had fallen a little. During the whole of this day (21st) it fell in a slightly zigzag line, but its normal course was disturbed by the want of sufficient illumination, for during the night it rose only a little, and travelled irregularly during the whole of the following day and night of June 22nd. The ascending and descending lines traced during the three days did not coincide, so that the movement was one of circumnutation. This seedling was then taken back to the hot-house, and after five days was inspected at 10 P.M., when the cotyledons were found hanging so nearly vertically down, that they might justly be said to have been asleep. On the following morning they had resumed their usual horizontal position.

Oxalis rosea (Oxalideae).--The hypocotyl was secured to a little stick, and an extremely thin glass filament, with two triangles of paper, was attached to one of the cotyledons, which was .15 inch in length. In this and the following species the end of the petiole, where united to the blade, is developed into a pulvinus. The apex of the cotyledon stood only 5 inches from the vertical glass, so that its movement was not greatly exaggerated as long as it remained nearly horizontal; but in the course of the day it both rose considerably above and fell beneath a horizontal position, and then of course the movement was much exaggerated. [page 24] In Fig. 13 its course is shown from 6.45 A.M. on June 17th, to 7.40 A.M. on the following morning; and we see that during the daytime, in the course of 11 h. 15 m., it travelled thrice down and twice up. After 5.45 P.M. it moved rapidly downwards, and in an hour or two depended vertically; it thus remained all night asleep. This position could not be represented on the vertical glass nor in the figure here given. By 6.40 A.M. on the following morning (18th) both cotyledons had risen greatly, and they continued to rise until 8 A.M., when they stood almost horizontally. Their movement was traced during the whole of this day and until the next morning; but a tracing is not given, as it was closely similar to Fig. 13, excepting that the lines were more zigzag. The cotyledons moved 7 times, either upwards or downwards; and at about 4 P.M. the great nocturnal sinking movement commenced.

Fig. 13. Oxalis rosea: circumnutation of cotyledons, the hypocotyl being secured to a stick; illuminated from above. Figure here given one-half of original scale.

Another seedling was observed in a similar manner during nearly 24 h., but with the difference that the hypocotyl was left free. The movement also was less magnified. Between 8.12 A.M. and 5 P.M. on the 18th, the apex of the cotyledon moved 7 times upwards or downwards (Fig. 14). The nocturnal sinking movement, which is merely a great increase of one of the diurnal oscillations, commenced about 4 P.M.

Oxalis Valdiviana.--This species is interesting, as the coty- [page 25] ledons rise perpendicularly upwards at night so as to come into close contact, instead of sinking vertically downwards, as in the case of O. rosea. A glass filament was fixed to a cotyledon, .17 of an inch in length, and the hypocotyl was left free. On

Fig. 14. Oxalis rosea: conjoint circumnutation of the cotyledons and hypocotyl, traced from 8.12 A.M. on June 18th to 7.30 A.M. 19th. The apex of the cotyledon stood only 3 3/4 inches from the vertical glass. Figure here given one-half of original scale.

Fig. 15. Oxalis Valdiviana: conjoint circumnutation of a cotyledon and the hypocotyl, traced on vertical glass, during 24 hours. Figure here given one-half of original scale; seedling illuminated from above.

the first day the seedling was placed too far from the vertical glass; so that the tracing was enormously exaggerated and the movement could not be traced when the cotyledon either rose or sank much; but it was clearly seen that the cotyledons rose thrice and fell twice between 8.15 A.M. and 4.15 P.M. Early on the following morning (June 19th) the apex of a cotyledon was [page 26] placed only 1 7/8 inch from the vertical glass.

The Power of Movement in Plants Page 14

19th Century English Literature

Charles Darwin

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