* Carlina. l. 7. Carline Thistle. Of the class Confederate Males. The feeds of this and of many other plants of the same class are furnished with a plume, by which ad∣mirable mechanism they perform long aërial journeys, crossing lakes and deserts, and are thus disseminated far from the original plant, and have much the appearance of a Shut∣tlecock as they fly. The wings are of different construction, some being like a diver∣gent tuft of hairs, others are branched like feathers, some are elevated from the crown of the feed by a slender foot-stalk, which gives them a very elegant appearance, others sit immediately on the crown of the seed.
Nature has many other curious vegetable contrivances for the dispersion of seeds: see note on Helianthus. But perhaps none of them has more the appearance of design than the admirable apparatus of Tillandsia for this purpose. This plant grows on the branches of trees, like the misleto, and never on the ground; the seeds are furnished with many long threads on their crowns; which, as they are driven forwards by the winds, wrap round the arms of trees, and thus hold them last till they vegetate. This is very analogous to the migration of Spiders on the gossamer, who are said to attach themselves to the end of a long thread, and rise thus to the tops of trees or buildings, as the accidental breezes carry them.
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