* Amaryllis. l. 152. Formosissima. Most beautiful Amaryllis. Six males, one female. Some of the bell-flowers close their apertures at night, or in rainy or cold weather, as the convolvulus, and thus protect their included stamens and pistils. Other bell-flowers hang their apertures downwards, as many of the lilies; in those the pistil, when at maturity, is longer than the stamens; and by this pendant attitude of the bell, when the anthers burst, their dust falls on the stigma; and these are at the same time sheltered as with an umbrella from rain and dews. But, as a free exposure to the air is necessary for their fecundation, the style and filaments in many of these flowers continue to grow longer after the bell is open, and hang down below its rim. In others, as in the mar∣tagon, the bell is deeply divided, and the divisions are reflected upwards, that they may not prevent the access of air, and at the same time afford some shelter from perpendicular rain or dew. Other bell-flowers, as the hemerocallis and amaryllis, have their bells nodding only, as it were, or hanging obliquely toward the horizon; which, as their stems are slender, turn like a weathercock from the wind; and thus very effectually preserve their inclosed stamens and anthers from the rain and cold. Many of these flowers, both before and after their season of fecundation, erect their heads perpen∣dicular to the horizon, like the Meadia, which cannot be explained from meer mechanism.

The Amaryllis formosissima is a flower of the last mentioned kind, and affords an agreeable example of art in the vegetable economy. 1. The pistil is of great length compared with the stamens; and this I suppose to have been the most unchangeable part of the flower, as in Meadia, which see. 2. To counteract this circumstance, the pistil and stamens are made to decline downwards, that the prolific dust might fall from the anthers on the stigma. 3. To produce this effect, and to secure it when produced, the corol is lacerated, contrary to what occurs in other flowers of this genus, and the lowest division with the two next lowest ones are wrapped closely over the style and filaments, binding them forceibly down lower toward the horizon than the usual inclination of the bell in this genus, and thus constitutes a most elegant flower. There is another con∣trivance for this purpose in the Hemerocalis flava; the long pistil often is bent some∣what like the capital letter N, with design to shorten it, and thus to bring the stigma amongst the anthers.


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