Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

the Tobacco are examples. The Umbelliferous plants, which grow in wet places, have usually a nauseous smell : such plants are poisonous, as the Water hemlock. Umbelliferous plants which grow in dry places, usually have an aromatic smell, and are not poisonous, as Caraway and Fennel.

Plants with Labiate corollas, and containing their seeds in capsules, are often poisonous, as the Foxglove; (Digitalis ;) also, such as contain a milky juice, unless they are compound flowers. Such plants as have horned or hooded nectaries, as the Columbine and Monk's-hood, are mostly poisonous.

Among plants which are seldom poisonous, are the compound flowers, as the Dandelion and Boneset ; such as have labiate corollas, with seeds lying naked in the calyx, are said, never to be poisonous; the Mint and Thyme are examples of such plants. The Papilionaceous flowers, as the pea and bean ; the Cruciform, as the radish and mustard, are seldom found to be poisonous. Such plants as have their stamens standing on the calyx, as the Rose, and apple, are never poisonous; neither the grass-like plants with glume calyxes, as Wheat, Rye, and Orchard grass, (Dactylis.)

Proper Flowers for Analysis. In selecting flowers for analysis, you must never take double ones; the stamens (and in many cases the pistils also) change to petals by cultivation, therefore you cannot know by a double flower, how many stamens or pistils belong to it in its natural state. Botanists seem to view as a kind of sacrilege, the changes, made by culture, in the natural characters of plants ; they call the double flowers, and the variegated ones, produced by a mixture of different species, monsters and deformities. These are harsh expressions to be applied to Roses and Carnations, which our taste must lead us to admire, as intrinsical. ly beautiful, although their relative beauty, as subservient to scientific illustration, is certainly destroyed by the labour of the florist. The love of native wild flowers is no doubt greatly heigtened by the habit of seeking them out, and observing them in their peculiar situations; a Botanist at the discovery of some lowly plant, growing by the side of a brook, or almost concealed in the cleft of a rock, will often experience a more vivid delight than could be produced by a view of the most splendid exotic. Botanical pursuits render us interested in every vegetable production ; even such as we before looked upon as useless, present attractions, as objects of scientific investigation, and become associated with the pleasing recollections, arising from the gratification of our love of knowledge. “A peculiar interest is given to conversation by an acquaintance with any of the natural sciences; and when females shall have more generally obtained access to these delightful sources of pure enjoyment, we may hope that scandal, which oftener proceeds from a want of better subjects than malevolence of disposition, shall cease to be regarded as a characteristic of our sex.

It is important to the cause of science, that it should become fashionable ; and as one means of affecting this, the parlours of those ladies, who have advantages for intellectual improvement, should more frequently exhibit specimens of their own scientific taste. All the fashionable et ceteras of scrap books, engravings and albums, do not reflect upon their possessors any great degree of credit. To paste pictures, or pieces of prose or poetry, into a book; or to collect in an album the wit and good sense of others, are not proofs of one's own acquirements; and the possession of elegant and curious engravings, indicates a full purse, rather than a well stored mind; but herbariums and books of impressions of plants,* drawings &c. show the taste, and knowledge of those who execute them.

*

MANNER OF TAKING IMPRESSIONS OF LEAVES. --Hold oiled paper over the smoke of a lamp until it becomes darkened; to this paper, apply the leaf, having previously warmed it between the hands, that it may be pliant. Place the lower surface of the leaf upon the blackened paper, that the numerous veins which run through its extent, and which are so prominent on this side, may receive from the paper, a portion of the smoke. Press the leaf upon the

Plants seldom poisonous-Double flowers not proper for analysis—Effect of Botanical pursuits-Of an acquaintance with any of the natural sciences.

It is unfortunately too much the case, that female ingenuity, (especially in the case of young ladies after leaving school) is in a great degree, directed to trivial objects, which have no reference either to utility, or to moral and intellectual improvement. But a taste for scientific pursuits once acquired, a lady will feel that she has no time for engagements, which neither tend to the good of others, or to make herself wiser or better.

[ocr errors]

paper, by placing upon it, some thin paper and rubbing the fingers gently over it, so that every part of the leaf may come in contact with the sooted oil paper. Then remove the leaf, and place the sooted side upon clean white paper, pressing it gently as before ; upon removing the leaf, the paper will present a delicate and perfect outline, together with an accurate exhibition of the veins which extend in every direction through it, more correct and beautiful than the finest drawing

Female ingenuity too often directed to trivial objects.

PART II.

LECTURE VII.

Importance of observing external objects.-Vegetables consist of

two sets of organs.-Of the root.The stem.

The exercises which constitute the principal part of our previous course of lectures, are chiefly designed to assist you in practical botany. It is not expected that you are to be the passive receivers of instruction, but that you are to compare with real objects, the descriptions which are presented; by doing this faithfully, you will find your minds gradually strength. ened, and more competent to compare and judge in abstract studies, where the subjects of investigation are in the mind on. ly, and cannot, like the plants, be looked at with the eyes and handled with the hands.

All our thoughts, by means of the senses, are originally derived from external objects. Suppose an infant to exist who could neither hear, see, taste, smell, nor feel; all the embryos of thought and emotion might exist within it; it might have a soul capable of as high attainments as are within the reach of any created beings; but this soul, while thus imprisoned, could gather no ideas; the beauty of reflected light, constituting all the variety of colouring; the harmony of sounds, the fragrant odors of flowers, the various flavors, which are derived from our sense of taste, the ideas of soft, smooth, or hard; all these ideas must forever remain unknown to the soul confined to a body having no means of communication with the world around it. The soul, in its relation to external objects, may be compared to the embryo plant, which, imprisoned within the seed, would forever remain inert, were no means provided for its escape from this confinement, and no communication opened between it and the air, the light, and vivifying influence of the earth.

Since our first ideas are derived from external nature is it not a rational conclusion that we should add to this original

Study of external objects strengthens the mind-Abstract studies facilitated by acquaintance with the natural sciences-Our first ideas gained by the senses - Analogy between the soul and the embryo plant.

stock of knowledge, by a continued observation of objects ad. dressed to our senses? After the years of infancy are past, and we begin to study books, should we, neglecting sensible objects, seek only to gain ideas from the learned; or in other words, shall we in the pursuit of human sciences, overlook the works of God?

Having now enabled you to understand the method of analy. sing plants, we shall proceed to consider more fully the different organs of plants, with the uses of each, in the vegetable econ. omy.

In plants, as well as animals, each part or organ, is intimate. ly connected with the whole; and the vegetable, as well as the animal being depends for its existence on certain laws of or. ganization.

We shall consider the vegetable organs under two classes ; the first including such organs as promote the growth of the plant; the second such as perfect the seed, and thus provide for the reproduction of the species.

1st. The Root, or descending part.
2nd. The Stem, which elevates and sustains the

branches. Organs which

3d. The Leaves, which are the lungs of plants, promote the growth of the inhaling nutritious gases, and exhaling such as plant.

are not needed for the growth of the plant. 4th. The appendages, as leafets, tendrils, thorns,

&c. ( 1st. The Calyx, or outer part of the flower. 2d. The Corolla, or coloured blossoms within the

Calyx, or enclosing the stamens.

3d. The Stamens, organs surrounding the cenOrgans which

tral one.
perfect the 4th. The Pistil, central organ.
seed.

5th. The Pericarp, covering the seed.
6th. The Seed, the essential part which contains

the rudiments of a new plant.
7th. The Receptacle, or base of the flower, being

the end of the flower stem. The parts above enumerated consist of subdivisions, as may be seen in the following table.

We should not confine our attention exclusively to books-Vegetable as well as animal existence depends on certain laws of organization-Two kinds of organs of vegetables-The first set of organs-The second set.

5

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

CALYX

divisions are called leaves. COROLLA divisions are called petals.

sometimes a part of the corolla, NECTARY

sometimes a separate organ.

filament, STAMEN

anther,{ pollen.

stigma, PISTIL style,

ovaryor germ. { ovules. Containing all parts

of the fruit which

are not the seed,
cells,
valves,
dissepiments,
columella.
hilum,

albumen,
SEED cotyledons,
embryo.- radicle. .

plume.

PERICARP

THE FRUIT.

[ocr errors]

Parts of the root-Of the stem-Of the bud-Of the leaf-AppendagesParts of the calyx-Of the corolla-What is the nectary ?-Parts of the stamen - Of the pistil - What is the pericarp ?-Parts of the pericarp-Parts of the seed-Parts of the embryo.

« ПредишнаНапред »