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Dorothy Nevill for a fire plant of this almost gigantic Australian species, which differs in some interesting points from those previously described. In this specimen the rush-like footstalks of the leaves were 20 inches in length. The blade bifurcates at its junction with the footstalk, and twice or thrice afterwards, curling about in an irregular manner. It is narrow, being only of an inch in breadth. One blade was 71⁄2 inches long, so that the entire leaf, including the footstalk, was above 27 inches in length. Both surfaces are slightly hollowed out. The upper surface is covered with tentacles arranged in alternate rows; those in the middle being short and crowded together, those towards the margins longer, even twice or thrice as long as the blade is broad. The glands of the exterior tentacles are of a much darker red than those of the central ones. The pedicels of all are green. The apex of the blade is attenuated, and bears very long tentacles. Mr. Copland informs me that the leaves of a plant which he kept for some years were generally covered with captured insects before they withered.

The leaves do not differ in essential points of structure or of function from those of the previously described species. Bits of meat or a little saliva placed on the glands of the exterior tentacles caused well-marked movement in 3 m., and particles of glass acted in 4 m. The tentacles with the latter particles re-expanded after 22 hrs. A piece of leaf immersed in a few drops of a solution of one part of carbonate of ammonia to 437 of water had all the glands blackened and all the tentacles inflected in 5 m. A bit of raw meat, placed on several glands in the medial furrow, was well clasped in 2 hrs. 10 m. by the marginal tentacles on both sides. Bits of roast meat and small flies did not act quite so quickly; and albumen and fibrin still less quickly. One of the bits of meat excited so much secretion (which is always acid) that it flowed some way down the medial furrow, causing the inflection of the tentacles on both sides as far as it extended. Particles of glass placed on the glands in the medial furrow did not stimulate them sufficiently for any motor impulse to be sent to the outer tentacles. In no case was the blade of the leaf, even the attenuated apex, at all inflected.

On both the upper and lower surface of the blade there are numerous minute, almost sessile glands, consisting of four, eight, or twelve cells. On the lower surface they are pale purple, on the upper greenish. Nearly similar organs occur on the footstalks, but they are smaller and often in a shrivelled condition. The minute glands on the blade can absorb rapidly: thus, a piece of leaf was immersed in a solution of one part of carbonate

of ammonia to 218 of water (1 gr. to 2 oz.), and in 5 m. they were all so much darkened as to be almost black, with their contents aggregated. They do not, as far as I could observe, secrete spontaneously; but in between 2 and 3 hrs. after a leaf had been rubbed with a bit of raw meat moistened with saliva, they seemed to be secreting freely; and this conclusion was afterwards supported by other appearances. They are, therefore, homologous with the sessile glands hereafter to be described on the leaves of Dionæa and Drosophyllum. In this latter genus they are associated, as in the present case, with glands which secrete spontaneously, that is, without being excited.

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Drosera binata presents another and more remarkable peculiarity, namely, the presence of a few tentacles on the backs of the leaves, near their margins. These are perfect in structure; spiral vessels run up their pedicels; their glands are surrounded by drops of viscid secretion, and they have the power of absorbing. This latter fact was shown by the glands immediately becoming black, and the protoplasm aggregated, when a leaf was placed in a little solution of one part of carbonate of ammonia to 437 of water. These dorsal tentacles are short, not being nearly so long as the marginal ones on the upper surface; some of them are so short as almost to graduate into the minute sessile glands. Their presence, number, and size, vary on different leaves, and they are arranged rather irregularly. On the back of one leaf I counted as many as twentyone along one side.

These dorsal tentacles differ in one important respect from those on the upper surface, namely, in not possessing any power of movement, in whatever manner they may be stimulated. Thus, portions of four leaves were placed at different times in solutions of carbonate of ammonia (one part to 437 or 218 of water), and all the tentacles on the upper surface soon became closely inflected; but the dorsal ones did not move, though the leaves were left in the solution for many hours, and though their glands from their blackened colour had obviously absorbed some of the salt. Rather young leaves should be selected for such trials, for the dorsal tentacles, as they grow old and begin to wither, often spontaneously incline towards the middle of the leaf. If these tentacles had possessed the power of movement, they would not have been thus rendered more serviceable to the plant; for they are not long enough to bend round the margin of the leaf so as to reach an insect caught on the upper surface, Nor would it have been of any use if these tentacles could have

moved towards the middle of the lower surface, for there are no viscid glands there by which insects can be caught. Although they have no power of movement, they are probably of some use by absorbing animal matter from any minute insect which may be caught by them, and by absorbing ammonia from the rain-water. But their varying presence and size, and their irregular position, indicate that they are not of much service, and that they are tending towards abortion. In a future chapter we shall see that Drosophyllum, with its elongated leaves, probably represents the condition of an early progenitor of the genus Drosera; and none of the tentacles of Drosophyllum, neither those on the upper nor lower surface of the leaves, are capable of movement when excited, though they capture numerous insects, which serve as nutriment. Therefore it seems that Drosera binata has retained remnants of certain ancestral charactersnamely a few motionless tentacles on the backs of the leaves, and fairly well developed sessile glands—which have been lost by most or all of the other species of the genus.

Concluding Remarks.-From what we have now seen, there can be little doubt that most or probably all the species of Drosera are adapted for catching insects by nearly the same means. Besides the two Australian species above described, it is said that two other species from this country, namely Drosera pallida and Drosera sulphurea," close their leaves upon insects with "great rapidity: and the same phenomenon is mani"fested by an Indian species, D. lunata, and by several "of those of the Cape of Good Hope, especially by "D. trinervis." Another Australian species, Drosera heterophylla (made by Lindley into a distinct genus, Sondera) is remarkable from its peculiarly shaped leaves, but I know nothing of its power of catching insects, for I have seen only dried specimens. The leaves form minute flattened cups, with the footstalks attached not to one margin, but to the bottom.

*Gardener's Chronicle,' 1874, p. 209.

The

inner surface and the edges of the cups are studded with tentacles, which include fibro-vascular bundles. rather different from those seen by me in any other species; for some of the vessels are barred and punctured, instead of being spiral. The glands secrete copiously, judging from the quantity of dried secretion adhering to them.

CHAPTER XIII.

DIONEA MUSCIPULA.

Structure of the leaves-Sensitiveness of the filaments - Rapid movement of the lobes caused by irritation of the filaments Glands, their power of secretion-Slow movement caused by the absorption of animal matter Evidence of absorption from the aggregated condition of the glands - Digestive power of the secretion - Action of chloroform, ether, and hydrocyanic acid-The manner in which insects are captured-Use of the marginal spikes-Kinds of insects captured-The transmission of the motor impulse and mechanism of the movements - Re-expansion of the lobes.

THIS plant, commonly called Venus' fly-trap, from the rapidity and force of its movements, is one of the most wonderful in the world.* It is a member of the small family of the Droseraceæ, and is found only in the eastern part of North Carolina, growing in damp situations. The roots are small; those of a moderately fine plant which I examined consisted of two branches about 1 inch in length, springing from a bulbous enlargement. They probably serve, as in the case of Drosera, solely for the absorption of water; for a gardener, who has been very successful in the cultivation of this plant, grows it, like an epiphytic orchid, in well-drained damp moss without any soil.† The form of the bilobed leaf, with its foliaceous footstalk, is shown in the accompanying drawing (fig. 12).

* Dr. Hooker, in his address to the British Association at Belfast, 1874, has given so full an historical account of the observations which have been published on

the habits of this plant, that it would be superfluous on my part to repeat them.

+ Gardener's Chronicle,' 1874.

P 464.

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