Elizabeth Twining.

Illustrations of the natural orders of plants with groups and descriptions. Reduced from the original folio ed (Volume 1) online

. (page 5 of 19)
Online LibraryElizabeth TwiningIllustrations of the natural orders of plants with groups and descriptions. Reduced from the original folio ed (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 19)
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the sea, on the verge of the barren pumice and lava.

Erpetion renifonnis (3) is a hardy little plant from New Holland, of elegant
aspect, but not fragrant.

Corynostylis IL/Lcnithus (4) inhabits the primaeval forests on the shores of the
Amazon, and particularly near the confluence of the Yapura in the pro\ance of
Miranha. It is of a shrubby nature, having a stem about three inches in diameter,
growing to the height of three or four feet, partly climbing over other trees. The
flowers are very irregular, two petals very small, the two side petals wider, the
lower petal hooded, and prolonged into a tube or horn. The stamens are hairy at
the back, the two placed under the horned petal have two downy prolongations at
their base into the tube.

lonidium Itouhou (5), a species so called from the native name, grows on sandy
ground in various parts of Guiana, bearing flowers nearly aU the year ; it is usually
about two feet high, covered \d\h a grey down ; the flowers ha^'^e a singular appear-
ance, the four smaller petals being usually rolled up, the lower large one only
expanded. A pretty variety, \\\\\i blue flowers, is very common in Guiana. I.
jyarvijiorum and other species are used as true Ipecacuanha in Peru and the West
Indies. I. suffrutico&um, of South America, grows also abundantly in the valley
of the Ganges.

Alsodea Physiphora (6) is an example of the regular flowers of this Tribe ; it
is a shrub thirty or forty feet high, Anth stem and spreading branches of a greyish
hue : the graceful flowers on a slender stalk resemble in appearance the Lily of the
Valley, though of much smaller size. Other species of Alsodea are natives of

Conohoria Loholoho of Brazil has mucilaginous leaves, which are boiled and
eaten by the natives. Hymenanthera is an evergreen shrub of New Holland,

The difi"erent species of Viola belong chiefly to Europe, Siberia, America, and
the mountain ranges of India, a few only belong to the Tropics of Asia. In
South America this tribe abounds, but the plants differ considerably from those
of Europe, being nearly all shrubs, whilst the northern species are almost entirely
herbaceous. Alsodea and its immediate allies are exclusively natives of South
America, and Africa, except Pentaloba, which inhabits the Malay Isles.





Lay i. ■




Trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, some of which are t^\^ners. The leaves are
generally alternate, sometimes opposite, mostly simj^le, and always without stipules.
The flawers are usually on branching stalks, often small and inconspicuous, but in
some instances showy. The flower-stalks have small bracts. The sepals of the
calyx are five, very irregular, distinct ; the two inner side sepals are usually large,
of the colour of the petals, and form the wings of the flower. The petals are
commonly three, one of which is larger than the rest, and is the keel ; sometimes
they are five, two minute petals being placed at the sides ; the keel is either entire
at the edge and bare or crested at the back, or it is divided into three lobes at the
edge, and destitute of a crest. The stamens are unequal, usually eight, combined
in a tube which is split opposite the upper sepal ; sometimes four and distinct.
The anthers are club-shaped, mostly one-celled, and opening at the point. The
ovary is above the base of the flower, compressed, with two or three cells ; the style
is simple, curved, entire, or lobed ; sometimes very oblique and hooded at the top ;
the stigma simple. The fruit usually opens through the valves, occasionally closed,
membranous, fleshy, leathery, or drupaceous, winged or not. The seeds are pen-
dulous, naked, or clothed with hairs; the outer covering crustaceous, the inner
membranous ; albumen abundant, fleshy.

The hooded stigma connects these flowers mth Violets ; in the form of corolla
there is a resemblance to the Pea tribe, but in structure and properties there is most
affinity to the Sapindacese.

Milky roots and intense bitterness are the prevailing qualities of this Tribe.

Polygala vulgaris (1) is one of the most curiously constructed of our native
flowers. It is frequent on gravelly, heathy pastures, and is worthy of minute
examination. The two enlarged side sepals are of a blue colour, hke the petals,


Polygala vulgaris, Common Milkwort.

England .
1a Flower.
1b Seed-vessel and Calyx.


Securidaca tomentosa, Woolly-leaved Sccuri-
daca. Meadows, Brazil.
4a Seed-vessel of S. erecta.


Polygala cordifolia, Heart-leaved Polygala.
Cape of Good Hope.
2a Calyx.


Muraltia mixta. Heath-leaved Miiraltia.

Cape of Good Hope.
5a Calyx.

2b Crested Petal.

2o Stamens and Petals.

2d Pistil.

Polygala ehnmoehuxus, Box-leaved Polygala.


Mundia spinosa, Spiny .Mundia.

Cape of Good Hope.



Hoot of Polygala crotolarioides, Himalayas.
Seed of Trigonia.


and forming ^^^ngs to the corolla, give it the appearance of a papilionaceons flower;
as the seed-vessel ripens, the two large jiortions of the calyx lose the blue tint, and
become green like the rest, remaining folded at the sides of the heart-shaped pod.
The lower ]>etal is keel-shaped, having a crest at the back resembling the fringed
petals of mignonette ; in some localities the colour of the flowers varies to pink or
white. P. amara is extremely bitter in its juices : occasionally found in this
country ; abundant in the turfy, moist meadows of Switzerland. P. cliamcehuxus
(3) is one of the eight species of Germany and the Alps : a yellow flower amidst
the ]n-evailing purjile or blue colour of this tribe. I*. cordifoUa (2), and P. speciosa,
are amongst the most beautiful species ; many are small and of insignificant aspect ;
some have heath-like leaves, with minute flowers growing in spikes or clusters.
Upwards of 160 species are Icnown to exist in different countries ; about fifty are
natives of fields or pastures in Brazil. P. i^aludosa is a slender little plant, inhabit-
ing marshes ; P. hispida is densely clothed with hairs. P. senega possesses strong
pungent qualities in the contorted woody root — considered by the American
Indians as a remedy for the bite of the rattlesnake. Several others are reputed to
have valuable medicinal properties : in P. venenosa emetic i)rinciples exist so
powerfully, that the natives of Java dread it as a poison. Thirty kinds belong to
India ; some have been found on the Khasya and Bhootan mountains at an elevation
of (JUOO feet ; nine grow on the Himalayas, the root of P. crotolarioides (7) is there
employed against the bite of venomous reptiles, with the same success as the
American Snake-root ; P. tinctoria affords a dye in Arabia. Securidaca (4) is so
called from the hatchet-shape of the seed-vessel — the \\mg extending in a curved
form. The leaves of these sj:)ecies vary much ; those of S. nitida are large and
shining ; S. voluhilis has a strong, woody, climbing stem, bearing abundant seed-
vessels. Muraltia (5), called after a Swiss botanist of the last century, is a genus
of neat foliage and small flowers; M. ciliaris is covered with extremely minute
horizontal hairs. Mundia spinosa (G) bears an eatable fruit of the drupe kind at
the Cape. The bark of the roots of iMonnina is pounded into balls, and used as
soap in Peru ; and the celebrated silver-work of Huanuco is polished by it.
Trigonia (8) is an example of the seed having long hairs ; T. macrocarpa, on the
Esequibo, has capsules three inches long. Xanthophyllum yields wood of value.
Although nearly all the plants of this Tribe are bitter, Soulamea amara, of the
IMoluccas, is most intensely so, and is emj)loyed as a remedy in fever throughout
the ]\Ialayan Archipelago.

Most of the plants of this Tribe are limited to one or two of the great portions
of the globe ; but Polygala occurs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, very
imequally distributed, inhabiting every description of situation — plains, mountains,
woods, morasses, cultivated or barren ground, in the tropics and in tem])crate
climates. Muraltia belongs to South Africa, Salomonia to Asia, Monnina to South
America, Soulamea to India and China, Comesperma to Brazil and Australia.


'</, iffy

V fl^ ^ '^

■li if i"

7.h, 2j




Soft herbaceous plants, and a very few shrubs ; the leaves alternate, entire, or
divided, with minute gland -like stipules; sometimes rough, with very small
tubercle's on the surface and at the edges. The flowers grow in racemes or spikes,
the flower-stalks have small bracts at their base ; the calyx is parted into four or
six segments, which are not closed in the bud. The petals are four or six,
alternate with the sepals, or absent ; each petal has a broad fleshy plate at the
base, with slender unequal fringes proceeding from the back, like the sej^als not
closed in the bud : those next the stem are larger than the rest, the lower petal
sometimes altogether wanting. The pistil and stamens are placed at the edge of a
large disk, spreading at the back, glandular on its surface ; the stamens are from
ten to twenty, the anthers two-celled, opening lengthwise. The stigmas are three,
glandular, placed at the top of the three-lobed ovary. The seed-vessel is dry and
membranous, or succulent in Ochradenus, opening at the top, usually ha^ang the
seeds attached to three ridges : the seeds are kidney-shaped, pendidous, arranged
in a double series or scattered, white or brown, without albumen ; the covering
crustaceous and dotted.

This Order has most affinity with the Caper tribe ; there is also some
resemblance to PolygalaceJB.

The only remarkable properties of these plants are the colouring matter of the
"Weld, and the fragrance of the Mignonette.

Reseda is said to have been so named by the Eomans from its supposed
soothing properties in allaying pain. Reseda hiteola (1) is very common in many
parts of England, especially on a chalk soil, frequent in fallow fields, on walls, and
on waste ground of various kinds ; it is observed to be one of the first plants that
spring up amongst the rubbish cast out of coal-pits. It grows to the height of

1. Reaeda luteola, Dyers'-wced, or Weld.

2f Stamens. •


2g Pistil.

1a Flower, front.

2h Section of Seed-vessel.

1b Floiver, side.

2i Seed.

Ic Seed-vessel, opened.
2. Reseda littea, Wild Mignonette. England.
2a Flower, front.
2b Flower, hack,
2c Upper Petal.
2d Side Petal.

3. Reseda odorata, Mignonette.
3a Flower, magnified.
3b Upper Petal.
3c Side Petal.
3d Seed vessel, opened.


2e Disk with Stamens and Pistil.

3e Seed.


two or three feet, in slender branches, nearly upright ; but Linnajus remarked that
they incline towards the sun throughout the day, bending northwards by night.
The flowers have scarcely any scent, and the jilant when bruised is disagreeable ;
the seed-vessel is of a rounder shape than that of other species, and on a shorter
stalk. The whole plant yields a fine yellow dye — obtained by boiling whilst in
flower. It serves for wool, cotton, or silk, either as pure yellow, or mixed with
indigo for green : in France this is much used — large bales of Gaude may be
seen on the quay at Caen in summer or autumn. R. lutea (2) is also an
inhabitant of chalk soil, abundant in the Isle of Thanet and other similar districts.
The spike of flowers very nearly resembles that of R. odorata (3), but is very
slightly scented ; the sepals and petals are six ; the narrow curled leaves are often
much divided near the root. R. odorata is a native of Egypt, whence it was
brought thi'ough France, with its French name Mignonette, to England, about a
century ago. No other little jJant was ever so rapidly dispersed, or acquired such
general favour, without utility, but merely for the delightful odoriferous scent of
its flowers, which is of extreme subtilty, and conveyed by the air to some distance.
With continual clipping the plant may be rendered perennial, and even shrubby.
In Franco, where it is cultivated to a great extent, the Parisians are remarkably
fond of it, and luitil late in autumn the gardens of the Tuileries are perfumed with
its delicious fragrance. R. phjjteuma is an esculent herb in the Greek Archi-
pelago. R. scoparia is a species growing on the Peak of Teneriffe. R. dipetala
belongs to the Cape of Good Hope. One species, Nvith a dense spike of white
flowers, has been found in Affghanistan, and some also are said to have been seen
in the southern provinces of Canton. Caylusea is a genus growing in Brazil,
discovered by Auguste de S. Hilaire, at present unknown in English gardens.

Europe is the chief station of this Tribe; some species extend into the islands
of the Mediterranean, and the neighl>ouring countries of Asia ; a very few have
been discovered in the north of India, the Cape of Good Hope, and California.


llm Suri'-Deuylrihe'

Pay,(-S-" I'niite




Herbaceous plants, some of which are small, and covered with glandular hairs.
The leaves are alternate, having sometimes fringed stipules at the base of the
leaf-stalk ; the stalks are curled round in the early state of growth. The flower-
stalks spring from the root, and are likewise curled round w^hen young, after the
manner of Ferns ; the calyx has five sepals, which remain, and enclose the seed-
vessel ; the petals are five, attached to the base of the ovary, folded over each other
in the bud. The stamens are distinct, either equal in number to the petals and
alternate with them, or two or three times as many ; the anthers are erect, gaping
by chinks, or by pores at the top, as in Byblis (3). The ovary is single, the
styles three or six, either quite separate or slightly connected at the base. The
seed-vessel is a capsule, of three or five valves, bearing the seeds on ribs in the
middle, or at the base. The seeds are naked, or furnished with an aril, and
contain fleshy albumen.

This Order has affinity with Violace^, but the number of styles, and the
roUed-in stalks, distinguish them.

Slightly acrid and acid properties prevail in these plants.

Drosera is so named from the Greek for cleiv, because of the pellucid drops
which are almost constantly present on the glandular hairs of the leaves, even when
exposed to the sun. All the species inhabit morasses or bogs. D. rohindifolia (1)
is a native of bogs in various parts of Britain, and on the continent of Europe ;
it is usually found amidst Sphagnum, the Bog-moss, in a soft, moist situation :
the whole plant has acrid, caustic juices, pervading even the viscid liquid exuding
from the glands of the hairs. Flies and other small insects are attracted to the
leaves, where they are detained by the irritable, glutinous hairs. The delicate
little flowers open singly, and but for a short time. D. longi folia is often found

1. Drosera rotundi/olitt, Round -leaved Sun-

dew. Eogs, Britain.

I A Fl nicer.
1b Section of Ovary, and Pistil.

2. Dionea muacipula, Venus's Flytrap.

2a Pistil.

2b Section of Ovary.
2o Seed.
2d Section.

3. Byblis linijlora, Ftax-Jlowcred Byhlis.

New Holland.

;^A Sepal mafjnified.

;iB Stamen.

3c Pistil.

3d Section of Ovary.

3e Seed,
i. AldrovanJa vesiculosa, Bl<tdd(r-havid Al-
drovanda. Italy and Imlia.

4a Leaf, with its vesicle.


in the same localities. D. anglica is a larger plant, more rare, and grows cliiofly
in the bogs of the north of England. Britain contains only a very small portion
of this singular tribe of plants, which, though limited to a few genera, is yet
greatly multiplied in species of Drosera. Nearly every region of the world where
bogs exist has a representative of it. In South America they abound. Some are
of extremely minute size, scarcely an inch in height, of which are D. uniflora,
D. minima, Y). i^aucijlora. D. hrcvi folia, of Texas and Florida, nearly resembles
our round-leaved Sun-dew, but the flowers are larger. D. cistlfolius of Florida
has red and yellow flowers. D. villosa is a native of Sphagnum bogs on the
Organ Mountain, near Rio Janeiro, at an elevation of from 3000 to GOOO feet.
D, sessili/olia, D. montana, and several other species, grow in Brazil, either on
the sands of the coast, or in ravines, or damp valleys of the rivers of Minas Geraes,
and on mountain bogs and marshes 3700 feet above the sea. D. graminifolia
inhabits the lofty range of mountains called Serra da Caraja, at (5000 feet,
producing its delicate flowers in February. D. ethiopica is a small African
species, with many leaves disposed in a circle about the root. D. capensis has
long stalks, with leaves two inches long. D. indica has beautiful pink flowers,
and leaves very minutely pinnated. D. aurea is a small species found at Port
Jackson in Australia. D. secunda and D. p)idcliella were discovered in King
George's Sound ; D. tomentosa grows on the north coast. The largest species are
D. dichotoma and D. gigantea. This latter stains paper a briglit deep purple,
and, when prepared with ammonia, yields a clear yellow. Probably several of the
Swan River species might be of use in dyeing. Dionea (2) is a remarkable
instance of an irregularly developed leaf; the stalk is winged, and has the
appearance of a leaf, whilst the real leaf consists of a double plate, which folds
together when touched, bordered by strong teeth, closing firmly to retain any
insect that has been attracted by the glutinoiis juice on the surface of tlie leaf or
hairs. Byblis (3) was named after the daughter of Miletus, who shed tears till she
was changed into a foimtain ; the slender leaves of this delicate little bog plant
distilling drops of water from their points. It was brought from New South
Wales early in this century, and cultivated in the noble garden at Cashiobury,
where, at that time, was the finest collection of Australian plants. The flowers
resemble those of flax in form and colour. The blue anthers open by pores at
the summit. Each cell of the seed-vessel contains many seeds. Aldrovanda (4)
was first observed by the naturalist Amadeus in the marshes of Dulioli, in Italy ;
but he went to reside in Bologna, and had no further opportunity of obser\ang
marsh plants. It was afterwards carefully examined and described by Aldro-
vandus. The flowers are minute, and appear only in small number at the ends
of the branches. Like inany aquatic plants, it propagates by buds from the stalk,
which send oiit rootlets. The remarkable part is the little folded vesicle at the
end of the leaves, whih enal)les the plant to float. It has the property of staining
paper red, showing the whole form of the plant, like the Lichen lioccella, or Orchil.
This Tribe inhabits marshes, bogs, and morasses, in all parts of the world.
Drosophyllum lusitanicum grows on the barren sands of Portugal.


4a 4i ■'<• ^*

Fn^ Wood' - Sorrel Trihe/.




Trees, iinder-shrubs, and herbaceous plants ; the leaves are alternate, occasionally
opposite, rarely having stipules ; the roots of some are tuberculate or graniJate.
The sepals of the calyx are five, sometimes slightly cohering at the base, persistent,
imbricated : the petals are five, of equal size, attached to the base of the ovary,
having a claw at the base ; spirally twisted in the bud, sometimes wanting.
The stamens are ten, usually more or less united in a set at the base ; those
opposite the petals are longer than the rest, and form an inner series ; the anthers
are two-celled. The ovary has three to five cells, with as many slender styles ;
the stigmas are capitate, or somewhat bifid. The fruit is a capsule, rarely a berry,
with five angles, and from three to five cells, and five to ten valves ; when ripe,
gaping longitudinally at the angles. The seeds are few, attached to the axis, or
to plates in the angles of the cells ; striated when young, enclosed in a fleshy
covering, which curls back with elastic force when ripe, and expels the seeds.
The seeds contain a tough, fleshy albumen.

This Order has considerable affinity with the Flax tribe, and also with
Geraniaceaj. •

Oxalic acid exists abundantly in these plants, as well as slightly astringent

The genus now called Oxalis is not supposed to be the same as that known to
the ancients ; it includes numerous species, chiefly of slender, delicate growth :
some have small bidbous or scaly roots, from which spring the slender leaf and
flower-stalks. The delicate Oxalis acetosella (1) comes forth early in the year,
adorning the still bare woods of this country, as well as on the continent of
Europe, with its very graceful leaves and flowers. Several species have been
observed to have sensitive properties in the leaves, and those of our Wood-Sorrel
may be seen to close and droop at sunset, and to expand again into a horizontal
position in the morning. The capsules possess also elastic power, and project the
black shining seeds to a distance on the slightest touch, when ripe. Formerly this

1. Oxalis acetosella, Wood-Sorrel. England.

1a Petal.

2. OxsAx?, florihunda, Many-Jlowered Oxalis.

2a Stamens and Pistil.

0. Averrhoa Caravihola, Caramiola Fruit.

East Indies.

4:A Oxalis confertissiina.
Stamens and Pistils.

•4b Pistils.
4c Seed.
•iD Section.


lierb was xised by thrifty dames for a conserve with sugar, and considered pleasant
and wholesome from its acidity. 0. cornicxdata is the other British species, the
flowers of which are yellow, and the capsule of a more slender oblong form.
O. florihunda (2) is an example of those species which bear several flowers on a
kind of umbel, and have tuberous roots. 0. crenata of Columbia has tubers as
large as a potatoe, called by the natives Arracacha ; being of a very insipid
nature, they are not cultivated : all the agreeable acid qualities are absorbed by
the leaf-stalks, which are conserved. The larger tubers of O. Deppei are fleshy,
and contain a starchy substance similar to salep in the root of some species of
Orchis ; these are used for culinary purposes. O. escidcnta and others are said
to be equally wholesome as food. Some few species have palmated leaves ; others
winged leaf-stalks. The Cape of Good Hope is the chief station for Oxalis.
Averrhoa was named in honour of Averrhoes, the celebrated Spanish commentator
on Aristotle and Avicenna, in the early part of the thirteenth century. The fruit
of A. Caramhola (3) is eatable, although of not very agreeable flavour to
Europeans ; the five projecting angles of the fruit are singular, and distinguish
it from all others. The branches and leaves have remarkable sensitiveness to
the touch. A. BiUmhi, the Cucumber-tree of Goa, is much cultivated in India,
especially on the banks of the Ganges. The flowers yield a juice of cooling
qualities, which render it excellent in fevers ; there is likewise a large proportion
of pltasant acid juice in the fruit, very wholesome as food. Both these fruits are
said to be employed by the natives in dyeing. Biophytum, or the Plant of Life,
alludes in its name to the exceeding irritability of the pinnated leaves, which
move on the least motion or touch ; they are said to possess also bitter, tonic,
and slightly stimulating properties.

These plants are natives of all the temperate and hotter countries of the
world, but exist most abimdantly at the Cape of Good Hope and in America ;
are more rare in the East Indies and in the equinoctial regions of Africa. The
shrubs are confined to the hotter countries ; a few of the herbaceous species are
scattered over the temperate parts of Asia, and in Europe.


f^ ▼«


The' Fittosjyonmv Trd"

"■av ■* 6art^,lMTtit^




Trees and slirnbs, the leaves of wliicli are simple, alternate, \vitliout stipules,
usually " entire at the edges, sometimes serrated. The flowers are at the ends of
the branches, or proceed from the base of the leaf-stalks, imbricated in the bud.
The sepals of the calyx are four or five, either distinct or partially cohering,
falling off when the flower expands. The petals are four or five, attached to
the base of the ovary, sometimes slightly cohering. The stamens are five,
growing from the base of the ovary, alternate with the petals. The anthers

1 2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryElizabeth TwiningIllustrations of the natural orders of plants with groups and descriptions. Reduced from the original folio ed (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 19)