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door. Fortunately for him he was too minute insects that make their way excited to sleep, for in the still hours through the loosened earth. Thus in he suddenly became aware that the air, earth and water, vegetables have tester of the bed on which he was lying set their traps to turn the tables on was slowly and silently descending to the animal world, by catching and desmother him. The feelings of the fly vouring many of its members. on the sundew must be somewhat sim- We all know the evils of what is ilar to this. Equally slowly and silent- called "breeding in and in," and so do ly the tentacles which cover the leaf plants. To secure cross-fertilization fold themselves around him; and when their greatest ingenuity and most they expand again there is nothing left strenuous efforts are directed. I shall of the fly but the wings and the skin, show presently how plants enlist the the rest having been assimilated by the services of birds in the distribution of leaf.
their seed, but for the purpose of crossAnother carnivorous plant is the blad- fertilization their chief servitors are derwort (Utricularia). It is an aquatic winged insects, especially bees and plant, wholly submerged with the ex- moths. It is to attract these that they ception of the blossom, and profusely surround their pollen-bearing stamens furnished with small biadder-like ap- with petals of every hue, which add pendages about the size of snipe-shot. such a charm to life. It is as a bait The bladders are open, and the opening for them that the drop of honey is is fringed with hairs pointing inwards distilled at the base of each flower. It like the wires of a rat-trap. The small is for the night-flying moths that ceranimal organisms, whose number and tain flowers reserve their scent till the variety in a single drop of water when sun is down; and it may be noted that examined under the microscope, aston- these are generally devoid of bright ish one, can enter, but they cannot colors. Such would be useless to them leave it. There and then they turn into in the dark, and they scorn waste. vegetable.
It has been said that if there were no Once only (it was in the Dauphiné cats, there could be no clover. The Alps) have I seen the beautiful yellow connection is not, at first sight, obvious, flower of the bladderwort rising from but it is this; clover is wholly depenthe water. Having made out what it dent for fertilization on the humblewas, I tried to bring some home in a bee; field-mice are especially partial bottle, but failed. The failure was of to bee-bread and the grub of the humsmall importance, for having thus iden- ble-bee; if it were not for the cats the tified it, I found it growing in abun- field-mice would exterminate the bees, dance about four miles from my own and the clover would perish. It is inhouse. I transferred some to a pond in genious, but the author of it forgot the the garden, where it thrives amazingly, unjustly persecuted owl, who does more but I have never seen it in blossom in service to the farmer in keeping down this country.
the mice than all the pussy-cats in the In England, Scotland and Ireland, our place. botanist, if he is fortunate, may find More pages than the editor would althe curious subterranean parasite, low me would be needed to describe Lathræa squamaria, whose English all the "dodges” (I can call them nothing name of toothwort is derived from the else) that plants are up to to secure a ivory-white scales or leaves which cross-fertilization. I can but just mencover the underground stem, and which tion a few. It is with this view that are each a somewhat similar trap for some plants are protogynous—that is
to say, it is not till the pistil has been In its descent the pin (or trunk of the fertilized by pollen from another plant bee) pushes back this lever, thus causthat the stamens ripen their pollen, to ing the anthers to emerge from the be carried in turn to later flowers. A hood, and gently to touch the finger of notable instance of this is the Aristolo- the operator, which represents the back chia clematitis, a plant with an insig- of the bee, depositing its pollen there. nificant-looking tubular flower of about On the pin being withdrawn, they rean inch long. At the bottom of the tire again within the hood, to await antube there is a globular chamber which other visit. contains the honey. The tube inside is Though insects are the chief agents covered with fine hairs, all pointing of cross-fertilization, they are far from downwards. Thus small flies can en- being the only ones. There are many ter, and, if they have previously been plants—such, for instance, the in other flowers, the pistil receives grasses, and, among trees, coniferæfrom them the pollen that is needed. whose agent is the wind. They proOnce in, the fly cannot escape at pleas- duce pollen in such abundance that a ure. He must stay there till the pistil pistil can scarcely escape fertilization is withered, and the stamens have, in at the hands of the breeze. They do their turn, ripened, and deposited their not need to attract the visits of insects, pollen in the chamber where the fly is. and consequently have neither honey, Then the imprisoning hairs wither up, nor scent nor gorgeous flowers. probably the supply of honey ceases, Some plants do not seem to be aware and the fly, thoroughly coated with of the benefit to be drived from crosspollen, is free to depart. Liberty is ing, and have made all their arrangesweet, but to his taste honey is sweeter ments for self-fertilization; while still. He seeks another flower where others are so resolved to discourage it the scent of honey is strong, and so that they will not admit the presence the process is repeated till the supply of the two sexes in the same flower; for of blossoms ceases.
instance, the hazel, the catkins of In a previous number of this maga- which contain stamens only, the fezine, I have mentioned the sensitive male flowers being tiny red ones sesnature of the stamens of the barberry, sile on the twigs, that might easily and how, when touched near the base escape attention. Others carry their by a honey-seeking insect, they spring table of affinity still further, enacting forward, one by one, to cover him with that no pistil shall be fertilized by their pollen, and so compel him to con- pollen from the same tree. These have vey it to the next flower that he may consequently male and female plants. An visit. Another pretty experiment dis- interesting example of this is the Auplays a mechanical arrangement with cuba Japonica. We have long had the the same object. When at rest the sta- female plant, which was easily propamens of the salvia with their anthers lie gated by cuttings, but bore no fruit. hidden within the hood, where they are About a generation ago Japan was protected from wet. If, however, our opened up, and some botanist brought experimenting botanist will
home the male plant. Since then, our blunt-pointed pin, and holding it at old friend, rejoicing in her recovered about the length of a bee's trunk from spouse, has brought forth abundantly, the end, insert it in the tube, he will and, where he is near, is yearly covered find that it there encounters the short with brilliant berries. arm of a lever, the long arm of which Not less notable are the habits of is the anther-bearing end of the stamen. plants and their relations to animals in the matter of the distribution of their germinate, thus covered and manured. seed. Some seeds, like those of the Other small animals, like the field-mice, thistle, are furnished with a downy make their subterranean store, some of apparatus, which enables them to float which through casualties in their small upon the breeze. They can float army, escape and grow. thus for miles, seeking a new The birds, however, are the principal habitat. Others, like burs, are fur agents in the distribution of seed. Let nished with hooks, by which they us glance at a few instances of this. attach themselves to any passing ani- The branches of an oak and the ground mal, sticking to him perhaps for days, underneath may be seen in acorn time but sure, eventually, to be dropped thick with rooks gorging themselves somewhere away from the parent plant. with acorns. But what is yon glossy Others, again, explode their seed ves- purple fellow doing apart from the sel with sufficient force to scatter their others. He has flown into the middle seed far and wide. Children, grown-up of the field, where he can have a better ones sometimes, are fond of touching eye upon approaching enemies, and is the ripening pods of balsam, and try- vigorously hammering away at the ing not to be startled by the explosion ground with his strong beak. Having which ensues.
eaten as many acorns as his craw will Of all the arrangements for dispers- hold, he is burying a few with an eye ing seed, there is, however, none at all to hard times. When those times come to compare with the compact which the “boy with the gun" may have got plants have apparently made with the him, or he may fail to locate some of animal kingdom, and especially with his buried treasures, which grow up, birds. It would almost seem as if and in time prove their gratitude by there was a formal treaty between the repaying the acorn with compound intwo kingdoms, the vegetable saying to terest to his descendants. the other, “We will produce seed in The blackbird is especially fond of abundance, far more in a single year the berries of the ivy. When he has than the whole world would suffice to filled his craw with them, he retires to grow, and this shall be to you for food, his favorite tree, and, putting his head you rendering to us in return this serv- under his wing, sleeps the sleep of the ice, that you deposit in a favorable just. In the morning the ground under position for growth, and uninjured, his perch is white with his droppings; one grain in every ten thousand.” Let but if these be examined, it will be us see how the animals fulfil their part found that the actual seeds have been of the compact. A man picks an apple, too hard for his gizzard, and have been and munches it as he goes along, deposited in the very spot most favorthrowing the core away, the core in able for their success in the battle of which are the seeds, which are thus life---at the foot of a tree. I must give deposited yards, or perhaps miles, away one more example of this compact. In from the parent tree.
order that they may germinate, the Why, on a winter's day, do we see seeds of the mistletoe must be smudged the rooks and the sparrows contend- on to the branch of certain kinds of ing which shall have the first turn-over trees. With this view, the plant sur. of the freshly-deposited horse-drop- rounds its seeds with a highly glutinous pings? Why, but because a few grains mucilage, which it flavors with a nicety of oats often pass undigested through to the taste of the thrush. In eating the horse? And perhaps an odd grain the berries the thrush can more may escape even their sharp eyes and escape getting his beak covered outside
with this sticky mucilage than a child the fact that the dread potato disease can indulge in a feast of bilberries with was simply a fungus, that the means a clean mouth. His dinner ended, be of treating it, which have now reduced goes, like a tidy child, to wipe his its ravages to a comparatively insignifimouth; for this he finds the branch of cant amount, were discovered. What a tree quite the handiest sort of napkin, do we not owe to quinine? But with but it is not the mucilage alone that he out a chemical and experimental study wipes off; an occasional seed has also of plant life we should never have stuck outside, and this, too he deposits , known that it was to be found in the on the branch together with the muci. bark of certain trees. lage needed for its adhesion there, in A study of the natural orders of the only position and under the only plants may, at first sight, appear unatconditions suited to its growth, and tractive, but it is full of interesting which could not otherwise be easily facts; witness that about the extensive attained.
order of cruciferæ mentioned above. I It was a purely utilitarian idea that hate Greek names and never use such first drew me to a superficial study of if there is an English equivalent; but botany. As a boy I had read, as all English or Greek, surely it is deeply boys do greedily, the story of a ship- interesting to learn that, as a rule, all wreck. The crew had, of course, been monocotyledons are endogenous, while cast upon an uninhabited shore, where dicotyledons are exogenous,
so that no food offered but strange plants that when the first tender seed-leaves of a might have death hidden in their tree appear above ground, the botanist leaves. Now, amongst the officers was can tell, within limits, of what nature one who had some knowledge of bot- its timber will be. Even to the uninitiany, enough, at least, to make him ated, such names as Coniferæ, Rosaaware that no crucifer is poisonous to ceæ, Compositæ, Umbelliferæ, Lillathe human subject. To him, also, the ceæ, Gramineæ, or, amongst non-flowplants themselves were strange, but he ering plants, the Ferns, the Mosses, caused all that were gathered to be the Fungi, the Algæ, and the Lichens, brought to him; the cruciferæ he put convey at
certain well-defined in the pot, and the rest he rejected; characteristics which are a help in the and so he kept his crew alive till help general arrangement of such knowlcame. The cruciferæ are so named edge as one may happen to acquire. I from their petals forming a cross; but once asked the members of a Y.M.C.A. let none be misled into supposing that if they could name any non-flowering all cross-petaled flowers are, therefore, plant. There was but one response; it innocuous. Some are highly poisonous. was from the curate "carrots"!! And A true crucifer must not only have yet the species of cryptogamous, or four petals, but it must also have four non-flowering plants, far exceed in divisions of the calyx; the stamens number those that bear flowers. must also be examined and prove to If there is one class of scientists to be six in number, of which four are whose studies botany would appear long and two short.
alien, it is the mathematicians-and yet Only doctors fully understand how at p. 396 of the first volume of Kerner much an experimental and scientific will be found some very curious facts, study of plant life has tended to alle. too long to quote here, as to the matheviate the ills from which we suffer in matical distribution of leaves on the our persons and our properties. It was stem. not till the microscope had laid bare What, I may be asked, is the use of
learning all this? Well, if the querist try than some knowledge of the reason confines his definition of "use" to of things, some perception of how the money-grubbing, even then the answer great God has woven all His works tomay be found above; but, if that word gether, making each dependent on the includes the attainment of happiness, other, till the heart breaks out in its it is of the highest use. Few things can hallelujah, “O ye mountains and hills, more add to the happiness of travel, or O all ye green things upon the earth, even of a saunter round one's own gar- bless ye the Lord; praise Him and den, or a walk through town or coun- magnify him forever."
Thomas Cooke-Trench. Longman's Magazine,
THE SEA WRACK.
The wrack was dark and shiny where it floated in the sea,
The wet wrack,
We laid it on the gray rocks to wither in the sun,
The dry wrack,
There's a fire low upon the rocks to burn the wrack to kelp,
The dark wrack.