* Teach the fine seed. l. 411. The seeds in their natural state fall on the surface of the earth, and having absorbed some moisture the root shoots itself downwards into the earth and the plume rises in air. Thus each endeavouring to seek its proper pabulum directed by a vegetable irritability similar to that of the lacteal system and to the lungs in animals.
The pith seems to push up or elongate the bud by its elasticity, like the pith in the callow quills of birds. This medulla Linneus believes to consist of a bundle of fibres, which diverging breaks through the bark yet gelatinons producing the buds.
The lobes are reservoirs of prepared nutriment for the young seed, which is absorbed by its placental vessels, and converted into sugar, till it has penetrated with its roots far enough into the earth to extract sufficient moisture, and has acquired leaves to con∣vert it into nourishment. In some plants these lobes rise from the earth and supply the place of leaves, as in kidney-beans, cucumbers, and hence seem to serve both as a placenta to the foetus, and lungs to the young plant. During the process of germination the starch of the seed is converted into sugar, as is seen in the procese of malting barley for the purpose of brewing. And is on this account very similar to the digestion of food in the stomachs of animals, which converts all their aliment into a chyle, which consists of mucilage, oil, and sugar; the placentation of buds will be spoken of hereafter.
[ return to text ]