* Zostera. l. 266. Grass-wrack. Class, Feminine Males. Order, Many Males. It grows at the bottom of the sea, and rising to the surface, when in flower, covers many leagues; and is driven at length to the shore. During its time of floating on the sea, numberless animals live on the under surface of it, and being specifically lighter than the sea water, or being repelled by it, have legs placed as it were on their backs for the purpose of walking under it. As the Scylloea. See Barbut's Genera Vermium. It seems necessary that the marriages of plants should be celebrated in the open air, either because the powder of the anther, or the mucilage on the stigma, or the reservoir of honey might receive injury from the water. Mr. Needham observed, that in the ripe dust of every flower, examined by the microscope some vesicles are perceived, from which a fluid had escaped; and that those, which st•• retain it, explode if they be wetted, like an eolopile suddenly exposed to a strong he••. These observations have been verified by Spallanzani and others. Hence rainy seasons make a scarcity of grain, or hinder its fecundity, by bursting the pollen before it arrives at the moist stigma of the flower. Spallanzani's Dissertations, v. II. p. 321. Thus the flowers of the male Val∣lisneria are produced under water, and when ripe detach themselves from the plant, and rising to the surface are wafted by the air to the female flowers. See Vallisneria.


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