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BOTANY.                                                                  79


Age of Roots.........................    83

Arrangement of Leaflets.............    85

Arrangement of Leaves and Stems...    86

Bentham's Statement................    81

Binomial System of Nomenclature...    81

Botanic Gardens.....................    80

Bulbs and Tubers...................    83

Cells................................    80

Collecting and Preserving Plants-----    92

Compound Leaves...................    85

Compound Roots...................    82

Corolla, the.........................    88

Dehiscent Fruits.....................    91

Early Literature of Botany..........    79

Edges of Leaves.....................    86

Endogens and Exogens..............    80

Exogens and Endogens..............    80

Field for Conjecture, a...............    82

Flower-Buds.........................    87

Flowering and Flowerless Plants___    81

Flower, the..........................    87

Forms of Simple Roots..............    82

Fruit.................................    91

Gardens, Botanic....................    80

Indehiscent Fruits...................    91

Inflorescence.........................    90

Later Literature, its..................    79

Leaves: Structure...................    83

Modifications of Leaves.............    87

No Leap or Break....................    82

Nomenclature, Binomial System of...    81

Petals................................    88

Pollen................................    89

Plants and Animals..................    80

Plants, Preserving and Collecting___    92

Root, the.............................    82

Roots, Age of........................    83

Roots, Compound....................    82

Runners, Rhizomes and Tubers......    83

Scope of the Science.................    79

Seed, the.............................    92

Shapes of Leaves....................    84

Simple and Compound Leaves......      84

Simple Leaves.......................    84

Simple Roots, Forms of......... ___    82

Species...............................    81

Stamens and Pistil...................    89

Stem, the............................    83

Structure of Leaves..................    83

Tendrils.............................    87

Thorns. .............................    87

Tubers and Bulbs....................    83

Uses of Roots.......................    83

Varieties of Corolla..................    89

Various Forms of Leaves............    84

What is known.......................    82

Whole Plant, a.......................    82


The Greek word from which botany is derived,
having the same letters as the English, came
originally from a root meaning to feed, and
describes plants considered especially as food
element, or as fodder. The English word has
come to mean, the science which treats of the
structure of plants, the functions of their parts,
their places of growth, their classification, and
the terms which are employed in their descrip­
tion and denomination. It examines the plant
in its earliest opening of development, when it
appears as a simple cell, and follows it through
all its stages of progress until it attains maturity.
It takes a comprehensive view of all the plants
which cover the earth, from the minutest lichen
or moss, only visible by the aid of the micro­
scope, to the most gigantic productions of the
tropics. It marks the relations which subsist
between all members of the vegetable world,
and traces the mode in which the most despised
weeds contribute to the growth of the most
mighty denizens of the forest. And as plants are
not distributed at random over the globe, geo­
graphical peculiarities have to be studied, and
their lesson deciphered from the fossil remains
of plants which have come down to us from
earlier geological ages. Like every other science,
the domain it has to conquer is practically un­
bounded. And it shades off on every side into
kindred sciences; so that to thoroughly and
exhaustively understand it, is no less than to
comprehend—not merely to “accept,” as Mar­
garet Fuller said she did—the universe.


From the earliest history to which we have
access, we find, as we should naturally expect to
find, the human mind occupying itself with the
matters here presented, especially in their more

pronounced and prominent features. Chaldeans
Egyptians and Greeks long ago were busy with
its problems, though of course their speculations
were crude, and included theories as to the
change of plants into animals. The wise Solo­
mon “spake of trees, from the cedar that is in
Lebanon, even to the hyssop that springeth out
of the wall.” Three centuries before Christ
Theophrastus wrote a “ History of Plants,” and
described about five hundred species used for
the treatment of diseases. Æsculapius and his
priests, the Asclepiades, studied plants from a
medicinal and pharmaceutical point of view.
Dioscorides, a Greek writer in Nero's time, pro­
duced a work on Materia Medica. Pliny the
Elder described about a thousand plants, many
of them famous for their medicinal virtues.
Asiatic and Arabian writers also took up the
subject. But little, however, was actually accom­
plished till the revival of learning in Europe in
the sixteenth century. Branfels, a physician of
Bern, has been regarded as the restorer of the
science in Europe. He published, near the be­
ginning of the sixteenth century, a “ History of
Plants,” illustrated by figures.


From that time onward, there has been a con­
stant succession of observers and investigators,
whose name is legion. Andreas Cesalpinus, in
Italy, divided the 1520 plants known in 1583
into fifteen classes, distinguishing them by their
fruit. Prominent names in the seventeenth cen­
tury are John Ray of England, and Dr. Robert
Morison of Scotland. In the eighteenth century
the number increased fast. The best known
name is that of Linnæus (his real name was
Carl von Linné), a Swede, born in 1707. His
system is founded on the sexes of plants, and is
usually known as the sexual system. Although
it was a great advance in his time, and even now



has a certain facility of application which com­
mends it to the tyro, it is an artificial method,
and does not propose to unite plants by natural
affinities. It is useful as an index to a depart­
ment of the book of nature. He himself so
regarded it; and performed some tentative work
looking toward a natural method of arrangement.
At his death in 1778, there were known 11,800
species of plants. Another great name in this
department in the seventeenth century was
Antoine Laurent de Jussien, botanical demon­
strator in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, who
went on from Linnæus, and made important
advances in the principle of classification. Robert
Brown, a Scottish botanist; Dr. (afterwards Sir
William) Hooker, of Glasgqw; John Lindley,
Robert Kay Greville, Dr. Walter Arnott and a
host of others, carried on the work. Goethe in
Germany, and Charles Darwin in England, stand
out prominently.


The Botanic Gardens, founded in the six­
teenth and seventeenth centuries, did much to
advance botany. These were first appropriated
chiefly to the cultivation of medicinal plants,
especially at the universities, where medical
schools existed. The first Botanic Garden was
established at Padua in 1545, and next came that
of Pisa. That at Leyden dates from 1577, that
at Leipsic from 1579. Florence and Bologna
early had their gardens. The garden at Mont-
pellier was founded in 1592, that of Giessen in
1605, of Strasburg in 1620, of Altorf in 1625, of
Jena in 1629. The Jardin des Plantes in Paris
was established in 1626, and the Upsal Garden
in 1627. The Botanic Garden at Oxford was
founded in 1632. And so on, till at the end of
the eighteenth century there were 1600 Botanic
Gardens in Europe.


Some of the ancients, as already noted, specu­
lated on the change of plants into animals. Per­
haps they “builded better than they knew.”
For although no plant, regarding it as a sepa­
rate conscious existence, was ever transformed
into an animal retaining that consciousness, it is
true that plants are transformed into animals,
and that animals could not otherwise exist; and
from a purely human point of view, this seems
the purpose for which plants are, their “ final
cause.” A plant is a being which derives its
sustenance from the mineral kingdom, the earth
and the air. Only plants can convert these into
nourishment. They create the food on which
animals live. The lifeless mineral material
which would be poisonous to animal life they
work over, and transform into matter capable

of being taken into a living organization. The
sun itself, without the aid of plants, could not
feed an animal, could not produce an animal to
feed, with all the materials in the world at its
beck. Animals lay hold of what plants have
prepared for them, transform it more or less,
make it over into structures which manifest
powers and vitality of a higher order. But they
can originate no organic matter. Plants perform
their all-important work only in their green
parts, and under the light of the sun. Thus they
decompose carbonic acid and water, liberating
oxygen gas to renew and purify the atmosphere
for the breathing of animals. What they retain,
they make over into permanent plant-structure,
into cell-walls, or into starch, sugar and the like,
from which cell-walls may be made. These same
mineral elements, together with some form of
combined nitrogen, they convert into proteine or
protoplasm, the vitally active part of living plant-
cells, of which the flesh of animals is built up.


All plants are built up of parts, diverse in form,
but essentially of one nature, and of which the
structure is made as an edifice is of brick, the
brick in this case being hollow. These organic
constituents of a plant are called cells. A mass
of plastic vegetable matter, of minute size, builds
around itself a wall or shell, and this wall or shell
remains permanent, although the living part that
built it around itself has disappeared. This is a
cell. An oak tree began its existence in an ovule
of the parent, as a single such cell. The great
central fact is, that this living vegetable cell has
the power of multiplication. As it grows, it
divides into two, and each of these again into
two, and so on. In some low forms of plants,
these cells, as they increase, each becomes a sep­
arate individual. But in higher plants the cells
build up a structure composed of distinct organs,
as stem, leaves, root; and the cells themselves
develop in various shapes, many-cornered or
round, drawn out into tubes, and with thinner or
thicker walls, varying from the most delicate
growing fiber that hardly holds itself together, to
the shell of a cocoanut or the wood of the lig-
num-vitæ tree.


Woody fibers, all the anatomical elements of a
tree or herb, are made up entirely of cells and
their conformations, however diverse the form
and texture. These, variously combined, ar­
ranged and modified, make up the particular
anatomy of stems, leaves and roots. In the
stems of flowering plants the distribution of the
woody portion is upon two plans. One, that of
common wood, is ip concentric layers around a

BOTANY.                                                                   81

pith and within a separable bark, and each year
adds a new layer outside that of the previous
year. This is the exogenous stem, or outside-
grower. In the other, of which the palm is a
type, the wood does not grow in annular layers,
but in separate bundles, interspersed in the pithy
or cellular part through the whole diameter, not
in apparent order, but more accumulated toward
the outside. As the newer wood was thought to
be added toward the center, this stem was called
endogenous, or inside-grower.


Among the higher plants the reproductive or­
gans are, in ordinary language, comprehended
under the term flower; and as they are con­
spicuous, such plants have been denominated
Flowering, Phanerogamous or Phœnogamous.
Among all cellular plants and in some vascular
plants, as ferns and equisetum, there are no
flowers, and the reproductive organs are incon­
spicuous ; hence they have been termed Flower-
or Cryptogamous. In all cases the young
plant, or embryo, is completely cellular. But as
growth proceeds, that differentiation takes place
which distinguishes the several classes of plants
one from the other. In phanerogams the first
leaves produced upon the embryo plant are
termed primary, seed-lobes or cotyledons. In
some cases these are two in number, and are op­
posite one another. Plants in which this occurs
are dicotyledonous, as ordinary forest­ trees. In
other plants the lobes alternate, and only one
cotyledon is formed ; such are monocotyledonous,
as grasses and lilies. In cryptogams, on the
other hand, no such seed-lobes or cotyledons are
produced, and they are acotyledonous..


Botanists are greatly indebted to Linnæus for
the system of naming by which, ever since his
time, plants have been known. Their descrip­
tion before his method came into use involved a
vast amount of inconvenience, now happily done
away with. His hit was to give to a genus the
name of one word, and that a noun, as szy Pyrus,
apple; and to the species the name of an adjec­
tive, as coronaria, crab—Pyrus coronaria, crab-ap­
ple. This is following the analogy by which
men are named, except that the order is trans­
posed in the two cases. When the name of a
man is transposed, as, in a directory, Darwin,
Charles, it follows Linnæus’ system of naming
plants. If the student sees Morus, he knows the
word means a mulberry. When he reads alba
after it, he recognizes the white mulberry, as in
Morus multicaulis he recognizes the Chinese


mulberry, on which the silkworm feeds. It
would seem that so simple a nomenclature must
have always existed. But it did not, until Lin-
næus. There was a time when there was no
figure 0, or cipher. How would the human race
have got to its present condition if the omnipo­
tent nothing had not been created ?


In all classification it is necessary to define
what is meant by species. The usual definition
has been that a species is an assemblage of indi­
viduals having characters in common, and com­
ing from an original stock or protoplast, and
their seeds producing similar individuals. It
was also supposed that variation in species was
restrained within certain limits, and that varieties
had a tendency to revert to the parent form.
The view, however, adopted by many nowadays
is, that the tendency to variation is continuous,
and that, after a lapse of long periods of time,
and under the influence of varying external con­
ditions, the descendants from a common stock
may exhibit the differences which characterize
distinct species. These are the views advanced
by Darwin, and they imply a complete revolution
in our idea of species.


1. That although the whole of the numerous
offspring of an individual plant resemble their
parent in all main points, there are slight Indivi-

2.  That among the few who survive for further
propagation, the great majority, under ordinary
circumstances, are those which most resemble
their parent, and thus the Species is continued
without material variation.

3.   That there are, however, occasions when
certain individuals, with slightly diverging char­
acters, may survive and reproduce races in which
these divergencies are continued even with in­
creased intensity, thus producing Varieties.

4.  That in the course of an indefinite number
of generations, circumstances may induce such
an increase in this divergency, that some of these
new races will no longer readily propagate with
each other, and the varieties become New Spe­
more and more marked as the unaltered or
less altered races, descendants of the common
parent, have become extinct.

5.   That these species have in their turn be­
come the parents of groups of species, that is
Genera, Orders, etc., of a higher and higher
grade, according to the remoteness of the com­
mon parent, and more or less marked, according
to the extinction or preservation of unaltered
primary, or less altered intermediate forms.




As there is thus no difference but in degree
between a variety and a species, between a species
and a genus, between a genus and an order, all
disputes as to the precise grade to which a group
really belongs are vain. It is left in a great
measure to the judgment of the systematist, with
reference as much to the use to be made of his
method as to the actual state of things, how far
he should go in dividing and subdividing, and to
which of the grades of division and subdivision
he shall give the names of Orders, Sub­orders,
Tribes, Genera, Sub-genera, Sections, Species,
Sub-species, Varieties, etc., with the consequent


Such a systematic arrangement is founded on
a hypothesis which, so far as the present flora of
the globe is concerned, has not been demon­
strated. Conjecture is hazarded as to the pre­
sent epoch of the earth's history by extending
back to unlimited ages. If the theory is consis­
tent with what we see around us, and is founded
on plausible grounds, then we must think that
we have ascertained the secret of the growth of
things, and may say with Kepler, “I think thy
thoughts after thee, O God.”

A Whole Plant.—Let us go and pluck the first
flower we see blooming—no matter what, so long
as it is in bloom. It will not answer to have the
blossom only, with just a few inches of the stalk,
but the whole plant must be taken up, the frag­
ments of mold carefully shaken from the roots,
and the plant laid before us. It has a root, a
stem—perhaps also branches, which are only
offshoots or parts of the stem—leaves and flowers.
This is the enumeration of the parts of the plant
which any one unacquainted with botany would
give. It is often difficult to determine exactly
where the stem ends and the root begins. The
root is, in fact, only the lower and underground
portion of the stem. Some botanists call the
root and stem together the axis of the plant;
whatever name is adopted, there is a very close
connection between them. It will be better for
us now to regard them as distinct parts.

The Root.—Let the reader think of all the differ­
ent forms of root which he has ever seen, and
class them together in his own mind under two
groups, namely, those which are simple, or are
merely single continuations downwards of the
stem ; and those which are compound, or com­
posed of two or more parts starting from the
same point. As, for example, the radish, the
carrot, the turnip and the dandelion, have all

single roots. They may be branched as they go
down into the soil, but they are only single con­
tinuations of the stem. On the contrary, the
dahlia, the onion, and many of the grasses
possess a bundle of roots starting from the same
point, which are sometimes branched, and some­
times not. Although these kinds and many more
are all roots, they have a very different appear­
ance; and while it is quite correct to call them
all roots, if we would distinguish one kind from
another, we must have a name for each which
will indicate its character, without giving us the
trouble of making a drawing of the root, or using
a long description. It is necessary to use words
or terms which all botanists understand. Being
agreed that for the different forms of roots
different words should be employed, we will
enumerate the most common.

Forms of Simple Roots.—A carrot and a parsnip
are familiar examples of a kind of root which is
thick and fleshy above, gradually tapering down­
ward to a point, like an inverted cone. Hence
such a one is appropriately called a conical root.
But if the root, instead of being largest at the
top, thickens toward the middle and then dimi­
nishes again downward, so that it decreases in
both directions, like the roots of many varieties
of radish, it becomes spindle-shaped, and is
called a fusiform root. The turnip has a root,
however, which resembles neither of these, and
when well grown is nearly the shape of a boy‘s
top. This may be called a turnip-shaped root,
but the term generally employed is napiform,
the word napus being the Latin for “a turnip.”
The common form of simple root, which pro­
ceeds downward as a continuation of the stem,
without enlarging, but becoming gradually thin­
ner and thinner, often much branched, occasion­
ally with only thread-like rootlets issuing from
its sides, is known as a tap-root. It is not dis­
tinctly conical as in the root of the carrot, and
is the commonest form of root amongst herba­
ceous plants.

Compound Roots. —Of compound roots, or those
in which a bundle of little rootlets proceeds from
the base of the stem, a tuft of grass, or, still
better, a stem of wheat or barley, affords an ex­
ample. These rootlets, or little roots, being thin
and thread-like, the tuft is called a fibrous root.
When the rootlets are thickened, so as not to
be thread-like or fibrous, but are still clustered
together in a kind of bundle, it is called a fasci­
root, from the Latin word fasciculus,
which is often employed in botany, and means
a little bundle. There are modifications of form
in the rootlets which compose the fasciculated
root, as in the dahlia, in which each rootlet is
thick, fleshy and of a fusiform shape; in some
others a portion only of the rootlets are thick­



ened or swollen either once or several times
throughout their length.

Bulbs and Tubers.—The bulb of the onion, the
white lily, and many similar plants, is not a root,
but a kind of bud composed of scales closely
overlapping each other, and growing upon a but­
ton-shaped stem, from the under surface of which
the fibrous root is produced. The potato (that
portion which is cooked as a vegetable) botanists
do not class as a root, but as a tuber, or swelling
ing of the underground stem.

Age of Roots. —Some roots last only one year, and
are said to be annual; others last two years,
and are called biennial; whilst others continue
in vigor a longer period of time, and are said to
be perennial.

Uses of Roots.—The roots of plants serve a two­
fold purpose: to attach the plant to the soil, and
to furnish it with the means of sustenance. For
the latter purpose, the extreme ends of the thin
fibers of the rootlets are of a more delicate and
spongy texture, and by their means water, and
the materials diffused through water, are taken
up and conveyed to the plant. These spongy
ends of the rootlets are called the spongioles.
Certain plants possess the power of producing
additional roots, or organs having some of the
functions of roots, according as they maybe re­
quired for the purposes of the plant. These
organs are termed adventitious roots, which, in
the ivy, are like suckers growing from the stem
to attach it more firmly to the tree or wall which
supports it.

The Stem.—From the root of our plant pro­
ceeds the stem. This is a part essential to flow­
ering plants. Sometimes the stem is so short
that it can scarcely be distinguished, but it is
commonly a very prominent feature. Whether
this stem stands erect, or supports itself by
twining around or clinging to another, or lies
prostrate upon the ground, it is still a stem. If
we cut across any stem, branch or twig of a
woody plant, such as a tree or shrub, we shall
find, amid a great variety in detail, a uniformity
in plan in trees and shrubs. The outer circle or
circumference will be the bark; the inner or
central point, the pith ; and between this pith
or medulla and the outside bark, the woody por­
tion is deposited in layers, which appear as rings
when a section of the stem is made, with lines
called medullary rays cutting them from the cen­
ter to the circumference. This is the structure
of all exogenous plants.

Runners, Rhizomes and Tubers.—It has been said
that all stems are not erect. It may be added
that all stems are not produced above the surface
or the soil, for some few have a subterranean
habit, and others scarcely creep above it. If we
watch the growth of strawberry plants in the

garden, we shall observe what are termed “run­
ners” (botanically flagellœ), which are stems
running along the surface of the soil, rooting at
the joints, and still running on. Or, if we at­
tempt to root out the garden-mint, we shall find
similar runners under the surface (called in this
case soboles), sending down roots at the joints,
and sending up leaf-bearing branches to the
surface. Yet again, the purple flag or common
iris affords an example of another kind of im­
mersed or semi-immersed stem running upon
the surface, or near it, and bearing thread-like
roots from the under surface and tufts of leaves
at the extremities of all the numerous branches.
This kind of subterranean stem is a rhizome,
though most commonly called a root by all ex­
cept strict botanists. The most anomalous of
all subterranean stems is that of the potato, and
we doubt if the consciences of botanists are
quite at rest on the subject. The tubers are
regarded as swellings of an underground stem,
and this opinion is strengthened chiefly by the
fact that these tubers are capable of producing
buds, a power which true roots do not possess.
A negative character of roots may thus be noted :
they do not possess scales, which are modified
leaves; or buds, which are rudimentary leaves;
or nodes, joints or points, whence buds are de­

Leaves: their Structure.—Leaves are so variable
in form, passing into each other by such gentle
gradations, that we shall only be able to indicate
the most prominent types. If we take the leaf
of an oak, a lily and a hart‘s-tongue fern, we
shall see in each of these, especially if we hold
them up to the light, certain thicker portions like
threads traversing the leaf: these are usually
called the veins. In the oak-leaf the veins are
much branched and spread over the leaf in a kind
of network: such kinds we will call net-veined
leaves; in the lily-leaf the veins run parallel, side
by side, from the bottom towards the top of the
leaf, with finer veins crossing from one to the
other of the longitudinal veins; a leaf with such a
veining, or venation, we will call a parallel-veined
leaf. In the hart's-tongue fern the veins, al­
though all going direct toward the margin of
the leaf, divide in a regular manner into two
parts like a fork: such leaves as possess this
type are called fork-veined leaves. Of these
three kinds of veining or venation, the net-veined
leaves belong to exogens,the parallel-veined leaves
to endogens, and the fork-veined leaves to ferns.
Ferns are not flowering plants. The veining of
leaves is by no means an uninteresting subject;
there is a beautiful variety in their mode of dis­
tribution through the leaf, and some of the pret­
tiest natural objects ever exhibited under a glass
shade are the skeleton leaves of plants. In the



growing leaf all the spaces between the veins are
filled up with cells, which contain, amongst
other things, the green chlorophyl, or coloring
matter, of the leaf, and these are covered by the
delicate and transparent cuticle, or skin.

Shapes of Leaves.—In the common scarlet ge­
ranium, the leaves are attached to the stem by a
long stalk. There is the leafy expanded portion,
which is the blade, or lamina, and the footstalk,
which botanically is called the petiole. On each
side of the petiole at its base, where it joins the
stem, is a little, scaly, triangular, leaf-like blade,
without a footstalk. These are not leaves, but
appendages to the leaves, called stipules. Let us
go in search of all the different-shaped leaves
which wt can find, and ascertain how far
we can give names to the principal forms, so
that by a name which all botanists can under­
stand we may distinguish one kind of leaf from

Simple and Compound Leaves.—Leaves may be
classed in two groups. The leaves of the gera­
nium, dandelion, daisy, maple, hazel, plum, ap­
ple, etc., we place on our left hand : these are all
simple leaves. The leaves of the horse-chestnut,
the ash, the mountain-ash, the acacia, trefoil or
clover, wood-sorrel, etc., we will place on our
right hand : these are compound leaves. What
are the differences in the two groups? In the
group of simple leaves the blade, or lamina, of all
the leaves, whatever their form, or however
deeply they may be cut at the edges, is not cut
down to the mid­rib, or great central vein of the
leaf; hence we call them simple. In the other
group, each leaf is divided into two or more parts
or leaflets, which look like smaller leaves clus­
tered together upon the footstalk, or petiole. In
the clover there are three of these leaflets; in
the horse-chestnut, five or seven; in the ash, a
great many. But in all these instances there is
but one leaf, which is composed of several leaf­
lets : these are compound leaves.

Simple Leaves.—The simplest forms of simple
leaves are those of fir trees, which are long and
narrow, like needles, sometimes called “ pine-
needles,” three or five bound together at the base
in a little bundle. The name by which such
leaves are known is acicular, from a Latin word
meaning “needle shaped.” In the yew tree the
leaves are less needle-shaped, being broader below
and coming to a sharp point at the apex ; they
are awl-shaped, and the term by which they are
distinguished is subulate, which has that mean­
ing. For our next example, we leave the large
trees and descend to grasses, or little plants which
possess leaves resembling the leaves of grasses,
such as the grass-leaved stichwort, in which the
leaves are long and narrow, of the same width
throughout, except at the two extremities, and

these are said to be linear, or resembling a line.
(Plate A, Fig. I.)

Various Forms of Simple Leaves.—Leaves are called
lanceolate when their form resembles the head of
of a lance, broadest in the middle and attenuated
towards each end ; of such a leaf the lanceolate
plantain (Fig. 2) affords an example.

Egg-shaped leaves, which are broadest near the
base and narrowed upwards, are said to be ovate
(Fig. 3); but if the footstalk is reversed, and the
lamina, though still egg-shaped in outline, has
its broadest part at the apex, it is called obovate
(Fig. 4). There are constantly to be found forms
of leaves which are intermediate, and glide insen­
sibly from one to another of those which we have
enumerated ; indeed, the forms of leaves are
almost infinite, and all we can hope to do is to
establish a few types. There are, for instance,
oval and elliptical leaves, and leaves which are
nearly round. In all such cases it is better to re­
fer them to the mathematical forms which they
most closely resemble, and call them by their
names. Circular or orbicular leaves have gene­
rally the petiole or footstalk attached in the cen­
ter of the under side of the disk, and are called
peltate, not from the form of the leaf, but from
the mode in which the petiole is attached (Fig.

The few remaining forms of simple leaves with
which we can associate names are : those which
are kidney-shaped, and hence are called reni-
(Fig. 6); heart-shaped leaves, which are
termed cordate when the petiole is attached at
its broadest extremity (Fig. 5), but obcordate
when the smallest end is attached to the petiole,
as in the case of each leaflet of the wood-sorrel
(Fig. 7). Other leaves are named after the objects
to which they are supposed to bear the closest
resemblance, as spoon-shaped, or spatulate, in
the daisy (Fig. 10); arrow-shaped, or sagittate
in the water-arrowhead (Fig. 8); fiddle-shaped, or
panduriform, as exemplified in the fiddle-leaved

All the simple leaves above enumerated have
their edges but little, or not deeply, cut. There
are, however, very many forms of simple leaves
which are irregular, and so deeply cut as at first
to resemble compound leaves. Five-angled
leaves, such as those of the ivy, are quinquangu-
(Fig. 13), and those with a larger number of
angles are described by the number of angles
which they possess. Halberd-shaped leaves with
two small lobes at the base are called hastate
(Fig. 11). Leaves with lobes at the base are
common, and vary in their form (Figs. 21 and 21a).
Three-lobed leaves in which the leaves are nearly
equal are called trilobate (Fig. 9); and with five
lobes, palmate, because they resemble the fin­
gers and palm of an open hand (Fig. 14). But



the larger number of these deeply-
cut leaves are too complex and
variable to be named definitely,
except by the number and form
of their lobes or their incisions.

Compound Leaves.—The first ex­
ample taken of compound leaves
is a ternate leaf composed of
three leaflets : these leaflets may
be obovate as in clover (Fig 12),
or obcordate as in the wood-sor-
rel (Fig. 7), or indeed of any other
form. If each leaflet is again di­
vided into three parts it is biter­
or if thrice divided in a
like manner, triternate. When
there are five leaflets spreading
like five fingers, the leaf is called
digitate. By far the largest
number of compound leaves are
more or less of the pinnate
type, such as the leaves of the
ash (Fig. 15): the name “ pinnate”
is given to them because the ar­
rangement of the leaflets on each
side of the petiole or footstalk
resembles a feather (Latin penna)-
when the leaflets are in pairs
placed opposite to each other on
the footstalk (as in the ash), the
leaf is said to be oppositely
but when an alternate ar­
rangement is followed it is alter­
nately pinnate.

Arrangement of Leaflets. — The
arrangement of leaflets may be
still more complex by being fur­
ther subdivided. In this case each leaflet of a
pinnate leaf is itself pinnate, and when so divided
the leaf is termed bi-pinnate (Fig. 18). If the
subdivisions are carried still further, and each
leaflet is again divided, the leaf is called tri-
(Fig. 19). When the divisions are car-

Fig. 17.

ried beyond this, the leaf is called supra-decom­

It has been stated, in reference to the gera­
nium leaf, that the lamina, or blade, was sup­
ported upon a footstalk, or petiole. This is not
always the case. If the common teazle is ex-


amined, the leaves (which are placed opposite
to each other on the stem) will be found to have
the lamina, or blade, of one leaf united at the
base to that of the other, forming a kind of cup

Fig. 18.

or hollow of the leaf around the stem. When
pairs of leaves unite thus at the base, they are
said to be connate. The upper pairs of leaves
in the caper-spurge, and in one species of honey­

86                                                       THE FRIEND OF ALL.

suckle, are connate (Fig. 20). The blade, or
lamina of the leaf is, in some instances, con­
tinued down the stem of the plant for some dis-

Fig. 19.

tance, and is said to be decurrent; in other in­
stances it only surrounds and embraces the stem,
and is a?nplexicaul (this is derived from a Latin

Fig. 20.

word, amplexus, which means, in English, “ em­
bracing.” (Fig, 21a.)

Edges of Leaves.—Taking up the edges of leaves,
irrespective of their general form, in the ivy

Fig. 21.

leaf we find that the margin is perfectly smooth
or entire; but in very many other instances the
edges will be jagged or notched,- finely or coarse­
ly, and in different ways in different plants. In

many instances the edges of leaves are notched
or toothed like a fine saw, or serrate; when the
teeth are larger, and each tooth is again notched
or serrated, the margin is described as bi-serrate.
More rarely the teeth around the edge of a leaf,
instead of having one side longer than the other,
have both sides equal, and are said to be acutely
If, instead of being pointed, the teeth
are rounded or convex, the edge of the leaf is
crenate; but if concave depressions alternate
with pointed teeth, in such case the margin is

Fig. 21a.

called dentate. The edge of a leaf may be
ciliated, or fringed with delicate hairs like eye­
lashes, or irregularly waved and sinuate, like the
leaves of the common oak. The leaves of the
dandelion are like none of these, but the large
teeth are directed backward, not unlike the
teeth of a pit-saw, whence they are termed run­
(Fig. 22). Usually, if the serratures of

Fig. 22.

a leaf are small, they may be referred to one or
other of the forms above indicated; but if large,
they are more variable, and described as lobes.

Arrangement around the Stem.—The arrangement
of the leaves around the stem should be care­
fully observed, because there is more variety in
this than would at first be imagined. We have
already intimated that some leaves are arranged
in pairs opposite to each other, and others sin­
gly and alternate. It will also be found that
three or more leaves will grow in a circle or



whorl around the stem (Fig. 23), and that when
the stem is square and the leaves in pairs, each
alternate pair will be directly above each other,
which is called decussate. If a young branch is
plucked from an oak, and we look down upon
it, the leaves will in that position seem to be in
a whorl of five leaves, but examined sideways
they will be found to be single, and so arranged
that five consecutive leaves will describe a spiral
passing twice around the stem before a leaf is

Fig. 23.

found placed directly over the first, and this will
be the sixth. In other plants the spiral contains
fewer or more leaves, and goes either once or
several times around the stem before a leaf is
reached which is placed directly over the leaf
from whence the spiral is traced.

Modifications of Leaves.—Modifications or ap­
pendages of leaves take the form of stipules,
tendrils and thorns. When first alluding to the
leaf of the scarlet geranium, we directed atten­
tion to the pair of triangular leaf-like append­
ages which were placed, one on each side, be-

FIG. 24.                             Fig. 25.                              Fig. 26.

tween the bases of the petioles of the opposite
leaves. These appendages are the stipules,
which in some cases are so small as to be re­
duced almost to hairs, whilst in others, as in
the garden-pea, they are much larger than the
leaflets or leaves. If we pluck a stem of grass,
and remove one of the long narrow leaves, the
entire petiole will be found converted into a
kind of sheath which embraces the stem, or culm

(Fig. 24). In such plants as the wood-angelica
and the wild carrot the base only of the petiole
embraces the stem, and this form is called an
ochrea or boot (Fig. 25). The wild brier, and
other wild roses, have stipules adherent to the
petiole, or adnate (Fig. 26), and some plants
have no visible stipules. In the hawthorn they
are leaf-like, or foliaceous (Fig. 27). When they
are present the plant is described as stipulate,
and when absent, exstipulate.

Fig. 27.

Thorns.—Thorns are sometimes alterations of
stipules, sometimes projections from the cushion
upon which the base of the petiole rests, and
sometimes terminate small branches.

Tendrils.—The whole blade of a leaf is occa­
sionally absent, and the leaf becomes trans­
formed into a tendril. In the case of pinnate
leaves, only the upper leaflets will sometimes
become tendrils, and in other cases the stipules
may be converted into tendrils. It is interest­
ing to examine the tendrils of different plants,
and to endeavor to ascertain what other organ
has been converted into these forms. It must
be borne in mind that all the parts of plants can
be referred to some change or modification in
either the stem or the leaves.

Flower-Buds.—Flower-buds proceed from the
axils of leaves. The axil is the angle formed
by the junction of the leaf with the stem. Such
leaves are termed floral leaves, or bracts. Oc­
casionally the bracts are of the same color and
form as the remaining leaves of the same plant,
but generally they are smaller, and altered in
form. In a few instances they are colored. If
we gather a daisy or a dandelion, we shall ob­
serve just beneath the head of flowers, and
closely pressed to the under side, a whorl or
circle of little green leaves or bracts, and this
whorl of bracts is termed an involucre (Fig. 45).
The cap of an acorn is a kind of involucre com­
posed of numerous scaly bracts.

The Flower.—The gayest and most attractive
feature in the majority of plants is the flower;
and though so variable and in some cases so
curious in its form, it is not difficult to refer all

88                                                      THE FRIEND OF ALL.

the parts composing it to four organs, two of
which are external and two internal: the form­
er are the floral envelopes, and constitute the
showy portion of the flower; the latter are the
essential organs, and are principally concerned
in the production of the fruit and the reproduc­
tion of the species. If we return again to our
scarlet geranium, we shall notice beneath the
scarlet leaves (petals) of the flower a long green­
ish tube, expanding at the top into five green
spreading lobes: this is the calyx. It occupies
the same position as the involucre of the daisy.
In this instance the calyx is green, but if we
take another familiar example in the fuchsia, we
shall find the calyx is colored. The beautiful
pendent blossom of the fuchsia (if we take the
common red and purple variety) has externally
a crimson tube with four spreading crimson
lobes : this is the colored calyx, and within this
is the purple corolla, or petals. The two exter­
nal or floral envelopes, therefore, are called the
calyx and the corolla, of which the latter only
most usually is colored, but in some instances
both. The fuchsia may sometimes be seen with
the lobes of the calyx partially or wholly green.
The lower portion of the calyx is either united
into a tube, as in the scarlet geranium, or all
the parts, or sepals as they are called, remain
separate and distinct. In some instances,
as in the mallow, there is a double series of
sepals, forming a kind of double calyx, of which
the outer series is termed the epi-calyx. As
might be anticipated from the variety of form in
flowers, the form of the calyx is very variable.
In the nasturtium it is spurred, in the Chinese
primrose it is inflated, and also in the bladder
campion ; but in composite flowers, to which the
dandelion and daisy belong, the calyx is reduced
to fine hair-like threads. The bright yellow
eschscholtzia, a great favorite in British gardens,
has a singular kind of calyx. As the flowers
open, the conical calyx which incloses the co­
rolla breaks away at the base, and is borne up­
ward like a cap or extinguisher on the petals,
and is soon thrown off.

Petals.—The inner series of floral envelopes, or
corolla, which is generally the showy portion of
the flower, consists either of several distinct
parts or leaves, called petals, or all these are
more or less united together into one piece.
When the petals are distinct, so that they can
be plucked off one by one, some of them are
occasionally larger, or of different shape from
others in the same flower, and called irregular.
Other corollas have the petals all alike, and are,
therefore, said to be regular. If we take a wild
dog-rose, a bramble-flower, or a strawberry-
flower, we can count in each five separate and
distinct petals, of the same size and form (Fig.

28). These flowers have, therefore, a regular
corolla of distinct and separable petals, and
botanists would call such a one a “regular poly-
petalous corolla.” But supposing that we col­
lect a pea-flower, and pull off the petals, we still
find that there are five, and that we can separate
them one from the other; yet they differ in size
and form : first the one large erect upper petal
called the standard, then the two side petals
called the wings, which are smaller, and finally
the keel of two petals, sometimes partially
united. All these together form an irregular

Fig. 28.                                                      Fig, 29,

corolla of distinct and separable petals, or, tech­
nically, an “ irregular polypetalous corolla” (Fig.

The Corolla.—When the petals of a corolla are
all united into one piece of a regular and sym­
metrical form, as in the bluebell, heather, con­
volvulus, or primrose, it constitutes a regular
corolla with united petals, or, in three words,
a regular monopetalous corolla. But, though
regular, these vary much among themselves,
for the corolla of a bluebell is bell-shaped, or
campanulate (Fig. 30); that of many kinds of

Fig. 30.

Fig. 31.

heath is urn-shaped, or urceolate, being con­
tracted at the mouth ; the corolla of the convol­
vulus is funnel-shaped; that of the primrose
and phlox, flattened or salver-shaped (Fig. 31);
and some others tubular with scarcely any ex­
pansion at the mouth. All these are, neverthe­
less, regular in their form, but there are others
which are irregular.

BOTANY.                                                                   89

If we examine a daisy, we shall find not only
that what is commonly called the flower is a clus­
ter of more than a hundred flowers (Fig. 32), but
that these are of two forms. The yellow flowers
in the center, which are termed the florets of
the disk,” are regular and tubular (Fig. 33);
whilst the white flowers (composing the fringe

Fig. 34.

—“ florets of the ray”) are irregular and ligulate
or strap-shaped (Fig. 34).

A similar structure prevails in the dandelion,
and other flowers of the natural order of Com­
(compound flowers). The ligulate or
strap-shaped florets afford one example of an
“ irregular monopetalous corolla,” That com­
mon garden ­flower, the yellow calceolaria, has
another form, in which the lips are hollowed out
like a slipper. The dead-nettle, ground-ivy
and mint have another form, in which the corolla
has two unequals lips, and is called labiate or
lipped (Fig. 35). A still closer resemblance to a
closed mouth will be found in the toadflax and
snapdragon. All these are forms of an “irregu­
lar monopetalous corolla.”

Varieties of Corolla.—The corolla of flowers is
sometimes all in one piece, and is then called a
monopetalous corolla; but when divided into
separate and distinct petals, it is called polype-
If the form is regular, or the petals all
alike in shape and size (though they may differ
in color), the corolla is called regular ; but if the
upper part of a corolla has a different form or
size from the lower, or the petals are unequal,
the corolla is said to be irregular. In some
plants—the garden tulip, for instance—there is
apparently only one floral envelope, composed
of six equal-sized petals, colored alike, and hardly
to be distinguished from each other. Three of
these are outside the three others, and belong to
the calyx, the inner three petals forming the
corolla. In such cases it is not usual to distin­
guish the sepals from the petals, or the calyx
from the corolla, but to call the whole six flower-
leaves together a perianth.

Stamens and Pistil.—If we pick off the petals
from a flower plucked from our pet geranium,

we shall see therein, standing at the top of the
tube, six thread-like bodies side by side: five of
these are all alike; the sixth, which stands in the
middle, is different. The five are called stamens,
and the one which is unlike any of the rest is
the pistil. There are other flowers, equally com­
mon, in which we shall be able to distinguish
them better. Let us try a honeysuckle or a prim­
rose. A stamen consists of a thread-like stalk,
which is called the. filament, and a thicker, some­
what oblong head, which is the anther (Fig. 36).
Sometimes the filaments are more or less united,
either at the base only, or nearly throughout
their length, and in a few instances are so short
as scarcely to be seen. The anther is by far the
most important part of the stamen : it contains
a mass of fine granules, which is dispersed like
dust when the anther opens. This dust is the
fertilizing principle, and is called the Pollen. In
orchids the pollen is compacted together in waxy

masses. The pistil generally consists of three
parts : a base, more or less swollen, which is the
ovary; an apex, variable in form, which is the
stigma; and an intermediate support called the
style (Fig. 37). The last-named is sometimes
absent, and the style is sessile, or seated upon
the ovary. The stigma consists of a viscid or
sticky surface, to which the pollen-grains, when
shed from the anthers, adhere. The ovary, which
afterwards, when fertilized, becomes the fruit, is
a cell containing one or more little bodies called
ovules, which, when developed, are the seeds.
When the pollen is shed from the anthers it ad­
heres to the stigma, on which it falls or is con­
veyed by insects. Soon after it is attached to
the stigma, each pollen-grain sends a little tube
down the style into the ovary, and the end of
this tube passing into one of the ovules, the con­
tents of the pollen-grain are transferred to the
ovule, which becomes fertilized, and the empty
pollen-cases are dispersed. If the ovary is cut
across with a sharp pen­knife, the number of
ovules which it contains may. be counted, and
the manner in which they are arranged deter-

90                                                      THE FRIEND OF ALL.

mined; both of which are often required to be
known in the examination of a plant. Some­
times the ovules are attached to the walls of the
ovary, and sometimes at the center. Sometimes
the ovary has no division, and at others it is
divided into two or more cells. These are called
one-celled, two-celled, or many-celled ovaries, as
the case may be.

Inflorescence.— Before following the ovary to
its development into fruit, we must return again
to the flowers and observe the manner in which

they are arranged upon the stem. This is called
the inflorescence. The stalk which supports a
flower is its peduncle, and when there is no stalk
it is sessile, or seated upon the stem. The most
simple kind of inflorescence is a spike, in which
the flowers have scarcely any peduncles, and are
grouped around the upper portion of the stem or
axis (Fig. 38). The common plantain, used for
feeding caged birds, is a familiar example. The
catkins of the willow, poplar and hazel are a va­

riety of spike which is deciduous, or quickly
falling away, and containing male flowers, or flow­
ers with stamens but no pistils. The hop and
fir cones are also varieties of spikes with scales.

If the flowers are arranged in a similar manner
on the stem, but each flower has a perceptible
peduncle which are all of the same length, the
inflorescence is called a raceme (Fig. 39). The
flowers of the currant, etc., are produced in
racemes. A panicle is a kind of compound

raceme in which the peduncles are branched,
each pedicle, or branch, of which bears its flower
(Fig. 40). Several kinds of grasses produce their
flowers in panicles. There is a kind of inflores­
cence called a corymb, in which the peduncles
are simple, springing from different points on
the axis, as in a raceme, but the lower peduncles
are lengthened, so that all the flowers are brought
nearly to the same level (Fig. 41). If the pe­
duncles are branched, it becomes a compound

One of the most complex forms of inflorescence
is the cyme, which should be studied in its mode
of development. It is common in the stitchwort
family (Fig. 42). The stem terminates in a
flower, then branches arise from the axils of a
pair of bracts a little lower down : these are each
surmounted by a flower. In turn each of these
secondary flowers is supplemented by branches
from the axils of its bract, and thus the pro­
cess is repeated till the shoot is exhausted.

A very characteristic inflorescence is the um­
in which all the flowers are supported on pe­
duncles of equal length, springing from the same
point; but if each peduncle supports a secondary
umbel, the result is a compound umbel, as in
the carrot, parsnip, hemlock, angelica, and many
other common plants (Fig. 43), which are hence
called u7nbellifer0us, and constitute a generally
easily recognized natural order.

Another very large group of plants have an

BOTANY.                                                                   91

inflorescence like the daisy and dandelion (called
a capitulum), in which numerous flowers are
compacted together upon a button-like recepta­
cle, on which they are sessile. These form the na­
tural order of Composite plants (Figs. 32 and 45).

Fruit.—It has been already remarked that the
ovary when mature becomes the fruit, and that
the ovules ripen into seed. What is commonly
termed fruit includes in some instances other
parts of the plant, so that “ fruit,” in its botani­
cal acceptation, does not always agree with the
fruit of the gardener and the cook. For exam­

ple : the bean and pea are fruits in botanical ac­
ceptation, but are not so recognized in the
kitchen; whereas the strawberry includes also
the pulpy receptacle, and the gooseberry and
apple have the calyx and ovary united in what
is termed the fruit. As fruit ripens it may divide
or open, as the pea and the wallflower, and is
then called dehiscent; but if, as the cherry and
filbert, it does not open, it is termed indehiscent.
Of each of these there are several kinds accord­
ing to their structure and character; and, as the

fruit is of great importance in the classification
of plants, the distinctions should be carefully re­

Dehiscent Fruits.—We will commence with de­
hiscent fruits, or those which open as they ap­
proach maturity. The follicle, or little bag,
which opens down the inner side (ventral su­
ture), and never down the back (dorsal suture),
as in the common columbine (Fig. 44); the
legume, opening either down the front or back,
or along both sutures, as in the pea and bean
(Fig. 46); the capsule, which opens by valves
or pores (Fig. 47), and occasionally by a lid, of
which the foxglove, the poppy, and the henbane
are examples; the siliqua, a kind of flat capsule

opening by two valves (from below upwards),
leaving the seeds attached on both sides of a
central partition (Fig. 48), as in the wallflower and
cabbage; the cone, or strobilus consists of a
dense scaly spike, each scale with seed at the base;
when mature, the scales fall back and permit the
seeds to escape. It will be observed that all the
kinds above enumerated are dry, and not pulpy

Indehiscent Fruits.—Some of these are pulpy,
and some are dry. The seed-envelope (or that
portion of the fruit which incloses the seed) has
three layers, which are sometimes blended to­
gether and sometimes separable. When these
layers are distinct, the outer is the epicarp, the
inner is the endocarp, and the middle is the
mesocarp; whilst the whole together, whether

divisible or not, is the pericarp. If these four
kinds of carp are well memorized, we may proceed
with indehiscent fruits which are not pulpy.

An achene, or achenium, is a dry fruit in
which the pericarp may be readily separated from
the seed. The fruit of the sunflower is an ache-
nium. A caryopsis has the pericarp insepar­
able from the seed, as in a kernel of wheat. The
bran which is sifted from flour is the pericarp of
wheat. A utricle has the pericarp inflated, as
in the goose-foot. A glans has a hardened
pericarp, with bracts at the base or inclosed in
an involucre, as in the acorn and chestnut. A
samara has the pericarp winged, as in the elm,
the ash and the maple (Fig. 49).



The pulpy unopening or indehiscent fruits are
very easily remembered. Of those which con­
tain but one seed there is only the drupe, which
includes the cherry, plum and all one-seeded
pulpy fruits. The raspberry and blackberry
fruits are aggregated little drupes, of which a
large number are arranged about a receptacle
(Fig. 50). The pulpy fruits with more than one

Fig. so.

seed are sometimes divided into four kinds, but
we shall consider them as two—the berry, in
which the seeds are immersed in a pulpy mass,
as in the gooseberry, orange and melon, and the
pome, in which the seeds are inclosed each in a
separate cell, as in the apple and pear.

The Seed.—The seed contains within its own
special covering the embryo, which may occupy
the whole or only a part of the interior. This em­
bryo consists of the radicle or young root, the
plumule, or young stem, and the cotyledons or
or seed-leaves of the future plant which is to be
developed from the seed. All these sometimes
form but a minute point just distinguishable by
the naked eye. When the seed germinates the
plumule proceeds upward, the radicle down­
ward, and the first leaf or pair of leaves which
appear above the soil are the cotyledonary, or


For this there are needed a pocket-lens, a tin
box, and a few quires of paper of a spongy na­
ture, so as to absorb moisture (such as grocers
employ for wrapping sugar will answer the pur­
pose), but the size should be a little larger than
that of the paper on which it is purposed ulti­
mately to mount the specimens. A very good
size for a sheet when folded in half is 17 by 11
inches, or it may be this size and not folded,
which is perhaps most convenient. A stout deal
board for the top and the bottom, and this also
half an inch larger each way than the paper,
should be provided. Three or four bricks tied
up in brown paper will serve as weights, each
brick forming a parcel. This will be all that is

really essential until the plants are dried and
ready for mounting.

As ferns are very good plants to commence
with, and perhaps the easiest of any to preserve,
we will take them, and when the method of dry­
ing is acquired by experiments upon them, other
plants may succeed.

The collection of ferns for transplanting and
the collection of fronds for preservation as botani­
cal specimens are to be pursued at very different
periods of the year. For botanical purposes,
fronds destitute of fructification are worse than
useless, unless they belong to species which pro­
duce distinct fertile and barren fronds, and in
which the characters and appearance of these
fronds materially differ. In such cases the two
kinds of fronds should be collected and preserved

The period for collecting ferns for the herba­
rium is, therefore, manifestly that when the fruc­
tification has nearly attained to maturity, and it
is always better to collect them on a dry day than
on a very Wet one. The collector should go out
prepared for collecting ferns, if he desires his her­
barium to present a neat and respectable appear­
ance when completed. Some recommend a bag,
and some a large book under the arm ; but com­
mend us to two half-inch deal boards, about 11
by 17 inches, with a strap and buckle for each
end, and twenty sheets of good bibulous paper,
cut to the same size, and placed between them.

Having selected a good frond or two for pre­
servation, taking care not to break the stipe or
stalk, but to separate it from the rhizome, or
root-stock, bend back the stipe just below the
lowest leaflet of the frond, breaking the woody
portion, but not dividing it from the rest of the
frond, and lay it carefully between a sheet of
your bibulous paper, and secure it with the spare
paper between your boards; then proceed in
search of more. Fronds which with their stalks
are not too long for the paper should be laid in
without bending.

In selecting fronds for preservation, it is not
the largest that are required, but it is rather ad­
visable to collect such specimens as will lie com­
fortably between the papers without bending
than to aim at procuring fine specimens, which
may only prove to be a nuisance. A perfect
frond of 9 inches in length is better than a fold­
ed or otherwise mutilated one of 19 inches. In
selecting fronds, the fruit should not be too ripe,
or instead of spores you will only find empty
cases, not to mention the rusty dust that will
continually tint your papers. It is better that
the spores should be scarcely matured. Then,
again, it should be noticed whether the frond is
eaten by insects, broken, or in any other way im­
perfect. Such specimens are to be avoided if



others can be obtained. Finally, the specimens
selected should be well grown, and not distorted,
unsymmetrical, or exhibit a tendency to sporting,
or departure from the general type of the neigh­
boring fronds.

Having collected what specimens are required
and conveyed them home, the next process con­
sists of drying them. This is accomplished by
removing them from the papers in which they J
have been collected and transferring them to
fresh paper. The ferns should be transferred to
a sheet of drying-paper; two or three thicknesses,
or even four or five, may be placed upon it, and
then another specimen, and thus ad libitum.
When all are in this manner transferred, the pile
should be placed in a press, or with a stout board
above and below, loaded on the top with some
heavy weights—stones, bricks, books or anything
applicable for the purpose. Twenty-four hours
at the least, and forty-eight at the most, they
should remain unmoved. At the expiration of
this period each specimen should be transferred
to a dry sheet of paper, with three or four thick­
nesses of dry paper between each specimen, and
again put under pressure for the same period.
The damp paper from which the specimens are
taken should be at once dried in the sun or be­
fore the fire. It is always advisable to change
the sheet for each variety. The specimens
should be laid on the paper with the under or
fructifying surface uppermost, and the barren
side of the frond applied to the paper. Small
strips of gummed paper, about an inch in
length, and not more than an eighth of an inch
in width, should be laid across the principal and
secondary ribs or branches of the frond, and each
end fascened down to the sheet of paper; other
pieces may, in like manner, be placed across the
tips of the fronds, or wherever else appears to be
necessary to secure the specimen to the paper.
It may be suggested that too many such slips
disfigure the specimen, and if there are not suf­
ficient it cannot be retained in its place. Expe­
rience must be the best teacher. Some object to
fastening the specimens to paper at all, others
recommend gluing them down by the whole sur­
face. Both these plans are objectionable. If
the specimens are loose, they are not only in
danger of being broken or damaged, but of being
misplaced and dissevered from the label which
belongs to them. If wholly glued down, they
cannot under many circumstances be readily
removed from the paper, either to be transferred
to other paper or for closer examination or com­

Each specimen having been mounted, the la­
bel which accompanies it should be pasted down
beside it. Finally, its generic and specific name
should be written legibly at the lower right-hand

corner. All the specimens belonging to one
genus should then be collected together and
placed between the folds of a sheet of paper, half
an inch wider and longer when folded than the
half-sheets upon which the specimens are mount­
ed. These genera covers” may be of the same
paper, or a smooth brown paper may be employed
for the purpose. On the outside of the genera
covers, at the lower left-hand corner, the name
of the genus should be written in a good bold
hand. The whole may be transferred to a deal
box, the front of which is movable as well as the
lid, being hinged to the bottom, so as to fall
down and lie flat on the table. The lid may be
so contrived as to hold the front in its place
when closed. A deal box, 9 inches deep, 13 inches
wide and 20 inches long, will hold a good collec­
tion, and if this ever should prove too small for
the number of specimens obtained, add a second

A little camphor may be kept with the speci­
mens, but the best preservative will be to look
them all over, and thus allow the air to have ac­
cess to them, once in every six months. With
such precautions a collection may be preserved
uninjured for years, provided always that it is kept
in a dry place—not moderately, but thoroughly dry
—or “mold” may injure irremediably what in­
sects have spared.

A neat little collection of ferns, of smaller pre­
tensions, and less claim to be regarded in a sci­
entific light, may be arranged in a kind of album
or scrap-book, with “guards” introduced by the
binder sufficient to compensate for the extra
thickness caused by the insertion of the speci­
mens. A tinted paper is often used in the manu­
facture of these books, which good taste may
transform into a very interesting volume for the
drawing-room table.

In collecting flowering plants it is essential
that the plants should be collected when in flow­
er, and, if possible, specimens in fruit should be
collected and dried therewith. This will seldom
be possible, but a later visit to the same spot
may furnish fruiting specimens, which may be
dried and placed with the flowering portion.
Wherever the plant is small, or of moderate size,
the whole of it, including the root, should be
gathered, as this will make the specimens more
valuable for reference and comparison, and give
a better idea of the plant. If the seeds are being
shed, they should be collected and placed in a
small envelope, which may be fastened on the
sheet beside the plant when it is mounted.
Stems which are too thick to lie flat, especially
such as are woody, should be pared down at the
back with a sharp knife, care being taken not to
interfere with the front or exposed portion of the

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