of carbonic acid gas ; both which effects tend to its 
purification and to its remaining adapted to the respiration of 
animals. Nearly the whole of the carbon accumulated by 
vegetables is so much taken from the atmosphere, which is the 
primary source whence they derive that element. At the sea- 
son of the year when vegetation is most active, the days are 
longer than the nights ; so that the diurnal process of purifica- 
tion goes on for a greater number of hours than the nocturnal 
process by which the air is vitiated. 

The oxygen given out by plants, and the carbonic acid re- 
sulting from animal respiration, and from the various processes 
of combustion, which are going on in every part of the world, 
are quickly spread through the atmosphere, not only from the 
tendency of all gases to uniform diffusion, but also from the 
action of the winds, which are continually agitating the whole 

Movements of Plants. 307 

pjass, and promoting the thorough mixture of its different por- 
tions so as to render it perfectly homogeneous in every region 
f the globe, and at every elevation above its surface. 

Thus are the two great organized kingdoms of the creation 
pade to co-operate in the execution of the same design ; each 
ministering to the other, and preserving that due balance in the 
constitution of the atmosphere, which adapts ir 1o the welfare 
a nd activity of every order of beings, and which would soon be 
destroyed, were the operations of either of them to be sus- 
pended. It is impossible to contemplate so special an adjust- 
ment of opposite effects, without admiring this beautiful dis- 
pensation of Providence, extending over so vast a scale of 
being, and demonstrating the unity of plan on which the whole 
system of organized creation has been devised. 


Some of the most interesting among the vegetable move- 
ments are concerned in the deposition of the seed. The Bal- 
sam, (Impatiens) has a capsule formed of two valves, which, 
when the seed is ripe, suddenly separate from one another and 
curl inwards, scattering the seed to some distance. Now an 
examination of the tissue of these valves shows that their outer 
part consists of cells much larger than the inner, and that the 
fluid contained in it is the most dense. By the laws of Endos- 
mose, (page 121,) therefore, the fluids contained in the tissue 
of the interior, will have a tendency to pass towards the out- 
side, and will still more distend the cells of that part. This 
distention of the outside layer will manifestly give the valves 
a tendency to curl inwards ; just as "when two thin plates of 
metal, which expand unequally by heat, are soldered together, 
and, heat being applied, the compound plate bends towards 
the side which expands least. -This tendency continues to in- 
crease up to the time when the seed is ripe ; and it is then so 
powerful as to cause the separation of the valves from each 
other, and to occasion the rolling inwards of each. Now it has 

308 Movements of Plants. 

been found that if the valves be placed in a fluid more dense 
than that which the valves contain, such as syrup or gum- 
water, the fluid will be drawn off from their ceils according to 
the same law of Endosmose ; and the cells of the exterior will 
be emptied soonest, on account of their being larger and fuller 
than the others ; so that the valves become straight, and even 
curl outwards. But if they be placed in water, the Endos- 
mose, still taking place towards the side on which the fluid i a 
most dense — viz. the interior cells — will distend them still 
more, and cause the valves to curl inwards more powerfully 
than at first. 

Another instance of movement which may be explained in a 
similar manner, is that of the seed-vessel of the Squirting Cu- 
cumber, (Momordica Elaterium.) This, when ripe, very rea- 
dily separates from its stalk ; and its pulpy contents are vio- 
lently forced out from the aperture thus left. The pulpy mat- 
ter surrounding the seeds occupies the centre of the fruit, and 
by its own increase in amount, distends the cavity ; when, 
therefore, an aperture is formed in any way, the distention is 
relieved by the violent contraction of the elastic walls. 

Such explanations, however, will by no means account for 
all the evident movements of plants ; and it is necessary to 
suppose their living tissues endowed with a property by which 
they are enabled to contract upon the application of a stimu- 
lus, just as do the muscular fibres of animals. The vegetable 
kingdom affords many examples of this kind of contractility. 
Thus, if the leaves of the common Wild Lettuce be touched 
when the plant is in flower, the part will be covered with a 
milky juice, which is forced out through the stomata by the con- 
traction of the cells or vessels beneath. Again in the flower of 
the Barberry, if the base of the stamen be touched with the 
point of a pin, the filament will bend over so as to strike its an- 
ther against the style. • This movement is undoubtedly con- 
nected with the process of fetilization ; and it must be fre- 
quently caused by the touch of insects. There is a curious 
New Holland plant (Stylidium), sometimes cultivated in green- 
houses, which has a tall column arising from the centre of its 
flower, and consisting of the stamens and style united. This usu- 
ally hangs down over one side of the flower, but if it be touched 

Movements of Plants. 309 

ever so lightly, it starts up with a jerk, and rapidly swings over 
to the opposite side. 

One of the most interesting and best known of all vegetable 
niovements, is that displayed by the Sensitive plant {Mimosa 
pudica.) ^ When spread out in sunshine, the leaflets present no 
peculiarity of appearance ; but at night they fold together as in 
sleep. If, when expanded, one of the leaflets be slightly 
touched, it will close towards its fellow ; the neighboring leaf- 
lets will presently do the same ; the vein upon which these are 
set will bend downwards, and meet the one on the opposite 
side of the mid-rib ; the mid-rib will itself bend down upon 
the stem ; and if the plant be in a very irritable state, the 
other leaves are sometimes affected in a similar manner. The 
explanation of this very curious phenomenon requires a know- 
ledge of the structure of the parts concerned in it. It is evi- 
dent that the movement must be in some way propagated from 
the parts touched, to those where the change actually takes 
place— that is, the points where the leaflets join the veins, the 
veins come from the mid-rib, and the mid-rib from the stem. 
At every one of these points there is a small swelling or intu- 
mescence, formed of very spongy cellular tissue, and contain- 
ing a great deal of fluid in its cells. If the under side -of the 
intumescence at the foot of the leaf-stalk be touched, its vesi- 
cles, being very irritable, contract and force out the fluid 
which they contain, and this necessarily pulls down or depresses 
the leaf-stalk and all that it carries. If, on the other hand, any 
thing distend the cells on the upper side of the intumescence, 
the leaf-stalk is pushed down, as it were, in a similar manner. 
The intumescence at the origin of each vein, and at the base 
of each leaflet, seems to possess the same properties in a de- 
gree proportioned to its size, and they are all connected toge- 
ther by the vessels and woody tubes of the mid-rib and veins. 
Now, when the tissue of any of the leaflets is touched, it appears 
to contract in the same manner as that of the Wild Lettuce ; 
but instead of squeezing out its fluid upon the surface, it forces 
it through the vessels into the upper side of the intumescences 
at the base of itself and its fellow, and these leaflets are thus 
caused to fold down and meet each other. The fluid forced 
out from the under side of their intumescences is probably car- 

810 Movements of Plants. 

ried to the upper side of those at a little distance, and thus the 
neighboring leaflets are also depressed. The depression of the 
veins upon the mid-rib, and of the mid-rib or foot-stalk itself 
upon the stem, will follow in like manner ; the extent to which 
the movement is propagated, being dependent on the amount 
of fluid expelled from the lower side of the intumescence, in 
the parts where it has already taken place. 

Various other stimulants besides the touch of a hard sub- 
stance, will produce similar effects. Thus, if electric sparks 
be communicated to the lower side of the intermescence, or the 
rays of the sun be concentrated on it with a burning-glass, a 
similar contraction of its vesicles, and depression of the leaf 
will follow. In all these cases, the leaves return after a time 
to their usual condition. Several species of the Acacia tribe 
growing in warm climates, exhibit corresponding changes in a 
less degree. The closure of the fly-trap of the Dionaea, may 
be probably explained on similar principles. The part here 
irritated is the tissue at the base of the three thorns on each 
side of the leaf, one of which must be touched in order to ex- 
cite the movement. 



Ferns are the most completely organized of Flowerless 
plants, and approach nearer than any others to the Flowering 
tribes. In the northern parts of the world, they are green, 
leafy productions, which die down to the ground every year; 
and they are seldom more than two or three feet high. But in 
tropical countries many of them far surpass these pigmy dimen- 
sions ; they acquire real trunks, resembling those of palms, and 
often rise to the height of forty or fifty feet without a leaf. 
Even a more considerable stature is spoken of by travellers. 
At all times they are graceful objects, from the slender stems 
on which they bear their leaves, which wave in the breeze like 
plumes of feathers, and from the multitude of leaflets into which 

The Fern Tribe. 311 

they are cut with the most exquisite regularity. But the Tree- 
Ferns of the tropics are said to be most superb objects, com- 
bining the grace and agreeable color of their European kindred, 
with the majestic aspect of the Palms. 

It is usual to call the leaves of Ferns by the name of frond, 
a3 if their leaves were not analogous to those of other plants. 
But I see no use in continuing this old fashioned word, which 
was coined at a time when the leaf of a fern was thought to be 
a sort of compound between a branch and a leaf. It is much 
better, on every account, to call it by the name that the same 
part bears in other plants. 

For the purpose of studying the organization of Ferns, I re- 
commend you to take a leaf of Hart's-tongue, (Scolopendrium 
officinarum,) a plant which is common on most damp and 
shaded banks, and within old open wells, the mouths of which 
are almost choked up by it.* All that you will find of the pl.-int, 
is a brown scaly rootstock, from which grow a number of 
handsome lance-shaped leaves of a deep green color, placed 
upon a shining ebony-black stalk. If the leaves are newly 
formed, you will, by holding them up against the light, readily 
see their veins, which are dissimilar to those of all other plants. 
They neither resemble Monocotyledons, nor Dicotyledons ; are 
neither netted nor parallel, but have simply a forked structure. 
You will remark that although now and then, one vein may be 
found running straight from the mid-rib nearly up to the mar- 
gin, without dividing, yet that the principal part fork very soon 
after the vein has left the mid-rib, and that sometimes one of 
the branches forks again. This kind of vein is peculiar to 
Ferns, and will enable you at all times to recognise them, 
whether their reproductive parts are present or not. 

After the leaf has been growing some little time, you may 

* This plant, though a native of some parts of the northern States, and 
known as caterpillar ftrn, may not be familiar to the American student 
In that case, one of the genus Asplenium, often called Spleen-wort or walking 
leaf, may be substituted fur examination. The only important difference 
between the structure of these ferns and the Hart's-tougue is, that in tht- for- 
mer the sori lie across the veins of the leaf, while in the latter they are 
parallel, and often attached to them. 

312 The Fern Tribe. 

remark a number of narrow pale bands appearing at pretty 
equal intervals upon some of the veins, and following their di- 
rection. Presently afterwards the whole of the skin of the 
leaf, where these bands are, separates from the green part he- 
low it : in course of time, something swells and raises up th e 
skin, till at last it bursts through it, separating the skin into 
two equal parts, one edge of which remains adhering to the leaf. 
At this period the cause of this swelling is discovered ; it con- 
gists in a multitude of brown seed-like grains that are crowded 
together very closely, and form a brown ridge. Botanists call 
the skin which separates from the leaf, the Indusium, the ridge 
Sorus, and the seed-like grains Thecce. In order to gain a dis- 
tinct view of all these parts, you should cut through the leaf 
across the sorus, just after the indusium has burst; and the 
edges of the indusium will be distinctly visible, with the ridge- 
like receptacle of the thecae rising up between them. 

The only means of propagating itself which the Heart's- 
tongue possesses, resides in the thecae. It has no calyx, corolla 
stamens, or pistil, and consequently neither fruit nor seed* 
nevertheless it can perpetuate its kind with the same certainty 
as the most perfect plant. The theca is not a seed, nor is it a 
body whose functions are of a nature similar to those of a seed. 
You require a pretty good microscope to examine it correctly ; 
but with such an instrument you will make it out to be a round- 
ish compressed body, seated on a jointed stalk, which runs up 
one side of the theca. Upon examining a good many of the 
thecae, you will no doubt remark some of them burst open; 
and then you will find that they are hollow bodies, containing 
a quantity of extremely minute oval grains, called Spores by 
botanists. It is in the spores that the power of increase re- 
sides ; every one of them will form a new plant, and conse- 
quently they are analogous to seeds ; but as they do not result 
from the action of pollen upon a stigma, they are not real seeds, 
but only the representatives of those organs amongst Flowerless 

How simple is all this; how different from everything we 
have seen in other plants — and yet no doubt as perfectly 
adapted to the multiplication of Ferns as any more complete 
contrivance. How prodigious too is the power that these plants 

The Fern Tribe. 313 

possess of disseminating themselves. Hart's-tongue, owing to 
its small size, is one of those in which the power resides in only 
a small degree ; and yet a little computation will show even its 
means to be prodigious. Each of its sori consists of from three 
thousand to six thousand thecae; let us take four thousand and 
five hundred as the average number. Then each leaf bears 
about eighty sori ; which makes three hundred and sixty thou- 
sand thecae per leaf; the thecae themselves contain about fifty 
spores each ; so that a single leaf of Hart's-tongue may give 
birth to no fewer than eighteen millions of young plants. 

The form and situation of the sori is not, in other genera, 
the same as in the Heart' s-tongue ; on the contrary, it is upon 
differences in those respects that the genera have been estab- 
lished. For example, in the Shield-ferns (Aspidium,) the sori 
are round, and covered with a kidney-shaped indusium ; in 
Polypody (Polypodium,) they are round, and have no indusium ; 
and in the graceful Maiden-hair ferns (Adiantum) they are 
oblong bodies arising from the edge of the leaf. The most 
curious arrangement of their parts is in the Brake, (Pteris ;) no 
matter at what time of the year you«examine the leaves of that 
plant, you will probably discover no trace of sori, and yet it 
would be difficult to find a brake-leaf in autumn, which does 
not abound with them. The truth is that in this plant they 
occupy so singular a position, that one could almost be tempted 
to believe them designedly hidden where none but the curious 
botanist should find them. Look attentively at the under side 
of the leaves; you will remark the margin to be turned in and 
thickened, like the hem of a lady's gown in which a cord is 
run; there lurk the thecae you are in search of. With 
the point of a knife lift up gently the edge of the leaf, and you 
will at once discover a ridge of thecae running all around it. 
In this instance the margin of the leaf acts the part of the in- 

Another singular form of Ferns is that in which the whole of 
the segments of a leaf are contracted and curled up round the 
thecae, so as to lose entirely their natural appearance, and to 
resemble a sort of inflorescence. A striking instance of this is 
not uncommon in bogs, in form of a plant called the Osmund- 
roijaly or Flowering-fern, (Osmunda regalis ;) a minute species 

314 The Fern Tribe. 

found in woods, and called Adder' s-tongue, (Ophioglossum\ 
because of its narrow inflorescence, is another example. 

Such is the first and highest degree in the scale of organiza- 
tion among flowerless plants. Possessing a system of vessels 
frequently attaining a considerable size, having leaves inter- 
sected by veins, and having their surface provided with breath- 
ing pores ; Ferns may be considered to differ from Flowering 
plants in little except in the manner in which they are propa- 
gated, and in the organs assigned them by nature for that 


As the Misseltoe has been incidentally alluded to in a pre- 
vious article, the reader may not be unwilling to know some 
curious facts which have been ascertained in regard to the 
growth of that singular plant. They are extracted from a late 
English work, of good authority. 

There are some plants which have not the power of forming 
true roots for themselves, and which obtain their supply of sap 
from the stems of trees to which they attach themselves. Such 
is the common Misseltoe. The seeds of this plant are deposited 
by birds on the exterior of the stems and branches of trees; and 
the root-fibres which they put out, insinuate themselves through 
the crevices of the bark, and become incorporated with the 
wood. Now the Misseltoe imbibes the ascending sap from the 
wood of the tree or stock on which it grows ; and this it con- 
verts into a proper juice, adapted to nourish its own structure, 
by means of its own leaves. The ascending sap of most trees 
being nearly alike, the Misseltoe seems to grow with almost 
equal facility on a great variety. It is remarkable, however, 
that it is very rare on the Oak ; and it is perhaps this circum- 
stance, which caused the plant, when found in connexion with 
that tree, to be regarded by the ancient Druids in a religious 

It is a very curious fact, that the law of growth of the root- 
fibres of the Misseltoe, is different from that which governs 

Growth of the Misseltoe. 315 

other roots. While the latter grow downwards towards the cen- 
tre of the earth, these grow toward the centre of the bough or 
stem which they may be penetrating. This tendency was as- 
certained by the experiments of the French physiologist, Dutro- 
chet, who caused a seed of Misseltoe to germinate when hung 
by a thread near a large ball of metal ; and he found that the 
radicle always directed itself towards the centre of this ball, 
near whatever part of the surface it might be placed. By this 
curious adaptation, the Misseltoe, which, from the want of 
power to form perfect roots, would otherwise be unable to 
exist, is endowed with a compensating power ; it being as much 
a part of its natural habits to grow upon the stem and branches 
of trees, as it is for other plants to send their roots inio the 

The fibres of the Misseltoe seem to incorporate themselves 
completely with those of the stock; and so intimate is the- con- 
nexion between them, that colored fluids will pass from the 
stem into this natural graft, as it may be termed. It docs not 
appear, however, that any communication exists between the 
parasite, and the bark beneath it, which is always found to be 
in a dead state around its insertion. But if the part of the 
branch at which it penetrates, be divided with a saw, it will 
be seen that the two woods are so thoroughly united that the line 
of separation between them can scarcely be traced. That the 
Misseltoe is itself quite deficient in the power of absorbing 
fluid, has been clearly proved by experience. If the stem of 
this plant be cut off and immersed in water, it will absorb lit- 
tle or none of the fluid ; whilst if a portion of the branch with 
which it is connected be cut off with it, and immersed in the 
same way, it will absorb nearly as much as if furnished with 
leaves of its own. 

316 Culture of the Dahlia. 


October is the month for taking up the tubers of the Dah- 
lia. The following directions for their preservation, and f 0r 
the cultivation and propagation of the plant, are concise and 
simple, and may be acceptable to the many admirers of this 
handsome flower. 

The soil should be composed of equal parts of sand and 
loam, enriched with part of an old hot-bed, some very rotten 
cow-dung, or decayed leaves. Fresh stable-dung is unsuitable 
as it will produce strong stems and large leaves rather than 
fine flowers. The ground should be well drained, as, though 
Dahlias require plenty of moisture, they are soon killed if their 
roots have access to stagnant water. Many cultivators put a 
deep layer of stones and brick-bats at the bottom of the bed so 
as to prevent the possibility o^ water accumulating about the 
roots. The tubers, having been kept in a dry and moderately 
cool place during the winter, are generally planted in pots in 
February or March, and plunged into a slight hot-bed, to start 
them, as the florists term it. They are afterwards removed to 
the open ground, when they have begun to grow. Or the 
tubers may be planted at once in the open ground without 
starting; the tall kinds in May or June, and the dwarf earlv 
flowerers in April. The tubers should be planted in rows, 
about two or three feet apart every way; or in quincunx, 
about five feet apart in the row, and the rows three feet apart. 
The situation of the bed should be open and exposed to the sun ; 
and if the weather prove dry, the young plants should be fre- 
quently and regularly watered. In planting, care should be 
taken to arrange the tubers so that the colors may harmonize 
agreeably. Thus the purples and crimsons, and the crimsons 
and scarlets, may be separated by yellow, while, or buff, and 
the salmon-colored and buff may be separated by white. 
Dahlias will degenerate if grown more than one year in the 
same bed without fresh soil or manure. When those which 
have been started in pots are planted, all the earth in the pot 
should be turned into the hole made to receive it, without 

Culture of the Dahlia. 317 

breaking the ball ; and the empty flower-pot should be turned 
over the young plant, to prevent too much evaporation from the 
leaves. As the plants grow, they should be carefully trained, 
so as to admit the sun and air to the centre of the plant. This 
is done by tying the stems to stakes fixed in the ground. Some- 
times only a single stake is used, to which is tied the main 
stem. In whatever way stakes may be used, they should be 
driven a foot and a half or two feet into the ground before the 
Dahlias are planted ; as if this be not done, there is danger of 
wounding the tubers in driving the stakes into the ground. 
The stems are tied rather loosely at first to the stakes with 
bast matting, which is frequently taken oflfand replaced, as the 
stems increase, till they have attained their full size. Some- 
times, particularly with dwarf Dahlias, the stems are pegged 
down to the beds, and this plan, when the soil is dry, produces 
a brilliant effect. Where the object is to produce fine flowers, 
either for exhibition or seeds, part of the buds, and the tips of 
the shoots are occasionally removed. Where numerous small 
but early flowers are wanted, the soil should be sandy or 
gravelly, mixed with a very little loam. Many cultivators 
shade their flowers, as both sun and rain will injure the deli- 
cacy of the colors. 

The plants will generally continue to produce flowers till 
their leaves and stems become blackened by frost ; and as soon 
as this is the case, they should be cut down nearly to the sur- 
face of the ground ; and the first dry weather that occurs, the 
tubers should be taken up in the morning and left exposed to 
the sun during the day. In the evening, they must be taken 
to a dry airy place, where they will be safe from frost, and 
kept there till they are dry enough to have all the soil removed 
from them, which may be done with a soft brush. They must 
be then buried in sand, saw-dust, or some similar material, and 
deposited in a dry cellar, or garret, or some other place where 
they can be kept dry ; the great objects to be considered being 
dryness, security from frost, and a moderately cool tempera- 
ture, which should never rise above forty-five degrees, nor sink 
below thirty-six degrees. Labels with the name of each Dah- 
lia should be affixed to each fascicle of tubers when it is re- 

318 The Death and Fall of Leaves. 

moved from the ground ; and these labels are generally of zinc 
attached by wire. 

Dahlias are propagated either by dividing the fascicles of 
tubers, by cuttings, or by seeds. By the first mode, the roots 
are planted either in the ground, or in pots plunged in a hot- 
bed, until they are started — that is, till the}' begin to grow 
they are then taken up, and the tubers cut or pulled asunder 
taking care that there is a bud or eye to each. Those which 
have no buds are termed blind tubers, and they may have 
buds inserted from other plants, by either cleft or peg grafting 
The cuttings are either slipped off from started tubers with a 
portion of the tuber attached, or made like cuttings of other 
plants, by taking off part of a shoot in summer. In both cases 
they require what is called bottom heat, that is, plunging the 
pot into a hot-bed, to make them strike. Summer cuttings are 
rarely made, unless it be of some new or choice sort, as the 
stems are too succulent to strike easily. The seeds should be 
sown on a slight hot-bed in February or March, or in a warm 
border in the open garden. The seedlings must be transplanted 
into beds, as soon as they have four or six leaves, or they will 
be drawn up and become weak. 



Leaves usually exist but for a single year. Most ever- 
greens are scarcely exceptions, as their old leaves commonly 
fall, or at least become inactive, soon after those of the ensuing 
season are developed. Yet in some cases (as in Firs, &c.) they 
do survive for a series of years. On the other hand, it is sel- 
dom that all the leaves of an herb endure through the whole 
growing season ; but the earlier foliage near the base of 
the stem perishes and falls, while fresh leaves are still appear- 
ing at the summit. In our deciduous trees and shrubs, how- 

The Death and Fall of Leaves. 319 

even the leaves are all developed within a short period, and 
t hey ;ill perish nearly at the same time. They are not destroyed 
by frost, as is commonly supposed ; for they begin to languish 
and often assume their autumnal tints (as happens with the Red 
Jfcaple especially), or even fall, some weeks anterior to the 
earliest frosts; and when vernal vegetation is destroyed by 
frost, the leaves blacken and wither, but do not fall off entire, 
as in autumn. Some leaves fall, perhaps, before they have 
entirely lost their vitality. Others die and decay on the stem 
without falling, as in Palms and most Endogens ; or else the 
dead leaves mostly hang on the branches through the winter, 
as in the Beach and some kinds of Oak, and fall when the new 
buds expand, the following spring. We must therefore distin- 
guish between the death and the fall of the leaf. 

The fall of the leaf is owing to the formation of an articula- 
tion, or joint, between the base of the petiole and the stem on 
which it rests. The leaf rapidly acquires its full growth, — in 
a few weeks at farthest, — and since its base cannot long keep 
pace with the continually increasing circumference of the stem, 
especially as the leaf is more and more enfeebled as the sea- 
son advances, a separation therefore takes place by the forma- 
tion of a joint, which in our trees is well marked long before 
frost occurs. When it falls, a well defined scar is left. But 
in most Endogenous plants, where the leaves are scarcely, if at 
all, articulated with the stem, which increases little in diame- 
ter subsequently to its early growth, they are not thrown off, 
but simply wither and decay; their dead bases or petioles 
being often persistent for a long time. 

But why do leaves die? Why, in all ordinary cases, do 
they only last for a single year, or a single summer ? The an- 
swer to this question is to be found in the anatomical structure 
of the leaf, and the nature and amount of the fluid which it 
receives and exhales. The water which the roots absorb, dis- 
solves, as it percolates the soil, a small portion of earthy mat- 
ter. In limestone districts especially, it takes up a sensible 
quantity of carbonate and sulphate of lime, and becomes 
hard. It likewise dissolves a small proportion of silex, alumen, 
magnesia, potassa, &c. A part of this mineral matter is depo- 
sited in the woody tissue of the stem. But a large portion is 

Kffiejp/u&usz t/fszt/rrawtJ. 

The Death and Fall of Leaves. g 2o 

carried into the leaves, where, as the water is exhaled or dis- 
tilled perfectly pure, all this earthy matter must be left behind 
to incrust the delicate cells of the parenchyma, much as the 
vessels in which water is boiled for culinary purposes are in 
time incrusted with an earthy deposit. This earthy accumu- 
lation gradually chokes the tissue of the leaf, obstructs the ex- 
halation, and finally unfits it for the performance of its offices. 
Hence the fresh leaves most actively fulfil their functions in 
spring and early summer; but languish towards autumn, and 
ere long inevitably perish. Hence, although the roots and 
branches may be permanent, the necessity that the leaves 
should be annually renewed. 

The general correctness of this view may be tested by di- 
rect microscopical observation. That this deposit consists in 
great part of earthy matter is shown by carefully burning 
away the organic matter of an autumnal leaf over a lamp, and 
examining the ashes by the microscope ; which will be found 
very perfectly to exhibit the form of the cells. The ashes 
which remain when a leaf or other vegetable substance is 
burned in the open air, represent the earthy material which it 
has accumulated. A vernal leaf leaves but the minutest quan- 
tity of ashes; an autumnal leaf yields a very large proportion, 
from ten to thirty times as much as the wood of the same spe- 
cies ; although the leaves contain the deposit of a single season 
only', while the heart-wood is loaded with the accumulations 
of successive years. 

The Anemone, or Wind-Flower. 321 


Natural Order, Ranunculacea? ; Linnaean System, Polyandria, Polygynia. 
Generic Character : — Involucre of three leaves, more or less distant from 
the flower; petals wanting ; calyx of from five to fifteen colored, petal-like 
sepals ; caryopsides without feathery tails ; roots tuberous. 

^. coronaria. — Leaves ternate, deeply cut, with numerous linear segments ; 
involucre sessile, deeply cut ; sepals six, oval, rounded. — PL 43. 

Most species of Anemone grow in elevated situations, much 

exposed to the wind, whence the generic name, from a Greek 

word, signifying wind. The species are numerous; and 

among them are not only some of the most esteemed florist's 

flowers, but also some of the most common of our northern 

wild flowers. The little Wood -Anemone, or Wind-flower, A. 

nemorosa, is the earliest harbinger of spring, often opening its 

delicate blossoms on the hill-side, before the snow has fairly 

melted away. Several foreign species are much cultivated, 

and produce very large and beautiful flowers. The plate 

represents one of the finest double-flowered varieties of the 

Poppy-Anemone. This species is a native of the south of 

Europe, and the Levant, and has been a favorite garden 

flower in England and America for many years. It is valued 

for its hardy nature, and because it will flower at almost any 

season, according to the time the roots are kept out of the 

ground, and when they are replanted. The prevailing 

colors are red, white and blue. The roots are solid, tuberous 

masses, and the plant is propagated by their division. 

The. tubers, says Mrs. Loudon, should be planted either in 
October or February ; in the first case they will flower in 
April, and in the latter in June. According to the usual 
method of growing these flowers, a bed should be dug, eighteen 
inches or two feet in depth, and at the bottom of this bed 
should be laid a stratum, six or eight inches deep, of old cow- 
dung ; if two years old, so much the better. The bed should 
then be filled in with fresh loam from a field, if it can be pro- 
cured, and if not, with good sandy loam. The bed should be 
raised about four inches above the level of the surrounding 

Vol. I.— 21. 

( <C&em/r/?t re>-zt'/fat^a- 

*-'£&/?¥ e rfkem&ney 

322 The Anemone, or Wind-Flower, 

garden, and drills about two inches deep should be draw 
from one end of the bed to the other. White sand should 
then be sprinkled along the drills, and the tubers should be 
planted three or four inches apart, according to their size the 
largest kinds being of course planted farthest apart. The 
drills should then be covered level, and the beds raked quite 
smooth and even. When the plants begin to appear above 
ground, if the season be dry, they should be occasionally 
watered with rain water ; and then watering may be continued 
regularly, as the plants approach flowering. In England, little 
or no protection is required for the roots during the winter • 
but in our colder climate the roots will be destroyed by the 
frost, unless they are well covered with tanner's bark, or straw. 
The roots may also be planted in spring, in April, May, and 
June, in succession, when they will flower during the succes- 
sive summer months. The Anemone may also be grown in 
flower-pots. The roots should be planted in October, five or 
six to a pot of nine inches in diameter. The pots should be 
placed in the green-house, and watered whenever the soil be- 
comes dry, and the plants will flower in March. By planting 
the roots in November, they will flower a month later, so that 
some may be in blossom every month in the year. 

After flowering, they should be kept quite dry, by covering 
the beds with mats, until the stem and leaves become withered. 
The roots should then be taken up, the stem cut off, and when 
the roots are quite dry they should be placed in paper bags, 
and kept till it is time to plant them in the following season. 
They may be planted every year for fifteen or twenty years in 
succession ; but they flower best from the fifth to the twelfth 

It is proper to mention here, that the old genus Anemone 
has been divided, and that all those species whose carpels 
have feathery tails, are arranged in the genus Pulsatilla. 

\ (^¥g£u-crf€0'' '^jfeza4<amf. ftSfeap&vn^ <&r6twi/e*ic / 

The Columbine. 3£3 


Natural Order, Ranunculaceae ; Linusean System, Polyandria, Polygyria. 
Generic Character:— Calyx of five, colored, petal-like, deciduous sepals ; 
petals five, gaping above, two-lipped, outer lip large, flat, inner lip small; 
each petal drawn out into a hollow spur, which protrudes between the se- 
pals : capsules five, erect, many-seeded, pointed with the styles. 

X Mericana.— Spurs straight, spreading, five times longer than the limb ; 
sepals lanceolate, twice as long as the limb of the petals ; stamens very 
long, exserted ; styles three, rarely five. — PL 44. Fig. 1. 

A.fragrans.— Stem leafy ; segments of the lower leaves trifid; flowers nu- 
merous, somewhat downy; sepals ovate-lanceolate, acute; spur of the- 
petals incurved, much shorter than the limb. — PL 44. Fig. % 

Perhaps no flower is more universally cultivated than the 
common Columbine ; and yet few persons observe its singular 
construction. The sepals and petals are of nearly the same 
color, and yet their forms are so different as to be readily dis- 
tinguishable. The sepals are oval, generally pointed, and are 
attached by a short stalk to the disk. The petals are alternate 
with the sepals, and their formation is very curious. They 
form a hollow horn, or spur, having an expanded lip, or mouth, 
by one side of which they adhere to the disk, while the horns 
pass upwards between the stalks of the sepals, and curve in- 
wards, so as nearly to meet at their extremities. When a 
petal is pulled off, with a sepal adhering to it on each side, it 
bears some resemblance, in shape, to a bird ; and from this 
circumstance are taken both the common and the botanical 
names of the genus ; the first being derived from the Latin, 
columba, a dove ; and the other from aquila, an eagle. Of the 
numerous stamens of the Columbine, the inner ones are abor- 
tive, having no anthers, and forming a kind of membranous 
envelope to the carpels. The seed vessels, when ripe, open 
at the top, to discharge the seeds. The common Columbine 
is a native of most parts of Europe, and nearly all the species 
inhabit temperate climates. The very handsome species, A. 
Mcxicana, however, as its specific name indicates, is found in 

324 The Rafnia. 

Mexico and Guatemala, being farther south than any oth 
species yet discovered. It is readily known by the 
length of its spurs, which are nearly two inches long; and h 
its numerous and projecting stamens. The styles are generall 
only three, and the flowers are drooping. This species w 
introduced into England in 1840, and is there considered th 
finest of the genus. 

A, fragrans is another very fine Columbine, with large and 
delightfully fragrant flowers. It is a native of the north of 

There are several other handsome and curious species 
which are in cultivation ; but none of them are more worthy 
of admiration than the delicate species, A. Canadensis, which 
grows wild in nearly all the United States. It is generally 
found in rocky places, on the sides of hills ; and its beautiful 
flowers, scarlet without, and yellow within, with their numer- 
ous stamens, appearing as they do in early spring, form one of 
the chief ornaments of a season when few other plants are in 
bloom. All the Columbines are easily cultivated, requiring 
generally a light soil, and not too much water. They are 
propagated by seed, or by division of the roots. 


Natural Order, Leguminosaj ; Linnaeao System, Monadelphia, Decandria. 
Generic Character: — Calyx five-lobed, lower lobe narrowest, setaceous 
and very acute ; keel of the corolla obtuse ; vexillum, roundish ; legume 
lanceolate, compressed, many-seeded ; leaves simple, entire, alternate, 
the floral ones sometimes opposite ; flowers yellow ; stamens moua- 

R. triflora. — Leaves ovate, sessile, glabrous ; branches angular ; peduncles 
lateral, one-flowered, but growing in threes. — PL 45. 

The plants belonging to this genus have been separated 
from Crotalaria by De Candolle, and formed by him into a 
new genus, named in honor of Professor Rafn, a German bot- 
anist. R. triflora is a native of the Cape of Good Hope, and 


i^ //&/%>?&. /c-^i^^-y 



v/zna/iumf i/fya&mJr . { . . ^a/yr /rvv/vvvv/ / ; ffa<?/?J-A.€<7f/ 

The Dragon's Head. 335 

was introduced into England in 1786. It requires, says Mrs. 
Loudon, a slight degree of protection during the winter ; but 
if the seeds be sown on a hot-bed in February, and the plants 
afterwards removed to single pots, they may be set in the open 
air all summer, and if kept in a frame or green-house during 
winter, they may be planted in the open ground in May, 
when they will flower in July or August The Rafhia is a 
very showy biennial. 


Natural Order, Labiate ; Linusean System, Didyiiamia, Gymnospermia. 
Generic Character :— Calyx tubular, straight, with an equally five-toothed 
mouth; tube of the corolla slender at base, generally exserted; throat 
wide ; limb two-lipped ; upper lip concave, erect; lower spreading, three- 
cleft ; btyle bifid at top ; achenia dry, smooth, naked. 

D. Altaiense.— Flowers in whorls ; bracts oblong; segments of calyx equal; 
radical leaves petiolate, cordate-oblong, obtusely dentate; stem-leaves 
sessile, nearly round, deeply toothed, with large, bluntish teeth PI. 46*. 

The generic name Dracocephalum means Dragon's-head, 
and refers to the shape of the corolla. All the species are 
perennial plants, with the flowers in whorls, and hairy, large, 
leafy bracts. The species figured is a native of the Altaian 
mountains, andf has been in cultivation for many years. Its 
flowers are very beautiful and showy. It grows best in a 
light, dry soil, where it can have plenty of sun and air; and 
in such a situation it is raised with very little trouble. 

The American plants which were formerly included in 
Dracocephalum, have been arranged under the new genus, 
Physostegia. One of these, the common Dragon's-head, grows 
wild as far north as Pennsylvania, and is often seen in our gar- 
dens. The flowers are numerous, pale purple, spotted inside. 
One or two other species deserve cultivation, particularly 
Physostegia speciosa, a native of the South, with pink flowers. 

Perhaps the best known foreign species is JD. Canariense, 
from the Canary Islands. This is very commonly cultivated, 
under the name of Balm of Gilead, for its powerful and agree- 
able fragrance. 

32G The Natural System of Botany. 



In the previous articles we have given an account of nearly 
all the orders of polypetalous exogenous plants ; that is, of 
such exogenous plants as possess both calyx and corolla, with 
distinct petals. These, it will be recollected, form the first 
division of the »ub-class Angiospermae. The second division 
of the same sub-class consists of those exogenous plants which 
have both calyx and corolla, but whose petals are united. I n 
this division there are thirty-five orders. It is impossible, 
within our limits, to give more than a brief summary of them, 
since we must, in our next and final article, conclude our ex- 
planations of the Natural Orders for the present. 

Division II.— Monopetalous Exogenous Plants. 

Order — Caprifoliaceje. The Honeysuckle Tribe. 

To this order belong the Honeysuckles (Lonicera), the El- 
der (Sambucus), Viburnum, Symphoricarpu3,^>r Snow-berry. 
Nearly all are shrubs ; some, like the common Honeysuckle, 
being climbers. They have opposite leaves, without stipules; 
a tubular or rotate corolla, either regular or irregular ; stamens 
usually as many as the lobes of the corolla ; fruit generally a 
drupe ; seeds pendulous. They inhabit temperate regions, 
and their properties are nauseous and bitter. The order is 
sub-divided into Lonicerejs and Sambuce^j ; the former 
having a tubular corolla, and filiform style; and the latter a 
rotate or urn-shaped corolla. 

Order — RuBiACEiB. The Madder Tribe. 

This is a very extensive order, mostly confined to tropical 
countries. It includes many plants of the most opposite as- 

The Natural System of Botany. 327 

pects and qualities. The leaves are opposite, or in whorls, 
and are furnished with stipules. The calyx is often partly 
united to the ovary, and four or five-toothed. The stamens 
are as many as the lobes of the corolla, and alternate with 
them. The fruit is usually a berry, but sometimes a hard 
capsule, or a drupe. The order is divided into the sub-orders 
Stellatjb, which axe all herbs, with whorled leaves, as Ga- 
lium, and Rubia, or Madder; and Cinohone^:, which are 
trees, shrubs, and herbs, having opposite leaves, with stipules. 
To the latter division belong some important plants. 

Peruvian Bark, or Cinchona, and Ipecac, are furnished by 
southern species. Coffee is the horny seed of another species, 
CofFsea Arabica. The Button Bush (Cephalanthus), Mitchella, 
and Hedyotis, are the principal northern genera. 

Order — Valerianace.*!. The Valerian Tribe. 

A small order of herbs, having the flowers usually in cymes 
or panicles ; a two or four-toothed calyx ; a tubular or funnel- 
form corolla ; an ovary with two abortive cells, and one perfect 
one. The principal productions of the order are Valerian, 
furnished by Valeriana officinalis ; and the Spikenard of the 
ancients, which is the root of Nardostachys Jatamansi. 

Order — Dipsace^:. The Teasel Tribe. 

The leaves of these have no stipules. The flowers are in 
dense heads, surrounded with an involucre. The corolla is 
tubular, the calyx cup-shaped, or forming a pappus. Stamens 
four ; ovary one-celled. Teasels are the dried heads of Dip- 
sacus Fullonum. Several species of Scabiosa are often culti- 
vated. None of the order are natives of America. 

Order — ComposiTje. The Composite Tribe. 

This is the largest and most natural of all the orders. It 
comprises nearly one-tenth of all flowering plants. To give 
anything like an idea of its species, their uses, products, and 
peculiarities, would require a volume. The characters of the 

328 The Natural System of Botany. 

order are so marked, that little more than a single glance ' 
required to distinguish its members. The flowers are in'he \* 
forming what is usually called a composite flower. Take th*' 
Dandelion or the Sun-flower for an example. The involu * 
is formed of a set of bracts or scales ; and each separate 
flower has often a bract of its own. The calyx is a papn 
consisting of bristles or hairs. The corolla is superior, and 
ligulate or tubular. The stamens are five, and the anthers a" 
united into a tube. The style is tworcleft ; the fruit an ache! 
nium, one-seeded, crowned with the pappus. There are three 
sub-orders in this immense family. Tubuliflor,e, contains 
all those whose corollas are tubular, regular, and four or fi Ve . 
lobed. The flowers of these are arranged either in a discoil 
head, without rays ; as in Lappa (the Burdock), Cnicus (the 
Thistle), &c, in which the flowers are all tubular and perfect- 
or in a disk with rays, the disk flowers being tubular and per- 
fect, while those of the ray are ligulate and imperfect, that is 
lacking stamens, or both stamens and pistils, as in the Sun- 
flower and Aster. The second sub-order is Labiatiflor^e 
in which the corolla of the disk flowers is bilabiate. These 
are tropical species. The third sub-order is Liguliflor^ : 
in which the corolla, in both disk and ray flowers, is ligulate 
(flat or strap-shaped), as in the Dandelion, the Lettuce, &c. 

0r<Zer-— LobeliacEjE. The Lobelia Tribe. 

The plants of this order are readily known by their irregu- 
larly five-lobed corollas, their coherent stamens, fringed siig- 
mas, and capsular fruit. They are generally herbs, and their 
juice is acrid and narcotic. The species of Lobelia, one of 
which is used medicinally, are the Northern representatives of 
the Order. 

Order— Campanula ceje. The Bell-Flower Tribe. 

The ornamental Campanulas are much cultivated. None 
of the order possess any useful qualities. The regular, cam- 
panulate corolla, five distinct stamens, and hairy styles are 

The Natural System of Botany. 329 

Order— Eric ace^e. The Heath Tribe. 

These are mostly shrubs. The flowers are nearly regular, 
the stamens distinct, the anthers are two^celled, the styles and 
stigmas united into one. The order is divided into four tribes 
or sub-orders. Vaccinebje, which are shrubs with scattered, 
often ever-green, leaves, with an adherent ovary and a berry, 
or drupe-like fruit ; Ericine^e, shrubs, in which the ovary is 
free from the calyx, and the fruit usually capsular ; Pyrole^e, 
herbs, which have nearly distinct petals and capsular fruit ; 
Monotropejs, which are parasitic herbs, having brown or 
white scales instead of leaves. To the first division belong 
the Whortleberry (Vaccinium), the Cranberry (Oxycoccus), 
&c. To the second belong the true Heaths (Erica), and those 
beautiful shrubs, Kalmia, Rhododendron, Andromeda, Clethra, 
&c. The third contains those neat, low plants of the genera 
Pyrola and Gaultheria (Wintergreen) ; and the fourth, those 
curious and odd looking parasites, Monotropa or Hypopithys 
(Indian pipe, Bird's nest, or Beech drops.) 

Order — Aquifoliacejs. The Holly Tribe, 

These are shrubs or small trees, with coriaceous leaves and 
axillary flowers. The fruit is a drupe, with from two to six 
stones. The common Holly (Ilex) and the Winter-berry or 
Black Alder (Prinos) are examples. 

Order— Ebenace^e. The Ebony Tribe. 

One species of Diospyros produces the valuable wood called 
Ebony, and another is the Persimmon of the Southern States. 

Order — Primulace^. The Primrose Tribe. 

This is a small family of herbs, with a four or five toothed 
calyx, a rotate, salver-shaped, or bell-form corolla, a single 
style and stigma, capsular fruit and numerous seeds. Familiar 
examples are the highly prized species of Primula and Cycla- 

330 The Natural System of Botany. 

men, the pretty little Anagallis (Pimpernel), and Lysimuchia 

Our limits will not permit an extended notice of the succeed- 

ing Orders. It will only be possible to give a list of them, with 

their chief properties, and the names of some of their members. 

Plantaginacbjj. The Rib-grass Tribe. Ex. : Plantagt). 

Properties : Slightly bitter, and tooling; 

Plumbaginacejs. The Lead-wort Tribe. Ex.: Statice. 
Armeria. Sea-side plants. Some are astringent, others acrid. 
Lentibulacejb. The Bladder-wort Tribe. Contains but 
two genera, Pinguicula and Utriculariai Of no importance. 

OrobanchacbjE. The Broom-rape Tribe. Parasitic plants. 
Ex.: Orobanche, Epiphegus. (Broom-rape, Beech-drops.) 
Astringent, and bitter. 

BignoniacEjE. The Trumpet-flower Tribe. Mostly trees 
or climbing plants, with large showy flowers. Ex. : Bigtio- 
nia (Trumpet-flower), Catalpa. 

Pedaliacejs. The Oil-seed Tribe. Viscid herbs. Ex. : 
Martynia (Unicorn-plant). 

Acanthaceve. The Acanthus Tribe. Herbs or shrubby 
plants, mostly tropical. Thunbergia, Acanthus. 

Scrophulariace^s. The Figwort Tribe. A large order 
of herbs or shrubby plants. Ex.: Scrophularia, Verbaseum 
(Mullein), Chelone, Gerardia, Digitalis (Fox-glove). Generally 
bitter, acrid and deleterious. Fox-glove is important as a 
medicine, producing a remarkable effect on the action r>f the 

Vebbenaceje. The Vervain Tribe. Ex.: Verbena, Tec- 
tona (Teak-wood). Some bitter and aromatic. 

Labiate. The Labiate or Mint Tribe. A very large, 
very natural, and very important order. All pkmts of this 
order possess an aromatic oil and a bitter principle. Ex. ; 
Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Lavender, Catnip, Pennyroyal, &c. 

BoraginacejE. The Borage Tribe. Ex. : Borago (Borage), 
Cynoglossum (Hound's-tongue), Echium (Viper's Bugloss)- 
Mucilaginous, demulcent, never poisonous. 

Hydrophyllace^:. The Water-leaf Tribe. Ex. : Hydro* 
phyllum, Nemophila. Of no known use- 

PolemoniacejE. The Greek-Valerian Tribe. Ex. : Phlox, 

The Natural System of Botany. 331 

Polemonium. Mostly North American herbs. Cultivated as 
ornamental plants. 

Diapensiacejs. The Diapensia Tribe. Ex: Diapensia, 
pyxidanthera. Low, shrubby, evergreen trailing plants. 

CoNvoLVULACBiE. The Morning-glory Tribe. An impor- 
tant order of twining or trailing plants, mostly natives of hoi 
countries. Jalap is furnished by a Mexican Convolvulus. 
The Sweet Potato is the tuber of C. Batatus. The Morning- 
glory and the Bind- weed are other examples. Cuscuta, (Dod- 
der) and Dichondra, also belong here. 

SolanacejB. The Potato Tribe. A large and very impor- 
tant order. Ex. : Solanum, (Potato, Tomato, Egg-plant, &c.) 
Capsicum (Red Pepper), Atropa (Nightshade), Belladonna, 
Datura, Nicotiana (Tobacco), Hyoscyamus, &c. Properties 
very discordant ; generally stimulant and narcotic, often vio- 
lently poisonous. In the eatable species, the deleterious prin- 
ciple is expelled by cooking or ripening in the sun. 

Gentianace^. The Gentian Tribe. A large Order of 
herbs, some very ornamental. Ex.: Gentiana, Menyanthes 
(Buck-bean), Sabbatia, Frasera. A tonic and intensely bitter 
principle, called Gentianine, is found in all the order. 

ApocynacejE. The Dog's-bane Tribe. Trees, shrubs, and 
herbs. Ex.: Apocynum (Dog's-bane), Vinca (Periwinkle), 
Nerium (Oleander). The juice and seeds usually possess poi- 
sonous properties. Nux vomica is the seed of a species of 
Strychnos ; Caoutchouc or India-rubber is produced by some. 

AscLEPiADACEiE. The Milk-weed Tribe. Ex. : Ascle- 
pias (Milk-weed, Butterfly-weed). Properties similar to those 
of the last, though not so active. 

JasminacejE. The Jessamine Tribe. Ex. : Jasminum 
(Jessamine). Asiatic shrubs, with showy and fragrant 

Oleaceve. Trees or shrubs. Ex. : Olea (The Olive), 
Fraxinus (The Ash), Syringa (The Lilac). In the bark gene- 
rally resides a bitter, astringent principle. The sweet cathar- 
tic, Manna, is the gum of a species of Fraxinus ; and Olive oil 
is pressed from the fruit of Olea Europasa. 

332 The Natural System of Botany. 

Division III. — Apetalous Exogenous Plants. 

In this Division the corolla is wanting ; the floral envelone 
being simply a calyx. Sometimes both calyx and corolla are 

Aristolochiacea:. The Snake-root Tribe. Generally 
herbs, but sometimes shrubby vines. Ex. : Aristolochia (Vir- 
ginia Snake-root), Asarum (Wild Ginger). Used in medicine 
as tonics, being stimulant, pungent and aromatic. 

Chenopodiace^j. The Goose-foot Tribe. Weeds or herbs 
with fleshy leaves. Ex. : Beta (The Beet), Spinacia (Spinach) 
Salicornia (Samphire). From some Soda is obtained, and 
others are used as food. 

Amaranthace^e. The Amaranth Tribe. Mostly weeds • 
some of the Amaranths are cultivated for their showy flowers. 
Ex. : Amaranthus, Celosia (Cock's-eomb). 

Nyctaginace^e. The Four-o'clock Tribe. Ex.: Mira- 
bilis (Marvel of Peru, Four o'clock). Roots of some are purga- 

Polygonace^e. The Buckwheat Tribe. Ex. : Polygonum 
(Knot-grass), Rheum (Rhubarb), Rumex (Dock). The roots 
are purgative. The leaves of some are agreeably acid, and 
one species produces Buckwheat. 

PhytolaccacEjE. The only American member is Phyto- 
lacca decandra (Poke, or Julap). The root is emetic, but lit- 
tle is known as to its properties. 

Laurace-e. The Cinnamon Tribe. Trees or shrubs. 
Ex. : Laurus, Sassafras. All the species possess pungent, 
stimulant and aromatic properties. Camphor is the gum of an 
Asian species. Cinnamon, Cassia, and Sassafras are obtained 
from others. 

SantalacejE. The Sandal-wood Tribe. Ex.: Nyssa 
(Pepperidge, Sour-gum, &c.), Santalum, which produces the 
fragrant Sandal- wood. 

Thymelaceje. In this order the only North American 
genus is Dirca (Leather-wood). The bark is acrid and very 

Eleaginace.s:. Shepherdia Canadensis is sometimes cum- 

The Natural System of Botany. 333 

vated. The foliage is silvery, and covered with a kind of 

Ulmace m. The Elm Tribe. A small order, of which Ul- 
mus (The Elm) is the principal genus. The mucilaginous bark 
of the Slippery Elm is the only medicinal product. 

Saururace^e. Aquatic herbs. Ex.: Saururus (Lizard's- 
tail). No important properties. 

Ceratophyllacejb. Consists of the single genus, Cerato- 
phyllum, a floating plant sometimes called Horn wort. 

CallitrichacejE. Also contains a single genus, common 
to both Europe and America, Callitriche, a little aquatic herb. 

Podostemace^e. Insignificant aquatics. Ex. : Podoste- 
mum (Thread-foot.) 

Euphorbiacejs. The Spurge Tribe. A small order, but 
containing some important plants. Their properties are gene- 
rally acrid and poisonous, contained in their milky juice. The 
root-stock of one species furnishes Tapioca ; the seeds of ano- 
ther afford Castor-oil, and those of another Croton-oii. Box- 
wood, the dye called Turnsole, and Caoutchouc are the pro- 
ducts of other species. Some of the order are violently poison- 
ous, and their juice will immediately blister the skin. 

EmpetracejE. The Crow-berry Tribe. Small evergreen 
shrubs. Ex. : Empetrum (The Crow-berry). 

JuglandacEjE. The Walnut Tribe. In this order are 
found some of the most valuable timber trees, as Black Wal- 
nut, and Hickory. Some of them also afford edible nuts. 

Cupulifer^e. The Oak Tribe. Important trees. Ex.: 
Quercus (The Oak), Castanea (The Chestnut), Corylus (The 
Hazel), Carpinus (The Hornbeam). The bark is mostly astrin- 

MTRicACEiE. The Gale Tribe. Aromatic shrubs. Ex.: 
Myrica (Sweet Gale, Bayberry, Candle-berry or Wax Myrtle), 
Comptonia (Sweet Fern). 

Betulace J3. The Birch Tribe. Trees and shrubs. Ex. : 
Betula (The Birch), Alnus (The Alder). 

Salicaceje. The Willow Tribe. Ex. : Salix (The Wil- 
low), Populus (The Poplar). The bark is astringent and 

Balsamifluje. Contains the single genus Liquidambar, 

334 The Natural System of Botany. 

called Sweet Gum, from the aromatic balsam which is derived 
from it. 

Platanacejb. This order contains only the genus Pl a . 
tanus (Plane-tree, Button-ball or Sycamore), a very large and 
noble tree. 

Urticace.£. The Nettle Tribe. This is a large order of 
trees, shrubs and herbs. It is divided into four sub-orders : 

1. Artocarpejs. Tropical plants. Ex.: Artocarpus (The 

2. More*:. Ex. : Morus (The Mulberry), Ficus (The Fig). 

3. UrticejE. Ex. : Urtica (The Nettle). 

4. CannabinejE. Ex. : Cannabis (The Hemp), Humulus 
(The Hop.) • 

The juice of nearly all the order is deleterious, while the 
fruit is generally harmless. That terrible poison, the Bokon 
Upas, is the inspissated juice of a species of Antiaris. Ficus 
religiosa is the renowned Banyan tree; F. Indica produces 
Gum lac ; F. Carica affords the Fig. Bread-fruit is the pro- 
duct of Artocarpus, and Mulberries of Morus nigra. Every- 
one knows the uses of Hops and of Hemp, and the unpleasant 
properties of the Nettle. 

Class II. — Gymnospermous Exogenous Plants. 

The Gymnosperms are distinguished by their truly naked 
seeds. The ovules are not enclosed in a pericarp, and are 
fertilized without a pistil. 

Conifers. The Fir Tribe. Perhaps there is not a more 
important order than this. It contains some of the noblest of 
all trees, which furnish the timber and the resinous matters so 
universally used. Differences in the structure of the flowers 
and fruit have caused the following sub-divisions to be adopted : 

1. Abietine-e. Ex.: Pinus (The Pine), Abies (The Fir or 

2. Cupressine^e. Ex. : Cupressus (The Cypress), Juni- 
perus, (Juniper and Red Cedar). 

3. Taxineje. Ex.: Taxus (The Yew-tree.) 
Cycadace-e. These are singular tropical plants, with un- 

branched, cylindrical trunks. Their fruit, like that of the 

Vegetable Physiology, 396 

pines, is a strobilus or cone. Ex : Zamia, a species of which 
is called Coontie in Florida, and from the thickened stems of 
which is made a kind of Arrow root. From the trunk of Cy- 
cas, is obtained a kind of Sago. 




When leaves are first produced, they are small, delicate in 
texture, pale in color, and packed closely together, forming 
what is called a leaf-bud. Some of the outer ones are gene- 
rally more firm in texture and darker in color, and fold over 
each other so as to protect the more tender ones within. These 
are often quite different from the other leaves in aspect, and 
are usually called scales ; but the distinction is not real, since 
on opening the bud, it will be seen that they pass gradually 
into true leaves. The young leaves are beautifully folded 
together, in such a manner as to occupy the least possible 
space, and the mode in which this is done differs in different 
families of plants. Any one may examine this, with the cer- 
tainty of being greatly interested, by cutting through the leaf- 
buds with a sharp knife, when they are swelling, but before 
they begin to expand.* The outer scales are sometimes 
covered with a thick down, as a protection against cold, and 
sometimes, as in the Horse-chestnut, they are coated with a 
gummy substance. In most buds, the young leaves may be 
easily observed to be arranged around a common centre or 

* An excellent subject for this purpose is the leaf-bud of the Tulip-Tree. 
The buds are large, and the vernation very curious, being of the kind termed 

336 Vegetable Physiology. 

axis. As the branch grows, the insertions of the leaves, which 
were at first close together, become separated by the lengthen- 
ing of the branch ; and they then usually assume something of 
a spiral arrangement around it. This may be regarded as the 
regular mode in which leaves are arranged. Starting from any 
one leaf, we shall generally find the next leaf not exactly 
above or below it, but alittle on one side of the perpendicular* 
the next a little to one side of the last, and so on. The num- 
ber of leaves taken to complete the spiral varies in different 
plants. Sometimes it amounts to twenty or more. Sometimes 
we find only two, in which case they are nearly on opposite 
sides of the stem, but one is higher up than the other. Such 
leaves are said to be alternate. The point of the stem at which 
the leaf originates, is termed a node, and the space between 
two nodes is an internode. 

Now although it is considered the regular mode of growth 
for a branch or stem to lengthen equally throughout, yet many 
varieties in the arrangement of leaves are met with, occasioned 
by the cessation of growth at particular points. Thus, if the 
internode between any two alternate leaves is not developed, 
they will be opposite to each other. Again, where each spiral 
turn contains several leaves, if all the internodes between the 
highest and the lowest be undeveloped, these leaves will arise 
from the same point of the stem, still growing, however, in 
their proper directions ; so that a complete circle of leaves, 
resembling that of the leafy parts of a regular flower, will be 
produced. This is called a whorl or verticil. There are some 
plants which exhibit the true spiral arrangement, as their regu- 
lar mode of growth ; others in which the leaves are constantly 
opposite ; and in some they are always verticillate. 

But there are many species which present differences in 
arrangement in the same individual, according to the circum- 
stances under which each part has been developed ; and by 
such examples the connexion between the several modes of 
growth is perceived. Thus, in the Rhododendron, the leaves 
are sometimes opposite, and sometimes alternate. In the 
Honeysuckle, they are naturally verticillate ; but the whorls are 
broken up, and the leaves carried to a distance from one ano- 
ther, by anything which causes an increased developement of 

Vegetable Physiology. 337 

the stem, just as when any leaf-bud (whose young leaves are 
arranged in a series of whorls, one above or within another) is 
elongated into a branch. On the other hand, in the Straw- 
berry, the leaves, which are usually alternate, become oppo- 
site, or whorled at intervals. It is to be remarked that, when 
leaves are opposite, the several pairs are not in a line with one 
another above and below, but each pair is at right angles to 
the next ; so that, if the internode between two pairs were 
undeveloped, a whorl of four leaves would be produced. 
Again, when one whorl is developed near another, their leaves 
do not issue from corresponding points in the stem, but are 
arranged in such a manner that the leaves of one arise from 
what seem to be the intervals of those of the other, so that the 
whorls are alternate to each other. It is clearly shown that the 
several parts of the flower are arranged exactly on the same 

It is by the developement of leaf-buds into branches bearing 
leaves, and capable of producing flowers and fruit, that the 
tree or plant is increased in size. The leaf-bud has also the 
power of developing roots, if removed from the parent, and may 
thus form a completely independent structure. It is by sepa- 
rating the buds, and by placing these in circumstances favor- 
able to their growth, that any particular variety of plant may 
be propagated with more certainty than by seeds. As every 
bud is thus capable of maintaining an independent existence, 
it may be regarded as in some degree a distinct individual ; 
and thus a tree would not be one being, but a collection of 
many. This is in part true ; still it must be considered, that 
while they all remain upon one stem, they depend upon it for 
nourishment, and are liable to be influenced by the same cir- 
cumstances which affect it. Still it is quite possible for some 
buds to live while others die. Thus if arsenic be introduced 
into any portion of the sap-wood, it will give such a poisonous 
character to the fluid, that all the buds and branches above it 
will be killed, while those below remain uninjured. It has 
even occurred that a single bud at the summit of a stem has 
preserved its life, while the vitality of all the others, and of the 
stem, has been in some manner destroyed ; and that from this 
hud have been sent down bundles of root-fibres between the 

338 Vegetable Physiology. 

bark and wood of the dead stem. These fibres have reached 
the ground, supplied nutriment to the expanding bud, which 
has at length formed a perfect tree, enclosing the original dead 


Leaf-buds are always formed from the cellular portion of the 
stem or branches, on which the function of extending the 
growth of the individual seems especially imposed. They 
may be distinctly traced in young branches to the pith ; and 
where this has dried up, they may be seen to arise from the 
medullary rays. Sometimes they are stunted in their growth, 
and instead of being developed into branches, they remain as 
thorns, or rather spines. That spines are really produced from 
the leaf-buds may be easily ascertained by examining a grow- 
ing shoot of the common Barberry, when their different states 
of developement will be observed. 

The influence of light in producing the green color of leaves, 
is remarkably shown when the buds are unfolding. The 
stronger the sunshine, the sooner will they assume their charac- 
teristic hue ; and on the other hand, in dark dull weather, they 
will remain for days together almost of the same color as be- 
fore they expanded. If during a continuance of rainy wea- 
ther, the buds of a forest expand, their hue remains pale until 
the sun appears, when within a few hours they assume their 
full green color. One writer mentions a forest in this country, 
on which the sun had not shone for twenty days. " The 
leaves during this period were expanded to their full size, but 
were almost white. One forenoon the sun began to shine is 
full brightness ; the color of the forest absolutely changed «o 
fast that we could perceive its progress. By the middle of the 
afternoon, the whole of this extensive forest, many miles in 
length, presented its usual summer dress." 




Still lower in the scale of creation than Ferns, are Mosses. 
Up to the present moment, a microscope has rarely been neces- 
sary in our studies; whenever I have recommended you to 
employ it, the subject would usually have admitted of your dis- 
pensing with its aid, if you pleased. But from henceforth it 
must be constantly in your hand, and every observation must 
be made with it. You will, however, find abundance of most 
curious and interesting results, to indemnify you for the trouble 
it will give you. 

Mosses are among the smallest of plants with true leaves ; 
they are often so minute that the whole specimen, leaves, 
stem, fruit and all, would escape the eye, if they did not grow 
in patches ; and they never, in the largest kinds, exceed the 
height of a few inches. Nevertheless, they are organized in a 
manner far more complete than Ferns, although they are desti- 
tute of air vessels and breathing pores. • Mosses are usually 
the first plants that show themselves on rocks, or walls, or bar- 
ren places, where no other vegetation can establish itself; pro- 
vided the air is damp, they will flourish there, and in time, lay 
the foundation of a bed of vegetable mould, in which the roots 
of grasses, and other stronger plants, may find support, till they 
in their turn have decayed and prepared the way for shrubs 
and trees. This is the usual order observed by nature in con- 
verting the face of rocks into vegetable mould ; and thus you 
see Mosses have to perform the office of pioneers to larger 
plants, an office for which one would have thought their Lilli- 
putian size would hardly have qualified them. 

Mosses are formed upon precisely the same plan as flowering 
plants, as far as the arrangement of their organs of vegetation. 
They have in all cases a stem, or axis, however minute, round 
which the leaves are disposed with the greatest symmetry : 
they have the parts which answer to seeds, enclosed in a case ; 
and this case is elevated on a stalk, which arises from among 
the leaves. But beyond this, analogy ceases : in all other 

340 Mosses. 

points of structure, the Moss tribe is of a mest singular nature 
Mosses are said to be in fruit, when the stems are furnished 
with brown hollow cases, seated on a long stalk. It is chiefly 
of this fruit, or theca, or sporangium, and its modifications 
that we make use in distinguishing the genera. Let it there- 
fore engage our attention first. No species can be more com- 
mon than Wall Tortula (Tortula muralis), dark tufts of which 
are found everywhere, upon the north side of walls, growing 
out of the mortar. The theca of this plant wears a little cap 
not unlike that of the Norman peasant women, with its hi<*h 
peak, and long lappets : this part is called a calyptra : when 
young, it was rolled round the theca, so as completely to cover 
it over, like an extinguisher; but when the stalk of the theca 
lengthened, the calyptra was torn away from its support, and 
carried up upon the tip. After a certain time, the calyptra 
drops off; and at that time the theca is in the best state for ex- 
amination. You will find it terminated by a conical lid, or 
operculum, which is thrown off when the spores, or reproduc- 
tive parts, are fit to be dispersed. When the lid has been thus 
spontaneously thrown off, a new and peculiar set of parts 
come in view — you will find that the lid covered a kind of 
tuft of twisted hairs, which at first look as if they stopped up 
the mouth of the theca. But if you cut a theca perpendicu- 
larly from the bottom to the top, you will learn from the sectional 
view that you will obtain of the parts, that, in reality, the 
hairs arise from within the rim of the theca, in a single row. 
These hairs are named, in Botany, the teeth of the fringe, or 
peristome,' the latter term designating the ring of hairs. The 
nature of the fringe varies in different genera; sometimes it 
consists of two rows of teeth, differing from each other in size 
or number, or arrangement : some have only four teeth, others 
eight, or sixteen, or thirty-two, or sixty-four ; in all cases, their 
number is some multiple of four; a curious circumstance, which 
shows the great simplicity of design that is observed in the 
construction of these minute objects. The fringe is not, how- 
ever, always present : there is a small section of the Moss 
Tribe, all the genera of which are destitute of this singular or- 
gan. What office it may have to perform, we can only guess. 
It seems to be connected with the dispersion of the spores ; and 

Mosses. 341 

often acts in the most beautiful hygrometrical manner. If you 
take the theca of this Tortula, for example, when dry, and put 
it in a damp place, or in water, its teeth will uncoil, and disen- 
tangle themselves with a graceful and steady motion, which is 
beautiful to look upon. 

It is in the inside of the theca that the spores are confined. 
They lie there in a thin bag, which is open at the upper end, 
and which surrounds a central column, called the columella. 
They are exceeding^ minute, and not unlike the spores 
of Ferns. The study of the distinctions of Mosses, requires 
great care and attention, and much skill in the use of the micro- 
scope. It has sometimes occupied the undivided attention of 
botanists, and cannot be prosecuted without much leisure and 

When we quit Mosses and other plants of a similar nature, 
we find ourselves among beings in which all traces of stem 
and leaves have disappeared, and which consist of nothing 
but thin horizontal expansions of vegetable matter, in which a 
few harder, and differently formed kernels or shields are im- 
bedded. In some of these the color is yellow, brown, or 
green ; the texture of the expansion leafy ; and the margin cut 
up into many lobes — these are most nearly related to leafy and 
more perfect plants. In others, the expansion is merely a thin 
crust, which readily crumbles in pieces, the species having 
scarcely vital energy enough to keep the cells of which they 
are composed in a state of cohesion. Such plants as these are 
called Lichens. They are found chiefly in the temperate or 
colder regions of the earth. Some of them crawl upon the 
surface of the earth, spreading their dingy, cold, and damp 
bodies over whole plains in the desolate regions of the north : 
others spring up on the branches of trees, and hang down from 
them like gray and netted beards, giving the unfortunate plants 
of which they take possession a hoary, wintry aspect, even in 
summer: -some overrun old walls, stones, and rocks, to which 
they communicate those wild and agreeable tints, which ren- 
der ancient ruins so pleasing to the eye ; and, finally, a fourth 
description of Lichens establish themselves upon the bark of 
living trees, occasionally burying themselves beneath the skin 

342 Mosses. 

through which their fields alone peep forth in the strange 
form of the letters of some eastern tongue. 

Plants of this tribe have no parts in the smallest decree 
resembling flowers ; they have no certain mode of multiplying 
themselves, except by the dispersion of little spores, which are 
nothing but exceedingly minute cells, that are lodged in the 
centre of the shields. These are very difficult to find ; you 
may, however, make them out, if you observe the following 
directions. Take the full grown shield of any Lichen ; with 
a sharp knife divide it perpendicularly ; then shave off the 
thinnest possible slice of one of the faces, and drop it into 
water ; place it on the glass stage of a microscope, and illumi- 
nate it from below. You will thus be able to perceive that the 
kernel consists of a crowd of minute compact fibres, planted 
perpendicularly upon a bed of cellular substance ; and that in 
the midst of the fibres there is a great number of little oblong 
bags, filled with transparent cells ; the bags are theceae, the 
cells are spores ; and it is to the latter that the Lichen has to 
trust for its perpetuation. 

Notwithstanding their minuteness and uninviting appearance, 
several of them are of considerable importance to man and 
animals. The Arctic Gyrophoras, called, by the Canadians, 
Tripe de Roche, were the only food that the daring travellers, 
Franklin, Richardson and Back, were for a long time able to. 
procure, in the horrible countries they so fearlessly visited in 
the cause of science ; Reindeer Moss (Cladonia rangiferina) is 
the winter food of the reindeer of the Laplanders ; Iceland Moss 
(Cetraria Islandica) furnishes a nutritious food for the invalid ; 
and, finally, the production of Orchil, by Rocella tinctoria, is 
an indication of the value of some species to the manufac- 
turer, as dyes. 

Paulownia Imperialis. 343 


This fine tree, although so lately introduced into this country, 
is fast becoming a favorite. Its heavy, rich foliage, and hand- 
some flowers, make it a conspicuous object in shrubberies, and 
it is found to be quite hardy. The following account of the 
Paulownia is taken from a good English authority, and from 
information afforded by an extensive nurseryman in New-York. 
The Paulownia is a native of Japan, and grows, in that 
country, to the height of thirty or forty feet, with a trunk two 
or three feet in diameter. The branches are few, but strong ; 
and they proceed from the trunk at right angles. The leaves 
are very large and broad ; and the flowers, which singly re- 
semble those of the Fox-glove, are produced in large terminal 
panicles, like those of the Horse-chestnut, or the Catalpa. At 
a little distance, indeed, the Paulownia strongly resembles the 
latter tree, except in the color of its flowers ; but the seed-ves- 
sels are very different; that of the Catalpa being a long, 
horn-like pod ; and that of the Paulownia an oval-shaped 
nut. The Paulownia is in the Natural Order, Scrophularinse, 
and the Linnaean Class and Order, Didynamia, Angiospermia. 
According to our authority, the method of its introduction into 
Europe, was the following. 

In 1834, M. Neumann, the chief gardener in the Jardin des 
Plantes, at Paris, received some seeds, in a little China pot, 
from Japan. He sowed them in a flower-pot, which he placed 
in the hot-house ; but only one seed vegetated. This plant he 
nourished with great care ; but it grew slowly, and appeared 
sickly. As he observed that after it lost its leaves in Autumn, 
the heat of the stove made it bud again immediately, he felt 
convinced that the stove was too hot for it ; and he removed it 
to the green-house, which evidently suited it better, though 
still it grew slowly. He now took some cuttings from his 
plant, which struck readily ; and he then ventured to remove 
the parent plant into the open air. It immediately began to 
grow vigorously; and though only six inches high when 
planted in spring, it became three feet high before autumn, 

344 Pauloimia Itnperialis. 

growing with a strong, erect stem, and forming a large, bushv 
head. As soon as winter approached, it lost all its leaves it 
once, like the Catalpa, without their becoming withered * but 
it regained them early in the following spring, and grew so 
rapidly, that in July, 1840, it was nearly twelve feet high. It 
was then growing vigorously, and had a profusion of fine 
large leaves, which cast a refreshing shade. M.Neumann pro- 
tected it for several winters with mats, but he afterwards 
found it quite hardy; and in the winter of 1838-9, when the 
thermometer was below zero, it did not lose even the tips of 
its branches. Some of its leaves measured fifteen inches in 
breadth, by eighteen in length. 

This plant is called Kiri by the Japanese, and Too, or 
Haktoo, by the Chinese ; and it was named Paulownia imueri- 
alts by Dr. Sieboldt, in honor of the hereditary Princess of the 
Netherlands, who was one of the daughters of the Emperor of 
Russia. It will grow in any common garden soil that is toler- 
ably dry, and somewhat loamy : but in moist, peaty soil, the 
leaves turn yellow, and fall off. It strikes readily from cut- 
tings, and it may also be propagated by division of the roots. 

Our American authority states that " the Paulownia was 
introduced into this country about five years ago. It is per- 
fectly hardy in this latitude (that of New-York) ; the height to 
which it will attain here, is, of course, not known to me ; but 
I presume it will be a similar tree, in that respect, to the Ca- 
talpa, which it much resembles. It flowers at the end of May, 
and beginning of June. The flowers are of a bluish lilac co- 
lor, sweet scented, and in form and size like Fox-glove. My 
tree was four years old, and was covered with flowers this 
spring (1847) for the first time. Trees now sell for from fifty 
cents to two dollars each, from four to twelve feet high. 

Aylmer Bourke Lambert. 345 


The gentleman whose name heads this article, is one of the 
most munificent patrons of botanical science in England. He 
has published a magnificent work on the Pines and Firs ; and 
he possesses probably the finest library of botanical works in 
Europe. He has also a most splendid and extensive herbarium, 
containing, among other rarities, the botanical specimens col- 
lected by Ruis and Pavou for the Flora Peruviana ; the dried 
plants of Pursh, used for his North American Sylva ; the dried 
specimens of Pallas, and those of many other celebrated bot- 
anists. Besides these collections, which possess a high degree 
of historical interest, in addition to their intrinsic value, Mr. 
Lambert's herbarium is continually being increased by addi- 
tions from every part of the world. He possesses a splendid 
collection of the Banksias and Proteas, those extraordinary 
plants of Australia, the novelty and beautiful appearance of 
which procured for the coast where they were first seen, the 
name of Botany Bay. From the tropical regions of the west- 
ern hemisphere, Mr. Lambert has some extraordinary speci- 
mens of Cactus, some of which are the only ones of the kind 
in Europe. A volume would be required to describe all the 
rarities of Mr. Lambert's collections. 

In the early days of the establishment of the Linnaean 
Society, Sir Joseph Banks was in the habit of assembling 
around him, on stated days, all the most celebrated persons 
connected with botany and the other branches of natural his- 
tory. All newly discovered plants, all important discoveries, 
and in short, all that was interesting in these most interesting 
sciences, was there discussed, before it was given to the pub- 
lic ; and, as every one must have observed that new ideas are 
frequently elicited by persons skilled in similar pursuits, which 
would not have occurred to the closest student when alone, 
there can be no doubt that these meetings were of the greatest 
service in promulgating and elucidating the natural sciences. 

What Sir Joseph Banks's meetings were in his day, Mr. 
Lambert's are at the present time. Every Saturday during 

346 Plants in Sleeping Rooms. 

the London season, his reception rooms are crowded with per- 
sons eminent ibr their learning and talents, not only English- 
men, but foreigners. It is impossible for any person to be 
more kind and liberal than is Mr. Lambert, with all this 
power to oblige. His books and »Jiis herbarium are always 
open to the use of all literary persons, and many important 
works have owed their origin and progress to him. " Without 
the herbarium of Mr. Lambert,' 1 says Loudon, in the preface to 
his great Encyclopedia of Plants, " this work could not have 
been completed." A large number of the excellent wood-cuts 
with which that useful book is illustrated, were engraved from 
specimens in Mr. Lambert's collection. His librarian is, or 
was, David Don, Esq., whose botanical publications are well 


It is not many months since a case was reported of the 
death of a lady, supposed to be caused by her sleeping in a 
close room which contained a number of plants. This was pro- 
bably the true cause of the catastrophe, and its explanation on 
chemical principles, is not difficult. It has been stated in one 
of our articles on Vegetable Physiology, that carbonic acid gas, 
a very deleterious substance, is absorbed from the atmosphere, 
and decomposed by the leaves of plants, when under the in- 
fluence of a strong light — oxygen being at the same time 
evolved. Now the process of human respiration produces an 
effect exactly the reverse. The lungs decompose the atmos- 
pheric air, but retain its oxygen, which acts upon the blood, 
while the carbonic acid is evolved. Thus plant? in rooms are 
rather beneficial than otherwise by day, since they then absorb 
the carbonic acid produced by breathing the air, and leave the 
oxygen. But in the darkness of night, the process is reversed. 
Their leaves then give out carbonic acid gas, and retain oxygen. 
A superabundance of the former gas always produces stupor, 
head-ache, and a sense of suffocation in those who breathe it, 

The Palms. 347 

and in an un ventilated room, where no fresh air can come in, 
it is very likely to be productive of the most pernicious effects. 
A sleeping room, therefore, where plants are kept, ought always 
to be so arranged as to receive plenty of air from without, 
unless, which is better still, the plants should not be allowed 
to remain in it at night. 


Thb Palms exceed most other plants in size, and surpass 
them all in grandeur, and majesty of aspect. They naturally, 
therefore, commanded the earliest attention of mankind ; and 
the innumerable purposes to which their fruit, their leaves, 
and their stems have been applied, as food, clothing and shel- 
ter, have worthily retained for them that regard which their 
beauty at first excited. They all bear a strong general re- 
semblance to each other, and hence were early distinguished 
by a peculiar name. They are mostly remarkable for the size 
and strength of their stems, which usually shoot up to a great 
height from the ground, tapering gracefully from the base to 
the summit, and surmounted with a magnificent crown of gi- 
gantic leaves. These towering stems, which, when growing 
in sheltered situations, are often perfectly straight, sometimes 
attain the height of two hundred feet, or even more. Other 
species, however, have stems which trail along the ground, 
sometimes to the length of five hundred feet. The Palms are 
remarkable for the prodigious developement of their organs 
of fructification. A single bunch of the staminiferous flowers 
of the Date contains about twelve thousand ; whilst another 
species has been estimated to bear above two hundred thou- 
sand in one cluster, and three times that number on each tree. 
Although the flowers are frequently complete, each containing 
both stamens and pistils, they are more frequently polygamous ; 
that is, both complete and incomplete flowers are borne on the 
same individual. They are crowded together in large clus- 
ters, upon a stalk, which is termed a spadix, having an enor- 

343 The Palms. 

mous bract developed from its base, called a spathe, which 
enwraps them all. The perianth consists of a calyx and 
corolla, each in three pieces. The stamens are commonly six 
in number ; sometimes, however, only three ; and occasionally 
indefinite. The ovary is superior, generally divided into three 
cells, of which each contains a seed. The styles and stigmas 
of the three carpels are more or less adherent. In the ripe 
fruit, however, it is commonly found that the seed of only one 
cell has been developed, and that the other cells are therefore 
obliterated. In the common Cocoa-nut we have an example 
of this : the fruit when covered with the husk is evidently 
three-lobed ; and when the husk is detached, the shell exhibits 
three spots upon its rounded end, of which two are hard, while 
the other is soft, and easily perforated. The fibrous husk is 
the outer wall of the ovarium ; the shell is the inner wall, with 
which the seed is in close contact. If the cocoa-nut be cut 
through lengthwise, by a section passing through the middle 
of the soft spot, it will be found that the small embryo is just 
beneath it, lying in the midst of the firm, fleshy albumen ; and 
we understand, therefore, that the two hard spots indicate the 
positions of the two embryos which have not been developed. 
In the Date-Palms, the staminiferous and pistilliferous flowers 
grow on separate trees ; and the fertilization of the latter is 
dependent upon the conveyance of the pollen from the former, 
which is usually accomplished by the agency of the wind, of 
insects, &c. But if unseasonable weather, or any accident, 
should prevent this, the Date crops entirely fail, or the fruit is 
degenerate, and unfit for food. In order to prevent such an 
occurrence, the Arabs, many tribes of whom rely almost en- 
tirely on this tree for their supplies of food, have long been ac- 
customed to gather the stamineous clusters, and to hang them 
over the pistilline flowers ; and they even lay up stores of pol- 
len from year to year. When they make inroads into districts 
inhabited by hostile tribes, they cut down the stamen-bearing 
Palms, as one of the most severe injuries they can inflict. 

The stems of Palms are the best of all examples of Endo- 
genous structure. They are frequently so dense externally, as 
to bear the stroke of a sharp hatchet, without injury. This is 
caused by the very close interweaving of the woody bundles 

The Palms. 349 

■ • • — 

that descend from the leaves, with those previously forming 

the exterior. In most of the species with long, slender, trailing 
stems, the outside is additionally hardened by a copious depo- 
sition o[ silex, as in the grasses. This is especially the case 
with the Rattan, which will readily strike fire with steel. 

Palms are exclusively confined to the regions bordering on 
the tropics in both hemispheres. Their chief habitation is in 
South America, where they mostly abound in the low and hu- 
mid parts of the country, though some species rise upon the 
sides of mountains, almost to the limits of perpetual snow. In 
general, each species is confined within very narrow bounds. 
It is related by Humboldt, that in travelling through the cen- 
tral part of South America, he found a new species at almost 
every fifty miles. Although nearly two-thirds of the Palms 
at present known are natives of South America, none have yet 
been found in South Africa, where the distance from the 
Equator is the same. Some species, however, appear to be 
very easily spread by the agency of man, or by natural 
causes ; and this is especially the case in regard to those which 
are most capable of being made useful to man. The Cocoa- 
nut, for example, is found in almost all the islands of the Poly- 
nesian Archipelago, even in those as yet untenanted by man. 
This is easily accounted for, when it is considered that the 
Cocoa-nut may float a long time in the sea, without any injury 
to the seed, which is protected by the fibrous husk, and dense 
shell : but when cast up by currents of the ocean on the low 
shores of these islands, the husk gradually separates, under 
the combined influences of the sun, air, and moisture, by 
which the seed is then excited to germination. 

It would be impossible here to enumerate all the uses to 
which the various parts of these important trees, and their 
products, are applied by the inhabitants of the countries where 
they abound ; since these include almost every one for which 
all other tribes of the Vegetable Kingdom are employed by 
those who respectively possess them. Wine, oil, wax, flour, 
sugar, salt, says the celebrated traveller, Humboldt, are the 
produce of this tribe ; whilst their fabric affords the materials 
of the habitations, weapons, and clothing of many nations. 
The exterior of the stems, of most species, affords a wood 

360 Palms. 

- • . _ 

which is extremely valuable for its hardness, sometimes even 
taking a very high polish. In some countries this is the only 
kind of timber the inhabitants possess ; and it therefore serves 
all the purposes for which wood is required. Of the hardest 
parts, weapons are usually manufactured, and these possess 
such density as to be no unfit match for those of iron. Sections 
of the stem, the soft interior being removed, are converted into 
drums ; and the stems, split lengthwise, and channelled out, 
are employed as conduits for water. The soft interior, in most 
of the large-stemmed species, consists entirely of cellular tissue, 
and usually contains a large quantity of starch, which renders 
it very nutritious. This is obtained as food from many spe- 
cies, but especially from the Sago Palm, in which it is particu- 
larly abundant. The unexpanded buds of many species also 
furnish a wholesome article of food. Those of the Cabbage 
Palm of the West Indies are very commonly boiled and eaten, 
when they have a flavor very similar to that of the ordinary 
Cabbage. This Palm is one of the stateliest and most elegant 
of the whole tribe. The leaves of many species are used en- 
tire to form thatch, fences, and fuel ; the midribs furnish oars; 
and the fibres of the leaves are spun into thread, of which 
cords, ropes, and various woven fabrics are made. The ropes 
manufactered from the fibres of the Cocoa-nut husk are equal 
in strength to hemp ; and for cables are said to be superior, 
on account of their great elasticity. The sap of some Palms 
is a very pleasant, sweet beverage ; and by fermentation it 
makes a sort of wine, or affords the material for distilling the 
spirit called Arrack. The Date and the Cocoa Palms furnish 
well-known and valuable fruits. Upon the Date subsist almost 
entirely a great part of the inhabitants of Egypt, Arabia, and 
Persia. A single tree will bear upwards of a hundred weight 
of dates in a season, and sometimes more than twice that 
amount. They come into bearing at from six to ten years of 
age, and are fruitful for more than two hundred years. Abont 
two hundred species of Palm are known ; and it has been 
estimated that the total number of species may probably 
amount to a thousand, many hundreds yet remaining to be 

English Trees. 351 


The parks abound with trees of extraordinary age and size. 
They are not like trees of our original forests, growing up to 
a great height, and on account of the crowded state of the 
neighborhood throwing out but few lateral branches ; but what 
they want in height they gain in breadth ; and if I may be 
excused for a hard word, in umbrageousness. I measured one 
in Lord Bagot's celebrated park in Staffordshire, and, going 
round the outside of the branches, keeping within droopings of 
the circuit, was a hundred yards. The circumference of some 
of the celebrated oaks in the park of the Duke of Portland, 
which we measured together, when he did me the kindness to 
accompany me through his grounds, seemed worthy of record. 
The little Porter Oak measured twenty-seven feet in circum- 
ference ; the Porter Oak is twenty-nine feet in circumference ; 
the Seven Sisters, thirty-three feet in circumference. The 
great Porter Oak was of very large diameter, fifty feet above 
the ground ; and an opening in the trunk of Green Dale Oak, 
was at one time large enough to admit the passage of a small 
carriage through it : by advancing years the open space has 
become somewhat contracted. These indeed are noble trees, 
though it must be confessed that they were thrown quite into 
the shade by the magnificent Buttonwood or Sycamore, of 
whose trunk I saw a complete section exhibited at Derby, 
measuring twenty-five feet in diameter, and seventy-five feet 
in circumference. This was brought from the United States ; 
and indeed might well be denominated the mammoth of the 

In these ancient parks, oaks and beeches are the predomi- 
nant trees, with occasional chestnuts and ashes. These trees 
are looked on with great veneration ; in many cases they are 
numbered ; in some a label is affixed to them, giving their age ; 
sometimes a stone monument is erected, saying when or by 
whom this forest or this clump was planted, and commonly 
some family record is kept of them, as a part of the family 

352 English Trees. 

history. I respect this trait in the character of the English, 
and I sympathize with them in their veneration for old trees. 
They are the growth often of centuries, and the monument of 
years gone by. 

I cannot quite enter into the enthusiasm of an excellent friend 
who 1 used to say that the cutting down of an old tree ought to 
be made a capital offence at law : yet I deem it most sacrile- 
gious to destroy them, excepting where necessity demands it ; 
and I would always advise that an old tree, standing in a con- 
spicuous station, either for use or ornament, should be at least 
once more wintered and summered, before the sentence of 
death which may be passed upon it is carried into execution. 

The trees in the park of the palace of Hampton Court, are 
many of them the horse-chestnut and the lime, of great size, 
and eminent beauty, several straight lines of them forming for 
a long distance the approach to the palace. On a clear, bright 
day, at the season of their flowering, I passed through this 
magnificent avenue, with inexpressible delight. I passed 
through them again late in the autumn, when the frost had 
marred their beauty, and the autumnal gales had stripped off 
their leaves ; but they were still venerable in the simple ma- 
jesty of their gigantic and spreading forms. I could not help 
reflecting with grateful emotion on that beneficent power which 
shall presently breathe upon the apparently lifeless statues, 
and clothe them with the glittering foliage of spring, and the 
rich and splendid glories of summer. So be it with those who 
have gone far into the autumn, or stand shivering in the winter 
of life. — Coleman's European Agriculture. 

The Dahlia. 353 


Natural Order, Composite ; Linnaean System, Syngenesia, Superflua. 
Generic Characters : Involucre, double ; exterior, many-leaved ; interior, 
eight-parted ; receptacle, flat, chaffy ; flowers of the disk, tubular, her- 
maphrodite; those of the ray, ligulate, female or neuter; achenium, 

J), crocata. Stem erect, fleshy, hollow, branched in the upper part ; lower 
leaves bipinnate, or tripinnate ; leaflets ovate, acuminate, obtusely serrate ; 
achenia linear. — PI. 47. , 

Few flowers are now better known, or more generally culti- 
vated, than the Dahlia ; but notwithstanding its present popu- 
larity, its early history is not generally known. The first 
printed account of the Dahlia is said to be in Hernandez's 
History of Mexico, published in Madrid, in 1651 ; in which two 
species are figured, under the name of Acocotli. Both of these 
are single flowers, and one appears to be D. crocata, and the 
other D. variabilis or superflua. There was, however, an 
Italian work on the Natural History of Mexico, published at 
Rome about the same time, which had not only a single but a 
double Dahlia figured in it. In both these works the plants 
are described as having tuberous roots, of a strong and bitter 
taste; and Hernandez says that the Mexicans used these 
roots medicinally as a tonic. It is not a little singular, that a 
plant so showy as the Dahlia, should have remained from this 
time unnoticed for a period of more than one hundred and thirty 
years. Yet such was the case ; for the next mention of it is 
made by M. Menonville, who was sent to Mexico by the 
French Government, in 1787, to endeavor to steal the cochi- 
neal insect and plant from the Spaniards. This botanist only 
saw some Dahlias growing in a garden near Guaxaca, and he 
describes them as having large aster-like flowers, stems as tall 
as a man, and leaves like those of the elder. In 1789, D. va- 
riabilis was discovered in a wild state in Mexico by Baron 
Humboldt, and sent by him to the Abbe Cavanilles, then Pro- 
fessor of Botany at Madrid. The Marchioness of Bute was at 
that time a great patroness of floriculture in England, and 
Vol. I.— 23. 


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ickt/rnutn'j- /.//// 

354 The Dahlia, 

being in correspondence with the Professors at the different 
botanic gardens in Europe, Cavanilles sent her some of the 
seeds the same year that he received them. One of the seed- 
lings raised by Cavanilles produced semi-double flowers in 
October, 1790, and a figure of it was published in the following 
January in Cavanilles' Iconcs Plantarum, in which the genus 
was named Dahlia, in honor of Andrew Dahl, a Sweedish 
botanist ; and the plant figured, which is the same as that now 
called D. variabilis, was christened D. piimata. Cavanilles 
afterwards figured in the same work two other Dahlias, which 
he called D. rosea, and D. coccinca. Tubers and seeds of 
these three kinds were sent to Paris in 1802, under the idea 
that the tubers would be eatable ; but they were found so bit- 
ter and pungent, that they " disgusted both man and beast.'* 
In the mean time, Lady Bute had raised, from the seeds sent 
her by Cavanilles, some young plants, which she kept in pots 
in a green-house ; but in the course of two or three years after- 
wards, they all died without ripening seeds. In 1802, an 
English nurseryman named Fraser, obtained in Paris some of 
the seeds of D. coccinca, sent from Madrid, but the flowers pro- 
duced by his seedlings were bright orange instead of scarlet. 
Mr. Fraser's plants were kept in a green-house, and died with- 
out ripening seed. In 1804, M. Thonin published a paper on 
the Dahlia, in which he suggested propagating the plant by 
dividing its fascicles of tuberous roots ; keeping the roots in a 
state of rest during the winter, and allowing the plants to have 
large pots full of rich earth. In the spring of the same year, 
Lady Holland sent to England, from Madrid, some seeds, 
which were sown by Mr. Buonaiuti, librarian to Lord Holland, 
on a hot-bed at Holland House, when some of the seedlings 
flowered in the autumn of the same year. In 1807, Mr. Salis- 
bury tried some Dahlias for the first time in the open ground 
in his garden. About this time, Professor Willdenow attempted 
to change the name of Dahlia into Georgina, in honor of a 
Russian botanist named Georgi, under pretence of a similar 
name to Dahlia having been previously given to another plant 
by Thunberg. Thunberg's plant, however, was named in 
honor of an English botanist, Mr. Dale, and was called Dalea. 
In 1808, Count Lelieur began to pay some attention to the cul- 

The Dahlia, 355 

ture of .the Dahlia in the neighborhood of Paris, and he intro- 
duced into the garden at St. Cloud, from Malmaison, three 
varieties, from which he raised numerous others. About the 
same time, M. Otto, curator of the Botanic Garden at Berlin, 
obtained numerous varieties by hybridization, some of which 
were very beautiful. When the continent was thrown open, 
by the approach of the Allies to Paris, in 1814, the British ama- 
teurs and florists who visited it, were astonished at the beauty 
of the Dahlias in the French gardens; and since that period, 
the cultivation of Dahlias has been common, and many varie- 
ties have been raised, of great beauty of form and brilliancy of 

The Dahlia, in its native state,'is one of the radiate-flowered 
Composite, having eight ligulate florets in the ray, and nume- 
rous tubular ones in the disk. The ray florets are vulgarly 
called the petals, and the flower becomes double when these 
are greatly increased in number, and those of the disk disap- 
pear. When this is not the case, the flower is considered im- 
perfect. Sometimes the ray florets become tubular, when they 
are said to be quilled. Each floret has a membranous, half- 
transparent bract, and when the florets are carefully picked 
out so as to leave 'all the bracts remaining, the Dahlia appears 
changed into a kind of everlasting flower of considerable deli- 
cacy and beauty. In judging of a Dahlia, the attention is 
directed to its form, color and size. The form of a fine flower 
should be as nearly round as possible, with the largest florets 
at the edge, and decreasing gradually towards 'the centre, 
where they are frequently raised into what is called a crown. 
The outer florets should be broader and flatter than the inner 
ones, which are always more or less tubular, preserving the 
character of disk florets, though of the same color as those of 
the ray. When there is a crown, the florets composing it 
should be placed close together, so as entirely to hide the disk ; 
as, if either green or yellow be seen in the centre of any Dah- 
lia, it is disqualified from becoming a prize flower. The color 
is of ho consequence, provided it be clear and bright; and the 
size is also of little importance, unless the Dahlia be naturally 
one with large-sized flowers. 

The greater number of Dahlias now grown in gardens, have 

356 The Dahlia. 

been raised from D. variabilis, which varies so much from 
seed, that dark and light crimson, dark and light scarlet, 
salmon-colored, lilac, dark purple, and striped flowers, have 
been raised from the seeds taken from a single head of flowers. 

D. coccinea or frustranea only varies from scarlet, to orange 
or yellow, and rarely produces double flowers. It is said 
not to hybridize with D. variabilis. The most common colors 
among Dahlias are purple and crimson in various shades. A 
pure scarlet was at first rare, but it is now tolerably frequent. 
There are also many shades of yellow and orange, but a per- 
fectly pure white, or bright light rose-color, is rarely met with. 
No blue Dahlia has yet been seen, and even the dark purples 
have always a reddish tinge. The outer florets are sometimes 
so much recurved as to make the flowers look ball-shaped, and 
these are called Globe Dahlias. Sometimes there is only a 
single row of broad flat ray florets, while the inner ones arc 
erect and tubular ; and these are called Anemone-flowered. 
Within the last few years, several new species have been 
introduced, and it is probable that more will be discovered as 
the Flora of Central America becomes better known. 

The species of which a drawing is given, is easily distin* 
guished from the more common single-flowered species, by its 
hollow stems, (which are very tall and strong, and only branch 
at the top), and its bipinnate leaves. The flowers are of a 
most brilliant scarlet, with a yellow disk ; and there are 
twelve or more florets in a single series in the ray. A sandy 
soil suits it best, and it must be tied to a tall stake. At page 
316, directions are given for the cultivation of the Dahlia. 


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Z. ('// OU ' /</ /////< '/,/■" //(//>/ (S- ,-,•„/< ./,;,, v t /rt„„-/f,7,//t. fY/.J 

The Catananche. 357 


Natural Order, Composite ; Linnasau System, Syngenesia, yEqualis. Gen- 
eric Character : Receptacle, chaffy ; involucre, imbricated, scarious ; pap- 
pus, bristly, each calyx having five bristles. 

C cerulea. Scales of the involucre, inferior, ovate ; flowers, blue. — Plate 
48. Fig. 1. 

The derivation of the word Catananche appears to be very 
uncertain. It was employed by Dioscorides to designate a 
plant used by the women of Thessaly in philters and love po- 
tions. The genus at present contains only two species, one 
with yellow, and the other with blue flowers. The latter spe- 
cies, C. cerulea^ is a native of the South of France, and has 
been in cultivation in England for many years. In its native 
country it grows among stones and rocks, on hills where it 
would hardly seem able to obtain sufficient nourishment. In 
cultivation a dry soil is best for it, as it is easily killed by wet. 
Its showy blue flowers blossom from July to October. The 
seeds should be sown in spring, and the plants removed in the 
following autumn to the border where they are to flower. This 
is said to be the best mode of culture ; as, though the plants 
raised from seeds sown in autumn, will flower sooner, they are 
so much injured by passing the winter in a comparatively fee- 
ble state, as rarely to make good plants. After the first trans- 
planting, the plants should not be taken up, as they are always 
injured by removal. Indeed, some florists consider it best to 
sow the seeds in the place where they intend the plant to 
remain. It must be observed, that though the Catananche 
should always be planted in a dry soil, and should be kept as 
dry as possible during winter, it yet requires abundance of 
water when about to flower. 

358 The Chinese Primrose. 


Natural Order, Composite ; Linnaean System, Syngeuesin, Superflua. 
Gcueric Characters : Involucre, imbricate ; receptacle, flat, smooth ; flow- 
ers of the ray, numerous, pistilliferous ; exterior lip, ligulate, tridentate ; 
inner lip, slender, bidentate ; disk flowers, hermaphrodite tubular, bila- 
biate ; lips nearly equal ; pappus, hairy, persistent. 

C. serrate— Leaves, linear, somewhat wedge-shaped ; serrated at the apex ; 
scales of the involucre, lanceolate, mucronate ; pappus, somewhat bristly. 
— Plate 48, Fig. 2. 

The anthers of this genus appear like bristles ; whence the 
generic name, which signifies a bristly anther. The flowers 
are peculiar, each having two distinct, differently-shaped lips, 
in consequence of which, the genus is placed in that division 
of Compositae called Labiatiflorce. All the species are natives 
of Chili. C. serrata is a very pretty evergreen plant, growing 
in low tufts, with large bright yellow flowers. It is easily 
cultivated in a sandy soil. 


Specific Character: Pubescent, umbel duplicate ; calyx, membranaceous, 
ovate, ventricose, many-cleft; capsule inflated ; segments of the corolla 
sharply dentate. — Plate 49. 

The generic characters of the genus Primula are given at 
page 294, where the Auricula — another species — is mentioned. 
The Chinese Primrose has become a great favorite with flor- 
ists, although it was introduced into England from China as 
late as 1820. When first introduced, it was called Primula 
Sinensis ; but it having been afterwards ascertained that a 
Portuguese botanist had called another species by that name, 
the present specific name was given to it. Praniitens signifies 
glossy, or shining, and it is certainly difficult * to understand 
why it should be applied to a plant covered nearly all over 
with down. For some time after its introduction, only two 

The Mullein. 359 

varieties of this species were known, but many have been since 
produced, some of which are double or semi-double. 

" The Chinese Primrose," says Mr. Eley, " from its free 
blooming habits, and pretty appearance in the winter months, 
is a desirable plant for a room window. It is usually raised 
from seed, which should be sown early in Spring, in a pot of 
rich sandy soil, placed on a shelf near a window, and the soil 
kept a little moist. When the plants are of sufficient size, they 
should be potted in separate pots, in any light rich soil, and 
in summer may be plunged in the flower-beds in a shady place, 
or they may be planted out in any moist ground, and they will 
often flower throughout the season. They must be taken in 
before frost, and potted, and kept in the shade till they have 
recovered. Those kept in pots should be shifted into larger 
ones before autumn, and be kept in a cool room window till 
they show their flower-buds ; then placed in a warm room, 
and watered freely, when they will soon come into bloom." 


Natural Order : Serophulariacese. Linncean System : Pentandria, Monogy- 
nia. Generic Character : calyx, five parted. Corolla rotate, five-lobed, 
unequal. Stamens, five, all bearing anthers ; decimate, usually bearded- 
Anthers, lunate. Capsule, globose, two-valved. 

V. formosum. — Stem, branching ; leaves, woolly and white below, but green 
and naked above ; usually cordate, acuminate. Spike, lax, tomentose. 
The two lower stamens bent down, and widely apart. — Plate 50. 

The name Verbascum is said to have originally been Bar- 
bascum, from barha, a beard, in allusion to the hairy filaments. 
All the species are strong, vigorous plants, with broad, thick, 
■woolly leaves. The flowers, which are often very showy, are 
disposed in long terminal racemes. The whole plant, except 
the flowers, is generally covered with a kind of wool, which 
makes the leaves feel soft and thick, much like flannel, to the 
touch. The common American Mullein, V. Thapsus, is well 
known, growing in every stubble-field, and by every wood- 
side, where its dry, tall, prim-looking stalks, often remain the 

360 The Natural System of Botany, 

whole winter through. Our other species, V. blattaria, or Moth 
Mullein, is much prettier, and more graceful. The leaves are 
more smooth, and the brown and yellow corolla contrasts very 
handsomely with the purple hairy stamens. The Moth Mul- 
lein is well deserving of cultivation. Several species are often 
seen in gardens. The Purple Mullein, V. phosniceum, is well 
known. It is a handsome plant, and continues in flower a 
long time. V. formosum is. the most beautiful of the genus, 
from the large size and brilliant colors of the flowers. It grows 
from two to four feet high, and is in flQwer in July and August. 
It came from the Caucasian mountains. The Mulleins require 
little care in cultivation, being raised from the seed in any 
common garden soil. 



Class II. — Endogens, or Monocotyledonous Plants. 

Stem, having no distinction of wood, pith, and bark. Leaves, 
usually with simple, parallel veins, often sheathing at base, 
and falling off without an articulation. Parts of the flower 
generally in threes. Embryo with one cotyledon j or, if with 
two, they are alternate, and very unequal in size. 

Division I. — Petaloidej2. 

In this division the flowers have a calyx or corolla, or both $ 
or, if these are wanting, the stamens and pistils have no 

Palmje. The Palm Tribe. These are mostly trees with 
unbranched trunks, large leaves, small, perfect flowers, and 
usually bearing a drupe or berry. The plants of this order 
are among the most beautiful and majestic of all vegetables. 
They are usually found in the tropics, Ex.: Cocos (The 

The Natural System of Botany. 361 

Cocoa-nut Tree), Chamaerops (The Palmetto), Phoenix (The 
Date Tree). 

Arace^e. The Arum Tribe. The flowers are on a spathe, 
generally surrounded with a spadix, and destitute of calyx 
and corolla. Ex.: Symplocarpus (Skunk-Cabbage), Arum 
(Indian Turnip), Acorus (Sweet Flag). Some species acrid, 
others pungent and aromatic. 

Lemnace^:. Ex. : Lemna (Duck-weed). Small floating 

Typhaceje. The Reed-mace Tribe. Ex.: Typha (Cat- 
tail), Sparganium (Burr-reed). Herbs, growing in ditches 
and ponds. 

Naiadace^e. The Pond-weed Tribe. Ex.: Zostera (Eel- 
grass), Potamogeton (Floating Pond-weed). Growing in wa- 
ter, with obscure flowers and cellular leaves. 

AlismacejE. The Water-Plantain Tribe. Ex. : Sagittaria 
(Arrow-head), Alisma (Water-plantain). Aquatic herbs, with 
regular flowers. 

Hydrocharidaceje. The Frog-bit Tribe. Ex.: Vallis- 
neria (Tape-grass), Udora (Ditch-moss). Small floating plants. 

OrchidacejE. The Orchis Tribe. A large order, embra- 
cing nearly 1500* species. No order is more interesting or 
curious, whether for the singular construction of the flowers, 
or their fragrance and beauty, or for the remarkable shapes 
of the roots and stems. Many of them are epiphytes, growing 
upon the roots or trunks of decayed trees. Ex. : Orchis, Are- 
thusa, Cypripedium (Lady's Slipper), Pogonia, Spiranthes, &c. 

Zinziberaceje. The Ginger Tribe. Ex. : Zinziber (Gin- 
ger), Amomum (Cardamon). Tropical aromatic herbs. 

Cannaceje. Ex.: Canna (Indian Shot), Maranta (Arrow- 

Musace.e. The Banana Tribe. Noble tropical plants, 
whose fruit and huge leaves are of the greatest importance for 
food and shelter. Ex. : Musa (The Plantain-tree.) 

Bromeliaceje. The Pine-apple Tribe. Chiefly tropical 
American plants. The delicious fruit of the Pine-apple is 
formed by the "consolidation of the imperfect flowers, bracts, 
and receptacle, into a fleshy, succulent mass." Ex. : Aria- 
nassa (The Pine-apple), Tillandsia. 

362 The Natural System of Botany. 

AmaryllidacejE. Ex.: Amaryllis, Narcissus (Jonquil, 
Daffodil), Galanthus (Snow-drop), Agave (Mexican Aloe). 
Bulbous-rooted plants, with showy flowers ; very ornamental, 
and many* species much cultivated. 

Iridace^e. The Iris Tribe. These are perennial .herbs, 
having bulbous roots, or rhizomas, and showy flowers, with 
spathaceous bracts. Ex. : Iris (Blue Flag, Fleur-de-lis, &c), 
Crocus (Saffron, &c), Tigridia (Tiger Lily). The bulbs con- 
tain starch, with some acrid and aromatic properties. 

DioscoreacejE. The Yam Tribe. A small order of twi- 
ning plants, with dioecious flowers. Yams are the tubers of 
Dioscorea sativa, and form an important article of food in 
tropical countries. 

Smilace^e. The Smilax Tribe. This order consists of a 
few herbs or shrubby plants, some of which are climbing. 
The veins of the leaves are reticulated. Sarsaparilla is made 
of the roots of several species of Smilax. 

LiliacejE. The Lily Tribe. A large and widely-dispersed 
order. They spring from bulbs or tubers ; the flowers are 
usually ornamental, finely colored, regular and perfect. Many 
possess a bitter principle, and the bulbs of some yield a verv 
nutritious food. This extensive order is separated into several 
sub-orders or tribes. In one are comprised such bulbous 
plants as the Lily and the Tulip; in a second, the Tuberose 
and Hemerocallis ; in a third, the Onion, Squill, and Hyacinth ; 
in a fourth, the Asphodel and Asparagus ; and in a fifth, the 
Convallaria (Solomon's Seal), and Uvularia (Bellwort, &c.) 

Pontederiace^j. The Pickerel-Weed Tribe. These are 
aquatic plants, with sheathing leaves, and often spathaceous 
inflorescence. Ex. : Pontederia, (Pickerel-weed), Schollera, &c. 

Melanthace.*:. The Colchicum Tribe. Herbs, with 
bulbs, corms, or fascicles, and regular flowers. Qualities, 
generally acrid and poisonous. Ex. : Colchicum, Veratrum, 
(White Hellebore), Trillium, Medeola. 

Juncace-e. The Rush Tribe. Herbs, generally grass-like, 
frequently leafless, with small, dry flowers. Ex.: Juncus 
(Rush, &c.) 

CoMMELYNACEiE. The Spider-wort Tribe. Leaves, usu- 
ally sheathing. Flowers, distinguished from most other Endo- 

The Natural System of Botany. 363 

gens by their herbaceous green sepals. Ex. : Tradescantia 
(Spider-wort), Commelyna. 

Xyridace^e. The Xyris Tribe. Resembling the rushes 
m aspect. Flowers, capitate. Ex. : Xyris (Yellow-eyed grass.) 

Eriocaulonace,e. The Pipe-wort Tribe. Aquatic herbs, 
with cellular leaves, and heads of minute flowers. Ex. : Erio- 
caulon (Pipe- wort.) 

Division IT. — Glumace-s:. 

Flowers, destitute of a true calyx and corolla, but enveloped 
in scales or chaffy bracts. This division comprehends the 
grasses and sedges. 

Cyperace.e. The Sedge Tribe. This is a large order of 
coarse, grass-like plants, with fibrous roots, stems without joints, 
and solid. They are natives of nearly all countries, but in 
general possess few useful properties. The ancient papyrus 
was made of the pith of Cyperus Papyrus. Ex. : Scirpus 
(Club-rush, &c), Carex, Eriophorum. 

Gramine^. The Grass Tribe. One of the largest, most 
common, and most important orders. The stems are hollow, 
and jointed ; the leaves entire, parallel veined, sheathed at 
base ; flowers in spikelets, racemes, or panicles. The grasses 
undoubtedly contribute more sustenance for both men and 
animals than all the rest of the vegetable kingdom. With a 
single exception, no poisonous plant is known to be contained 
in the order. The stems often contain sugar, and the fruits 
are the common grains, as wheat, rye, oats, barley, &c. Ex. : 
Poa, Alopecurus, Festuca Panicum, Phleumi Agrostis, &c, 
which are among the most common pasture grasses ; Triti- 
cum (Wheat), Zea (Maize), Avena (Oat), Hordeum (Barley), 
Secale (Rye), &c, which afford the staple food of men ; Sac- 
charum (Sugar-cane), Sorghum (Broom-corn), &c. 

Flowerless, or Cryptogamous Plants.' 

Plants chiefly composed of cellular tissue, destitute of spiral 
vessels, having no flowers, and instead of seeds, producing 

The flowerless plants are divided into the following orders, 

364 Vegetable Physiology. 

which are merely named here, as it is not within the scope of 
this work to give any particular account of them. 

Equisetaceje. ^he Scouring Rush Tribe. Ex. Equisetum. 

Lycopodiaceje. The Club Moss Tribe Ex. Lycopodium. 

Filices. The Ferns. Ex. Polypodium, Aspidium, Pteris 

Marsileace^e. The Pepperwort Tribe. 

Musci. The Mosses. 

HEPATiciE. The Liverworts. 

Lichenes. The Lichens. 

Fungi. The Mushrooms. 

CHARACEiE. The Chara Tribe. 

Alqje. The Sea-weeds. 




The parts of a flower essentially concerned in the reproduc- 
tive process, are the stamens and pistil. Within the stamens 
are produced a number of minute yellow bodies, usually of a 
globular form, which together constitute the fine dust known 
as the pollen or farina. Each grain of pollen, when examined 
with the microscope, is seen to consist of a cell exactly analo- 
gous to the spore of a flowerless plant; It has two or more 
coats, enclosing a fluid, in which a large number of extremely 
minute granules may be seen with a good microscope. These 
granules are probably the germs of new cells. They may be 
seen to move within the parent cell, or pollen grain, previously 
to the time when its walls become too thick to allow the gran- 
ules to be observed through them ; and when the contents of 
the pollen grain are mixed with water, they are seen to be 
constantly performing a kind of vibratory motion. The an- 

Vegetable Physiology. 365 

thers, or receptacles of pollen, which evidently correspond 
with the capsules or spore-cases of the Cryptogamia, burst 
when their contents are mature, and scatter the grains. They 
have various ways of opening ; sometimes they split along 
their length, as in the Lily ; sometimes transversely, as in the 
Duckweed ; sometimes by little pores at their extremity, as in 
the Potato ; and sometimes by valves, as in the Barberry. 
These different methods of opening are characteristic of differ- 
ent tribes of plants. 

The ovarium, or seed vessel, is the part in which are formed 
the young seeds or ovules, and occupies the centre of the flower. 
Sometimes this part consists of several evident divisions, and 
in other cases these are united together more or less closely. 
If the ovarium be cut into previously to the opening of the 
flower, it will usually be found to contain a great number of 
the ovules. They are at this period quite soft ; and their inte- 
rior is filled up with a kind of pulp, which is enclosed in two 
or more envelopes. These envelopes or seed-coats do not en- 
tireiv cover the central part of the ovule, but leave a small 
opening, which is called the foramen. This opening may be 
easilv detected in the perfect seed, (although it has then nearly 
closed up,) by soaking it in water, and then pressing out the 
fluid that has been absorbed, which will be seen to issue from 
this little orifice. The foramen has a very important purpose 
ia the fertilization of the seed, which, at the period now des- 
cribed, contains no trace of the germ of the new plant. 

This germ appears to be conveyed into it from the pollen in 
the following curious manner. The little pollen-grains, or 
cells, when set free from the anthers, fall upon the stigma of 
the pistil. In general the anthers are situated above the stig- 
ma ; the stamens being longer than the pistil in erect or upright 
flowers, and shorter in those which hang down ; but sometimes 
a special provision is necessary for the conveyance of the pol- 
len to the stigma, especially in monoecious and dioecious plants. 
This operation is often accomplished by insects, which ingoing 
from flower to flower in search of honey, cover their bodies 
with pollen-dust, and rub it against the pistils of other flowers. 
When the pollen falls on the stigma, it is retained by a glu- 

366 Vegetable Physiology. 

tinous secretion from the surface of the stigma. After a short 
time the outer coat of the pollen-cell appears to burst at one 
or two points, and to allow the inner coat to pass out through 
it, in the form of a tube. This tube insinuates itself between 
the cells of the stigma, and passes down between the long 
and loosely arranged cells of the style. It gradually extends 
until it reaches the ovarium itself, even when the style is se- 
veral inches long. The pollen-grains are not always globular 
but are sometimes triangular, and emit a pollen-tube at each 
corner. The tubes, when they arrive at the ovarium, direct 
themselves towards its different chambers, and have been seen 
to enter the apertures in the several ovules, which are at that 
time directed towards the part of the base of the style from 
which the pollen-tubes project themselves, Sometimes a con- 
siderable change in the position of the ovule is necessary, in 
order that the forameu should be applied to the right portion 
of the wall of the ovary ; but this change always takes place 
just as the pollen-tubes are passing down the style. The 
granules which the pollen-grain originally contained, are seen 
to pass down the tube, and by it some of them are conveyed 
into each ovule. Whilst yet within the tube, they are seen to 
develope themselves into new cells, and these cells are the ru- 
diment of the future plant. 

The germs are thus conveyed into a sort of receptacle, 
where they are supplied with nourishment that has been pre- 
viously prepared and stored up for their use by the parent 
structure ; and they are thus greatly assisted in their early de- 
velopement. The pulpy matter contained in the ovules, con- 
sists of starch and sugar ; and these nutritious substances are 
absorbed by the cells of* the embryo, which increase at their 
expense. The first' increase of these cells does not so much 
tend, however, to form those parts which are afterwards to be 
developed into the stem, root, and leaves, as to produce those 
temporary structures, termed cotyledons or seed-leaves, which 
are destined to assist for a time in the developement of the 
permanent structure, and then to wither and decay. Hence, 
at the time of the ripening of the seed, the cotyledon forms 
the greatest part of the embryo or young plant. The starch 

Vegetable Physiology. 367 

contained in the seed is sometimes absorded into the tissue of 
the cotyledons, rendering them thick and fleshy, as in the Pea 
and Bean. In this case the cotyledons, with the small germ 
to which they belong, fonn the entire contents of the seed. In 
other instances, however, they are thin leafy organs, and oc- 
cupy, with the germ, but a small part of the seed. The re- 
mainder then consists of a separate store, which is termed the 
albumen. This is the case in all monocotyledonous seeds, and 
in some dicotyledons, as the Ash and Horse-Chestnut. 

Between the cotyledons, (taking a bean as the subject of ex- 
amination,) is the real germ ; the upper extremity of which, 
called the plumula, subsequently developes itself into the stem, 
and puts forth leaves ; whilst the lower part, or radicle, which 
is always directed towards the foramen, becomes the root. 
The plumula sometimes presents the appearance of the 
plant in miniature ; its leaves and buds being quite discern- 
ible, though on a very small scale. The subsequent devel- 
opement of the germ into the perfect plant, is that which in 
its early stage, is called germination. When a seed like that 
of the bean begins to germinate, it first swells and bursts its 
seed-coats; the plumula then extends upwards, bringing the 
cotyledons just above the surface of the ground ; whilst the 
radicle penetrates downwards. In some plants, however, the 
cotyledons remain underground, as in the Oak ; and there are 
a few in which they appear entirely absent. The cotyledons 
when exposed to the light, become green ; and perform for a 
time (though imperfectly) the functions. of leaves, at the same 
time yielding to the young plant, the nourishment they con- 
tain. By the time this is exhausted, the true leaves and roots 
are sufficiently developed for the support of the structure ; and 
the cotyledons, being then no longer required, decay away. 
In the seeds of monocotyledons, the albumen is always sepa- 
rate, and the embryo, which occupies but a small proportion 
of the whole mass, cannot always be readily distinguished in 
the midst of it, until germination commences. The cotyledon 
at first completely sheaths the plumula, which afterwards 
pierces it, and unrols its first leaf. 

The conditions requisite for the germination of the seed, are 

368 Vegetable Physiology. 

warmth, moisture, and the presence of oxygen. The process 
is also favored by darkness. The influence of each of these 
agents will be readily understood. No vital action can go on 
without a certain amount of heat ; and where this is not pro- 
duced within the being, it must be derived from without. The 
germination of a seed is therefore as much dependent upon 
warmth, as the hatching of an egg, though the amount required 
is not nearly as great. Moisture is also required, for the con- 
version into a fluid state, of the dry nutriment which has been 
previously stored up in the seed ; and no change can com- 
mence until that is supplied. The presence of oxygen is ne- 
cessary, because the conversion of starch into sugar requires 
that some of the carbon of the former should be set free. For 
this purpose the carbon must be combined with oxygen so as 
to form carbonic acid. This process is favored by darkness, 

because light has a tendency to produce the contrary effect 

the fixation of the carbon. 

It is interesting to observe how all these conditions are sup- 
plied, in the ordinary course of nature, by the soil in which 
the seed is dropped. If it be sown during the spring or sum- 
mer, it speedily begins to germinate ; but if in the autumn, it 
remains almost unchanged, until the winter has passed, and 
the returning warmth of the earth and air arouses it into acti- 
vity. It is seldom that the soil is so completely destitute of 
moisture, for any long time together as not to be able to excite 
seeds to germinate ; but their sprouting is well known to be 
favored by damp weather ; and if seeds remain undeveloped 
on account of having been placed in the ground during a 
drought, they are very rapidly brought forward by a shower. 
A porous soil is favorable to germination, on account of the free 
admission of air as well as moisture, which it affords to the 

/ei/ l UJfVl?r/ /rt ///r, 1ZI /// . £Ba*i<*nw&rfa#wn!) 

John C. Loudon, Esq, 369 


The, works of Mr. Loudon are so well known in this coun- 
try — his name is so closely connected with the sciences of 
Horticulture and botany — and there is so much of interest and 
profit in a knowledge of the man himself, and of his career, — 
that a short account of his life may most properly fill a few of 
our pages. We believe, too, that familiar as are his books 
to the American public, not many are aware of the trying 
circumstances under which they were written. 

Mr. Loudon was born on the 8th of April, 1783, at Cambus- 
lang, in Lanarkshire, Scotland. His father was a respectable 
farmer, who died early, leaving to his widow the care of a 
numerous family of children, of whom the subject of this sketch 
was the eldest. Mr. Loudon was educated as a landscape 
gardener, and in 1803 went to England, with numerous letters 
of introduction to some of the first landed proprietors in the 
kingdom. He afterwards took a large farm at Tew, in Ox- 
fordshire, where he resided in 1809. Whilst there, he printed 
anonymously one of his earliest works, "A Treatise on the 
Culture of Wheat.'* In the years 1813-14-15, he made the 
tour of northern Europe, traversing Sweden, Russia, Poland, 
and Austria; in 1819, he travelled through Italy; and in 
1828, through France and Germany. 

Mr. Loudon's career as an author began in 1803, when he 
was only twenty years old, and continued, with very little 
interruption, during the space of forty years. His first works 
were, " Observations on laying out Public Squares^ published 
in 1803, and on "Plantations," in 1804; "^ treatise on 
Hot-houses," in 1805, and on " Country Residences," in 1806, 
both quarto; "Hints on the Formation of Gardens," in 1812, 
and three works on Hot-houses, in 1817 and 1818. In 1822, 
appeared the first edition of the "Encyclopaedia of Garden- 
ing," a work remarkable for the immense mass of useful mat- 
ter which it contained, and for the then unusual circumstance 
of a great number of wood-cuts being mingled with the text. 
This book obtained an extraordinary sale, and fully established 




'/muc<a Jila&Tii&md . t&t&usrcpnmr** -j 


S70 John C. Loudon, Esq, 

his fame as an author. Shortly afterwards was published 
"Observations on laying out Farms." In 1824, a second 
edition of the " Encyclopaedia of Gardening" was published 
with very great alterations and improvements ; and the follow- 
ing year appeared the first edition of the " Encyclopaedia of 
Agriculture." In 1826, the "Gardener's Magazine" was 
commenced, being the first periodical ever devoted exclusively 
to horticultural subjects. The " Magazine of Natural History," 
also the first of its kind, was begun in 1828. Mr. Loudon 
was now occupied in the preparation of the "Encyclopaedia 
of Plants," which was published early in 1829, and was 
speedily followed by the " Hortus Britannicus." In 1830, 
a second, and nearly re-written edition of the " Encyclopaedia 
of Agriculture," was published ; and this was followed by 
an entirely re-written edition of the "Encyclopaedia of Gar- 
dening," in 1831 ; and the "Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm, 
and Villa Architecture," in 1832. This last work was one of 
the most successful, because it was one of the most useful, 
he ever wrote, and it is likely to continue a standard book 
on the subjects of which it treats. Mr. Loudon now began 
to prepare his great and ruinous work, the " Arboretum Bri- 
tannicum," the anxieties attendant on which were, undoubt- 
edly, the primary cause of that decay of constitution which 
terminated in his death. This work was not, however, com- 
pleted till 1838; and, in the meantime, he began the "Archi- 
tectural Magazine," the first periodical devoted exclusively to 
architecture. The labor which he underwent at this time 
was almost incredible. He had four periodicals, viz: the 
Gardener's, the Natural History, and the Architectural Maga- 
zines, and tjj^ Arboretum Britannicum, which was published 
in monthly numbers, going on at the same time ; and to pro- 
duce these at the proper times, be literally worked night and 
day. Immediately on the conclusion of the " Arboretum Bri- 
tannicum," he began the " Suburban Gardener," which was 
also published in 1838, as was the "Hortus Lignosus Lon- 
diniensis;" and in 1839, appeared his edition of "Repton's 
Landscape Gardening." In 1840, he accepted the editorship 
of the "Gardener's Gazette," which he retained till Novem- 
ber, 1841 ; and in 1842, he published his " Encyclopaedia of 

John C. Loudon, Esq, 371 

Trees and Shrubs." In the same year, he completed his 
" Suburban Horticulturist ;" and finally, in 1843, he published 
his work on " Cemeteries," the last separate work he ever 
wrote. In this list, many minor productions of Mr. Loudon's 
pen have necessarily been omitted ; but it may be mentioned, 
that he contributed to the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," and 
Brande's "Dictionary of Science," and that he published 
numerous supplements from time to time, to his various works. 

No man, perhaps, has ever written so much, under such 
adverse circumstances, as Mr. Loudon. Many years ago, 
when he first came to England, he had a severe attack of 
rheumatism ; and the following year, (1804,) his right arm was 
broken near the shoulder, and it never properly united. Not- 
withstanding this, he continued to write with his right hand 
till 1825, when the same arm was broken again, and he was 
then obliged to have it amputated ; but not before a general 
breaking up of the frame had commenced, and the thumb 
and two of the fingers of the left hand had been rendered 
useless. He afterwards suffered frequently from ill health, 
till his constitution was finally undermined by the anxiety 
attending on that most costly and most laborious of his works, 
the " Arboretum Britannicum." He died at last, on Decem- 
ber 14, 1843, of disease of the lungs, after suffering severely 
about three months; and he retained all the energy and clear- 
ness of his mind to the last. 

Never, perhaps, did any man possess more energy and de- 
termination than Mr. Loudon. Whatever he began, he pur- 
sued with enthusiasm, and carried out, notwithstanding obsta- 
cles that would have discouraged any ordinary person. He 
was a warm friend, and most kind and affectionate in all his 
relations of son, husband, father, and brother ; and he never 
hesitated to sacrifice pecuniary considerations to what he con- 
sidered his duty. 

Though supporting himself and his family (writes one of his 
friends) by arduous and indefatigable application, it was to 
something far beyond a mercenary motive that he looked for 
the just and honorable reward of his labors. The acquirement 
of money he seemed to consider only valuable as a necessary 
means of support; and, had he been placed in happier and 

372 Preservation of Seeds. 

more affluent circumstances, he would have been equally 
ardent in his pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. He pos- 
sessed, it is a consolation to know, in his own home, all the 
comfort and happiness that can be rationally expected. His 
great infirmities were vigilantly attended to, and affectionately 
assisted. The pursuits of his family were congenial to his 
own; whatever were subjects of interest to him, were also felt 
and partaken by all. Whoever was his guest, was sure to be 
gratified by the company of persons of superior intelligence 
and information. Among his friends he numbered many 
whose names are highest in the number of those distinguished 
for botanical knowledge ; and these he considered not in the 
light of rivals, contending for public favor against himself, but 
rather as fellow-laborers in the great and general field of 
science, which equally required the exertions of all. 

Mr. Loudon was happy and fortunate in possessing a wife 
whose talents and virtues were as great as her affection for him 
was sincere. She is the authoress of several well-known and 
valuable works on horticulture and gardening. Since her 
husband's death, she has received a most worthily-bestowed 
pension from Queen Victoria. 



The gathering and preservation of seeds is an occupation 
peculiarly agreeable to persons fond of gardening. All seeds 
may be known to be ripe, or nearly so, by the firmness of 
their texture, and by their changing from a white or greenisli 
color to a color more or less brown. There are, indeed, some 
seeds which are whitish when ripe, such as those of the White 
Lupine, and several of the Sweet Peas ; and others which 
are quite black ; but in general, a brown color is character- 
istic of ripeness. Seeds should be gathered on a dry day, 
after the sun has had sufficient time to exhale all the moisture 
which dews or rains may have left on the seed-vessels. In 

Preservation of Seeds. 373 

general, the pods, or capsules, should be cut off, with a small 
portion of the stalks attached, and the whole should be spread 
out, each kind by itself, on papers, in an airy room, from 
which rain, and the direct influence of the sun, are both ex- 
cluded. When the seed vessels are thoroughly dried, they 
may be put up in papers, without separating the seeds from 
them, and kept in a dry place, rather airy than close, till 
wanted for sowing. Seeds preserved in the seed-vessel, no 
doubt, make packages clumsy in comparison with those of 
seeds from which every covering has been separated ; but in 
this clumsy state, they are found to keep better than when 
cleaned. Nevertheless, when they are to be sown the follow- 
ing year, or sent anywhere in a letter, it is better to take them 
out of their covering, and render them as clean as possible, 
by the use of sieves with holes large enough to admit the 
passage of dust, but not of the seeds. Such sieves on a small 
scale every lady may make for herself, by turning up the 
edges of a thin circular piece of pasteboard, and piercing the 
bottom with holes with a large pin or needle. When it is 
determined to separate the seeds from the vessels, instead of 
putting the whole up together, the vessels may be dried in 
the sun — when many of the seeds will fall out by the expan- 
sion of the vessels, and the remainder can be easily rubbed 
out. For keeping seeds, a lady should have a small cabinet, 
which she might make of pasteboard, with the draws lettered 
properly, and the packets of seeds of each genus placed in 
their appropriate drawer. If so much trouble is considered 
unnecessary, a large paper bag may be substituted. 

The period during which seeds will retain their vegetative 
powers differs in different families, genera, and even species. 
Seeds of Ranunculaceae and Cruciferse, will, in general, pre- 
serve their vitality for several years, in whatever manner they 
may be kept, provided the situation be not such as will cause 
them to germinate. On the other hand, seeds of Capsicum 
will keep for several years, if retained in the berry, but will 
seldom grow the second year after being removed from it. 
The rule may in general be safely adopted, that all seeds will 
keep three years, and grow, provided they are retained in 
their unopened seed-vessel; that most seeds, if maturely ripen- 

374 Chinese Chrysanthemum. 

ed, and kept in a dry place in close paper packets, will grow 
the second year ; and that all seeds whatever, whether kept 
in the seed-vessel or exposed in open drawers, will grow the 
first year after being gathered. Mignonette seed will keep 
seven years; but that of Stocks and Wall Flowers will not 
remain good more than two years, unless kept in the pod. The 
seeds of Sweet Peas and Lupines will with difficulty keep 
two years ; while those of Prince's Feather, and of Poppies, 
will keep several years. Larkspur seed will seldom grow 
after the second or third year. Notwithstanding the length of 
time for which some seeds will keep, it is generally advisable 
to sow them as soon after they are ripe as practicable, since 
fresh seeds always vegetate much sooner than old ones. 


The varieties of Chrysanthemum are well known, but not 
as much appreciated as they should be. This is surprising, 
when it is considered that they are not only easy of cultivation, 
but that they form a great addition to the beauties of the flower- 
garden in the latest months of autumn, when every thing else 
is dull and withered. The following account of the history of 
the Chinese Chrysanthemum, and directions for its cultivation, 
are compiled from excellent authorities, both English and 
American — and the mode of culture is one especially adapted 
to our own climate. 

The first known account of these beautiful flowers is given 
by Rheede, in 1678. He describes, however, only one species, 
which had flowers of a greenish ash-color, and grew in its 
native country in sandy places. A curious Latin work by 
Kaempfer, published in 1712, and called Amctnkates Exotica, 
gives a long description of the plants of Japan. Among these 
are mentioned thirteen varieties of this plant, ten of which 
have since been obtained, and are now cultivated. 

Rumphius, in his Herbarium Amboiense, gives a long and 
interesting account of the Chrysanthemum. He says, that the 
Chinese value it highly, and bestow great pains on its culture ; 

Chinese Chrysanthemum* 376 

and that they place pots and jars in which it is growing, on 
their tables, when they give entertainments. He adds, that 
it is esteemed a mark of respect to present the finest flower 
to the most honored guest; and, as the extent and value of 
the compliment are estimated by the size of the flower, he 
tells us, that in order to produce these large flowers, the Chi- 
nese gardeners are obliged to check the growth of the plant, 
as, if it is left to itself, it becomes tall and rude, and produces 
little else than leaves; but that when it is made dwarfish, 
the flowers are abundant. He also tells us, that each branch 
usually produces three blossoms, but that the Chinese pinch off 
two of these in the bud, which occasions the remaining flower 
to increase so much, that it is often broader than a man's hand ; 
and that if the same plant be suffered to remain more than 
two years in the ground, it degenerates : for wliich reason, 
he continues, the Chinese raise new plants every year. 

This history is curious on account of the details respecting 
culture, which agree so well with the practices and experience 
of modern days, as to afford another proof of what has so often 
been observed, that many of what we consider modern im- 
provements, are in fact only the revival of ancient knowledge. 
The Chrysanthemum is next mentioned by Thunberg, in 
his Flora Japonica ; and he not only describes it in its wild 
state, but says that the extreme beauty of its flowers had caus- 
ed it to be cultivated in gardens and houses throughout the 
whole empire of Japan. The first of these plants introduced 
into England, was brought from China in 1764, and from that 
period until within fifteen years past, all the kinds grown in 
British gardens were from the same country. 

The botanical name of the Chinese Chrysanthemum has 
been changed several times. The old botanists who first 
described it, called it Matricaria, supposing it to be a kind of 
wild Chamomile. Linnaeus named it Chrysanthemum Indi- 
cum ; which was changed by Sabine to C. sinense. Willde- 
now gave it the name of Anthemis Artemisiatfolia ; and De 
Candolle has removed it to the genus Pirethrum. 

The culture of the Chrysanthemum, even at the present day, 
strongly resembles what Rumphius tells us of the practice of 
the Chinese; as it is found that it is apt to degenerate, if not 

376 Mr, Ward's Plant-Cases, 

frequently renewed from cuttings, or transplanted. The soil 
most suitable for them is a light rich loam, and decayed ma- 
nure, in the proportion of two parts of the former to one of the 
latter. The cuttings should be made in spring, generally in 
April, and they will flower the same year. They may be 
either grown in pots through the summer, or planted in the 
ground, and taken up and potted in September. When grown 
in pots, they will require to be shifted two or three times during 
their growth ; and by the end of August, they should be finally 
shifted into the pots in which they are to flower. They require 
at all times during their growth, a good supply of water ; and 
in the dry weather of summer, when the foliage droops, they 
are much benefited by being sprinkled all over with water, 
sometimes as often as three times a day in the hottest wea- 
ther. In August, those in pots should be watered with soap- 
suds or manure-water once a week, and this should be con- 
tinued until they come into flower, which will be in November. 
If planted in the ground, they should have an open situation, 
and be allowed sufficient room, so as not to interfere with each 
other while growing, and be tied up to sticks as they advance. 
In September they should be taken up, with balls of earth at 
their roots, and placed in proper sized pots. They should 
then be placed for a time in a shady situation; and removed 
into the house before frost. When in flower, give them plenty 
of water ; and when they have done flowering, cut off the 
stems to within a few inches of the root, and place them where 
the frost will not injure them. An occasional watering will 
be all the care they require, till the next season. 


A very useful and ingenious plan of growing plants in close 
boxes, or glass tubes, was invented some years ago by Mr. 
Ward, of England. We are not aware that this plan has been 
put in operation to any extent in this country. It is certainly 
calculated to be of great importance, especially as a means 
of conveying living plants from one country to another, or from 

Mr, Ward's Plant-Cases. 377 

one place to another in the same country. Without explaining 
the chemical principles on which the plan is founded, it will 
be enough to give the following ideas concerning it, and the 
method in which it may be most easily practiced. We quote 
from Newman's Ferns, and from The Gardener's Magazine* 

" The plan depends," says Mr. Newman, " primarily and 
fundamentally, on protecting the plants from too free commu- 
nication with the outer air. This end is obtained by the use 
of glass ; the light so essential to vegetation being thus freely 
admitted. The most ready way to try the experiment, is, to 
procure a glass vessel — for instance, one of those jars used by 
druggists and confectioners ; introduce some soft sandstone or 
some light soil, filling one-sixth of the jar with it, and taking 
care that the earth is very moist, yet allowing no water to settle 
at the bottom of the jar ; plant a fern in the earth, and then 
cover the jar with its glass lid, first supplying a slip of wash- 
leather round the rim of the jar, which will pretty nearly cut 
off the communication between the internal and external air. 
No farther attention will be required. The fern will live, 
thrive, and probably seed, the seed also vegetating, and at last 
the jar will become too small for its contents. No watering is 
needed ; the moisture in the earth will exhale, condense on 
the glass, trickle down its sides, and return to the earth whence 
it arose. 

" There is no limit to the application of this principle. In- 
stead of a jar, it is easy to construct, in the window-sill, a box 
extending through its entire length, the bottom and sides being 
lined with zinc, to prevent the moisture from damaging the 
adjoining wood-work ; then let the window be a double one, 
leaving a space of six or twelve inches between the inner and 
outer glass. The ferns so planted in the box — which should 
contain a depth of five t>r six inches of light sandy earth — will 
soon fill up the space between the two windows, supplying the 
most beautiful curtain or blind that could be invented. The 
plants need not be ferns exclusively. Roses, Fuchsias, &c. 
would also thrive ; but it must be always borne in mind, that 
plants requiring a humid atmosphere, should not be enclosed 
with those which prefer aridity. Of course, the upper sash 
alone must be made moveable." 

378 Mr. Ward's Plant-Cases. 

"It is a great advantage of this method," says the Garden- 
er's Magazine, " that it may be put in practice by others, as it 
was first by Mr. Ward himself, simply by confining a single 
plant in a bottle, as well as by enclosing a greater number 
in a more costly apparatus. It may therefore be practiced 
to any extent, or adapted to any scale of expense. When 
once fitted up, the apparatus, be it either small or large, requires 
scarcely any further care or attendance. No fresh watering 
or airing is at any time required ; nor is any inconvenience 
experienced from dust or litter, which often render the ordinarv 
mode of keeping plants in well-furnished rooms objectionable 
and troublesome. Further, as the plants in this apparatus are 
shut off from all communication with the external air, no appre- 
hension of their injuring the atmosphere, even of close rooms, 
can be reasonably entertained. The only condition that claims 
observance, is an occasional exposure to light, perhaps for a 
short period only, on days of sunshine, and for a longer one, 
when the light is more feeble. 

" By means of this plan, the rarest and most delicate plants 
have been transported to and from the most distant countries, 
with little or no trouble in regard to attendance, and scarcely 
any risk of suffering from the inclemency of the weather at sea. 
It has thereby conferred on the botanist and horticulturist 
benefits which no researches of travellers, however successful, 
nor expenditure of money, however great, could have enabled 
them otherwise to procure. Instead of simple descriptions or 
dried specimens, or fine pictures of foreign plants, they can 
now fix their eyes on living specimens retaining their fresh- 
ness and beauty, and possessing all their natural and charac- 
teristic properties. Already have exchanges of plants between 
distant countries been carried on to a great extent; and the 
public conservatories, as well as those of private individuals, 
been enriched with specimens of many rare plants, which 
could scarcely have reached them by any other means." 

Love of Plants. 379 


The following is an extract from a celebrated work, (Ray's 
Flora,) published in 1665. The truth and excellence of its 
sentiments make this extract worth remembering. 

" Fair houses are more frequent than fine gardens ; the first 
effected by artificers only, the latter requiring more skill in 
the owner — few gardens being found well furnished out of the 
hands of an affectionate florist. The love of such a master 
will keep each tender plant alive his care and skill have col- 
lected ; for never was any art or excellence liked or loved by 
the ignorant ; it is knowledge that begets affection, and affec- 
tion increaseth knowledge. Love was the inventor, and is 
still the maintainer of every noble science. It is chiefly that 
which hath made my flowers and trees to flourish, though 
planted in a barren desert, and hath brought me to the know- 
ledge I now have in plants and planting; for indeed it is 
impossible for any man to have any considerable collection 
of noble plants to prosper, unless he love them ; for neither 
the goodness of the soil, nor the advantage of the situation, 
will do it without the master's affection : it is that which ani- 
mates and renders them strong and vigorous ; without which 
they will languish and decay through neglect, and soon cease 
to do him service. 

" I have seen many gardens of the new model, in the hands 
of unskilful persons, with good walls, walks, and grass plots ; 
but in the most essential adornment so deficient, that a green 
meadow is a more delightful object : there nature alone, with- 
out the aid of art, spreads her verdure carpets, spontaneously 
embroidered with many pretty plants and pleasing flowers, 
far more inviting than such an immured nothing. And as 
noble fountains, grottoes, statues, &c. are excellent ornaments 
and marks of magnificence, so all such dead works in gardens, 
ill done, are little better than blocks in the way to interrupt 

380 Love of Plants. 

sight, but not at all to satisfy the understa\ ding. A choice 
collection of living beauties — rare plants, flowers, and fruits — 
is indeed the wealth, glory, and delight of a garden, and the 
most absolute indication of the owner's ingenuity, whose 
skill and care is chiefly required in their choice, culture, and 



A Page. 

Absorption of Fluid by Leaves .279 

Acanthaceae.. ........... ...... ....330 

Aceracete.... ................... **272 

iGrationof Sap 1**304 

Agrostemma.... .... .... 61 

Amarantaceae............... ...*"*332 

Amaryllidaceae .....*362 

Anemone .................... 321 

Annnal Flowers r 1*103 

An Unlucky Botanist ...127 

Apios 226 

April and May Flowers ...155 

Aquilegia 323 

Apocynaceae.... ........ .... .... ..331 

Aquifoliaceac.... ...... 329 

Araceoa... ........................ 36i 

Arctotis.. ......291 

Araliaceae 303 

Aristolochiaceae 332 

Asclepiaceae................. ...... 331 

Asclepias...... ............ ....... 196 

Argemone. 99 

Aurantiaceae 235 


Balsamifluce 333 

Bell-Flower 132 

Bell-FIower Tribe 328 

Betulaceos.. ................... ...333 

Bignoniacea?.. ...330 

Bignonia —........... 31 

Berberidaceae 140 

Blanching, Philosophy of. 284 

Bombaceae 232 

Borage 30 

Boraginacem 330 

Borago 30 

Bromacete .....233 

Browallia 63 

Buck-thorn Tribe 273 


Cactaceae . 297 

Cactus. ...219 

Cacao Tribe .. 233 

Caprifoliaceae.... 326 

Caprifolium 55 

Caryophyllaceae Page 210 

Callitnchaceae..... ...........333 

Camelliaceffi.... 234 

Camelia, Culture of. *264 

Catch-Fly 229 

Campanulaceae .......328 

Campanula 132 

Candy Tuft 102 

CastiUejia. 65 

Catananche 357 

Celastraceae 272 

Ceratophyllaceae 333 

CeibaTree. ..............255 

Cistace©.. ..................... ..210 

Chaetanthera.... 35^ 

Chenopodiaceae ..^..332 

Chatsworth, Visit to ....200 

Chimaphila ...198 

Chinese Primrose ........358 

Cineraria................ 129 

Cinquefoil "16I 

Claytonia 227 

Colhnsia. ....100 

Corn Cockle ..*" 61 

Conditions of the Growth of 

Plants 50,93 

Conifers. 334 

Convolvulaceae 331 

Columbine 323 

Composite 327 

Cornaceae... 303 

Crassulacere 300 

Crowfoot... ........164 

Cruciferae 176 

Culture of the Dahlia 316 

Cupuliferae ..333 

Culture of Roses ....204 

Cyperus 26 

Cypripedium ,....193 

Cucurbitaceae...... ...300 


Dahlia .— .,..„.. 353 

Dahlia, Culture of.... .....316 

Delphinium .....162 

Death and Fall of Leaves ...318 

Developement of Leaves 335 

Dianthus.: 60 

Diapensiacete 331 

Dip8acesfi , TT . ,, T -327 



Dracocephalum P a £ e %&> 

Dragon's-Head 3£ 

Dream of Wild Flowers 237 

Droseraceas 208 

Dock-Weed J8J 

Durability of Ferns <*31 

Ebenaceae 320 

Echium -♦-- °7 

Effects of Plants on the Air 191 

Eleaginacea? - - 332 

Embryology 221 

Empetrace« 333 

English Trees 351 

EpQobium *9 

Ericaceas • 329 

Euphorbiaceae .33 

Evening Primrose... ....228 

Evening Primrose Tribe 296 

Ferns, Durability of. 281 

Fern Tribe 310 

Flax Tribe 211 

Flowering, and its results 180 

Flowerless Plants 218 

Fossil Botany 21, 49, 122 


Gentiana 194 

Gentianacese .*. 331 

Geraniacese 212 

Glaucium.i 98 

Globe-Flower: -. 259 

Glumaceaj 363 

Gooseberry Tribe. 298 

Gourd Tribe 300 

Grafts, Propagation by 268 

Gramineffi..;: 363 

Grossulacese. ..298 

GroundNut ~ 226 

Growth of the Mistletoe 314 


Heath Tribe '. 329 

Helleborus 258 

Herbarium......... 153 

Hippocastanes..... — 272 

HoYy Tribe 329 

Honeysuckle ...... C5 

Honeysuckle Tribe 326 

Horned Poppy..... 98 

Horse-chestnut Tribe .272 

House-leek Tribe 300 

Hybrid Flowers 286 

Hydrophyllaceae ...330 



ioens , .... .....102 

Jasione 290 

'Jasminaceaa 331 

Jeffersouia 227 

Indian Cress 131 

Juglandacero 333 

July and August Flowers 250 

Labiates 330 

Lambert. A. B 345 

Ladies' Slipper..: ID".) 

Larkspur 162 

Lathyrus... 225 

Lauraceoe — 332 

Layers, Propagation by— 268 

Leaves, Absorption by 279 

• " Developement of. 335 

Leguminosa?.... ....273 

Lentibulacece ....330 

Lichens 94 

Liliacero 362 

Limnanthes 62 

Linacese ......211 

Linden Tribe 234 

Lobelia 289 

Lobeliacese .......328 

Longevity of Trees.... 95 

Loranthaceoe 303 


Madder Tribe... 326 

Magnoliacese...... 137 

Mafvacerc ......231 

Mallow Tribe 231 

Maple Tribe 272 

Marvel of Peru.. 59 

Mathiola. 69 

Marty nia.... 97 

Meruspermaceae 143 

Michauxia 291 

Mirabilis 59 

Mistletoe Tribe 303 

Mistletoe, Growth of. 314 

Mosses.... ..._-.. 339 

Movements of Plants 307 

Mullein 359 

Myrtle Tribe 278 


Natural System of Botany- 
Number 1 11 

2 33 

« 3 72 

« 4 106 



Natural System of Botany — 

Number 6 173 

7 207 

8 231 

9 272 

10 296 

11 326 

12 360 

Nicotiana . 134 

Nolana - 66 

Nomenclature..... ...215 

Nyctaginaccoe.... ......... ....332 


(Enothera > 228 

Oleaceae _..... .............. 331 

Onagracero.... ...206 

Orange Tribe 235 

Orchidaceffl. ....3G1 

Orobanchaceaj. ...... .......330 

Oxalia 260 


Painted Cup 65, 96 

Paper Reed 26 

Papyrus - 26 

Pahns 347 

Peonia t -- ....257 

Palm® 360 

Papaveracea? .... 173 

Passifloracese .........298 

Paulownia Imperialis...... 343 

Pedaliacea? ...... .................330 

Pea Tribe 273 

Peony 257 

Persian Bell-FIower 291 

Petaloideas 360 

Petunia..... 67 

Philosophy of Blanching ..284 

Phytolaccace© . ...... .......... — 332 

Pink 60,169 

Pink Tribe 210 

Plantaginacca:.. 330 

Plantanaces... ...334 

Plants in Sleeping Rooms ...346 

Plumbaginace® ..........330 

Podostemaceffi .... — .....333 

Polemoniaccre .............330 

Polygonacero........ 332 

PotenUlla 161 

Prickly Poppy 99 

Primrose 294 

Primrose Tribe.... ............... .329 

Primrose, Chinese...... ...258 

Primula 294 

Primulaceoc ..........329 

Prolonged Vitality of Seeds _. 89 

Propagation by Layers and Grafts.. .268 


Rafnia wmmm 324 

Ranunculacese.......... ..........Ill 

Ranunculus ................164 

Reproduction 364 

Reviving Plants 283 

Rhamnacea)..... ...273 

Rosaces. ......276 

Rose Campion..... 61 

Roses, Culture of. 204 

Rock-Rose Tribe 210 

Rubiacese 326 


Sage , j. 199 

Sahcaceee 333 

Salvia 199 

Santalace® 332 

Saururacese. 333 

Saxifraga. ...................... ..262 

Saxifragacese. 301 

Scrophulariaces..... .............. 330 

Sea-weeds. 125 

Sheep-Scabious.... 290 

Silene 229' 

Silk-weed 196 

Silk-cotton Tribe 232 

Solanacese .....331 

Sorrel 260 

Spider-wort 57 

Spring Beauty.... ......227 

Staff-tree Tribe 272 

Stock 69 

Sundew Tribe 208 

Sweet Pea 225 

Tea ....................... ......248 

Teasel Tribe".".*. -327 

Thunbergia... .......... .......... 68 

Thymelacea.... .............332 

Tiliacero 234 

Tobacco 134 

Tradescantia - 57 

Trollius 259 

Tropseolum ......131 

Tropical Vegetation 255 

Trumpet-Flower..... 31 

Ulmaceae ....w... ...... .—--..- ...333 

Umbelliferae 301 

Urticacese_.. ...... ........ ......33 

Valerianacese ............327 

Value of a Moss — -. 64 

Vegetable Physiology — 

Number 1 17 

« 2 42 



Vegetable Physiology- 
Number 3 81 

« 4 116 

« 5 146 

«« 6 240 

«< 7 ,...279 

«« 8 304 

" 9 335 

« 18. 364 

Verbascum..... 359 

Verbenacem ....330 

Vine Tribe 237 

Violace® 207 

Viola 167 

Violet 167 

Viper's Bugloss 57 


Ward's Plant Cases 376 

Watering 223 

Wild Flowers, a Dream of. 287 

Wild Flowers in June 185 

Willow Herb 29 

Wind Flower 321 

Window Gardening 159 

Woodbine.............. 55 

Wood Sorrel 260 

Vegetable Physiology. 365 

thers, or receptacles of pollen, which evidently correspond 
with the capsules or spore-cases of the Cryptogamia, burst 
when their contents are mature, and scatter the grains. They 
have various ways of opening ; sometimes they split along 
their length, as in the Lily ; sometimes transversely, as in the 
Duckweed ; sometimes by little pores at their extremity, as in 
the Potato; and sometimes by valves, as in the Barberry. 
These different methods of opening are characteristic of differ- 
ent tribes of plants. 

The ovarium, or seed vessel, is the part in which are formed 
the young seeds or ovules, and occupies the centre of the flower. 
Sometimes this part consists of several evident divisions, and 
in other cases these are united together more or less closely. 
If the ovarium be cut into previously to the opening of the 
flower, it will usually be found to contain a great number of 
the ovules. They are at this period quite soft ; and their inte- 
rior is filled up with a kind of pulp, which is enclosed in two 
or more envelopes. These envelopes or seed-coats do not en- 
tirely cover the central part of the ovule, but leave a small 
opening, which is called the foramen. This opening may be 
easi^ detected in the perfect seed, (although it has then nearly 
closed up,) by soaking it in water, and then pressing but the 
fluid that has been absorbed, which will be seen to issue from 
this little orifice. The foramen has a very important purpose 
in the fertilization of the seed, which, at the period now des- 
cribed, contains no trace of the germ of the new plant. 

This germ appears to be conveyed into it from the pollen in 
the following curious manner. The little pollen-grains, or 
cells, when set free from the anthers, fall upon the stigma of 
the pistil. In general the anthers' are situated above the stig- 
ma ; the stamens being longer than the pistil in erect or upright 
flowers, and shorter in those which hang down ; but sometimes 
a special provision is necessary for the conveyance of the pol- 
len to the stigma, especially in monoecious and dioecious plants. 
This operation is often accomplished by insects, which ingoing 
from flower to flower in search of honey, cover their bodies 
with pollen-dust, and rub it against the pistils of other flowers. 
When the pollen falls on the stigma, it is retained by a glu-