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Class 1.-MONANDRIA. Containing two Orders.
In this country we have very few
the most simple of all perfect* flowers,
but i stamen, 1 pistil, and 1 seed.
naked seed without any kind of appen.
dages. The genus Hippuris contains
signifying growing in water.
The Salicornia or Samphire is found in salt marshes near the sea coast ; it grows also at the Onondaga salt springs. In Europe it is collected in large quantities, dried in the sun and then burnt; the ashes are collected and used in the manufacture of soda. Shakspeare speaks of this plant in describing the precipice of Dover, which overhangs the sea.
Half way down,
Hangs one that gathers Samphire : dreadful trade !" Although the plants of this class are so very limited in northern countries, some of the most valuable vegetable productions of the tropical regions are found here; as the Arrow root, so useful to the sick as a nutritious substance; the Turmeric, remarkable for the peculiar yellow colour of its bark; here also is found the Ginger, which grows wild in some parts of Asia, and is cultivated in the East and West Indies. The flowers of the Ginger are beautiful and fragrant ; the root only is used in commerce. The Ginger (Ammomum), belongs to the natural family Scitaminea, which embraces several genera of aromatic
Although so destitute of other organs, it is callad perfect because it has stamens and pistils.
Class Monandria—Order Monogynia-Hippuris—Salicornia.
plants. The distinguishing marks of this natural family are an herbaceous stem, very broad leaves, a germ with three corners, and a liliaceous corolla.
The red valerian (VALERIANA rubra), has but one stamen, and might seem properly placed in this class, but other species of this plant having three stamens, this one goes with the majority into the class Triandria. It is however not common for different species of one genus to differ in their number of stamens.
Order Digynia, Contains an American plant, BLITUM, which is destitute of a corolla. At fig. 102, c, is a flower of this genus; its calyx is deeply three parted; it has no corolla ; the germ resembles a berry, and is crowned by two styles, which give the plant its place in the order Digynia.. Class II.—DIANDRIA. Containing three Orders.
This, though more extensive than the class Monandria, is somewhat lim. ited. We can however, without difficulty, find examples for its illustration. The Lilac (Syringa), is cultivated in all parts of our country, and is exceeded in beauty by few ornamental shrubs, in fragrance, perhaps by none.
The Corolla is salver form, or with a tube which spreads out into a flat, four parted border.
You might, at first d
view, suppose the corolla to consist
of several petals, but if you attempt to pull them out, they will all come off together, and you will plainly perceive there is but one piece, or that it is monopetalous. In flowers of one petal, the stamens are generally fastened to the corolla ; where there are several petals, the stamens are mostly attached to the receptacle ; this affords a good mark of distinction between the two kinds of corollas.
You will perceive in the lilac, the two stamens standing oppo site to each other, and fastened to the corolla. The form in which the blossoms are crowded together, forming a large bunch, is termed a thyrse, which differs from a panicle, only in having the spikes which compose it more densely crowded.
Fig. 103, a, represents a flower of the lilac; atb, is the same cut lengthwise, to show the two stamens.
The lilac, although so common with us, is an exotic; the species most cultivated are the vulgaris, or common, which has heart-shaped leaves; and the persica, or Persian, with narrow leaves.
The Jasmine, of which twenty-eight species are said to have been discovered, is an exotic of this class. The prim (Ligus. trum) is found growing wild n some parts of New England; though in general it is seen but little in the United States, except when cultivated. In England, it is planted for fences; as it grows rapidly, it soon becomes useful for this
and with its green leaves and white flowers, it also gives to the farms an air of neatness and taste.
The Sage (Salvia), on account of the form of its corolla be. longs to the natural family of the labiate flowers; these are, mostly, placed in the class Didynamia, having four stamens, two long and two short: but in some cases the labiate flowers have but two stamens ; this circumstance, according to the rules of classification, separates them from their natural family, and brings them under the class we are now considering. You may understand this better, if we compare it to taking a person from his relations, to put him among strangers. But this evil must sometimes be borne for the sake of some attendant good; we are also obliged to submit to the necessity of occasionally separating the flowers from their natural relations, because we can. not turn aside from our rules of classification to accommodate a few plants, which unfortunately possess those properties which bring them under two sets of laws. The sage seems to have made an effort to escape this misfortune, for it seems almost to have attained four, by doubling its filaments, but two of these having no anthers cannot be considered as stamens ; therefore the plant falls back into the second class, and is placed by the side of the lilac, to which it has no kind of resem. blance, except in its two stamens. This plant, however, is not the only one of the labiate flowers, which is removed from its natural family in the 13th class ; for the rosemary and the mountain mint accompany it into the second class; but these have not the two imperfect filaments which were remarked in the Sage. The genus
Salvia contains one hundred and fourteen spe. cies; the one most commonly cultivated with us is the officinalis, a shrub-like perennial plant; to this we give more particu. larly the name of sage. Another species of the same genus is the sclary, called Clarry, this has larger and broader leaves than the common sage; it is cultivated for its medicinal properties.
A very small plant called Enchanter's Night-shade (Circæa), may be found growing wild in shady places; it is a very harm. less, modest looking plant, notwithstanding its ominous name. It has a small white blossom, in the parts of which, great uniformity as to number may be observed ; having two stamens, a corolla with two petals, a calyx with two leaves, capsule with two cells, each of which contains two seeds.
The symmetry of structure, observable in the plant just described, is seen in many flowers ; as those of two stamens often have the number two prevail
, in the other parts of the flower; this number is frequently doubled, as in the Lilac, which has two stamens, and the corolla four parted. In a plant with three stamens, the number three or six usually prevails in the divisions of the calyx, corolla, capsule, &c. A knowledge of this fact will assist you in determining the class of a plant ; for example, if you have a flower whose calyx has five or ten divisions, and the corolla the same number, you may expect, if thể flower is a perfect one, to find either five, or ten stamens; or if the divisions of the flower be two, there will generally be two, or four stamens; if three, either three, or six stàmens ; if four, either four or eight stamens. The num. ber five, as divisions of the calyx, corolla and capsule, is gen. erally united to five or ten stamens, and found in the 5th and 10th classes.
Another native plant of the second class, is the Veronica. Of the seventy species which this genus is said to contain, no more than six or eight are common to North America. The Veronica and the Circæa both turn black when dried ; although they do not add to the beauty of an herbarium, they are desirable in a collection of plants, as our country contains few specimens to illustrate the second class. At Fig. 103, c, is a representation of a flower of the Veronica ; at d, is the Cir.
Among the exotics of this order we find a singular plant peculiar to the East Indies, the NYCTANTHES arbor tristis, or sorrowful tree; it droops its boughs during the day, but through the night they are erect and appear fresh and flourishing.
The Olive (Olea) is common on the rocks of Palestine, and may now, according to the accounts of travellers be found upon the same spot which was called, eleven centuries before the Christian era, the mount of Olives, or mount Olivet.
Order Digynia. In the second order of this class is the sweet scented spring
Enchanter's night shade-Remaining plants in the order Monogynia—Order Dygynia.
grass (ANTHOXANTHUM odoratum), which is found in blossom in May; to this the pleasant smell of new made hay is chiefly owing ; its odour is like that of clover. This plant is separated from the other grasses on account of its having but two stamens. This is the kind of grass which is used in this coun. try as a substitute for the Leghorn grass, in the manufacture of hats. The first hat of the kind was made a few years since by an ingenious female in the town of Wethersfield, Connecticut; since which time, many hats, not inferior to the best Leghorn, have been made from the same material.
The Catalpa, an elegant tree with flat, cordate, or heartshaped leaves, is indigenous to the Southern United States ; its white flowers, striped with purple, grow in panicles similar to the Horse-chesnut. Only one species is found in North America.
Order Trigynia, Contains the genus Piper. One species of which, the nigrum, is the common black pepper. The cayenne pepper belongs to the genus CAPSICUM, which is found in the eighth class. The Piper genus has neither calyx or corolla. We have in the course of this lecture remarked
the use of botanical terms, with the necessity of their being in one common language; we have considered the few
into which the classes of Linnæus may be arranged with the names of all the classes, and the characters of each; and lastly, have given a sketch of the two first classes, with some examples under each of their orders. In doing this, we have been obliged to pass by many plants which had an equal claim to notice, but as knowledge must be gained by the observation of particular cases, we have thus selected some, in order that you may be prepared to examine the others, with pleasure and advantage.
Classes 3d and 4th.
Order Monogynia. In the first order of this class we find among our common exotics, the Crocus, which is particularly interesting as being
Catalpa-Order Trigynia- Recapitulation--First order of the third class Different species of Crocus.