The protoplasm within the cells of the twisted portions was aggregated into distinct though excessively minute purple spheres. This case shows clearly that the protoplasm, after having been exposed to a high temperature for a few minutes, is capable of aggregation when afterwards subjected to the action of carbonate of ammonia, unless the heat has been sufficient to cause coagulation.]

Concluding Remarks.--As the hair-like tentacles are extremely thin and have delicate walls, and as the leaves were waved about for some minutes close to the bulb of the thermometer, it seems scarcely possible that they should not have been raised very nearly to the temperature which the instrument indicated. From the eleven last observations we see that a temperature of 130o (54o.4 Cent.) never causes the immediate inflection of the tentacles, though a temperature from 120o to 125o (48o.8 to 51o.6 Cent.) quickly produces this effect. But the leaves are paralysed only for a time by a temperature of 130o, as afterwards, whether left in simple water or in a solution of carbonate of ammonia, they become inflected and their protoplasm undergoes aggregation. This great difference in the effects of a higher and lower temperature may be compared with that from immersion in strong and weak solutions of the salts of ammonia; for the former do not excite movement, whereas the latter act energetically. A temporary suspension of the [page 73] power of movement due to heat is called by Sachs* heat-rigidity; and this in the case of the sensitive-plant (Mimosa) is induced by its exposure for a few minutes to humid air, raised to 120o-122o Fahr., or 49o to 50o Cent. It deserves notice that the leaves of Drosera, after being immersed in water at 130o Fahr., are excited into movement by a solution of the carbonate so strong that it would paralyse ordinary leaves and cause no inflection.

The exposure of the leaves for a few minutes even to a temperature of 145o Fahr. (62o.7 Cent.) does not always kill them; as when afterwards left in cold water, or in a strong solution of carbonate of ammonia, they generally, though not always, become inflected; and the protoplasm within their cells undergoes aggregation, though the spheres thus formed are extremely small, with many of the cells partly filled with brownish muddy matter. In two instances, when leaves were immersed in water, at a lower temperature than 130o (54o.4 Cent.), which was then raised to 145o (62o.7 Cent.), they became during the earlier period of immersion inflected, but on being afterwards left in cold water were incapable of re-expansion. Exposure for a few minutes to a temperature of 145o sometimes causes some few of the more sensitive glands to be speckled with the porcelain-like appearance; and on one occasion this occurred at a temperature of 140o (60o Cent.). On another occasion, when a leaf was placed in water at this temperature of only 140o, and left therein till the water cooled, every gland became like porcelain. Exposure for a few minutes to a temperature of 150o (65o.5 Cent.) generally produces this effect, yet many glands retain a

* 'Trait de Bot.' 1874, p. 1034. [page 74]

pinkish colour, and many present a speckled appearance. This high temperature never causes true inflection; on the contrary, the tentacles commonly become reflexed, though to a less degree than when immersed in boiling water; and this apparently is due to their passive power of elasticity. After exposure to a temperature of 150o Fahr., the protoplasm, if subsequently subjected to carbonate of ammonia, instead of undergoing aggregation, is converted into disintegrated or pulpy discoloured matter. In short, the leaves are generally killed by this degree of heat; but owing to differences of age or constitution, they vary somewhat in this respect. In one anomalous case, four out of the many glands on a leaf, which had been immersed in water raised to 156o (68o.8 Cent.), escaped being rendered porcellanous;* and the protoplasm in the cells close beneath these glands underwent some slight, though imperfect, degree of aggregation.

Insectivorous Plants Page 38

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Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin

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