77) this curious structure and the purpose which it subserves. He states that good figures of the cotyledon of the onion have been given by Tittmann and by Sachs in his 'Experimental Physiologie,' p. 93. [page 60]

After a time the apex is drawn out of the empty seed-coats, and rises up, forming a right angle, or more commonly a still larger angle with the lower part, and occasionally the whole becomes nearly straight. The conical protuberance, which originally formed the crown of the arch, is now seated on one side, and appears like a joint or knee, which from acquiring chlorophyll becomes green, and increases in size. In rarely or never becoming perfectly straight, these cotyledons differ remarkably from the ultimate condition of the arched hypocotyls or epicotyls of dicotyledons. It is, also, a singular circumstance that the attenuated extremity of the upper bent portion invariably withers and dies.

A filament, 1.7 inch in length, was affixed nearly upright beneath the knee to the basal and vertical portion of a cotyledon; and its movements were traced during 14 h. in the usual manner. The tracing here given (Fig. 47) indicates circumnutation. The movement of the upper part above the knee of the same cotyledon, which projected at about an angle of 45o above the horizon, was observed at the same time. A filament was not affixed to it, but a mark was placed beneath the apex, which was almost white from beginning to wither, and its movements were thus traced. The figure described resembled pretty closely that above given; and this shows that the chief seat of movement is in the lower or basal part of the cotyledon.

Fig. 47. Allium cepa: circumnutation of basal half of arched cotyledon, traced in darkness on horizontal glass, from 8.15 A.M. to 10 P.M. Oct. 31st. Movement of bead magnified about 17 times.

Asparagus officinalis (Asparageae).--The tip of a straight plumule or cotyledon (for we do not know which it should be called) was found at a depth of .1 inch beneath the surface, and the earth was then removed all round to the dept of .3 inch. a glass filament was affixed obliquely to it, and the movement of the bead, magnified 17 times, was traced in darkness. During the first 1 h. 15 m. the plumule moved to the right, and during the next two hours it returned in a roughly parallel but strongly zigzag course. From some unknown cause it had grown up through the soil in an inclined direction, and now through apogeotropism it moved during nearly 24 h. in [page 61] the same general direction, but in a slightly zigzag manner, until it became upright. On the following morning it changed its course completely. There can therefore hardly be a doubt that the plumule circumnutates, whilst buried beneath the ground, as much as the pressure of the surrounding earth will permit. The surface of the soil in the pot was now covered with a thin layer of very fine argillaceous sand, which was kept damp; and after the tapering seedlings had grown a few tenths of an inch in height, each was found surrounded by a little open space or circular crack; and this could be accounted for only by their having circumnutated and thus pushed away the sand on all sides; for there was no vestige of a crack in any other part.

In order to prove that there was circumnutation, the move-

Fig. 48. Asparagus officinalis: circumnutation of plumules with tips whitened and marks placed beneath, traced on a horizontal glass. A, young plumule; movement traced from 8.30 A.M. Nov. 30th to 7.15 A.M. next morning; magnified about 35 times. B, older plumule; movement traced from 10.15 A.M. to 8.10 P.M. Nov. 29th; magnified 9 times, but here reduced to one-half of original scale.

ments of five seedlings, varying in height from .3 inch to 2 inches, were traced. They were placed within a box and illuminated from above; but in all five cases the longer axes of the figures described were directed to nearly the same point; so that more light seemed to have come through the glass roof of the greenhouse on one side than on any other.

The Power of Movement in Plants Page 31

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Charles Darwin

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