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Title: The Power of Movement in Plants

Author: Charles Darwin

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[Most recently updated: August 14, 2002]

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, THE POWER OF MOVEMENT IN PLANTS ***




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[page i.]

THE

POWER OF MOVEMENT

IN

PLANTS.

[page ii.]

[page iii.]



THE

POWER OF MOVEMENT

IN

PLANTS.



 BY CHARLES DARWIN, LL.D., F.R.S.



ASSISTED BY

FRANCIS DARWIN.




[page iv.]

[page v.]



CONTENTS.

-----

INTRODUCTION...Page 1-9.

CHAPTER I.

THE CIRCUMNUTATING MOVEMENTS OF SEEDLING PLANTS.

Brassica oleracea, circumnutation of the radicle, of the arched hypocotyl
whilst still buried beneath the ground, whilst rising above the ground and
straightening itself, and when erect--Circumnutation of the cotyledons--
Rate of movement--Analogous observations on various organs in species of
Githago, Gossypium, Oxalis, Tropaeolum, Citrus, Aesculus, of several
Leguminous and Cucurbitaceous genera, Opuntia, Helianthus, Primula,
Cyclamen, Stapelia, Cerinthe, Nolana, Solanum, Beta, Ricinus, Quercus,
Corylus, Pinus, Cycas, Canna, Allium, Asparagus, Phalaris, Zea, Avena,
Nephrodium, and Selaginella...10-66


CHAPTER II.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE MOVEMENTS AND GROWTH OF SEEDLING PLANTS.

Generality of the circumnutating movement--Radicles, their circumnutation
of service--Manner in which they penetrate the ground--Manner in which
hypocotyls and other organs break through the ground by being arched--
Singular manner of germination in Megarrhiza, etc.--Abortion of cotyledons-
-Circumnutation of hypocotyls and epicotyls whilst still buried and arched-
-Their power of straightening themselves--Bursting of the seed-coats--
Inherited effect of the arching process in hypo-
[page vi.]
gean hypocotyls--Circumnutation of hypocotyls and epicotyls when erect--
Circumnutation of cotyledons--Pulvini or joints of cotyledons, duration of
their activity, rudimentary in Oxalis corniculata, their development--
Sensitiveness of cotyledons to light and consequent disturbance of their
periodic movements--Sensitiveness of cotyledons to contact...Page 67-128


CHAPTER III.

SENSITIVENESS OF THE APEX OF THE RADICLE TO CONTACT AND TO OTHER IRRITANTS.

Manner in which radicles bend when they encounter an obstacle in the soil--
Vicia faba, tips of radicles highly sensitive to contact and other
irritants--Effects of too high a temperature--Power of discriminating
between objects attached on opposite sides--Tips of secondary radicles
sensitive--Pisum, tips of radicles sensitive--Effects of such sensitiveness
in overcoming geotropism--Secondary radicles--Phaseolus, tips of radicles
hardly sensitive to contact, but highly sensitive to caustic and to the
removal of a slice--Tropaeolum--Gossypium--Cucurbita--Raphanus--Aesculus,
tip not sensitive to slight contact, highly sensitive to caustic--Quercus,
tip highly sensitive to contact--Power of discrimination--Zea, tip highly
sensitive, secondary radicles--Sensitiveness of radicles to moist air--
Summary of chapter...129-200


CHAPTER IV.

THE CIRCUMNUTATING MOVEMENTS OF THE SEVERAL PARTS OF MATURE PLANTS.

Circumnutation of stems: concluding remarks on--Circumnutation of stolons:
aid thus afforded in winding amongst the stems of surrounding plants--
Circumnutation of flower-stems--Circumnutation of Dicotyledonous leaves--
Singular oscillatory movement of leaves of Dionaea--Leaves of Cannabis sink
at night--Leaves of Gymnosperms--Of Monocotyledons--Cryptogams--Concluding
remarks on the circumnutation of leaves; generally rise in the evening and
sink in the morning...201-262
[page vii.]


CHAPTER V.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: CLIMBING PLANTS; EPINASTIC AND HYPONASTIC
MOVEMENTS.

Circumnutation modified through innate causes or through the action of
external conditions--Innate causes--Climbing plants; similarity of their
movements with those of ordinary plants; increased amplitude; occasional
points of difference--Epinastic growth of young leaves--Hyponastic growth
of the hypocotyls and epicotyls of seedlings--Hooked tips of climbing and
other plants due to modified circumnutation--Ampelopsis tricuspidata--
Smithia Pfundii--Straightening of the tip due to hyponasty--Epinastic
growth and circumnutation of the flower-peduncles of Trifolium repens and
Oxalis carnosa...Page 263-279


CHAPTER VI.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: SLEEP OR NYCTITROPIC MOVEMENTS, THEIR USE: SLEEP
OF COTYLEDONS.

Preliminary sketch of the sleep or nyctitropic movements of leaves--
Presence of pulvini--The lessening of radiation the final cause of
nyctitropic movements--Manner of trying experiments on leaves of Oxalis,
Arachis, Cassia, Melilotus, Lotus and Marsilea and on the cotyledons of
Mimosa--Concluding remarks on radiation from leaves--Small differences in
the conditions make a great difference in the result - Description of the
nyctitropic position and movements of the cotyledons of various plants--
List of species--Concluding remarks--Independence of the nyctitropic
movements of the leaves and cotyledons of the same species--Reasons for
believing that the movements have been acquired for a special
purpose...280-316


CHAPTER VII.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: NYCTITROPIC OR SLEEP MOVEMENTS OF LEAVES.

Conditions necessary for these movements--List of Genera and Families,
which include sleeping plants--Description of the movements in the several
Genera--Oxalis: leaflets folded at
[page viii.]
night--Averrhoa: rapid movements of the leaflets--Porlieria: leaflets close
when plant kept very dry--Tropaeolum: leaves do not sleep unless well
illuminated during day--Lupinus: various modes of sleeping--Melilotus:
singular movements of terminal leaflet--Trifolium--Desmodium: rudimentary
lateral leaflets, movements of, not developed on young plants, state of
their pulvini--Cassia: complex movements of the leaflets--Bauhinia: leaves
folded at night--Mimosa pudica: compounded movements of leaves, effect of
darkness--Mimosa albida, reduced leaflets of--Schrankia: downward movement
of the pinnae--Marsilea: the only cryptogam known to sleep--Concluding
remarks and summary--Nyctitropism consists of modified circumnutation,
regulated by the alternations of light and darkness--Shape of first true
leaves...Page 317-417


CHAPTER VIII.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: MOVEMENTS EXCITED BY LIGHT.

Distinction between heliotropism and the effects of light on the
periodicity of the movements of leaves--Heliotropic movements of Beta,
Solanum, Zea, and Avena--Heliotropic movements towards an obscure light in
Apios, Brassica, Phalaris, Tropaeolum, and Cassia--Apheliotropic movements
of tendrils of Bignonia--Of flower-peduncles of Cyclamen--Burying of the
pods--Heliotropism and apheliotropism modified forms of circumnutation--
Steps by which one movement is converted into the other--
Transversal-heliotropismus or diaheliotropism influenced by epinasty, the
weight of the part and apogeotropism--Apogeotropism overcome during the
middle of the day by diaheliotropism--Effects of the weight of the blades
of cotyledons--So called diurnal sleep--Chlorophyll injured by intense
light--Movements to avoid intense light...418-448


CHAPTER IX.

SENSITIVENESS OF PLANTS TO LIGHT: ITS TRANSMITTED EFFECTS.

Uses of heliotropism--Insectivorous and climbing plants not heliotropic--
Same organ heliotropic at one age and not at another--Extraordinary
sensitiveness of some plants to light--The effects
[page ix.]
of light do not correspond with its intensity--Effects of previous
illumination--Time required for the action of light--After-effects of
light--Apogeotropism acts as soon as light fails--Accuracy with which
plants bend to the light--This dependent on the illumination of one whole
side of the part--Localised sensitiveness to light and its transmitted
effects--Cotyledons of Phalaris, manner of bending--Results of the
exclusion of light from their tips--Effects transmitted beneath the surface
of the ground--Lateral illumination of the tip determines the direction of
the curvature of the base--Cotyledons of Avena, curvature of basal part due
to the illumination of upper part--Similar results with the hypocotyls of
Brassica and Beta--Radicles of Sinapis apheliotropic, due to the
sensitiveness of their tips--Concluding remarks and summary of chapter--
Means by which circumnutation has been converted into heliotropism or
apheliotropism...Page 449-492


CHAPTER X.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: MOVEMENTS EXCITED BY GRAVITATION.

Means of observation--Apogeotropism--Cytisus--Verbena--Beta--Gradual
conversion of the movement of circumnutation into apogeotropism in Rubus,
Lilium, Phalaris, Avena, and Brassica--Apogeotropism retarded by
heliotropism--Effected by the aid of joints or pulvini--Movements of
flower-peduncles of Oxalis--General remarks on apogeotropism--Geotropism--
Movements of radicles--Burying of seed-capsules--Use of process--Trifolium
subterraneum--Arachis--Amphicarpaea--Diageotropism--Conclusion...493-522


CHAPTER XI.

LOCALISED SENSITIVENESS TO GRAVITATION, AND ITS TRANSMITTED EFFECTS.

General considerations--Vicia faba, effects of amputating the tips of the
radicles--Regeneration of the tips--Effects of a short exposure of the tips
to geotropic action and their subsequent amputation--Effects of amputating
the tips obliquely--Effects of cauterising the tips--Effects of grease on
the tips--Pisum
[page x.]
sativum, tips of radicles cauterised transversely, and on their upper and
lower sides--Phaseolus, cauterisation and grease on the tips--Gossypium--
Cucurbita, tips cauterised transversely, and on their upper and lower
sides--Zea, tips cauterised--Concluding remarks and summary of chapter--
Advantages of the sensibility to geotropism being localised in the tips of
the radicles...Page 523-545


CHAPTER XII.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS.

Nature of the circumnutating movement--History of a germinating seed--The
radicle first protrudes and circumnutates--Its tip highly sensitive--
Emergence of the hypocotyl or of the epicotyl from the ground under the
form of an arch--Its circumnutation and that of the cotyledons--The
seedling throws up a leaf-bearing stem--The circumnutation of all the parts
or organs--Modified circumnutation--Epinasty and hyponasty--Movements of
climbing plants--Nyctitropic movements--Movements excited by light and
gravitation--Localised sensitiveness--Resemblance between the movements of
plants and animals--The tip of the radicle acts like a brain...546-573


INDEX...574-593

[page 1]




THE MOVEMENTS OF PLANTS.



INTRODUCTION.

THE chief object of the present work is to describe and connect together
several large classes of movement, common to almost all plants. The most
widely prevalent movement is essentially of the same nature as that of the
stem of a climbing plant, which bends successively to all points of the
compass, so that the tip revolves. This movement has been called by Sachs
"revolving nutation;" but we have found it much more convenient to use the
terms circumnutation and circumnutate. As we shall have to say much about
this movement, it will be useful here briefly to describe its nature. If we
observe a circumnutating stem, which happens at the time to be bent, we
will say towards the north, it will be found gradually to bend more and
more easterly, until it faces the east; and so onwards to the south, then
to the west, and back again to the north. If the movement had been quite
regular, the apex would have described a circle, or rather, as the stem is
always growing upwards, a circular spiral. But it generally describes
irregular elliptical or oval figures; for the apex, after pointing in any
one direction, commonly moves back to the opposite side, not, however,
returning along the same line. Afterwards other irregular ellipses or ovals
are successively described, with their longer
[page 2]
axes directed to different points of the compass. Whilst describing such
figures, the apex often travels in a zigzag line, or makes small
subordinate loops or triangles. In the case of leaves the ellipses are
generally narrow.

Until recently the cause of all such bending movements was believed to be
due to the increased growth of the side which becomes for a time convex;
that this side does temporarily grow more quickly than the concave side has
been well established; but De Vries has lately shown that such increased
growth follows a previously increased state of turgescence on the convex
side.* In the case of parts provided with a so-called joint, cushion or
pulvinus, which consists of an aggregate of small cells that have ceased to
increase in size from a very early age, we meet with similar movements; and
here, as Pfeffer has shown** and as we shall see in the course of this
work, the increased turgescence of the cells on opposite sides is not
followed by increased growth. Wiesner denies in certain cases the accuracy
of De Vries' conclusion about turgescence, and maintains*** that the
increased extensibility of the cell-walls is the more important element.
That such extensibility must accompany increased turgescence in order that
the part may bend is manifest, and this has been insisted on by several
botanists; but in the case of unicellular plants it can hardly fail to be
the more important element. On the whole we may at present conclude that
in-

* Sachs first showed ('Lehrbuch,' etc., 4th edit. p. 452) the intimate
connection between turgescence and growth. For De Vries' interesting essay,
'Wachsthumskrümmungen mehrzelliger Organe,' see 'Bot. Zeitung,' Dec. 19,
1879, p. 830.

** 'Die Periodischen Bewegungen der Blattorgane,' 1875.

*** 'Untersuchungen über den Heliotropismus,' Sitzb. der K. Akad. der
Wissenschaft. (Vienna), Jan. 1880.

[page 3]
creased growth, first on one side and then on another, is a secondary
effect, and that the increased turgescence of the cells, together with the
extensibility of their walls, is the primary cause of the movement of
circumnutation.*

In the course of the present volume it will be shown that apparently every
growing part of every plant is continually circumnutating, though often on
a small scale. Even the stems of seedlings before they have broken through
the ground, as well as their buried radicles, circumnutate, as far as the
pressure of the surrounding earth permits. In this universally present
movement we have the basis or groundwork for the acquirement, according to
the requirements of the plant, of the most diversified movements. Thus, the
great sweeps made by the stems of twining plants, and by the tendrils of
other climbers, result from a mere increase in the amplitude of the
ordinary movement of circumnutation. The position which young leaves and
other organs ultimately assume is acquired by the circumnutating movement
being increased in some one direction. the leaves of various plants are
said to sleep at night, and it will be seen that their blades then assume a
vertical position through modified circumnutation, in order to protect
their upper surfaces from being chilled through radiation.  The movements
of various organs to the light, which are so general throughout the
vegetable kingdom, and occasionally from the light, or transversely with
respect to it, are all modified

* See Mr. Vines' excellent discussion ('Arbeiten des Bot. Instituts in
Würzburg,' B. II. pp. 142, 143, 1878) on this intricate subject.
Hofmeister's observations ('Jahreschrifte des Vereins für Vaterl.
Naturkunde in Würtemberg,' 1874, p. 211) on the curious movements of
Spirogyra, a plant consisting of a single row of cells, are valuable in
relation to this subject.

[page 4]
forms of circumnutation; as again are the equally prevalent movements of
stems, etc., towards the zenith, and of roots towards the centre of the
earth. In accordance with these conclusions, a considerable difficulty in
the way of evolution is in part removed, for it might have been asked, how
did all these diversified movements for the most different purposes first
arise? As the case stands, we know that there is always movement in
progress, and its amplitude, or direction, or both, have only to be
modified for the good of the plant in relation with internal or external
stimuli.

Besides describing the several modified forms of circumnutation, some other
subjects will be discussed. The two which have interested us most are,
firstly, the fact that with some seedling plants the uppermost part alone
is sensitive to light, and transmits an influence to the lower part,
causing it to bend. If therefore the upper part be wholly protected from
light, the lower part may be exposed for hours to it, and yet does not
become in the least bent, although this would have occurred quickly if the
upper part had been excited by light. Secondly, with the radicles of
seedlings, the tip is sensitive to various stimuli, especially to very
slight pressure, and when thus excited, transmits an influence to the upper
part, causing it to bend from the pressed side. On the other hand, if the
tip is subjected to the vapour of water proceeding from one side, the upper
part of the radicle bends towards this side. Again it is the tip, as stated
by Ciesielski, though denied by others, which is sensitive to the
attraction of gravity, and by transmission causes the adjoining parts of
the radicle to bend towards the centre of the earth. These several cases of
the effects of contact, other irritants, vapour, light, and the
[page 5]
attraction of gravity being transmitted from the excited part for some
little distance along the organ in question, have an important bearing on
the theory of all such movements.

[Terminology.--A brief explanation of some terms which will be used, must
here be given. With seedlings, the stem which supports the cotyledons (i.e.
the organs which represent the first leaves) has been called by many
botanists the hypocotyledonous stem, but for brevity sake we will speak of
it merely as the hypocotyl: the stem immediately above the cotyledons will
be called the epicotyl or plumule. The radicle can be distinguished from
the hypocotyl only by the presence of root-hairs and the nature of its
covering. The meaning of the word circumnutation has already been
explained. Authors speak of positive and negative heliotropism,*--that is,
the bending of an organ to or from the light; but it is much more
convenient to confine the word heliotropism to bending towards the light,
and to designate as apheliotropism bending from the light. There is another
reason for this change, for writers, as we have observed, occasionally drop
the adjectives positive and negative, and thus introduce confusion into
their discussions. Diaheliotropism may express a position more or less
transverse to the light and induced by it. In like manner positive
geotropism, or bending towards the centre of the earth, will be called by
us geotropism; apogeotropism will mean bending in opposition to gravity or
from the centre of the earth; and diageotropism, a position more or less
transverse to the radius of the earth. The words heliotropism and
geotropism properly mean the act of moving in relation to the light or the
earth; but in the same manner as gravitation, though defined as "the act of
tending to the centre," is often used to express the cause of a body
falling, so it will be found convenient occasionally to employ heliotropism
and geotropism, etc., as the cause of the movements in question.

The term epinasty is now often used in Germany, and implies that the upper
surface of an organ grows more quickly than the

* The highly useful terms of Heliotropism and Geotropism were first used by
Dr. A. B. Frank: see his remarkable 'Beiträge zur Pflanzenphysiologie,'
1868.
[page 6]
lower surface, and thus causes it to bend downwards. Hyponasty is the
reverse, and implies increased growth along the lower surface, causing the
part to bend upwards.*

Methods of Observation.--The movements, sometimes very small and sometimes
considerable in extent, of the various organs observed by us, were traced
in the manner which after many trials we found to be best, and which must
be described. Plants growing in pots were protected wholly from the light,
or had light admitted from above, or on one side as the case might require,
and were covered above by a large horizontal sheet of glass, and with
another vertical sheet on one side. A glass filament, not thicker than a
horsehair, and from a quarter to three-quarters of an inch in length, was
affixed to the part to be observed by means of shellac dissolved in
alcohol. The solution was allowed to evaporate, until it became so thick
that it set hard in two or three seconds, and it never injured the tissues,
even the tips of tender radicles, to which it was applied. To the end of
the glass filament an excessively minute bead of black sealing-wax was
cemented, below or behind which a bit of card with a black dot was fixed to
a stick driven into the ground. The weight of the filament was so slight
that even small leaves were not perceptibly pressed down. another method of
observation, when much magnification of the movement was not required, will
presently be described. The bead and the dot on the card were viewed
through the horizontal or vertical glass-plate (according to the position
of the object), and when one exactly covered the other, a dot was made on
the glass-plate with a sharply pointed stick dipped in thick Indian-ink.
Other dots were made at short intervals of time and these were afterwards
joined by straight lines. The figures thus traced were therefore angular;
but if dots had been made every 1 or 2 minutes, the lines would have been
more curvilinear, as occurred when radicles were allowed to trace their own
courses on smoked glass-plates. To make the dots accurately was the sole
difficulty, and required some practice. Nor could this be done quite
accurately, when the movement was much magnified, such as 30 times and
upwards; yet even in this case the general course may be trusted. To test
the accuracy of the above method of observation, a filament was fixed to an

* These terms are used in the sense given them by De Vries, 'Würzburg
Arbeiten,' Heft ii 1872, p. 252.

[page 7]
inanimate object which was made to slide along a straight edge and dots
were repeatedly made on a glass-plate; when these were joined, the result
ought to have been a perfectly straight line, and the line was very nearly
straight. It may be added that when the dot on the card was placed
half-an-inch below or behind the bead of sealing-wax, and when the
glass-plate (supposing it to have been properly curved) stood at a distance
of 7 inches in front (a common distance), then the tracing represented the
movement of the bead magnified 15 times.

Whenever a great increase of the movement was not required, another, and in
some respects better, method of observation was followed. This consisted in
fixing two minute triangles of thin paper, about 1/20 inch in height, to
the two ends of the attached glass filament; and when their tips were
brought into a line so that they covered one another, dots were made as
before on the glass-plate. If we suppose the glass-plate to stand at a
distance of seven inches from the end of the shoot bearing the filament,
the dots when joined, will give nearly the same figure as if a filament
seven inches long, dipped in ink, had been fixed to the moving shoot, and
had inscribed its own course on the plate. The movement is thus
considerably magnified; for instance, if a shoot one inch in length were
bending, and the glass-plate stood at the distance of seven inches, the
movement would be magnified eight times. It would, however, have been very
difficult to have ascertained in each case how great a length of the shoot
was bending; and this is indispensable for ascertaining the degree to which
the movement is magnified.

After dots had been made on the glass-plates by either of the above
methods, they were copied on tracing paper and joined by ruled lines, with
arrows showing the direction of the movement. The nocturnal courses are
represented by straight broken lines. the first dot is always made larger
than the others, so as to catch the eye, as may be seen in the diagrams.
The figures on the glass-plates were often drawn on too large a scale to be
reproduced on the pages of this volume, and the proportion in which they
have been reduced is always given.* Whenever it could be approximately told
how much the movement had been magnified, this is stated. We have perhaps

* We are much indebted to Mr. Cooper for the care with which he has reduced
and engraved our diagrams.

[page 8]
introduced a superfluous number of diagrams; but they take up less space
than a full description of the movements. Almost all the sketches of plants
asleep, etc., were carefully drawn for us by Mr. George Darwin.

As shoots, leaves, etc., in circumnutating bend more and more, first in one
direction and then in another, they were necessarily viewed at different
times more or less obliquely; and as the dots were made on a flat surface,
the apparent amount of movement is exaggerated according to the degree of
obliquity of the point of view. It would, therefore, have been a much
better plan to have used hemispherical glasses, if we had possessed them of
all sizes, and if the bending part of the shoot had been distinctly hinged
and could have been placed so as to have formed one of the radii of the
sphere. But even in this case it would have been necessary afterwards to
have projected the figures on paper; so that complete accuracy could not
have been attained. From the distortion of our figures, owing to the above
causes, they are of no use to any one who wishes to know the exact amount
of movement, or the exact course pursued; but they serve excellently for
ascertaining whether or not the part moved at all, as well as the general
character of the movement.]

In the following chapters, the movements of a considerable number of plants
are described; and the species have been arranged according to the system
adopted by Hooker in Le Maout and Decaisne's 'Descriptive Botany.' No one
who is not investigating the present subject need read all the details,
which, however, we have thought it advisable to give. To save the reader
trouble, the conclusions and most of the more important parts have been
printed in larger type than the other parts. He may, if he thinks fit, read
the last chapter first, as it includes a summary of the whole volume; and
he will thus see what points interest him, and on which he requires the
full evidence.

Finally, we must have the pleasure of returning our
[page 9]
sincere thanks to Sir Joseph Hooker and to Mr. W. Thiselton Dyer for their
great kindness, in not only sending us plants from Kew, but in procuring
others from several sources when they were required for our observations;
also, for naming many species, and giving us information on various points.
[page 10]



CHAPTER I.

THE CIRCUMNUTATING MOVEMENTS OF SEEDLING PLANTS.

Brassica oleracea, circumnutation of the radicle, of the arched hypocotyl
whilst still buried beneath the ground, whilst rising above the ground and
straightening itself, and when erect--Circumnutation of the cotyledons--
Rate of movement--Analogous observations on various organs in species of
Githago, Gossypium, Oxalis, Tropaeolum, Citrus, Aesculus, of several
Leguminous and Cucurbitaceous genera, Opuntia, Helianthus, Primula,
Cyclamen, Stapelia, Cerinthe, Nolana, Solanum, Beta, Ricinus, Quercus,
Corylus, Pinus, Cycas, Canna, Allium, Asparagus, Phalaris, Zea, Avena,
Nephrodium, and Selaginella.

THE following chapter is devoted to the circumnutating movements of the
radicles, hypocotyls, and cotyledons of seedling plants; and, when the
cotyledons do not rise above the ground, to the movements of the epicotyl.
But in a future chapter we shall have to recur to the movements of certain
cotyledons which sleep at night.

[Brassica oleracea (Cruciferae)'.--Fuller details will be given with
respect to the movements in this case than in any other, as space and time
will thus ultimately be saved.

Radicle.--A seed with the radicle projecting .05 inch was fastened with
shellac to a little plate of zinc, so that the radicle stood up vertically;
and a fine glass filament was then fixed near its base, that is, close to
the seed-coats. The seed was surrounded by little bits of wet sponge, and
the movement of the bead at the end of the filament was traced (Fig. 1)
during sixty hours. In this time the radicle increased in length from .05
to .11 inch. Had the filament been attached at first close to the apex of
the radicle, and if it could have remained there all the time, the movement
exhibited would have
[page 11]
been much greater, for at the close of our observations the tip, instead of
standing vertically upwards, had become bowed downwards through geotropism,
so as almost to touch the zinc plate. As far as we could roughly ascertain
by measurements made with compasses on other seeds, the tip alone, for a
length of only 2/100 to 3/100 of an inch, is acted on by geotropism. But
the tracing shows that the basal part of the radicle continued to
circumnutate irregularly during the whole time. The actual extreme amount
of movement of the bead at the end of the filament was nearly .05 inch, but
to what extent the movement of the radicle was magnified by the filament,
which was nearly 3/4 inch in length, it was impossible to estimate.

Fig. 1. Brassica oleracea: circumnutation of radicle, traced on horizontal
glass, from 9 A.M. Jan. 31st to 9 P.M. Feb. 2nd. Movement of bead at end of
filament magnified about 40 times.

Another seed was treated and observed in the same manner, but the radicle
in this case protruded .1 inch, and was not
Fig. 2. Brassica oleracea: circumnutating and geotropic movement of
radicle, traced on horizontal glass during 46 hours.

fastened so as to project quite vertically upwards. The filament was
affixed close to its base. The tracing (Fig. 2, reduced by half) shows the
movement from 9 A.M. Jan. 31st to 7 A.M. Feb. 2nd; but it continued to move
during the whole of the
[page 12]
2nd in the same general direction, and in a similar zigzag manner. From the
radicle not being quite perpendicular when the filament was affixed
geotropism came into play at once; but the irregular zigzag course shows
that there was growth (probably preceded by turgescence), sometimes on one
and sometimes on another side. Occasionally the bead remained stationary
for about an hour, and then probably growth occurred on the side opposite
to that which caused the geotropic curvature. In the case previously
described the basal part of the very short radicle from being turned
vertically upwards, was at first very little affected by geotropism.
Filaments were affixed in two other instances to rather longer radicles
protruding obliquely from seeds which had been turned upside down; and in
these cases the lines traced on the horizontal glasses were only slightly
zigzag, and the movement was always in the same general direction, through
the action of geotropism. All these observations are liable to several
causes of error, but we believe, from what will hereafter be shown with
respect to the movements of the radicles of other plants, that they may be
largely trusted.

Hypocotyl.--The hypocotyl protrudes through the seed-coats as a rectangular
projection, which grows rapidly into an arch like the letter U turned
upside down; the cotyledons being still enclosed within the seed. In
whatever position the seed may be embedded in the earth or otherwise fixed,
both legs of the arch bend upwards through apogeotropism, and thus rise
vertically above the ground. As soon as this has taken place, or even
earlier, the inner or concave surface of the arch grows more quickly than
the upper or convex surface; and this tends to separate the two legs and
aids in drawing the cotyledons out of the buried seed-coats. By the growth
of the whole arch the cotyledons are ultimately dragged from beneath the
ground, even from a considerable depth; and now the hypocotyl quickly
straightens itself by the increased growth of the concave side.

Even whilst the arched or doubled hypocotyl is still beneath the ground, it
circumnutates as much as the pressure of the surrounding soil will permit;
but this was difficult to observe, because as soon as the arch is freed
from lateral pressure the two legs begin to separate, even at a very early
age, before the arch would naturally have reached the surface. Seeds were
allowed to germinate on the surface of damp earth, and after they had fixed
themselves by their radicles, and after the, as yet, only
[page 13]
slightly arched hypocotyl had become nearly vertical, a glass filament was
affixed on two occasions near to the base of the basal leg (i.e. the one in
connection with the radicle), and its movements were traced in darkness on
a horizontal glass. The result was that long lines were formed running in
nearly the plane of the vertical arch, due to the early separation of the
two legs now freed from pressure; but as the lines were zigzag, showing
lateral movement, the arch must have been circumnutating, whilst it was
straightening itself by growth along its inner or concave surface.

A somewhat different method of observation was next followed:
Fig. 3. Brassica oleracea: circumnutating movement of buried and arched
hypocotyl (dimly illuminated from above), traced on horizontal glass during
45 hours. Movement of bead of filament magnified about 25 times, and here
reduced to one-half of original scale.

as soon as the earth with seeds in a pot began to crack, the surface was
removed in parts to the depth of .2 inch; and a filament was fixed to the
basal leg of a buried and arched hypocotyl, just above the summit of the
radicle. The cotyledons were still almost completely enclosed within the
much-cracked seed-coats; and these were again covered up with damp adhesive
soil pressed pretty firmly down. The movement of the filament was traced
(Fig. 3) from 11 A.M. Feb. 5th till 8 A.M. Feb. 7th. By this latter period
the cotyledons had been dragged from beneath the pressed-down earth, but
the upper part of the hypocotyl still formed nearly a right angle with the
lower part. The tracing shows that the arched hypocotyl tends at this early
[page 14]
age to circumnutate irregularly. On the first day the greater movement
(from right to left in the figure) was not in the plane of the vertical and
arched hypocotyl, but at right angles to it, or in the plane of the two
cotyledons, which were still in close contact. The basal leg of the arch at
the time when the filament was affixed to it, was already bowed
considerably backwards, or from the cotyledons; had the filament been
affixed before this bowing occurred, the chief movement would have been at
right angles to that shown in the figure. A filament was attached to
another buried hypocotyl of the same age, and it moved in a similar general
manner, but the line traced was not so complex. This hypocotyl became
almost straight, and the cotyledons were dragged from beneath the ground on
the evening of the second day.

Fig. 4. Brassica oleracea: circumnutating movement of buried and arched
hypocotyl, with the two legs of the arch tied together, traced on
horizontal glass during 33 ½ hours. Movement of the bead of filament
magnified about 26 times, and here reduced to one-half original scale.

Before the above observations were made, some arched hypocotyls buried at
the depth of a quarter of an inch were uncovered; and in order to prevent
the two legs of the arch from beginning to separate at once, they were tied
together with fine silk. This was done partly because we wished to
ascertain how long the hypocotyl, in its arched condition, would continue
to move, and whether the movement when not masked and disturbed by the
straightening process, indicated circumnutation. Firstly a filament was
fixed to the basal leg of an arched hypocotyl close above the summit of the
radicle. The cotyledons were still partially enclosed within the
seed-coats. The movement was traced (Fig. 4) from 9.20 A.M. on Dec.
[page 15]
23rd to 6.45 A.M. on Dec. 25th. No doubt the natural movement was much
disturbed by the two legs having been tied together; but we see that it was
distinctly zigzag, first in one direction and then in an almost opposite
one. After 3 P.M. on the 24th the arched hypocotyl sometimes remained
stationary for a considerable time, and when moving, moved far slower than
before. Therefore, on the morning of the 25th, the glass filament was
removed from the base of the basal leg, and was fixed horizontally on the
summit of the arch, which, from the legs having been tied, had grown broad
and almost flat. The movement was now traced during 23 hours (Fig. 5), and
we

Fig. 5. Brassica oleracea: circumnutating movement of the crown of a buried
and arched hypocotyl, with the two legs tied together, traced on a
horizontal glass during 23 hours. Movement of the bead of the filament
magnified about 58 times, and here reduced to one-half original scale.

see that the course was still zigzag, which indicates a tendency to
circumnutation. The base of the basal leg by this time had almost
completely ceased to move.

As soon as the cotyledons have been naturally dragged from beneath the
ground, and the hypocotyl has straightened itself by growth along the inner
or concave surface, there is nothing to interfere with the free movements
of the parts; and the circumnutation now becomes much more regular and
clearly displayed, as shown in the following cases:--A seedling was placed
in front and near a north-east window with a line joining the
[page 16]
two cotyledons parallel to the window. It was thus left the whole day so as
to accommodate itself to the light. On the following morning a filament was
fixed to the midrib of the larger and taller cotyledon (which enfolds the
other and smaller one, whilst still within the seed), and a mark being
placed close behind, the movement of the whole plant, that is, of the
hypocotyl and cotyledon, was traced greatly magnified on a vertical glass.
At first the plant bent so much towards the light that it was useless to
attempt to trace the movement; but at 10 A.M. heliotropism almost wholly
ceased and the first dot was

Fig. 6. Brassica oleracea: conjoint circumnutation of the hypocotyl and
cotyledons during 10 hours 45 minutes. Figure here reduced to one-half
original scale.

made on the glass. The last was made at 8.45 P.M.; seventeen dots being
altogether made in this interval of 10 h. 45 m. (see Fig. 6). It should be
noticed that when I looked shortly after 4 P.M. the bead was pointing off
the glass, but it came on again at 5.30 P.M., and the course during this
interval of 1 h. 30 m. has been filled up by imagination, but cannot be far
from correct. The bead moved seven times from side to side, and thus
described 3 ½ ellipses in 10 3/4 h.; each being completed on an average in
3 h. 4 m.

On the previous day another seedling had been observed under similar
conditions, excepting that the plant was so
[page 17]
placed that a line joining the two cotyledons pointed towards the window;
and the filament was attached to the smaller cotyledon on the side furthest
from the window. Moreover the plant was now for the first time placed in
this position. The cotyledons bowed themselves greatly towards the light
from 8 to 10.50 A.M., when the first dot was made (Fig. 7). During the

Fig. 7. Brassica oleracea: conjoint circumnutation of the hypocotyl and
cotyledons, from 10.50 A.M. to 8 A.M. on the following morning. Tracing
made on a vertical glass.

next 12 hours the bead swept obliquely up and down 8 times and described 4
figures representing ellipses; so that it travelled at nearly the same rate
as in the previous case. during the night it moved upwards, owing to the
sleep-movement of the cotyledons, and continued to move in the same
direction till 9 A.M. on the following morning; but this latter movement
would not have occurred with seedlings under their natural conditions fully
exposed to the light.

By 9.25 A.M. on this second day the same cotyledon had
[page 18]
begun to fall, and a dot was made on a fresh glass. The movement was traced
until 5.30 P.M. as shown in (Fig. 8), which is given, because the course
followed was much more irregular than on the two previous occasions. During
these 8 hours the bead changed its course greatly 10 times. The upward
movement of the cotyledon during the afternoon and early part of the night
is here plainly shown.

Fig. 8. Brassica oleracea: conjoint circumnutation of the hypocotyl and
cotyledons during 8 hours. Figure here reduced to one-third of the original
scale, as traced on a vertical glass.

As the filaments were fixed in the three last cases to one of the
cotyledons, and as the hypocotyl was left free, the tracings show the
movement of both organs conjoined; and we now wished to ascertain whether
both circumnutated. Filaments were therefore fixed horizontally to two
hypocotyls close beneath the petioles of their cotyledons. These seedlings
had stood for two days in the same position before a north-east window. In
the morning, up to about 11 A.M., they moved in zigzag lines towards the
light; and at night they again became almost upright through apogeotropism.
After about 11 A.M. they moved a little back from the light, often crossing
and recrossing their former path in zigzag lines. the sky on this day
varied much in brightness, and these observations merely proved that the
hypocotyls were continually moving in a manner resembling circumnutation.
On a previous day which was uniformly cloudy, a hypocotyl was firmly
secured to a little stick, and a filament was fixed to the larger of the
two cotyledons, and its movement was traced on a vertical glass. It fell
greatly from 8.52 A.M., when the first dot was made, till 10.55 A.M.; it
then rose greatly until 12.17 P.M. Afterwards it fell a little and made a
loop, but by 2.22 P.M. it had risen a little and continued rising till 9.23
P.M., when it made another loop, and at 10.30 P.M. was again rising. These
observations show that the cotyledons move
[page 19]
vertically up and down all day long, and as there was some slight lateral
movement, they circumnutated.

Fig. 9. Brassica oleracea: circumnutation of hypocotyl, in darkness, traced
on a horizontal glass, by means of a filament with a bead fixed across its
summit, between 9.15 A.M. and 8.30 A.M. on the following morning. Figure
here reduced to one-half of original scale.

The cabbage was one of the first plants, the seedlings of which were
observed by us, and we did not then know how far the circumnutation of the
different parts was affected by light. Young seedlings were therefore kept
in complete darkness except for a minute or two during each observation,
when they were illuminated by a small wax taper held almost vertically
above them. During the first day the hypocotyl of one changed its course 13
times (see Fig. 9); and it deserves notice that the longer axes of the
figures described often cross one another at right or nearly right angles.
Another seedling was observed in the same manner, but it was much older,
for it had formed a true leaf a quarter of an inch in length, and the
hypocotyl was 1 3/8 inch in height. The figure traced was a very complex
one, though the movement was not so great in extent as in the last case.

The hypocotyl of another seedling of the same age was secured to a little
stick, and a filament having been fixed to the midrib of one of the
cotyledons, the movement of the bead was traced during 14 h. 15 m. (see
Fig. 10) in darkness. It should be noted that the chief movement of the
cotyledons, namely, up and down, would be shown on a horizontal glass-plate
only by the lines in the direction of the midrib (that is,
[page 20]
up and down, as Fig. 10 here stands) being a little lengthened or
shortened; whereas any lateral movement would be well exhibited. The
present tracing shows that the cotyledon did thus move laterally (that is,
from side to side in the tracing) 12 times in the 14 h. 15 m. of
observation. Therefore the cotyledons certainly circumnutated, though the
chief movement was up and down in a vertical plane.

Fig 10. Brassica oleracea: circumnutation of a cotyledon, the hypocotyl
having been secured to a stick, traced on a horizontal glass, in darkness,
from 8.15 A.M. to 10.30 P.M. Movement of the bead of the filament magnified
13 times.

Rate of Movement.--The movements of the hypocotyls and cotyledons of
seedling cabbages of different ages have now been sufficiently illustrated.
With respect to the rate, seedlings were placed under the microscope with
the stage removed, and with a micrometer eye-piece so adjusted that each
division equalled 1/500 inch; the plants were illuminated by light passing
through a solution of bichromate of potassium so as to eliminate
heliotropism. Under these circumstances it was interesting to observe how
rapidly the circumnutating apex of a cotyledon passed across the divisions
of the micrometer. Whilst travelling in any direction the apex generally
oscillated backwards and forwards to the extent of 1/500 and sometimes of
nearly 1/250 of an inch. These oscillations were quite different from the
trembling caused by any disturbance in the same room or by the shutting of
a distant door. The first seedling observed was nearly two inches in height
and had been etiolated by having been grown in darkness. The tip of the
cotyledon passed across 10 divisions of the micrometer, that is, 1/50 of an
inch, in 6 m. 40 s. Short glass filaments were then fixed vertically to the
hypocotyls of several seedlings so as to project a little above the
cotyledons, thus exaggerating the rate of movement; but only a few of the
observations thus made are worth giving. The most remarkable fact was the
oscillatory movement above described, and the difference of rate at which
the point crossed the divisions of the micrometer, after short intervals of
time. For instance, a tall not-etiolated seedling had been kept for 14 h.
in darkness; it was exposed before a north-east window for only
[page 21]
two or three minutes whilst a glass filament was fixed vertically to the
hypocotyl; it was then again placed in darkness for half an hour and
afterwards observed by light passing through bichromate of potassium.  The
point, oscillating as usual, crossed five divisions of the micrometer (i.e.
1/100 inch) in 1 m. 30 s. The seedling was then left in darkness for an
hour, and now it required 3 m. 6 s. to cross one division, that is, 15 m.
30 s. to have crossed five divisions. Another seedling, after being
occasionally observed in the back part of a northern room with a very dull
light, and left in complete darkness for intervals of half an hour, crossed
five divisions in 5 m. in the direction of the window, so that we concluded
that the movement was heliotropic. But this was probably not the case, for
it was placed close to a north-east window and left there for 25 m., after
which time, instead of moving still more quickly towards the light, as
might have been expected, it travelled only at the rate of 12 m. 30 s. for
five divisions. It was then again left in complete darkness for 1 h., and
the point now travelled in the same direction as before, but at the rate of
3 m. 18 s. for five divisions.

We shall have to recur to the cotyledons of the cabbage in a future
chapter, when we treat of their sleep-movements. The circumnutation, also,
of the leaves of fully-developed plants will hereafter be described.

Fig. 11. Githago segetum: circumnutation of hypocotyl, traced on a
horizontal glass, by means of a filament fixed transversely across its
summit, from 8.15 A.M. to 12.15 P.M. on the following day. Movement of bead
of filament magnified about 13 times, here reduced to one-half the original
scale.

Githago segetum (Caryophylleae).--A young seedling was dimly illuminated
from above, and the circumnutation of the hypo-
[page 22]
cotyl was observed during 28 h., as shown in Fig. 11. It moved in all
directions; the lines from right and to left in the figure being parallel
to the blades of the cotyledons. The actual distance travelled from side to
side by the summit of the hypocotyl was about .2 of an inch; but it was
impossible to be accurate on this head, as the more obliquely the plant was
viewed, after it had moved for some time, the more the distances were
exaggerated.

We endeavoured to observe the circumnutation of the cotyledons, but as they
close together unless kept exposed to a moderately bright light, and as the
hypocotyl is extremely heliotropic, the necessary arrangements were too
troublesome. We shall recur to the nocturnal or sleep-movements of the
cotyledons in a future chapter.

Fig. 12. Gossypium: circumnutation of hypocotyl, traced on a horizontal
glass, from 10.30 A.M. to 9.30 A.M. on following morning, by means of a
filament fixed across its summit. Movement of bead of filament magnified
about twice; seedling illuminated from above.

Gossypium (var. Nankin cotton) (Malvaceae).--The circumnutation of a
hypocotyl was observed in the hot-house, but the movement was so much
exaggerated that the bead twice passed for a time out of view. It was,
however, manifest that two somewhat irregular ellipses were nearly
completed in 9 h. Another seedling, 1 ½ in. in height, was then observed
during 23 h.; but the observations were not made at sufficiently short
intervals, as shown by the few dots in Fig. 12, and the tracing was not now
sufficiently enlarged. Nevertheless there could be no doubt about the
circumnutation of the hypocotyl, which described in 12 h. a figure
representing three irregular ellipses of unequal sizes.

 The cotyledons are in constant movement up and down during the whole day,
and as they offer the unusual case of moving downwards late in the evening
and in the early part of the night, many observations were made on them. A
filament was fixed along the middle of one, and its movement traced on a
vertical glass; but the tracing is not given, as the hypocotyl was not
secured, so that it was impossible to distinguish clearly between its
movement and that of the cotyledon. The cotyledons rose from 10.30 A.M. to
about 3 P.M.; they then sank till 10 P.M., rising, however, greatly in the
latter part of the night.
[page 23]
The angles above the horizon at which the cotyledons of another seedling
stood at different hours is recorded in the following short table: --

Oct. 20   2.50 P.M...25o above horizon.
Oct. 20   4.20 P.M...22o above horizon.
Oct. 20   5.20 P.M...15o above horizon.
Oct. 20 10.40 P.M...8o above horizon.
Oct. 21   8.40 A.M...28o above horizon.
Oct. 21 11.15 A.M...35o above horizon.
Oct. 21   9.11 P.M...10o below horizon.

The position of the two cotyledons was roughly sketched at various hours
with the same general result.

In the following summer, the hypocotyl of a fourth seedling was secured to
a little stick, and a glass filament with triangles of paper having been
fixed to one of the cotyledons, its movements were traced on a vertical
glass under a double skylight in the house. The first dot was made at 4.20
P.M. June 20th; and the cotyledon fell till 10.15 P.M. in a nearly straight
line. Just past midnight it was found a little lower and somewhat to one
side. By the early morning, at 3.45 A.M., it had risen greatly, but by 6.20
A.M. had fallen a little. During the whole of this day (21st) it fell in a
slightly zigzag line, but its normal course was disturbed by the want of
sufficient illumination, for during the night it rose only a little, and
travelled irregularly during the whole of the following day and night of
June 22nd. The ascending and descending lines traced during the three days
did not coincide, so that the movement was one of circumnutation. This
seedling was then taken back to the hot-house, and after five days was
inspected at 10 P.M., when the cotyledons were found hanging so nearly
vertically down, that they might justly be said to have been asleep. On the
following morning they had resumed their usual horizontal position.

Oxalis rosea (Oxalideae).--The hypocotyl was secured to a little stick, and
an extremely thin glass filament, with two triangles of paper, was attached
to one of the cotyledons, which was .15 inch in length. In this and the
following species the end of the petiole, where united to the blade, is
developed into a pulvinus. The apex of the cotyledon stood only 5 inches
from the vertical glass, so that its movement was not greatly exaggerated
as long as it remained nearly horizontal; but in the course of the day it
both rose considerably above and fell beneath a horizontal position, and
then of course the movement was much exaggerated.
[page 24]
In Fig. 13 its course is shown from 6.45 A.M. on June 17th, to 7.40 A.M. on
the following morning; and we see that during the daytime, in the course of
11 h. 15 m., it travelled thrice down and twice up. After 5.45 P.M. it
moved rapidly downwards, and in an hour or two depended vertically; it thus
remained all night asleep. This position could not be represented on the
vertical glass nor in the figure here given. By 6.40 A.M. on the following
morning (18th) both cotyledons had risen greatly, and they continued to
rise until 8 A.M., when they stood almost horizontally. Their movement was
traced during the whole of this day and until the next morning; but a
tracing is not given, as it was closely similar to Fig. 13, excepting that
the lines were more zigzag. The cotyledons moved 7 times, either upwards or
downwards; and at about 4 P.M. the great nocturnal sinking movement
commenced.

Fig. 13. Oxalis rosea: circumnutation of cotyledons, the hypocotyl being
secured to a stick; illuminated from above. Figure here given one-half of
original scale.

Another seedling was observed in a similar manner during nearly 24 h., but
with the difference that the hypocotyl was left free. The movement also was
less magnified. Between 8.12 A.M. and 5 P.M. on the 18th, the apex of the
cotyledon moved 7 times upwards or downwards (Fig. 14). The nocturnal
sinking movement, which is merely a great increase of one of the diurnal
oscillations, commenced about 4 P.M.

Oxalis Valdiviana.--This species is interesting, as the coty-
[page 25]
ledons rise perpendicularly upwards at night so as to come into close
contact, instead of sinking vertically downwards, as in the case of O.
rosea. A glass filament was fixed to a cotyledon, .17 of an inch in length,
and the hypocotyl was left free. On

Fig. 14. Oxalis rosea: conjoint circumnutation of the cotyledons and
hypocotyl, traced from 8.12 A.M. on June 18th to 7.30 A.M. 19th. The apex
of the cotyledon stood only 3 3/4 inches from the vertical glass. Figure
here given one-half of original scale.

Fig. 15. Oxalis Valdiviana: conjoint circumnutation of a cotyledon and the
hypocotyl, traced on vertical glass, during 24 hours. Figure here given
one-half of original scale; seedling illuminated from above.

the first day the seedling was placed too far from the vertical glass; so
that the tracing was enormously exaggerated and the movement could not be
traced when the cotyledon either rose or sank much; but it was clearly seen
that the cotyledons rose thrice and fell twice between 8.15 A.M. and 4.15
P.M. Early on the following morning (June 19th) the apex of a cotyledon was
[page 26]
placed only 1 7/8 inch from the vertical glass. At 6.40 A.M. it stood
horizontally; it then fell till 8.35, and then rose. Altogether in the
course of 12 h. it rose thrice and fell thrice, as may be seen in Fig. 15.
The great nocturnal rise of the cotyledons usually commences about 4 or 5
P.M., and on the following morning they are expanded or stand horizontally
at about 6.30 A.M. In the present instance, however, the great nocturnal
rise did not commence till 7 P.M.; but this was due to the hypocotyl having
from some unknown cause temporarily bent to the left side, as is shown in
the tracing. To ascertain positively that the hypocotyl circumnutated, a
mark was placed at 8.15 P.M. behind the two now closed and vertical
cotyledons; and the movement of a glass filament fixed upright to the top
of the hypocotyl was traced until 10.40 P.M. During this time it moved from
side to side, as well as backwards and forwards, plainly showing
circumnutation; but the movement was small in extent. Therefore Fig. 15
represents fairly well the movements of the cotyledons alone, with the
exception of the one great afternoon curvature to the left.

Oxalis corniculata (var. cuprea).--The cotyledons rise at night to a
variable degree above the horizon, generally about 45o: those on some
seedlings between 2 and 5 days old were found to be in continued movement
all day long; but the movements were more simple than in the last two
species. This may have partly resulted from their not being sufficiently
illuminated whilst being observed, as was shown by their not beginning to
rise until very late in the evening.

Oxalis (Biophytum) sensitiva.--The cotyledons are highly remarkable from
the amplitude and rapidity of their movements during the day. The angles at
which they stood above or beneath the horizon were measured at short
intervals of time; and we regret that their course was not traced during
the whole day. We will give only a few of the measurements, which were made
whilst the seedlings were exposed to a temperature of 22 1/2o to 24 ½
decrees C. One cotyledon rose 70o in 11 m.; another, on a distinct
seedling, fell 80o in 12 m. Immediately before this latter fall the same
cotyledon had risen from a vertically downward to a vertically upward
position in 1 h. 48 m., and had therefore passed through 180o in under 2 h.
We have met with no other instance of a circumnutating movement of such
great amplitude as 180o; nor of such rapidity of movement as the passage
through 80o in 12 m. The cotyledons of this plant sleep at night by rising
[page 27]
vertically and coming into close contact. This upward movement differs from
one of the great diurnal oscillations above described only by the position
being permanent during the night and by its periodicity, as it always
commences late in the evening.

Tropaeolum minus (?) (var. Tom Thumb) (Tropaeoleae).--The cotyledons are
hypogean, or never rise above the ground. By removing the soil a buried
epicotyl or plumule was found, with its summit arched abruptly downwards,
like the arched hypocotyl of the cabbage previously described. A glass
filament with a bead at its end was affixed to the basal half or leg, just
above the hypogean cotyledons, which were again almost surrounded by loose
earth. The tracing (Fig. 16) shows the course of the bead during 11 h.
After the last dot given in the figure, the bead moved to a great distance,
and finally off the glass, in the direction indicated by the broken line.
This great movement, due to increased growth along the concave surface of
the arch, was caused by the basal leg bending backwards from the upper
part, that is in a direction opposite to the dependent tip, in the same
manner as occurred with the hypocotyl of the cabbage. Another buried and
arched epicotyl was observed in the same manner, excepting that the two
legs of the arch were tied together with fine silk for the sake of
preventing the great movement just mentioned. It moved, however, in the
evening in the same direction as before, but the line followed was not so
straight. During the morning the tied arch moved in an irregularly
circular, strongly zigzag course, and to a greater distance than in the
previous case, as was shown in a tracing, magnified 18 times. The movements
of a young plant bearing a few leaves and of a mature plant, will hereafter
be described.

Fig. 16. Tropaeolum minus (?): circumnutation of buried and arched
epicotyl, traced on a horizontal glass, from 9.20 A.M. to 8.15 P.M.
Movement of bead of filament magnified 27 times.
[page 28]

Citrus aurantium (Orange) (Aurantiaceae).--The cotyledons are hypogean. The
circumnutation of an epicotyl, which at the close of our observations was
.59 of an inch (15 mm.) in height above the ground, is shown in the annexed
figure (Fig. 17), as observed during a period of 44 h. 40 m.

Fig. 17. Citrus aurantium: circumnutation of epicotyl with a filament fixed
transversely near its apex, traced on a horizontal glass, from 12.13 P.M.
on Feb. 20th to 8.55 A.M. on 22nd. The movement of the bead of the filament
was at first magnified 21 times, or 10 1/2, in figure here given, and
afterwards 36 times, or 18 as here given; seedling illuminated from above.

Aesculus hippocastanum (Hippocastaneae).--Germinating seeds were placed in
a tin box, kept moist internally, with a sloping bank of damp argillaceous
sand, on which four smoked glass-plates rested, inclined at angles of 70o
and 65o with the horizon. The tips of the radicles were placed so as just
to touch the upper end of the glass-plates, and, as they grew downwards
they pressed lightly, owing to geotropism, on the smoked surfaces, and left
tracks of their course. In the middle part of each track the glass was
swept clean, but the margins were much blurred and irregular. Copies of two
of these tracks (all four being nearly alike) were made on tracing paper
placed over the glass-plates after they had been varnished; and they are as
exact as possible considering the nature of the margins (Fig. 18). They
suffice to show that there was some lateral, almost serpentine movement,
and that the tips in their downward course pressed with unequal force on
the plates, as
[page 29]
the tracks varied in breadth. The more perfectly serpentine tracks made by
the radicles of Phaseolus multiflorus and Vicia faba (presently to be
described), render it almost certain that the radicles of the present plant
circumnutated.

Fig. 18. Aesculus hippocastanum: outlines of tracks left on inclined
glass-plates by tips of radicles. In A the plate was inclined at 70o with
the horizon, and the radicle was 1.9 inch in length, and .23 inch in
diameter at base. In B the plate was inclined 65o with the horizon, and the
radicle was a trifle larger.

Phaseolus multiflorus (Leguminosae).--Four smoked glass-plates were
arranged in the same manner as described under Aesculus, and the tracks
left by the tips of four radicles of the present plant, whilst growing
downwards, were photographed as transparent objects. Three of them are here
exactly copied (Fig. 19). Their serpentine courses show that the tips moved
regularly from side to side; they also pressed alternately with greater or
less force on the plates, sometimes rising up and leaving them altogether
for a very short distance; but this was better seen on the original plates
than in the copies. These radicles therefore were continually moving in all
directions--that is, they circumnutated. The distance between the extreme
right and left positions of the radicle A, in its lateral movement, was 2
mm., as ascertained by measurement with an eye-piece micrometer.

Fig. 19. Phaseolus multiflorus: tracks left on inclined smoked glass-plates
by tips of radicles in growing downwards. A and C, plates inclined at 60o,
B inclined at 68o with the horizon.

Vicia faba (Common Bean) (Leguminosae).--Radicle.--Some beans were allowed
to germinate on bare sand, and after one had protruded its radicle to a
length of .2 of an inch, it was turned upside down, so that the radicle,
which was kept in damp air, now stood upright. A filament, nearly an inch
in length, was affixed obliquely near its tip; and the movement of the
terminal bead was traced from 8.30 A.M. to 10.30 P.M., as shown in Fig. 18.
The radicle at first changed its course twice
[page 30]
abruptly, then made a small loop and then a larger zigzag curve. During the
night and till 11 A.M. on the following

Fig. 20. Vicia faba: circumnutation of a radicle, at first pointing
vertically upwards, kept in darkness, traced on a horizontal glass, during
14 hours. Movement of bead of filament magnified 23 times, here reduced to
one-half of original scale.

morning, the bead moved to a great distance in a nearly straight line, in
the direction indicated by the broken line in the figure. This resulted
from the tip bending quickly downwards, as it had now become much declined,
and had thus gained a position highly favourable for the action of
geotropism.
Fig. 21. Vicia faba: tracks left on inclined smoked glass-plates, by tips
of radicles in growing downwards. Plate C was inclined at 63o, plates A and
D at 71o, plate B at 75o, and plate E at a few degrees beneath the horizon.
[page 31]

We next experimented on nearly a score of radicles by allowing them to grow
downwards over inclined plates of smoked glass, in exactly the same manner
as with Aesculus and Phaseolus. Some of the plates were inclined only a few
degrees beneath the horizon, but most of them between 60o and 75o. In the
latter cases the radicles in growing downwards were deflected only a little
from the direction which they had followed whilst germinating in sawdust,
and they pressed lightly on the glass-plates (Fig. 21). Five of the most
distinct tracks are here copied, and they are all slightly sinuous, showing
circumnutation. Moreover, a close examination of almost every one of the
tracks clearly showed that the tips in their downward course had
alternately pressed with greater or less force on the plates, and had
sometimes risen up so as nearly to leave them for short intervals. The
distance between the extreme right and left positions of the radicle A was
0.7 mm., ascertained in the same manner as in the case of Phaseolus.

Epicotyl.--At the point where the radicle had protruded from a bean laid on
its side, a flattened solid lump projected .1 of an inch, in the same
horizontal plane with the bean. This protuberance consisted of the convex
summit of the arched epicotyl; and as it became developed the two legs of
the arch curved themselves laterally upwards, owing to apogeotropism, at
such a rate that the arch stood highly inclined after 14 h., and vertically
in 48 h. A filament was fixed to the crown of the protuberance before any
arch was visible, but the basal half grew so quickly that on the second
morning the end of the filament was bowed greatly downwards. It was
therefore removed and fixed lower down. The line traced during these two
days extended in the same general direction, and was in parts nearly
straight, and in others plainly zigzag, thus giving some evidence of
circumnutation.

As the arched epicotyl, in whatever position it may be placed, bends
quickly upwards through apogeotropism, and as the two legs tend at a very
early age to separate from one another, as soon as they are relieved from
the pressure of the surrounding earth, it was difficult to ascertain
positively whether the epicotyl, whilst remaining arched, circumnutated.
Therefore some rather deeply buried beans were uncovered, and the two legs
of the arches were tied together, as had been done with the epicotyl of
Tropaeolum and the hypocotyl of the Cabbage. The movements of the tied
arches were traced in the usual manner on
[page 32]
two occasions during three days. But the tracings made under such unnatural
conditions are not worth giving; and it need only be said that the lines
were decidedly zigzag, and that small loops were occasionally formed. We
may therefore conclude that the epicotyl circumnutates whilst still arched
and before it has grown tall enough to break through the surface of the
ground.

In order to observe the movements of the epicotyl at a somewhat more
advanced age, a filament was fixed near the base of one which was no longer
arched, for its upper half now formed a right angle with the lower half.
This bean had germinated on bare damp sand, and the epicotyl began to
straighten itself much sooner than would have occurred if it had been
properly planted. The course pursued during 50 h. (from 9 A.M. Dec. 26th,
to 11 A.M. 28th) is here shown (Fig. 22); and we see
Fig. 22. Vicia faba: circumnutation of young epicotyl, traced in darkness
during 50 hours on a horizontal glass. Movement of bead of filament
magnified 20 times, here reduced to one-half of original scale.

that the epicotyl circumnutated during the whole time. Its basal part grew
so much during the 50 h. that the filament at the end of our observations
was attached at the height of .4 inch above the upper surface of the bean,
instead of close to it. If the bean had been properly planted, this part of
the epicotyl would still have been beneath the soil.

Late in the evening of the 28th, some hours after the above observations
were completed, the epicotyl had grown much straighter, for the upper part
now formed a widely open angle with the lower part. A filament was fixed to
the upright basal part, higher up than before, close beneath the lowest
scale-like process or homologue of a leaf; and its movement was traced
[page 33]
during 38 h. (Fig. 23). We here again have plain evidence of continued
circumnutation. Had the bean been properly planted, the part of the
epicotyl to which the filament was attached, the

Fig. 23. Vicia faba: circumnutation of the same epicotyl as in Fig. 22, a
little more advanced in age, traced under similar conditions as before,
from 8.40 A.M. Dec. 28th, to 10.50 A.M. 30th. Movement of bead here
magnified 20 times.

movement of which is here shown, would probably have just risen above the
surface of the ground.

Lathyrus nissolia (Leguminosae).--This plant was selected for observation
from being an abnormal form with grass-like leaves.

Fig. 24. Lathyrus nissolia: circumnutation of stem of young seedling,
traced in darkness on a horizontal glass, from 6.45 A.M. Nov. 22nd, to 7
A.M. 23rd. Movement of end of leaf magnified about 12 times, here reduced
to one-half of original scale.

The cotyledons are hypogean, and the epicotyl breaks through the ground in
an arched form. The movements of a stem, 1.2 inch in height, consisting of
three internodes, the lower one almost wholly subterranean, and the upper
one bearing a short,
[page 34]
narrow leaf, is shown during 24 h., in Fig. 24. No glass filament was
employed, but a mark was placed beneath the apex of the leaf. The actual
length of the longer of the two ellipses described by the stem was about
.14 of an inch. On the previous day the chief line of movement was nearly
at right angles to that shown in the present figure, and it was more
simple.

Cassia tora* (Leguminosae).--A seedling was placed before a

Fig. 25. Cassia tora: conjoint circumnutation of cotyledons and hypocotyl,
traced on vertical glass, from 7.10 A.M. Sept. 25th to 7.30 A.M. 26th.
Figure here given reduced to one-half of original scale.

* Seeds of this plant, which grew near the sea-side, were sent to us by
Fritz Müller from S. Brazil. The seedlings did not flourish or flower well
with us; they were sent to Kew, and were pronounced not to be
distinguishable from C. tora.
[page 35]

north-east window; it bent very little towards it, as the hypocotyl which
was left free was rather old, and therefore not highly heliotropic. A
filament had been fixed to the midrib of one of the cotyledons, and the
movement of the whole seedling was traced during two days. The
circumnutation of the hypocotyl is quite insignificant compared with that
of the cotyledons. These rise up vertically at night and come into close
contact; so that they may be said to sleep. This seedling was so old that a
very small true leaf had been developed, which at night was completely
hidden by the closed cotyledons. On Sept. 24th, between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M.,
the cotyledons moved five times up and five times down; they therefore
described five irregular ellipses in the course of the 9 h. The great
nocturnal rise commenced about 4.30 P.M.

On the following morning (Sept. 25th) the movement of the same cotyledon
was again traced in the same manner during 24 h.; and a copy of the tracing
is here given (Fig. 25). The morning was cold, and the window had been
accidentally left open for a short time, which must have chilled the plant;
and this probably prevented it from moving quite as freely as on the
previous day; for it rose only four and sank only four times during the
day, one of the oscillations being very small. At 7.10 A.M., when the first
dot was made, the cotyledons were not fully open or awake; they continued
to open till about 9 A.M., by which time they had sunk a little beneath the
horizon: by 9.30 A.M. they had risen, and then they oscillated up and down;
but the upward and downward lines never quite coincided. At about 4.30 P.M.
the great nocturnal rise commenced. At 7 A.M. on the following morning
(Sept. 26th) they occupied nearly the same level as on the previous
morning, as shown in the diagram: they then began to open or sink in the
usual manner. The diagram leads to the belief that the great periodical
daily rise and fall does not differ essentially, excepting in amplitude,
from the oscillations during the middle of the day.

Lotus Jacoboeus (Leguminosae).--The cotyledons of this plant, after the few
first days of their life, rise so as to stand almost, though rarely quite,
vertically at night. They continue to act in this manner for a long time
even after the development of some of the true leaves. With seedlings, 3
inches in height, and bearing five or six leaves, they rose at night about
45o. They continued to act thus for about an additional fortnight.
Subsequently they remained horizontal at night, though still green
[page 36]
and at last dropped off. Their rising at night so as to stand almost
vertically appears to depend largely on temperature; for when the seedlings
were kept in a cool house, though they still continued to grow, the
cotyledons did not become vertical at night. It is remarkable that the
cotyledons do not generally rise at night to any conspicuous extent during
the first four or five days after germination; but the period was extremely
variable with seedlings kept under the same conditions; and many were
observed. Glass filaments with minute triangles of paper were fixed to the
cotyledons (1 ½ mm. in breadth) of two seedlings, only 24 h. old, and the
hypocotyl was secured to a stick; their movements greatly magnified were
traced, and they certainly circumnutated the whole time on a small scale,
but they did not exhibit any distinct nocturnal and diurnal movement. The
hypocotyls, when left free, circumnutated over a large space.

Another and much older seedling, bearing a half-developed leaf, had its
movements traced in a similar manner during the three first days and nights
of June; but seedlings at this age appear to be very sensitive to a
deficiency of light; they were observed under a rather dim skylight, at a
temperature of between 16o to 17 1/2o C.' and apparently, in consequence of
these conditions, the great daily movement of the cotyledons ceased on the
third day. During the first two days they began rising in the early
afternoon in a nearly straight line, until between 6 and 7 P.M., when they
stood vertically. During the latter part of the night, or more probably in
the early morning, they began to fall or open, so that by 6.45 A.M. they
stood fully expanded and horizontal. They continued to fall slowly for some
time, and during the second day described a single small ellipse, between 9
A.M. and 2 P.M., in addition to the great diurnal movement. The course
pursued during the whole 24 h. was far less complex than in the foregoing
case of Cassia. On the third morning they fell very much, and then
circumnutated on a small scale round the same spot; by 8.20 P.M. they
showed no tendency to rise at night. Nor did the cotyledons of any of the
many other seedlings in the same pot rise; and so it was on the following
night of June 5th. The pot was then taken back into the hot-house, where it
was exposed to the sun, and on the succeeding night all the cotyledons rose
again to a high angle, but did not stand quite vertically. On each of the
above days the line representing the great nocturnal
[page 37]
rise did not coincide with that of the great diurnal fall, so that narrow
ellipses were described, as is the usual rule with circumnutating organs.
The cotyledons are provided with a pulvinus, and its development will
hereafter be described.

Mimosa pudica (Leguminosae).--The cotyledons rise up vertically at night,
so as to close together. Two seedlings were observed in the greenhouse
(temp. 16o to 17o C. or 63o to 65o F.). Their hypocotyls were secured to
sticks, and glass filaments bearing little triangles of paper were affixed
to the cotyledons of both. Their movements were traced on a vertical glass
during 24 h. on November 13th. The pot had stood for some time in the same
position, and they were chiefly illuminated through the glass-roof. The
cotyledons of one of these seedlings moved downward in the morning till
11.30 A.M., and then rose, moving rapidly in the evening until they stood
vertically, so that in this case there was simply a single great daily fall
and rise. The other seedling behaved rather differently, for it fell in the
morning until 11.30 A.M., and then rose, but after 12.10 P.M. again fell;
and the great evening rise did not begin until 1.22 P.M. On the following
morning this cotyledon had fallen greatly from its vertical position by
8.15 A.M. Two other seedlings (one seven and the other eight days old) had
been previously observed under unfavourable circumstances, for they had
been brought into a room and placed before a north-east window, where the
temperature was between only 56o and 57o F. They had, moreover, to be
protected from lateral light, and perhaps were not sufficiently
illuminated. Under these circumstances the cotyledons moved simply
downwards from 7 A.M. till 2 P.M., after which hour and during a large part
of the night they continued to rise. Between 7 and 8 A.M. on the following
morning they fell again; but on this second and likewise on the third day
the movements became irregular, and between 3 and 10.30 P.M. they
circumnutated to a small extent about the same spot; but they did not rise
at night. Nevertheless, on the following night they rose as usual.

Cytisus fragrans (Leguminosae).--Only a few observations were made on this
plant. The hypocotyl circumnutated to a considerable extent, but in a
simple manner--namely, for two hours in one direction, and then much more
slowly back again in a zigzag course, almost parallel to the first line,
and beyond the starting-point. It moved in the same direction all night,
but next morning began to return. The cotyledons continually
[page 38]
move both up and down and laterally; but they do not rise up at night in a
conspicuous manner.

Lupinus luteus (Leguminosae).--Seedlings of this plant were observed
because the cotyledons are so thick (about .08 of an inch) that it seemed
unlikely that they would move. Our observations were not very successful,
as the seedlings are strongly heliotropic, and their circumnutation could
not be accurately observed near a north-east window, although they had been
kept during the previous day in the same position. A seedling was then
placed in darkness with the hypocotyl secured to a stick; both cotyledons
rose a little at first, and then fell during the rest of the day; in the
evening between 5 and 6 P.M. they moved very slowly; during the night one
continued to fall and the other rose, though only a little. The tracing was
not much magnified, and as the lines were plainly zigzag, the cotyledons
must have moved a little laterally, that is, they must have circumnutated.

The hypocotyl is rather thick, about .12 of inch; nevertheless it
circumnutated in a complex course, though to a small extent. The movement
of an old seedling with two true leaves partially developed, was observed
in the dark. As the movement was magnified about 100 times it is not
trustworthy and is not given; but there could be no doubt that the
hypocotyl moved in all directions during the day, changing its course 19
times. The extreme actual distance from side to side through which the
upper part of the hypocotyl passed in the course of 14 ½ hours was only
1/60 of an inch; it sometimes travelled at the rate of 1/50 of an inch in
an hour.

Cucurbita ovifera (Cucurbitaceae).--Radicle: a seed which had

Fig. 26. Cucurbita ovifera: course followed by a radicle in bending
geotropically downwards, traced on a horizontal glass, between 11.25 A.M.
and 10.25 P.M.; the direction during the night is indicated by the broken
line. Movement of bead magnified 14 times.

germinated on damp sand was fixed so that the slightly curved radicle,
which was only .07 inch in length, stood almost vertically
[page 39]
upwards, in which position geotropism would act at first with little power.
A filament was attached near to its base, and projected at about an angle
of 45o above the horizon. The general course followed during the 11 hours
of observation and during the following night is shown in the accompanying
diagram (Fig. 26), and was plainly due to geotropism; but it was also clear
that the radicle circumnutated. By the next morning the tip had curved so
much downwards that the filament, instead of projecting at 45o above the
horizon, was nearly horizontal. Another germinating seed was turned upside
down and covered with damp sand; and a filament was fastened to the radicle
so as to project at an angle of about 50o above the horizon; this radicle
was .35 of an inch in length and a little curved. The course pursued was
mainly governed, as in the last case, by geotropism, but the line traced
during 12 hours and magnified as before was more strongly zigzag, again
showing circumnutation.

Four radicles were allowed to grow downwards over plates of smoked glass,
inclined at 70o to the horizon, under the

Fig. 27. Cucurbita ovifera: tracks left by tips of radicles in growing
downwards over smoked glass-plates, inclined at 70o to the horizon.

Fig. 28. Cucurbita ovifera: circumnutation of arched hypocotyl at a very
early age, traced in darkness on a horizontal glass, from 8 A.M. to 10.20
A.M. on the following day. The movement of the bead magnified 20 times,
here reduced to one-half of original scale.

same conditions as in the cases of Aesculus, Phaseolus, and Vicia.
Facsimiles are here given (Fig. 27) of two of these tracks; and a third
short one was almost as plainly serpentine as that at A. It was also
manifest by a greater or less amount of soot having been swept off the
glasses, that the tips had
[page 40]
pressed alternately with greater and less force on them. There must,
therefore, have been movement in at least two planes at right angles to one
another. These radicles were so delicate that they rarely had the power to
sweep the glasses quite clean. One of them had developed some lateral or
secondary rootlets, which projected a few degrees beneath the horizon; and
it is an important fact that three of them left distinctly serpentine
tracks on the smoked surface, showing beyond doubt that they had
circumnutated like the main or primary radicle. But the tracks were so
slight that they could not be traced and copied after the smoked surface
had been varnished.

Fig. 29. Cucurbita ovifera: circumnutation of straight and vertical
hypocotyl, with filament fastened transversely across its upper end, traced
in darkness on a horizontal glass, from 8.30 A.M. to 8.30 P.M. The movement
of the terminal bead originally magnified about 18 times, here only 4 ½
times.

Hypocotyl.--A seed lying on damp sand was firmly fixed by two crossed wires
and by its own growing radicle. The cotyledons were still enclosed within
the seed-coats; and the short hypocotyl, between the summit of the radicle
and the cotyledons, was as yet only slightly arched. A filament (.85 of
inch in length) was attached at an angle of 35o above the horizon to the
side of the arch adjoining the cotyledons. This part would ultimately form
the upper end of the hypocotyl, after it had grown straight and vertical.
Had the seed been properly planted, the hypocotyl at this stage of growth
would have been deeply buried beneath the surface. The course followed by
the bead of the filament is shown in Fig. 28. The chief lines of movement
from left to right in the figure were parallel to the plane of the two
united cotyledons and of the flattened seed; and this movement would aid in
dragging them out of the seed-coats, which are held down by a special
structure hereafter to be described. The movement at right angles to the
above lines was due to the arched hypocotyl becoming more arched as it
increased in height. The foregoing observations apply to the leg of the
arch next to the cotyledons, but
[page 41]
the other leg adjoining the radicle likewise circumnutated at an equally
early age.

The movement of the same hypocotyl after it had become straight and
vertical, but with the cotyledons only partially expanded, is shown in Fig.
29. The course pursued during 12 h. apparently represents four and a half
ellipses or ovals, with the longer axis of the first at nearly right angles
to that of the others. The longer axes of all were oblique to a line
joining the opposite cotyledons. The actual extreme distance from side to
side over which the summit of the tall hypocotyl passed in the course of 12
h. was .28 of an inch. The original figure was traced on a large scale, and
from the obliquity of the line of view the outer parts of the diagram are
much exaggerated.

Cotyledons.--On two occasions the movements of the cotyledons were traced
on a vertical glass, and as the ascending and descending lines did not
quite coincide, very narrow ellipses were formed; they therefore
circumnutated. Whilst young they rise vertically up at night, but their
tips always remain reflexed; on the following morning they sink down again.
With a seedling kept in complete darkness they moved in the same manner,
for they sank from 8.45 A.M. to 4.30 P.M.; they then began to rise and
remained close together until 10 P.M., when they were last observed. At 7
A.M. on the following morning they were as much expanded as at any hour on
the previous day. The cotyledons of another young seedling, exposed to the
light, were fully open for the first time on a certain day, but were found
completely closed at 7 A.M. on the following morning. They soon began to
expand again, and continued doing so till about 5 P.M.; they then began to
rise, and by 10.30 P.M. stood vertically and were almost closed. At 7 A.M.
on the third morning they were nearly vertical, and again expanded during
the day; on the fourth morning they were not closed, yet they opened a
little in the course of the day and rose a little on the following night.
By this time a minute true leaf had become developed. Another seedling,
still older, bearing a well-developed leaf, had a sharp rigid filament
affixed to one of its cotyledons (85 mm. in length), which recorded its own
movements on a revolving drum with smoked paper. The observations were made
in the hot-house, where the plant had lived, so that there was no change in
temperature or light. The record commenced at 11 A.M. on February 18th; and
from this hour till 3 P.M. the
[page 42]
cotyledon fell; it then rose rapidly till 9 P.M., then very gradually till
3 A.M. February 19th, after which hour it sank gradually till 4.30 P.M.;
but the downward movement was interrupted by one slight rise or oscillation
about 1.30 P.M. After 4.30 P.M. (19th) the cotyledon rose till 1 A.M. (in
the night of February 20th) and then sank very gradually till 9.30 A.M.,
when our observations ceased. The amount of movement was greater on the
18th than on the 19th or on the morning of the 20th.

Cucurbita aurantia.--An arched hypocotyl was found buried a little beneath
the surface of the soil; and in order to prevent it straightening itself
quickly, when relieved from the surrounding pressure of the soil, the two
legs of the arch were tied together. The seed was then lightly covered with
loose damp earth. A filament with a bead at the end was affixed to the
basal leg, the movements of which were observed during two days in the
usual manner. On the first day the arch moved in a zigzag line towards the
side of the basal leg. On the next day, by which time the dependent
cotyledons had been dragged above the surface of the soil, the tied arch
changed its course greatly nine times in the course of 14 ½ h. It swept a
large, extremely irregular, circular figure, returning at night to nearly
the same spot whence it had started early in the morning. The line was so
strongly zigzag that it apparently represented five ellipses, with their
longer axes pointing in various directions. With respect to the periodical
movements of the cotyledons, those of several young seedlings formed
together at 4 P.M. an angle of about 60o, and at 10 P.M. their lower parts
stood vertically and were in contact; their tips, however, as is usual in
the genus, were permanently reflexed. These cotyledons, at 7 A.M. on the
following morning, were again well expanded.

Lagenaria vulgaris (var. miniature Bottle-gourd) (Cucurbitaceae).--A
seedling opened its cotyledons, the movements of which were alone observed,
slightly on June 27th and closed them at night: next day, at noon (28th),
they included an angle of 53o, and at 10 P.M. they were in close contact,
so that each had risen 26 1/2o. At noon, on the 29th, they included an
angle of 118o, and at 10 P.M. an angle of 54o, so each had risen 32o. On the
following day they were still more open, and the nocturnal rise was
greater, but the angles were not measured. Two other seedlings were
observed, and behaved during three days in a closely similar manner. The
cotyledons, therefore,
[page 43]
open more and more on each succeeding day, and rise each night about 30o;
consequently during the first two nights of their life they stand
vertically and come into contact.

Fig. 30. Lagenaria vulgaris: circumnutation of a cotyledon, 1 ½ inch in
length, apex only 4 3/4 inches from the vertical glass, on which its
movements were traced from 7.35 A.M. July 11th to 9.5 A.M. on the 14th.
Figure here given reduced to one-third of original scale.

In order to ascertain more accurately the nature of these movements, the
hypocotyl of a seedling, with its cotyledons well expanded, was secured to
a little stick, and a filament with triangles of paper was affixed to one
of the cotyledons. The observations were made under a rather dim skylight,
and the temperature during the whole time was between 17 1/2o to 18o C. (63o
to 65o F.). Had the temperature been higher and the light brighter, the
movements would probably have been greater. On July 11th (see Fig. 30), the
cotyledon fell from 7.35 A.M. till 10 A.M.; it then rose (rapidly after 4
P.M.) till it stood quite vertically at 8.40 P.M. During the early morning
of the next day (12th) it fell, and continued to fall till 8 A.M., after
which hour it rose, then fell, and again rose, so that by 10.35 P.M. it
stood much higher than it did in the morning, but was not vertical as on
the preceding night. During the following early morning and whole day
(13th) it fell and circumnutated, but had not risen when observed late in
the evening; and this was probably due to the deficiency of heat or light,
or of both. We thus see that the cotyledons became more widely open at noon
on each succeeding day; and that they rose considerably each night, though
not acquiring a vertical position, except during the first two nights.

Cucumis dudaim (Cucurbitaceae).--Two seedlings had opened
[page 44]
their cotyledons for the first time during the day,--one to the extent of
90o and the other rather more; they remained in nearly the same position
until 10.40 P.M.; but by 7 A.M. on the following morning the one which had
been previously open to the extent of 90o had its cotyledons vertical and
completely shut; the other seedling had them nearly shut. Later in the
morning they opened in the ordinary manner. It appears therefore that the
cotyledons of this plant close and open at somewhat different periods from
those of the foregoing species of the allied genera of Cucurbita and
Lagenaria.

Fig. 31. Opuntia basilaris: conjoint circumnutation of hypocotyl and
cotyledon; filament fixed longitudinally to cotyledon, and movement traced
during 66 h. on horizontal glass. Movement of the terminal bead magnified
about 30 times, here reduced to one-third scale. Seedling kept in
hot-house, feebly illuminated from above.

Opuntia basilaris (Cacteae).--A seedling was carefully observed, because,
considering its appearance and the nature of the mature plant, it seemed
very unlikely that either the hypocotyl or cotyledons would circumnutate to
an appreciable extent. The cotyledons were well developed, being .9 of an
inch in length, .22 in breadth, and .15 in thickness. The almost
cylindrical hypocotyl, now bearing a minute spinous bud on its summit, was
only .45 of an inch in height, and .19 in diameter. The tracing (Fig. 31)
shows the combined movement of the hypocotyl and of one of the cotyledons,
from 4.45 P.M. on May 28th to 11 A.M. on the 31st. On the 29th a nearly
perfect ellipse was completed. On the 30th the hypocotyl moved, from some
unknown cause, in the same general direction in a zigzag line; but between
4.30 and 10 P.M. almost completed a second small ellipse. The cotyledons
move only a little up and down: thus at 10.15 P.M. they stood only 10o
higher than at noon. The chief seat of movement therefore, at least when
the cotyledons are rather old as in the present case, lies in the
hypocotyl. The ellipse described on the 29th had its longer axis directed
at nearly right angles to a line joining the two cotyledons. The actual
amount of movement of the bead at the end of the
[page 45]
filament was, as far as could be ascertained, about .14 of an inch.

Fig. 32. Helianthus annuus: circumnutation of hypocotyl, with filament
fixed across its summit, traced on a horizontal glass in darkness, from
8.45 A.M. to 10.45 P.M., and for an hour on following morning. Movement of
bead magnified 21 times, here reduced to one-half of original scale.

Helianthus annuus (Compositae).--The upper part of the hypocotyl moved
during the day-time in the course shown in the annexed figure (Fig. 32). As
the line runs in various directions, crossing itself several times, the
movement may be considered as one of circumnutation. The extreme actual
distance travelled was at least .1 of an inch. The movements of the
cotyledons of two seedlings were observed; one facing a north-east window,
and the other so feebly illuminated from above us as to be almost in
darkness. They continued to sink till about noon, when they began to rise;
but between 5 and 7 or 8 P.M. they either sank a little, or moved
laterally, and then again began to rise. At 7 A.M. on the following morning
those on the plant before the north-east window had opened so little that
they stood at an angle of 73o above the horizon, and were not observed any
longer. Those on the seedling which had been kept in almost complete
darkness, sank during the whole day, without rising about mid-day, but rose
during the night. On the third and fourth days they continued sinking
without any alternate ascending movement; and this, no doubt, was due to
the absence of light.

Primula Sinensis (Primulaceae).--A seedling was placed with the two
cotyledons parallel to a north-east window on a day when the light was
nearly uniform, and a filament was affixed to one of them.  From
observations subsequently made on another seedling with the stem secured to
a stick, the greater part of the movement shown in the annexed figure (Fig.
33), must have been that of the hypocotyl, though the cotyledons certainly
move up and down to a certain extent both during the day and night. The
movements of the same seedling were traced
[page 46]
on the following day with nearly the same result; and there can be no doubt
about the circumnutation of the hypocotyl.

Fig. 33. Primula Sinensis: conjoint circumnutation of hypocotyl and
cotyledon, traced on vertical glass, from 8.40 A.M. to 10.45 P.M. Movements
of bead magnified about 26 times.

Cyclamen Persicum (Primulaceae).--This plant is generally supposed to
produce only a single cotyledon, but Dr. H. Gressner* has shown that a
second one is developed after a long interval of time. The hypocotyl is
converted into a globular corm, even before the first cotyledon has broken
through the ground with its blade closely enfolded and with its petiole in
the form of an arch, like the arched hypocotyl or epicotyl of any ordinary
dicotyledonous plant. A glass filament was affixed to a cotyledon, .55 of
an inch in height, the petiole of which had straightened itself and stood
nearly vertical, but with the blade not as yet fully expanded. Its
movements were traced during 24 ½ h. on a horizontal glass, magnified 50
times; and in this interval it described two irregular small circles; it
therefore circumnutates, though on an extremely small scale.

Fig. 34. Stapelia sarpedon: circumnutation of hypocotyl, illuminated from
above, traced on horizontal glass, from 6.45 A.M. June 26th to 8.45 A.M.
28th. Temp. 23-24o C. Movement of bead magnified 21 times.

Stapelia sarpedon (Asclepiadeae).--This plant, when mature, resembles a
cactus. The flattened hypocotyl is fleshy, enlarged in the upper part, and
bears two rudimentary cotyledons. It breaks through the ground in an arched
form, with the rudimentary cotyledons closed or in contact. A filament was
affixed almost

* 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1874, p. 837.
[page 47]

vertically to the hypocotyl of a seedling half an inch high; and its
movements were traced during 50 h. on a horizontal glass (Fig. 34). From
some unknown cause it bowed itself to one side, and as this was effected by
a zigzag course, it probably circumnutated; but with hardly any other
seedling observed by us was this movement so obscurely shown.

Ipomoea caerulea vel Pharbitis nil (Convolvulaceae).--Seedlings of this
plant were observed because it is a twiner, the upper internodes of which
circumnutate conspicuously; but like other twining plants, the first few
internodes which rise above the ground are stiff enough to support
themselves, and therefore do not circumnutate in any plainly recognisable
manner.* In this particular instance the fifth internode (including the
hypocotyl) was the first which plainly circumnutated and twined round a
stick. We therefore wished to learn whether circumnutation could be
observed in the hypocotyl if carefully observed in our usual manner. Two
seedlings were kept in the dark with filaments fixed to the upper part of
their hypocotyls; but from circumstances not worth explaining their
movements were traced for only a short time. One moved thrice forwards and
twice backwards in nearly opposite directions, in the course of 3 h. 15 m.;
and the other twice forwards and twice backwards in 2 h. 22 m. The
hypocotyl therefore circumnutated at a remarkably rapid rate. It may here
be added that a filament was affixed transversely to the summit of the
second internode above the cotyledons of a little plant 3 ½ inches in
height; and its movements were traced on a horizontal glass. It
circumnutated, and the actual distance travelled from side to side was a
quarter of an inch, which was too small an amount to be perceived without
the aid of marks.

The movements of the cotyledons are interesting from their complexity and
rapidity, and in some other respects. The hypocotyl (2 inches high) of a
vigorous seedling was secured to a stick, and a filament with triangles of
paper was affixed to one of the cotyledons. The plant was kept all day in
the hot-house, and at 4.20 P.M. (June 20th) was placed under a skylight in
the house, and observed occasionally during the evening and night. It fell
in a slightly zigzag line to a moderate extent from 4.20 P.M. till 10.15
P.M. When looked at shortly after midnight (12.30 P.M.) it had risen a very
little, and considerably by

* 'Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' p. 33, 1875.
[page 48]

3.45 A.M. When again looked at, at 6.10 A.M. (21st), it had fallen largely.
A new tracing was now begun (see Fig. 35), and soon afterwards, at 6.42
A.M., the cotyledon had risen a little. During the forenoon it was observed
about every hour; but between 12.30 and 6 P.M. every half-hour. If the
observations had been made at these short intervals during the whole day,
the figure would have been too intricate to have been copied. As it was,
the cotyledon moved up and down in the course of 16 h. 20 m. (i.e. between
6.10 A.M. and 10.30 P.M.) thirteen times.

Fig 35. Ipomoea caerulea: circumnutation of cotyledon, traced on vertical
glass, from 6.10 A.M. June 21st to 6.45 A.M. 22nd. Cotyledon with petiole
1.6 inch in length, apex of blade 4.1 inch from the vertical glass; so
movement not greatly magnified; temp. 20o C.

The cotyledons of this seedling sank downwards during both evenings and the
early part of the night, but rose during the latter part. As this is an
unusual movement, the cotyledons of twelve other seedlings were observed;
they stood almost or quite horizontally at mid-day, and at 10 P.M. were all
declined at various angles. The most usual angle was between 30o and 35o;
but three stood at about 50o and one at even 70o beneath the horizon. The
blades of all these cotyledons had attained almost their full size, viz.
from 1 to 1 ½ inches in length, measured along their midribs. It is a
remarkable fact that whilst young--that is, when less than half an inch in
length, measured in the same manner--they do not sink
[page 49]
downwards in the evening. Therefore their weight, which is considerable
when almost fully developed, probably came into play in originally
determining the downward movement. The periodicity of this movement is much
influenced by the degree of light to which the seedlings have been exposed
during the day; for three kept in an obscure place began to sink about
noon, instead of late in the evening; and those of another seedling were
almost paralysed by having been similarly kept during two whole days. The
cotyledons of several other species of Ipomoea likewise sink downwards late
in the evening.

Cerinthe major (Boragineae).--The circumnutation of the hypocotyl of a
young seedling with the cotyledons hardly

Fig. 36. Cerinthe major: circumnutation of hypocotyl, with filament fixed
across its summit, illuminated from above, traced on horizontal glass, from
9.26 A.M. to 9.53 P.M. on Oct. 25th. Movement of the bead magnified 30
times, here reduced to one-third of original scale.

expanded, is shown in the annexed figure (Fig. 36), which apparently
represents four or five irregular ellipses, described in the course of a
little over 12 hours. Two older seedlings were similarly observed,
excepting that one of them was kept in the dark; their hypocotyls also
circumnutated, but in a more simple manner. The cotyledons on a seedling
exposed to the light fell from the early morning until a little after noon,
and then continued to rise until 10.30 P.M. or later. The cotyledons of
this same seedling acted in the same general manner during the two
following days. It had previously been tried in the dark, and after being
thus kept for only 1 h. 40 m. the cotyledons began at 4.30 P.M. to sink,
instead of continuing to rise till late at night.
[page 50]

Nolana prostrata (Nolaneae).--The movements were not traced, but a pot with
seedlings, which had been kept in the dark for an hour, was placed under
the microscope, with the micrometer eye-piece so adjusted that each
division equalled 1/500th of an inch. The apex of one of the cotyledons
crossed rather obliquely four divisions in 13 minutes; it was also sinking,
as shown by getting out of focus. The seedlings were again placed in
darkness for another hour, and the apex now crossed two divisions in 6 m.
18 s.; that is, at very nearly the same rate as before. After another
interval of an hour in darkness, it crossed two divisions in 4 m. 15 s.,
therefore at a quicker rate. In the afternoon, after a longer interval in
the dark, the apex was motionless, but after a time it recommenced moving,
though slowly; perhaps the room was too cold. Judging from previous cases,
there can hardly be a doubt that this seedling was circumnutating.

Fig. 37. Solanum lycopersicum: circumnutation of hypocotyl, with filament
fixed across its summit, traced on horizontal glass, from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Oct. 24th. Illuminated obliquely from above. Movement of bead magnified
about 35 times, here reduced to one-third of original scale.

Solanum lycopersicum (Solaneae).--The movements of the hypocotyls of two
seedling tomatoes were observed during seven hours, and there could be no
doubt that both circumnutated. They were illuminated from above, but by an
accident a little light entered on one side, and in the accompanying figure
(Fig. 37) it may be seen that the hypocotyl moved to this side (the upper
one in the figure), making small loops and zigzagging in its course. The
movements of the cotyledons were also traced both on vertical and
horizontal glasses; their angles with the horizon were likewise measured at
various hours. They fell from 8.30 A.M. (October 17th) to about noon; then
moved laterally in a zigzag line, and at about 4 P.M. began to rise; they
continued to do so until 10.30 P.M., by which hour they stood vertically
and were asleep. At what hour of the night or early morning they began to
fall was not ascertained. Owing to the lateral movement shortly after
mid-day, the descending and ascending lines did not coincide, and irregular
ellipses were described during each 24 h. The regular periodicity of these
movements is destroyed, as we shall hereafter see, if the seedlings are
kept in the dark.
[page 51]

Solanum palinacanthum.--Several arched hypocotyls rising nearly .2 of an
inch above the ground, but with the cotyledons still buried beneath the
surface, were observed, and the tracings showed that they circumnutated.
Moreover, in several cases little open circular spaces or cracks in the
argillaceous sand which surrounded the arched hypocotyls were visible, and
these appeared to have been made by the hypocotyls having bent first to one
and then to another side whilst growing upwards. In two instances the
vertical arches were observed to move to a considerable distance backwards
from the point where the cotyledons lay buried; this movement, which has
been noticed in some other cases, and which seems to aid in extracting the
cotyledons from the buried seed-coats, is due to the commencement of the
straightening of the hypocotyl. In order to prevent this latter movement,
the two legs of an arch, the

Fig. 38. Solanum palinacanthum: circumnutation of an arched hypocotyl, just
emerging from the ground, with the two legs tied together, traced in
darkness on a horizontal glass, from 9.20 A.M. Dec. 17th to 8.30 A.M. 19th.
Movement of bead magnified 13 times; but the filament, which was affixed
obliquely to the crown of the arch, was of unusual length.

summit of which was on a level with the surface of the soil, were tied
together; the earth having been previously removed to a little depth all
round. The movement of the arch during 47 hours under these unnatural
circumstances is exhibited in the annexed figure.

The cotyledons of some seedlings in the hot-house were horizontal about
noon on December 13th; and at 10 P.M. had risen to an angle of 27o above
the horizon; at 7 A.M. on the following
[page 52]
morning, before it was light, they had risen to 59o above the horizon; in
the afternoon of the same day they were found again horizontal.

Beta vulgaris (Chenopodeae).--The seedlings are excessively sensitive to
light, so that although on the first day they were uncovered only during
two or three minutes at each observation, they all moved steadily towards
the side of the room whence the light proceeded, and the tracings consisted
only of slightly zigzag lines directed towards the light. On the next day
the plants were placed in a completely darkened room, and at each
observation were illuminated as much as possible from vertically above by a
small wax taper. The annexed figure (Fig. 39) shows the movement of the
hypocotyl during 9 h. under these circumstances. A second seedling was
similarly observed at the same time, and the tracing had the same peculiar
character, due to the hypocotyl often moving and returning in nearly
parallel lines. The movement of a third hypocotyl differed greatly.

Fig. 39. Beta vulgaris: circumnutation of hypocotyl, with filament fixed
obliquely across its summit, traced in darkness on horizontal glass, from
8.25 A.M. to 5.30 P.M. Nov. 4th. Movement of bead magnified 23 times, here
reduced to one-third of original scale.

We endeavoured to trace the movements of the cotyledons, and for this
purpose some seedlings were kept in the dark, but they moved in an abnormal
manner; they continued rising from 8.45 A.M. to 2 P.M., then moved
laterally, and from 3 to 6 P.M. descended; whereas cotyledons which have
been exposed all the day to the light rise in the evening so as to stand
vertically at night; but this statement applies only to young seedlings.
For instance, six seedlings in the greenhouse had their cotyledons
partially open for the first time on the morning of November 15th, and at
8.45 P.M. all were completely closed, so that they might properly be said
to be asleep. Again, on the morning of November 27th, the cotyledons of
four other seedlings, which were surrounded by a collar of brown paper so
that they received light only from above, were open to the extent of 39o;
at 10 P.M. they were completely closed; next morning (November 28th) at
6.45 A.M. whilst it was still dark, two of them
[page 53]
were partially open and all opened in the course of the morning; but at
10.20 P.M. all four (not to mention nine others which had been open in the
morning and six others on another occasion) were again completely closed.
On the morning of the 29th they were open, but at night only one of the
four was closed, and this only partially; the three others had their
cotyledons much more raised than during the day. On the night of the 30th
the cotyledons of the four were only slightly raised.

Ricinus Borboniensis (Euphorbiaceae).--Seeds were purchased under the above
name--probably a variety of the common castor-oil plant. As soon as an
arched hypocotyl had risen clear above the ground, a filament was attached
to the upper leg bearing the cotyledons which were still buried beneath the
surface, and the movement of the bead was traced on a horizontal glass
during a period of 34 h. The lines traced were strongly zigzag, and as the
bead twice returned nearly parallel to its former course in two different
directions, there could be no doubt that the arched hypocotyl
circumnutated. At the close of the 34 h. the upper part began to rise and
straighten itself, dragging the cotyledons out of the ground, so that the
movements of the bead could no longer be traced on the glass.

Quercus (American sp.) (Cupuliferae).--Acorns of an American oak which had
germinated at Kew were planted in a pot in the greenhouse. This
transplantation checked their growth; but after a time one grew to a height
of five inches, measured to the tips of the small partially unfolded leaves
on the summit, and now looked vigorous. It consisted of six very thin
internodes of unequal lengths. Considering these circumstances and the
nature of the plant, we hardly expected that it would circumnutate; but the
annexed figure (Fig. 40) shows that it did so in a conspicuous manner,
changing its course many times and travelling in all directions during the
48 h. of observation. The figure seems to represent 5 or 6 irregular ovals
or ellipses. The actual amount of movement from side to side (excluding one
great bend to the left) was about .2 of an inch; but this was difficult to
estimate, as owing to the rapid growth of the stem, the attached filament
was much further from the mark beneath at the close than at the
commencement of the observations. It deserves notice that the pot was
placed in a north-east room within a deep box, the top of which was not at
first covered up, so that the inside facing
[page 54]
the windows was a little more illuminated than the opposite side; and
during the first morning the stem travelled to a greater distance in this
direction (to the left in the figure) than it did afterwards when the box
was completely protected from light.

Fig. 40. Quercus (American sp.): circumnutation of young stem, traced on
horizontal glass, from 12.50 P.M. Feb. 22nd to 12.50 P.M. 24th. Movement of
bead greatly magnified at first, but slightly towards the close of the
observations--about 10 times on an average.

Quercus robur.--Observations were made only on the movements of the
radicles from germinating acorns, which were allowed to grow downwards in
the manner previously described, over plates of smoked glass, inclined at
angles between 65o and 69o to the horizon. In four cases the tracks left
were almost straight, but the tips had pressed sometimes with more and
sometimes with less force on the glass, as shown by the varying thickness
of the tracks and by little bridges of soot left across them. In the fifth
case the track was slightly serpentine, that is, the tip had moved a little
from side to side. In the sixth case (Fig. 41, A) it was plainly
serpentine, and the tip had pressed almost equably on the glass in its
whole course. In the seventh case (B) the tip had moved both laterally and
had pressed
[page 55]
alternately with unequal force on the glass; so that it had moved a little
in two planes at right angles to one another. In the eighth and last case
(C) it had moved very little laterally, but had alternately left the glass
and come into contact with it again. There can be no doubt that in the last
four cases the radicle of the oak circumnutated whilst growing downwards.

Fig. 41. Quercus robur: tracks left on inclined smoked glass-plates by tips
of radicles in growing downwards. Plates A and C inclined at 65o and plate
B at 68o to the horizon.

Corylus avellana (Corylaceae).--The epicotyl breaks through the ground in
an arched form; but in the specimen which was first examined, the apex had
become decayed, and the epicotyl grew to some distance through the soil, in
a tortuous, almost horizontal direction, like a root. In consequence of
this injury it had emitted near the hypogean cotyledons two secondary
shoots, and it was remarkable that both of these were arched, like the
normal epicotyl in ordinary cases. The soil was removed from around one of
these arched secondary shoots, and a glass filament was affixed to the
basal leg. The whole was kept damp beneath a metal-box with a glass lid,
and was thus illuminated only from above. Owing apparently to the lateral
pressure of the earth being removed, the terminal and bowed-down part of
the shoot began at once to move upwards, so that after 24 h. it formed a
right angle with the lower part. This lower part, to which the filament was
attached, also straightened itself, and moved a little backwards from the
upper part. Consequently a long line was traced on the horizontal glass;
and
[page 56]
this was in parts straight and in parts decidedly zigzag, indicating
circumnutation.

On the following day the other secondary shoot was observed; it was a
little more advanced in age, for the upper part, instead of depending
vertically downwards, stood at an angle of 45o above the horizon. The tip
of the shoot projected obliquely .4 of an inch above the ground, but by the
close of our observations, which lasted 47 h., it had grown, chiefly
towards its base, to a height of .85 of an inch. The filament was fixed
transversely to the basal and almost upright half of the shoot, close
beneath the lowest scale-like appendage. The circumnutating course pursued
is shown in the accompanying figure (Fig. 42). The actual distance
traversed from side to side was about .04 of an inch.

Fig. 42. Corylus avellana: circumnutation of a young shoot emitted from the
epicotyl, the apex of which had been injured, traced on a horizontal glass,
from 9 A.M. Feb. 2nd to 8 A.M. 4th. Movement of bead magnified about 27
times.

Pinus pinaster (Coniferae).--A young hypocotyl, with the tips of the
cotyledons still enclosed within the seed-coats, was at first only .35 of
an inch in height; but the upper part grew so rapidly that at the end of
our observations it was .6 in height,

Fig. 43. Pinus pinaster: circumnutation of hypocotyl, with filament fixed
across its summit, traced on horizontal glass, from 10 A.M. March 21st to 9
A.M. 23rd. Seedling kept in darkness. Movement of bead magnified about 35
times.
[page 57]

and by this time the filament was attached some way down the little stem.
From some unknown cause, the hypocotyl moved far towards the left, but
there could be no doubt (Fig. 43) that it circumnutated. Another hypocotyl
was similarly observed, and it likewise moved in a strongly zigzag line to
the same side. This lateral movement was not caused by the attachment of
the glass filaments, nor by the action of light; for no light was allowed
to enter when each observation was made, except from vertically above.

The hypocotyl of a seedling was secured to a little stick; it bore nine in
appearance distinct cotyledons, arranged in a circle. The movements of two
nearly opposite ones were observed. The tip of one was painted white, with
a mark placed below, and the figure described (Fig. 44, A) shows that it
made an irregular

Fig. 44. Pinus pinaster: circumnutation of two opposite cotyledons, traced
on horizontal glass in darkness, from 8.45 A.M. to 8.35 P.M. Nov. 25th.
Movement of tip in A magnified about 22 times, here reduced to one-half of
original scale.

circle in the course of about 8 h. during the night it travelled to a
considerable distance in the direction indicated by the broken line. A
glass filament was attached longitudinally to the other cotyledon, and this
nearly completed (Fig, 44, B) an irregular circular figure in about 12
hours. During the night it also moved to a considerable distance, in the
direction indicated by the broken line. The cotyledons therefore
circumnutate independently of the movement of the hypocotyl. Although they
moved much during the night, they did not approach each other so as to
stand more vertically than during the day.
[page 58]

Cycas pectinata (Cycadeae).--The large seeds of this plant in germinating
first protrude a single leaf, which breaks through the ground with the
petiole bowed into an arch and with the leaflets involuted. A leaf in this
condition, which at the close of our observations was 2 ½ inches in height,
had its movements traced in a warm greenhouse by means of a glass filament
bearing paper triangles attached across its tip. The tracing (Fig. 45)
shows how large, complex, and rapid were the circum-

Fig. 45. Cycas pectinata: circumnutation of young leaf whilst emerging from
the ground, feebly illuminated from above, traced on vertical glass, from 5
P.M. May 28th to 11 A.M. 31st. Movement magnified 7 times, here reduced to
two-thirds of original scale.

nutating movements. The extreme distance from side to side which it passed
over amounted to between .6 and .7 of an inch.

Canna Warscewiczii (Cannaceae).--A seedling with the plumule projecting one
inch above the ground was observed, but not under fair conditions, as it
was brought out of the hot-house and kept in a room not sufficiently warm.
Nevertheless the tracing (Fig. 46) shows that it made two or three
incomplete irregular circles or ellipses in the course of 48 hours. The
plumule is straight; and this was the first instance observed
[page 59]
by us of the part that first breaks through the ground not being arched.

Fig. 46. Canna Warscewiczii: circumnutation of plumule with filament
affixed obliquely to outer sheath-like leaf, traced in darkness on
horizontal glass from 8.45 A.M. Nov. 9th to 8.10 A.M. 11th. Movement of
bead magnified 6 times.

Allium cepa (Liliaceae).--The narrow green leaf, which protrudes from the
seed of the common onion as a cotyledon,* breaks through the ground in the
form of an arch, in the same manner as the hypocotyl or epicotyl of a
dicotyledonous plant. Long after the arch has risen above the surface the
apex remains within the seed-coats, evidently absorbing the still abundant
contents. The summit or crown of the arch, when it first protrudes from the
seed and is still buried beneath the ground, is simply rounded; but before
it reaches the surface it is developed into a conical protuberance of a
white colour (owing to the absence of chlorophyll), whilst the adjoining
parts are green, with the epidermis apparently rather thicker and tougher
than elsewhere. We may therefore conclude that this conical protuberance is
a special adaptation for breaking through the ground,** and answers the
same end as the knife-like white crest on the summit of the straight
cotyledon of the Gramineae.

* This is the expression used by Sachs in his 'Text-book of Botany.'

** Haberlandt has briefly described ('Die
Schutzeinrichtungen...Keimpflanze,' 1877, p. 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. All five
tracings resembled each other to a certain extent, and it will suffice to
give two of them. In A (Fig. 48) the seedling was only .45 of an
[page 62]
inch in height, and consisted of a single internode bearing a bud on its
summit. The apex described between 8.30 A.M. and 10.20 P.M. (i.e. during
nearly 14 hours) a figure which would probably have consisted of 3 ½
ellipses, had not the stem been drawn to one side until 1 P.M., after which
hour it moved backwards. On the following morning it was not far distant
from the point whence it had first started. The actual amount of movement
of the apex from side to side was very small, viz. about 1/18th of an inch.
The seedling of which the movements are shown in Fig. 48, B, was 1 3/4 inch
in height, and consisted of three internodes besides the bud on the summit.
The figure, which was described during 10 h., apparently represents two
irregular and unequal ellipses or circles. The actual amount of movement of
the apex, in the line not influenced by the light, was .11 of an inch, and
in that thus influenced .37 of an inch. With a seedling 2 inches in height
it was obvious, even without the aid of any tracing, that the uppermost
part of the stem bent successively to all points of the compass, like the
stem of a twining plant. A little increase in the power of circumnutating
and in the flexibility of the stem, would convert the common asparagus into
a twining plant, as has occurred with one species in this genus, namely, A.
scandens.

Phalaris Canariensis (Gramineae).--With the Gramineae the part which first
rises above the ground has been called by some authors the pileole; and
various views have been expressed on its homological nature. It is
considered by some great authorities to be a cotyledon, which term we will
use without venturing to express any opinion on the subject.* It consists
in the present case of a slightly flattened reddish sheath, terminating
upwards in a sharp white edge; it encloses a true green leaf, which
protrudes from the sheath through a slit-like orifice, close beneath and at
right angles to the sharp edge on the summit. The sheath is not arched when
it breaks through the ground.

The movements of three rather old seedlings, about 1 ½ inch in height,
shortly before the protrusion of the leaves, were first traced. They were
illuminated exclusively from above; for, as will hereafter be shown, they
are excessively sensitive to the
* We are indebted to the Rev. G. Henslow for an abstract of the views which
have been held on this subject, together with references.
[page 63]

action of light; and if any enters even temporarily on one side, they
merely bend to this side in slightly zigzag lines. Of the three tracings
one alone (Fig. 49) is here given. Had the observations been more frequent
during the 12 h. two oval figures would have been described with their
longer axes at right angles to one another. The actual amount of movement
of the apex from side to side was about .3 of an inch. The figures
described by the other two seedlings resembled to a certain extent the one
here given.

Fig. 49. Phalaris Canariensis: circumnutation of a cotyledon, with a mark
placed below the apex, traced on a horizontal glass, from 8.35 A.M. Nov.
26th to 8.45 A.M. 27th. Movement of apex magnified 7 times, here reduced to
one-half scale.

A seedling which had just broken through the ground and projected only
1/20th of an inch above the surface, was next observed in the same manner
as before. It was necessary to clear away the earth all round the seedling
to a little depth in order to place a mark beneath the apex. The figure
(Fig. 50) shows that the apex moved to one side, but changed its course ten
times in the course of the ten hours of observation; so that there can be
no doubt about its circumnutation. The cause of the general movement in one
direction could hardly be attributed to the entrance of lateral light, as
this was carefully guarded against; and we suppose it was in some manner
connected with the removal of the earth round the little seedling.

Fig. 50. Phalaris Canariensis: circumnutation of a very young cotyledon,
with a mark placed below the apex, traced on a horizontal glass, from 11.37
A.M. to 9.30 P.M. Dec. 13th. Movement of apex greatly magnified, here
reduced to one-fourth of original scale.

Lastly, the soil in the same pot was searched with the aid of a lens, and
the white knife-like apex of a seedling was found on an exact level with
that of the surrounding surface. The soil was removed all round the apex to
the depth of a quarter of an inch, the seed itself remaining covered. The
pot, protected from lateral light, was placed under the micro-
[page 64]
scope with a micrometer eye-piece, so arranged that each division equalled
1/500th of an inch. After an interval of 30 m. the apex was observed, and
it was seen to cross a little obliquely two divisions of the micrometer in
9 m. 15 s.; and after a few minutes it crossed the same space in 8 m. 50s.
The seedling was again observed after an interval of three-quarters of an
hour, and now the apex crossed rather obliquely two divisions in 10 m. We
may therefore conclude that it was travelling at about the rate of 1/50th
of an inch in 45 minutes. We may also conclude from these and the previous
observations, that the seedlings of Phalaris in breaking through the
surface of the soil circumnutate as much as the surrounding pressure will
permit. This fact accounts (as in the case before given of the asparagus)
for a circular, narrow, open space or crack being distinctly visible round
several seedlings which had risen through very fine argillaceous sand, kept
uniformly damp.

Fig. 51. Zea mays: circumnutation of cotyledon, traced on horizontal glass,
from 8.30 A.M. Feb. 4th to 8 A.M. 6th. Movement of bead magnified on an
average about 25 times.

Zea mays (Gramineae).--A glass filament was fixed obliquely to the summit
of a cotyledon, rising .2 of an inch above the ground; but by the third
morning it had grown to exactly thrice this height, so that the distance of
the bead from the mark below was greatly increased, consequently the
tracing (Fig. 51) was much more magnified on the first than on the second
day. The upper part of the cotyledon changed its course by at least as much
as a rectangle six times on each of the two days. The plant was illuminated
by an obscure light from vertically above. This was a necessary precaution,
as on the previous day we had traced the movements of cotyledons placed in
a deep box, the inner side of which was feebly illuminated on one side from
a distant north-east window, and at each observation by a wax taper held
for a minute or two on the same side; and the result was that the
cotyledons travelled all day long to this side, though making in their
course some conspicuous flexures, from which fact alone we might have
[page 65]
concluded that they were circumnutating; but we thought it advisable to
make the tracing above given.

Radicles.--Glass filaments were fixed to two short radicles, placed so as
to stand almost upright, and whilst bending downwards through geotropism
their courses were strongly zigzag; from this latter circumstance
circumnutation might have been inferred, had not their tips become slightly
withered after the first 24 h., though they were watered and the air kept
very damp. Nine radicles were next arranged in the manner formerly
described, so that in growing downwards they left tracks on smoked
glass-plates, inclined at various angles between 45o and 80o beneath the
horizon. Almost every one of these tracks offered evidence in their greater
or less breadth in different parts, or in little bridges of soot being
left, that the apex had come alternately into more and less close contact
with the glass. In the accompanying figure (Fig. 52) we have an accurate
copy of one such track. In two instances alone (and in these the plates
were highly inclined) there was some evidence of slight lateral movement.
We presume therefore that the friction of the apex on the smoked surface,
little as this could have been, sufficed to check the movement from side to
side of these delicate radicles.

Fig. 52. Zea mays: track left on inclined smoked glass-plate by tip of
radicle in growing downwards.

Avena sativa (Gramineae).--A cotyledon, 1 ½ inch in height, was placed in
front of a north-east window, and the movement of the apex was traced on a
horizontal glass during two days. It moved towards the light in a slightly
zigzag line from 9 to 11.30 A.M. on October 15th; it then moved a little
backwards and zigzagged much until 5 P.M., after which hour, and curing the
night, it continued to move towards the window. On the following morning
the same movement was continued in a nearly straight line until 12.40 P.M.,
when the sky remained until 2.35 extraordinarily dark from thunder-clouds.
During this interval of 1 h. 55 m., whilst the light was obscure, it was
interesting to observe how circumnutation overcame heliotropism, for the
apex, instead of continuing to move towards the window in a slightly zigzag
line, reversed its course four times, making two small narrow ellipses. A
diagram of this case will be given in the chapter on Heliotropism.
[page 66]

A filament was next fixed to a cotyledon only 1/4 of an inch in height,
which was illuminated exclusively from above, and as it was kept in a warm
greenhouse, it grew rapidly; and now there could be no doubt about its
circumnutation, for it described a figure of 8 as well as two small
ellipses in 5 ½ hours.

Nephrodium molle (Filices).--A seedling fern of this species came up by
chance in a flowerpot near its parent. The frond, as yet only slightly
lobed, was only .16 of an inch in length and .2 in breadth, and was
supported on a rachis as fine as a hair and .23 of an inch in height. A
very thin glass filament, which projected for a length of .36 of an inch,
was fixed to the end of the frond. The movement was so highly magnified
that the figure (Fig. 53) cannot be fully trusted; but the frond was
constantly moving in a complex manner, and the bead greatly changed its
course eighteen times in the 12 hours of observation. Within half an hour
it often returned in a line almost parallel to its former course. The
greatest amount of movement occurred between 4 and 6 P.M. The
circumnutation of this plant is interesting, because the species in the
genus Lygodium are well known to circumnutate conspicuously and to twine
round any neighbouring object.

Fig. 53. Nephrodium molle: circumnutation of very young frond, traced in
darkness on horizontal glass, from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. Oct. 30th. Movement of
bead magnified 48 times.

Selaginella Kraussii (?) (Lycopodiaceae).--A very young plant, only .4 of
an inch in height, had sprung up in a pot in the hot-house. An extremely
fine glass filament was fixed to the end of the frond-like stem, and the
movement of the bead traced on a horizontal glass. It changed its course
several times, as shown in Fig. 54, whilst observed during 13 h. 15 m., and
returned at night to a point not far distant from that whence it had
started in the morning. There can be no doubt that this little plant
circumnutated.

Fig. 54. Selaginella Kraussii (?): circumnutation of young plant, kept in
darkness, traced from 8.45 A.M. to 10 P.M. Oct. 31st.
[page 67]



CHAPTER II.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE MOVEMENTS AND GROWTH OF SEEDLING PLANTS.

Generality of the circumnutating movement--Radicles, their circumnutation
of service--Manner in which they penetrate the ground--Manner in which
hypocotyls and other organs break through the ground by being arched--
Singular manner of germination in Megarrhiza, etc.--Abortion of cotyledons-
-Circumnutation of hypocotyls and epicotyls whilst still buried and arched-
-Their power of straightening themselves--Bursting of the seed-coats--
Inherited effect of the arching process in hypogean hypocotyls--
Circumnutation of hypocotyls and epicotyls when erect--Circumnutation of
cotyledons--Pulvini or joints of cotyledons, duration of their activity,
rudimentary in Oxalis corniculata, their development--Sensitiveness of
cotyledons to light and consequent disturbance of their periodic movements-
-Sensitiveness of cotyledons to contact.

THE circumnutating movements of the several parts or organs of a
considerable number of seedling plants have been described in the last
chapter. A list is here appended of the Families, Cohorts, Sub-classes,
etc., to which they belong, arranged and numbered according to the
classification adopted by Hooker.* Any one who will consider this list will
see that the young plants selected for observation, fairly represent the
whole vegetable series excepting the lowest cryptogams, and the movements
of some of the latter when mature will hereafter be described. As all the
seedlings which were observed, including Conifers, Cycads and Ferns, which
belong to the most ancient

* As given in the 'General System of Botany,' by Le Maout and Decaisne,
1873.
[page 68]

types amongst plants, were continually circumnutating, we may infer that
this kind of movement is common to every seedling species.

SUB-KINGDOM I.--Phaenogamous Plants.

Class I.--DICOTYLEDONS.

Sub-class I.--Angiosperms.
Family.                           Cohort.
14.   Cruciferae.  II. PARIETALES.
26.   Caryophylleae.  IV. CARYOPHYLLALES.
36.   Malvaceae.  VI  MALVALES.
41.   Oxalideae.  VII.  GERANIALES.
49.   Tropaeoleae.  DITTO
52.   Aurantiaceae.  DITTO
70.   Hippocastaneae.  X.  SAPINDALES.
75.   Leguminosae.  XI.  ROSALES.
106.  Cucurbitaceae.  XII.  PASSIFLORALES.
109.  Cacteae.  XIV.  FICOIDALES.
122.  Compositae.  XVII.  ASTRALES.
135.  Primulaceae.  XX.  PRIMULALES.
145.  Asclepiadeae.  XXII.  GENTIANALES.
151.  Convolvulaceae.  XXIII.  POLEMONIALES.
154.  Boragineae.  DITTO
156.  Nolaneae.  DITTO
157.  Solaneae.  XXIV.  SOLANALES.
181.  Chenopodieae.  XXVII.  CHENOPODIALES.
202.  Euphorbiaceae.  XXXII.  EUPHORBIALES.
211.  Cupuliferae.  XXXVI.  QUERNALES.
212.  Corylaceae.  DITTO

Sub-class II.--Gymnosperms.
223.  Coniferae.
224.  Cycadeae.

Class II.--MONOCOTYLEDONS.
2.    Cannaceae.  II.  AMOMALES.
34.   Liliaceae.  XI.  LILIALES.
41.   Asparageae.  DITTO
55.   Gramineae.  XV.  GLUMALES.

SUB-KINGDOM II.--Cryptogamic Plants.

1.    Filices. I.   FILICALES.
6.    Lycopodiaceae.  DITTO
[page 69]

Radicles.--In all the germinating seeds observed by us, the first change is
the protrusion of the radicle, which immediately bends downwards and
endeavours to penetrate the ground. In order to effect this, it is almost
necessary that the seed should be pressed down so as to offer some
resistance, unless indeed the soil is extremely loose; for otherwise the
seed is lifted up, instead of the radicle penetrating the surface. But
seeds often get covered by earth thrown up by burrowing quadrupeds or
scratching birds, by the castings of earth-worms, by heaps of excrement,
the decaying branches of trees, etc., and will thus be pressed down; and
they must often fall into cracks when the ground is dry, or into holes.
Even with seeds lying on the bare surface, the first developed root-hairs,
by becoming attached to stones or other objects on the surface, are able to
hold down the upper part of the radicle, whilst the tip penetrates the
ground. Sachs has shown* how well and closely root-hairs adapt themselves
by growth to the most irregular particles in the soil, and become firmly
attached to them. This attachment seems to be effected by the softening or
liquefaction of the outer surface of the wall of the hair and its
subsequent consolidation, as will be on some future occasion more fully
described. This intimate union plays an important part, according to Sachs,
in the absorption of water and of the inorganic matter dissolved in it. The
mechanical aid afforded by the root-hairs in penetrating the ground is
probably only a secondary service.

The tip of the radicle, as soon as it protrudes from the seed-coats, begins
to circumnutate, and the whole

* 'Physiologie Végétale,' 1868, pp. 199, 205.
[page 70]

growing part continues to do so, probably for as long as growth continues.
This movement of the radicle has been described in Brassica, Aesculus,
Phaseolus, Vicia, Cucurbita, Quercus and Zea. The probability of its
occurrence was inferred by Sachs,* from radicles placed vertically upwards
being acted on by geotropism (which we likewise found to be the case), for
if they had remained absolutely perpendicular, the attraction of gravity
could not have caused them to bend to any one side. Circumnutation was
observed in the above specified cases, either by means of extremely fine
filaments of glass affixed to the radicles in the manner previously
described, or by their being allowed to grow downwards over inclined smoked
glass-plates, on which they left their tracks. In the latter cases the
serpentine course (see Figs. 19, 21, 27, 41) showed unequivocally that the
apex had continually moved from side to side. This lateral movement was
small in extent, being in the case of Phaseolus at most about 1 mm. from a
medial line to both sides. But there was also movement in a vertical plane
at right angles to the inclined glass-plates. This was shown by the tracks
often being alternately a little broader and narrower, due to the radicles
having alternately pressed with greater and less force on the plates.
Occasionally little bridges of soot were left across the tracks, showing
that the apex had at these spots been lifted up. This latter fact was
especially apt to occur
* 'Ueber das Wachsthum der Wurzeln: Arbeiten des bot. Instituts in
Würzburg,' Heft iii. 1873, p. 460. This memoir, besides its intrinsic and
great interest, deserves to be studied as a model of careful investigation,
and we shall have occasion to refer to it repeatedly. Dr. Frank had
previously remarked ('Beiträge zur Pflanzenphysiologie, 1868, p. 81) on the
fact of radicles placed vertically upwards being acted on by geotropism,
and he explained it by the supposition that their growth was not equal on
all sides.

[page 71]
when the radicle instead of travelling straight down the glass made a
semicircular bend; but Fig. 52 shows that this may occur when the track is
rectilinear. The apex by thus rising, was in one instance able to surmount
a bristle cemented across an inclined glass-plate; but slips of wood only
1/40 of an inch in thickness always caused the radicles to bend
rectangularly to one side, so that the apex did not rise to this small
height in opposition to geotropism.

In those cases in which radicles with attached filaments were placed so as
to stand up almost vertically, they curved downwards through the action of
geotropism, circumnutating at the same time, and their courses were
consequently zigzag. Sometimes, however, they made great circular sweeps,
the lines being likewise zigzag.

Radicles closely surrounded by earth, even when this is thoroughly soaked
and softened, may perhaps be quite prevented from circumnutating. Yet we
should remember that the circumnutating sheath-like cotyledons of Phalaris,
the hypocotyls of Solanum, and the epicotyls of Asparagus formed round
themselves little circular cracks or furrows in a superficial layer of damp
argillaceous sand. They were also able, as well as the hypocotyls of
Brassica, to form straight furrows in damp sand, whilst circumnutating and
bending towards a lateral light. In a future chapter it will be shown that
the rocking or circumnutating movement of the flower-heads of Trifolium
subterraneum aids them in burying themselves. It is therefore probable that
the circumnutation of the tip of the radicle aids it slightly in
penetrating the ground; and it may be observed in several of the previously
given diagrams, that the movement is more strongly pronounced in radicles
when they first
[page 72]
protrude from the seed than at a rather later period; but whether this is
an accidental or an adaptive coincidence we do not pretend to decide.
Nevertheless, when young radicles of Phaseolus multiflorus were fixed
vertically close over damp sand, in the expectation that as soon as they
reached it they would form circular furrows, this did not occur,--a fact
which may be accounted for, as we believe, by the furrow being filled up as
soon as formed by the rapid increase of thickness in the apex of the
radicle. Whether or not a radicle, when surrounded by softened earth, is
aided in forming a passage for itself by circumnutating, this movement can
hardly fail to be of high importance, by guiding the radicle along a line
of least resistance, as will be seen in the next chapter when we treat of
the sensibility of the tip to contact. If, however, a radicle in its
downward growth breaks obliquely into any crevice, or a hole left by a
decayed root, or one made by the larva of an insect, and more especially by
worms, the circumnutating movement of the tip will materially aid it in
following such open passage; and we have observed that roots commonly run
down the old burrows of worms.*

 When a radicle is placed in a horizontal or inclined position, the
terminal growing part, as is well known, bends down towards the centre of
the earth; and Sachs* has shown that whilst thus bending, the growth of the
lower surface is greatly retarded, whilst that

* See, also, Prof. Hensen's statements ('Zeitschrift für Wissen, Zool.,' B.
xxviii. p. 354, 1877) to the same effect. He goes so far as to believe that
roots are able to penetrate the ground to a great depth only by means of
the burrows made by worms.

* 'Arbeiten des bot. Inst. Würzburg,' vol. i. 1873, p. 461. See also p. 397
for the length of the growing part, and p. 451 on the force of geotropism.
[page 73]

of the upper surface continues at the normal rate, or may be even somewhat
increased. He has further shown by attaching a thread, running over a
pulley, to a horizontal radicle of large size, namely that of the common
bean, that it was able to pull up a weight of only one gramme, or 15.4
grains. We may therefore conclude that geotropism does not give a radicle
force sufficient to penetrate the ground, but merely tells it (if such an
expression may be used) which course to pursue. Before we knew of Sachs'
more precise observations we covered a flat surface of damp sand with the
thinnest tin-foil which we could procure (.02 to .03 mm., or .00012 to
.00079 of an inch in thickness), and placed a radicle close above, in such
a position that it grew almost perpendicularly downwards. When the apex
came into contact with the polished level surface it turned at right angles
and glided over it without leaving any impression; yet the tin-foil was so
flexible, that a little stick of soft wood, pointed to the same degree as
the end of the radicle and gently loaded with a weight of only a quarter of
an ounce (120 grains) plainly indented the tin-foil.

Radicles are able to penetrate the ground by the force due to their
longitudinal and transverse growth; the seeds themselves being held down by
the weight of the superincumbent soil. In the case of the bean the apex,
protected by the root-cap, is sharp, and the growing part, from 8 to 10 mm.
in length, is much more rigid, as Sachs has proved, than the part
immediately above, which has ceased to increase in length. We endeavoured
to ascertain the downward pressure of the growing part, by placing
germinating beans between two small metal plates, the upper one of which
was loaded with a known weight; and the
[page 74]
radicle was then allowed to grow into a narrow hole in wood, 2 or 3 tenths
of an inch in depth, and closed at the bottom. The wood was so cut that the
short space of radicle between the mouth of the hole and the bean could not
bend laterally on three sides; but it was impossible to protect the fourth
side, close to the bean. Consequently, as long as the radicle continued to
increase in length and remained straight, the weighted bean would be lifted
up after the tip had reached the bottom of the shallow hole. Beans thus
arranged, surrounded by damp sand, lifted up a quarter of a pound in 24 h.
after the tip of the radicle had entered the hole. With a greater weight
the radicles themselves always became bent on the one unguarded side; but
this probably would not have occurred if they had been closely surrounded
on all sides by compact earth. There was, however, a possible, but not
probable, source of error in these trials, for it was not ascertained
whether the beans themselves go on swelling for several days after they
have germinated, and after having been treated in the manner in which ours
had been; namely, being first left for 24 h. in water, then allowed to
germinate in very damp air, afterwards placed over the hole and almost
surrounded by damp sand in a closed box.

Fig. 55. Outline of piece of stick (reduced to one-half natural size) with
a hole through which the radicle of a bean grew. Thickness of stick at
narrow end .08 inch, at broad end .16; depth of hole .1 inch.
We succeeded better in ascertaining the force exerted transversely by these
radicles. Two were so placed as to penetrate small holes made in little
sticks, one of which was cut into the shape here exactly copied (Fig. 55).
The short end of the stick beyond the hole was purposely split, but not the
opposite
[page 75]
end. As the wood was highly elastic, the split or fissure closed
immediately after being made. After six days the stick and bean were dug
out of the damp sand, and the radicle was found to be much enlarged above
and beneath the hole. The fissure which was at first quite closed, was now
open to a width of 4 mm.; as soon as the radicle was extracted, it
immediately closed to a width of 2 mm. The stick was then suspended
horizontally by a fine wire passing through the hole lately filled by the
radicle, and a little saucer was suspended beneath to receive the weights;
and it required 8 lbs. 8 ozs. to open the fissure to the width of 4 mm.--
that is, the width before the root was extracted. But the part of the
radicle (only .1 of an inch in length) which was embedded in the hole,
probably exerted a greater transverse strain even than 8 lbs. 8 ozs., for
it had split the solid wood for a length of rather more than a quarter of
an inch (exactly .275 inch), and this fissure is shown in Fig. 55. A second
stick was tried in the same manner with almost exactly the same result.

Fig. 56. Wooden pincers, kept closed by a spiral brass spring, with a hole
(.14 inch in diameter and .6 inch in depth) bored through the narrow closed
part, through which a radicle of a bean was allowed to grow. Temp. 50o -
60o F.

We then followed a better plan. Holes were bored near the narrow end of two
wooden clips or pincers (Fig. 56), kept closed by brass spiral springs. Two
radicles in damp sand were allowed to grow through these holes. The
[page 76]
pincers rested on glass-plates to lessen the friction from the sand. The
holes were a little larger (viz..14 inch) and considerably deeper (viz..6
inch) than in the trials with the sticks; so that a greater length of a
rather thicker radicle exerted a transverse strain. After 13 days they were
taken up. The distance of two dots (see the figure) on the longer ends of
the pincers was now carefully measured; the radicles were then extracted
from the holes, and the pincers of course closed. They were then suspended
horizontally in the same manner as were the bits of sticks, and a weight of
1500 grams (or 3 pounds 4 ounces) was necessary with one of the pincers to
open them to the same extent as had been effected by the transverse growth
of the radicle. As soon as this radicle had slightly opened the pincers, it
had grown into a flattened form and had escaped a little beyond the hole;
its diameter in one direction being 4.2 mm., and at rightangles 3.5 mm. If
this escape and flattening could have been prevented, the radicle would
probably have exerted a greater strain than the 3 pounds 4 ounces. With the
other pincers the radicle escaped still further out of the hole; and the
weight required to open them to the same extent as had been effected by the
radicle, was only 600 grams.

With these facts before us, there seems little difficulty in understanding
how a radicle penetrates the ground. The apex is pointed and is protected
by the root-cap; the terminal growing part is rigid, and increases in
length with a force equal, as far as our observations can be trusted, to
the pressure of at least a quarter of a pound, probably with a much greater
force when prevented from bending to any side by the surrounding earth.
Whilst thus increasing in length it increases in thickness, pushing away
the damp
[page 77]
earth on all sides, with a force of above 8 pounds in one case, of 3 pounds
in another case. It was impossible to decide whether the actual apex
exerts, relatively to its diameter, the same transverse strain as the parts
a little higher up; but there seems no reason to doubt that this would be
the case. The growing part therefore does not act like a nail when hammered
into a board, but more like a wedge of wood, which whilst slowly driven
into a crevice continually expands at the same time by the absorption of
water; and a wedge thus acting will split even a mass of rock.

Manner in which Hypocotyls, Epicotyls, etc., rise up and break through the
ground.--After the radicle has penetrated the ground and fixed the seed,
the hypocotyls of all the dicotyledonous seedlings observed by us, which
lift their cotyledons above the surface, break through the ground in the
form of an arch. When the cotyledons are hypogean, that is, remain buried
in the soil, the hypocotyl is hardly developed, and the epicotyl or plumule
rises in like manner as an arch through the ground. In all, or at least in
most of such cases, the downwardly bent apex remains for a time enclosed
within the seed-coats. With Corylus avellena the cotyledons are hypogean,
and the epicotyl is arched; but in the particular case described in the
last chapter its apex had been injured, and it grew laterally through the
soil like a root; and in consequence of this it had emitted two secondary
shoots, which likewise broke through the ground as arches.

Cyclamen does not produce any distinct stem, and only a single cotyledon
appears at first;* its petiole

* This is the conclusion arrived at by Dr. H. Gressner ('Bot. Zeitung,'
1874, p. 837), who maintains that what has been considered by other
botanists as the first true leaf is really the second cotyledon, which is
greatly delayed in its development.
[page 78]

breaks through the ground as an arch (Fig. 57). Abronia has only a single
fully developed cotyledon, but in this case it is the hypocotyl which first
emerges and is arched. Abronia umbellata, however, presents this
peculiarity, that the enfolded blade of the one developed cotyledon (with
the enclosed endosperm) whilst still beneath the surface has its apex
upturned and parallel to the descending leg of the arched hypocotyl; but it
is dragged out of the ground by the continued growth of the hypocotyl, with
the apex pointing downward. With Cycas pectinata the cotyledons are
hypogean, and a true leaf first breaks through the ground with its petiole
forming an arch.

Fig. 57. Cyclamen Persicum: seedling, figure enlarged: c, blade of
cotyledon, not yet expanded, with arched petiole beginning to straighten
itself; h, hypocotyl developed into a corm; r, secondary radicles.

Fig. 58. Acanthus mollis: seedling with the hypogean cotyledon on the near
side removed and the radicles cut off; a, blade of first leaf beginning to
expand, with petiole still partially arched; b, second and opposite leaf,
as yet very imperfectly developed; c, hypogean cotyledon on the opposite
side.

In the genus Acanthus the cotyledons are likewise hypogean. In A. mollis, a
single leaf first breaks through the ground with its petiole arched, and
with the opposite leaf much less developed, short, straight, of a yellowish
colour, and with the petiole at first not half as thick as that of the
other. The undeveloped leaf is protected by standing beneath its arched
fellow; and it is an instruc-
[page 79]
tive fact that it is not arched, as it has not to force for itself a
passage through the ground. In the accompanying sketch (Fig. 58) the
petiole of the first leaf has already partially straightened itself, and
the blade is beginning to unfold. The small second leaf ultimately grows to
an equal size with the first, but this process is effected at very
different rates in different individuals: in one instance the second leaf
did not appear fully above the ground until six weeks after the first leaf.
As the leaves in the whole family of the Acanthaceae stand either opposite
one another or in whorls, and as these are of equal size, the great
inequality between the first two leaves is a singular fact. We can see how
this inequality of development and the arching of the petiole could have
been gradually acquired, if they were beneficial to the seedlings by
favouring their emergence; for with A. candelabrum, spinosus, and
latifolius there was a great variability in the inequality between the two
first leaves and in the arching of their petioles. In one seedling of A.
candelabrum the first leaf was arched and nine times as long as the second,
which latter consisted of a mere little, yellowish-white, straight, hairy
style. In other seedlings the difference in length between the two leaves
was as 3 to 2, or as 4 to 3, or as only .76 to .62 inch. In these latter
cases the first and taller leaf was not properly arched. Lastly, in another
seedling there was not the least difference in size between the two first
leaves, and both of them had their petioles straight; their laminae were
enfolded and pressed against each other, forming a lance or wedge, by which
means they had broken through the ground. Therefore in different
individuals of this same species of Acanthus the first pair of leaves
breaks through the ground by two widely different methods; and if
[page 80]
either had proved decidedly advantageous or disadvantageous, one of them no
doubt would soon have prevailed.

Asa Gray has described* the peculiar manner of germination of three widely
different plants, in which the hypocotyl is hardly at all developed. These
were therefore observed by us in relation to our present subject.

Delphinium nudicaule.--The elongated petioles of the two cotyledons are
confluent (as are sometimes their blades at the base), and they break
through the ground as an arch. They thus resemble in a most deceptive
manner a hypocotyl. At first they are solid, but after a time become
tubular; and the basal part beneath the ground is enlarged into a hollow
chamber, within which the young leaves are developed without any prominent
plumule. Externally root-hairs are formed on the confluent petioles, either
a little above, or on a level with, the plumule. The first leaf at an early
period of its growth and whilst within the chamber is quite straight, but
the petiole soon becomes arched; and the swelling of this part (and
probably of the blade) splits open one side of the chamber, and the leaf
then emerges. The slit was found in one case to be 3.2 mm. in length, and
it is seated on the line of confluence of the two petioles. The leaf when
it first escapes from the chamber is buried beneath the ground, and now an
upper part of the petiole near the blade becomes arched in the usual
manner. The second leaf comes out of the slit either straight or somewhat
arched, but afterwards the upper part of the petiole,--certainly in some,
and we believe in all cases,--arches itself whilst forcing a passage
through the soil.

* 'Botanical Text-Book,' 1879, p. 22.
[page 81]

Megarrhiza Californica.--The cotyledons of this Gourd never free themselves
from the seed-coats and are hypogean. Their petioles are completely
confluent, forming a tube which terminates downwards in a little solid
point, consisting of a minute radicle and hypocotyl, with the likewise
minute plumule enclosed within the base of the tube. This structure was
well exhibited in an abnormal specimen, in which one of the two cotyledons
failed to produce a petiole, whilst the other produced one consisting of an
open semicylinder ending in a sharp point, formed of the parts just
described. As soon as the confluent petioles protrude from the seed they
bend down, as they are strongly geotropic, and penetrate the ground. The
seed itself retains its original position, either on the surface or buried
at some depth, as the case may be. If, however, the point of the confluent
petioles meets with some obstacle in the soil, as appears to have occurred
with the seedlings described and figured by Asa Gray,* the cotyledons are
lifted up above the ground. The petioles are clothed with root-hairs like
those on a true radicle, and they likewise resemble radicles in becoming
brown when immersed in a solution of permanganate of potassium. Our seeds
were subjected to a high temperature, and in the course of three or four
days the petioles penetrated the soil perpendicularly to a depth of from 2
to 2 ½ inches; and not until then did the true radicle begin to grow. In
one specimen which was closely observed, the petioles in 7 days after their
first protrusion attained a length of 2 ½ inches, and the radicle by this
time had also become well developed. The plumule, still enclosed within the
tube, was now

* 'American Journal of Science,' vol. xiv. 1877, p. 21.
[page 82]

.3 inch in length, and was quite straight; but from having increased in
thickness it had just begun to split open the lower part of the petioles on
one side, along the line of their confluence. By the following morning the
upper part of the plumule had arched itself into a right angle, and the
convex side or elbow had thus been forced out through the slit. Here then
the arching of the plumule plays the same part as in the case of the
petioles of the Delphinium. As the plumule continued to grow, the tip
became more arched, and in the course of six days it emerged through the 2
½ inches of superincumbent soil, still retaining its arched form. After
reaching the surface it straightened itself in the usual manner. In the
accompanying figure (Fig. 58, A) we have a sketch of a seedling in this
advanced state of development; the surface of the ground being represented
by the line G...........G.

Fig. 58, A. Megarrhiza Californica: sketch of seedling, copied from Asa
Gray, reduced to one-half scale: c, cotyledons within seed-coats; p, the
two confluent petioles; h and r, hypocotyl and radicle; p1, plumule;
G..........G, surface of soil.

The germination of the seeds in their native Californian home proceeds in a
rather different manner, as we infer from an interesting letter from Mr.
Rattan, sent to us by Prof. Asa Gray. The petioles protrude from the seeds
soon after the autumnal rains, and penetrate the ground, generally in a
vertical direction, to a depth of from 4 to even 6 inches. they were found
in this state by Mr. Rattan during the Christmas vacation, with the plu-
[page 83]
mules still enclosed within the tubes; and he remarks that if the plumules
had been at once developed and had reached the surface (as occurred with
our seeds which were exposed to a high temperature), they would surely have
been killed by the frost. As it is, they lie dormant at some depth beneath
the surface, and are thus protected from the cold; and the root-hairs on
the petioles would supply them with sufficient moisture. We shall hereafter
see that many seedlings are protected from frost, but by a widely different
process, namely, by being drawn beneath the surface by the contraction of
their radicles. We may, however, believe that the extraordinary manner of
germination of Megarrhiza has another and secondary advantage. The radicle
begins in a few weeks to enlarge into a little tuber, which then abounds
with starch and is only slightly bitter. It would therefore be very liable
to be devoured by animals, were it not protected by being buried whilst
young and tender, at a depth of some inches beneath the surface. Ultimately
it grows to a huge size.

Ipomoea leptophylla.--In most of the species of this genus the hypocotyl is
well developed, and breaks through the ground as an arch. But the seeds of
the present species in germinating behave like those of Megarrhiza,
excepting that the elongated petioles of the cotyledons are not confluent.
After they have protruded from the seed, they are united at their lower
ends with the undeveloped hypocotyl and undeveloped radicle, which together
form a point only about .1 inch in length. They are at first highly
geotropic, and penetrate the ground to a depth of rather above half an
inch. The radicle then begins to grow. On four occasions after the petioles
had grown for a short distance vertically downwards, they
[page 84]
were placed in a horizontal position in damp air in the dark, and in the
course of 4 hours they again became curved vertically downwards, having
passed through 90o in this time. But their sensitiveness to geotropism
lasts for only 2 or 3 days; and the terminal part alone, for a length of
between .2 and .4 inch, is thus sensitive. Although the petioles of our
specimens did not penetrate the ground to a greater depth than about ½
inch, yet they continued for some time to grow rapidly, and finally
attained the great length of about 3 inches. The upper part is
apogeotropic, and therefore grows vertically upwards, excepting a short
portion close to the blades, which at an early period bends downwards and
becomes arched, and thus breaks through the ground. Afterwards this portion
straightens itself, and the cotyledons then free themselves from the
seed-coats. Thus we here have in different parts of the same organ widely
different kinds of movement and of sensitiveness; for the basal part is
geotropic, the upper part apogeotropic, and a portion near the blades
temporarily and spontaneously arches itself. The plumule is not developed
for some little time; and as it rises between the bases of the parallel and
closely approximate petioles of the cotyledons, which in breaking through
the ground have formed an almost open passage, it does not require to be
arched and is consequently always straight. Whether the plumule remains
buried and dormant for a time in its native country, and is thus protected
from the cold of winter, we do not know. The radicle, like that of the
Megarrhiza, grows into a tuber-like mass, which ultimately attains a great
size. So it is with Ipomoea pandurata, the germination of which, as Asa
Gray informs us, resembles that of I. leptophylla.

The following case is interesting in connection with
[page 85]
the root-like nature of the petioles. The radicle of a seedling was cut
off, as it was completely decayed, and the two now separated cotyledons
were planted. They emitted roots from their bases, and continued green and
healthy for two months. The blades of both then withered, and on removing
the earth the bases of the petioles (instead of the radicle) were found
enlarged into little tubers. Whether these would have had the power of
producing two independent plants in the following summer, we do not know.

In Quercus virens, according to Dr. Engelmann,* both the cotyledons and
their petioles are confluent. The latter grow to a length "of an inch or
even more;" and, if we understand rightly, penetrate the ground, so that
they must be geotropic. The nutriment within the cotyledons is then quickly
transferred to the hypocotyl or radicle, which thus becomes developed into
a fusiform tuber. The fact of tubers being formed by the foregoing three
widely distinct plants, makes us believe that their protection from animals
at an early age and whilst tender, is one at least of the advantages gained
by the remarkable elongation of the petioles of the cotyledons, together
with their power of penetrating the ground like roots under the guidance of
geotropism.

The following cases may be here given, as they bear on our present subject,
though not relating to seedlings. The flower-stem of the parasitic Lathraea
squamaria, which is destitute of true leaves, breaks through the ground as
an arch;** so does the flower-

* 'Transact. St. Louis Acad. Science,' vol. iv. p. 190.

** The passage of the flower-stem of the Lathraea through the ground cannot
fail to be greatly facilitated by the extraordinary quantity of water
secreted at this period of the year by the subter-
[[page 86]]
ranean scale-like leaves; not that there is any reason to suppose that the
secretion is a special adaptation for this purpose: it probably follows
from the great quantity of sap absorbed in the early spring by the
parasitic roots. After a long period without any rain, the earth had become
light-coloured and very dry, but it was dark-coloured and damp, even in
parts quite wet, for a distance of at least six inches all round each
flower-stem. The water is secreted by glands (described by Cohn, 'Bericht.
Bot. Sect. der Schlesischen Gesell.,' 1876, p. 113) which line the
longitudinal channels running through each scale-like leaf. A large plant
was dug up, washed so as to remove the earth, left for some time to drain,
and then placed in the evening on a dry glass-plate, covered with a
bell-glass, and by next morning it had secreted a large pool of water. The
plate was wiped dry, and in the course of the succeeding 7 or 8 hours
another little pool was secreted, and after 16 additional hours several
large drops. A smaller plant was washed and placed in a large jar, which
was left inclined for an hour, by which time no more water drained off. The
jar was then placed upright and closed: after 23 hours two drachms of water
were collected from the bottom, and a little more after 25 additional
hours. The flower-stems were now cut off, for they do not secrete, and the
subterranean part of the plant was found to weigh 106.8 grams (1611
grains), and the water secreted during the 48 hours weighed 11.9 grams (183
grains),--that is, one-ninth of the whole weight of the plant, excluding
the flower-stems. We should remember that plants in a state of nature would
probably secrete in 48 hours much more than the above large amount, for
their roots would continue all the time absorbing sap from the plant on
which they were parasitic.
[page 86]

stem of the parasitic and leafless Monotropa hypopitys. With Helleborus
niger, the flower-stems, which rise up independently of the leaves,
likewise break through the ground as arches. This is also the case with the
greatly elongated flower-stems, as well as with the petioles of Epimedium
pinnatum. So it is with the petioles of Ranunculus ficaria, when they have
to break through the ground, but when they arise from the summit of the
bulb above ground, they are from the first quite straight; and this is a
fact which deserves notice. The rachis of the bracken fern (Pteris
aquilina), and of some, probably many, other ferns, likewise rises above
ground under the form of an arch. No doubt other analogous instances could
be found by careful search. In all ordinary cases of bulbs, rhizomes,
[page 87]
root-stocks, etc., buried beneath the ground, the surface is broken by a
cone formed by the young imbricated leaves, the combined growth of which
gives them force sufficient for the purpose.

With germinating monocotyledonous seeds, of which, however, we did not
observe a large number, the plumules, for instance, those of Asparagus and
Canna, are straight whilst breaking through the ground. With the Gramineae,
the sheath-like cotyledons are likewise straight; they, however, terminate
in a sharp crest, which is white and somewhat indurated; and this structure
obviously facilitates their emergence from the soil: the first true leaves
escape from the sheath through a slit beneath the chisel-like apex and at
right angles to it. In the case of the onion (Allium cepa) we again meet
with an arch; the leaf-like cotyledon being abruptly bowed, when it breaks
through the ground, with the apex still enclosed within the seed-coats. The
crown of the arch, as previously described, is developed into a white
conical protuberance, which we may safely believe to be a special
adaptation for this office.

The fact of so many organs of different kinds--hypocotyls and epicotyls,
the petioles of some cotyledons and of some first leaves, the cotyledons of
the onion, the rachis of some ferns, and some flower-stems--being all
arched whilst they break through the ground, shows how just are Dr.
Haberlandt's* remarks on the importance of the arch to seedling plants. He
attributes its chief importance to the upper, young, and more tender parts
of the hypocotyl

* 'Die Schutzeinrichtungen in der Entwickelung der Keimpflanze,' 1877. We
have learned much from this interesting essay, though our observations lead
us to differ on some points from the author.
[page 88]

or epicotyl, being thus saved from abrasion and pressure whilst breaking
through the ground. But we think that some importance may be attributed to
the increased force gained by the hypocotyl, epicotyl, or other organ by
being at first arched; for both legs of the arch increase in length, and
both have points of resistance as long as the tip remains enclosed within
the seed-coats; and thus the crown of the arch is pushed up through the
earth with twice as much force as that which a straight hypocotyl, etc.,
could exert. As soon, however, as the upper end has freed itself, all the
work has to be done by the basal leg. In the case of the epicotyl of the
common bean, the basal leg (the apex having freed itself from the
seed-coats) grew upwards with a force sufficient to lift a thin plate of
zinc, loaded with 12 ounces. Two more ounces were added, and the 14 ounces
were lifted up to a very little height, and then the epicotyl yielded and
bent to one side.

With respect to the primary cause of the arching process, we long thought
in the case of many seedlings that this might be attributed to the manner
in which the hypocotyl or epicotyl was packed and curved within the
seed-coats; and that the arched shape thus acquired was merely retained
until the parts in question reached the surface of the ground. But it is
doubtful whether this is the whole of the truth in any case. For instance,
with the common bean, the epicotyl or plumule is bowed into an arch whilst
breaking through the seed-coats, as shown in Fig. 59 (p. 92). The plumule
first protrudes as a solid knob (e in A), which after twenty-four hours'
growth is seen (e in B) to be the crown of an arch. Nevertheless, with
several beans which germinated in damp air, and had otherwise been treated
in an unnatural manner, little
[page 89]
plumules were developed in the axils of the petioles of both cotyledons,
and these were as perfectly arched as the normal plumule; yet they had not
been subjected to any confinement or pressure, for the seed-coats were
completely ruptured, and they grew in the open air. This proves that the
plumule has an innate or spontaneous tendency to arch itself.

In some other cases the hypocotyl or epicotyl protrudes from the seed at
first only slightly bowed; but the bowing afterwards increases
independently of any constraint. The arch is thus made narrow, with the two
legs, which are sometimes much elongated, parallel and close together, and
thus it becomes well fitted for breaking through the ground.

With many kinds of plants, the radicle, whilst still enclosed within the
seed and likewise after its first protrusion, lies in a straight line with
the future hypocotyl and with the longitudinal axis of the cotyledons. This
is the case with Cucurbita ovifera: nevertheless, in whatever position the
seeds were buried, the hypocotyl always came up arched in one particular
direction. Seeds were planted in friable peat at a depth of about an inch
in a vertical position, with the end from which the radicle protrudes
downwards. Therefore all the parts occupied the same relative positions
which they would ultimately hold after the seedlings had risen clear above
the surface. Notwithstanding this fact, the hypocotyl arched itself; and as
the arch grew upwards through the peat, the buried seeds were turned either
upside down, or were laid horizontally, being afterwards dragged above the
ground. Ultimately the hypocotyl straightened itself in the usual manner;
and now after all these movements the several parts occupied the same
position relatively to one another and to the centre of the earth, which
they
[page 90]
had done when the seeds were first buried. But it may be argued in this and
other such cases that, as the hypocotyl grows up through the soil, the seed
will almost certainly be tilted to one side; and then from the resistance
which it must offer during its further elevation, the upper part of the
hypocotyl will be doubled down and thus become arched. This view seems the
more probable, because with Ranunculus ficaria only the petioles of the
leaves which forced a passage through the earth were arched; and not those
which arose from the summits of the bulbs above the ground. Nevertheless,
this explanation does not apply to the Cucurbita, for when germinating
seeds were suspended in damp air in various positions by pins passing
through the cotyledons, fixed to the inside of the lids of jars, in which
case the hypocotyls were not subjected to any friction or constraint, yet
the upper part became spontaneously arched. This fact, moreover, proves
that it is not the weight of the cotyledons which causes the arching. Seeds
of Helianthus annuus and of two species of Ipomoea (those of 'I. bona nox'
being for the genus large and heavy) were pinned in the same manner, and
the hypocotyls became spontaneously arched; the radicles, which had been
vertically dependent, assumed in consequence a horizontal position. In the
case of Ipomoea leptophylla it is the petioles of the cotyledons which
become arched whilst rising through the ground; and this occurred
spontaneously when the seeds were fixed to the lids of jars.

It may, however, be suggested with some degree of probability that the
arching was aboriginally caused by mechanical compulsion, owing to the
confinement of the parts in question within the seed-coats, or to friction
whilst they were being dragged upwards. But
[page 91]
if this is so, we must admit from the cases just given, that a tendency in
the upper part of the several specified organs to bend downwards and thus
to become arched, has now become with many plants firmly inherited. The
arching, to whatever cause it may be due, is the result of modified
circumnutation, through increased growth along the convex side of the part;
such growth being only temporary, for the part always straightens itself
subsequently by increased growth along the concave side, as will hereafter
be described.

It is a curious fact that the hypocotyls of some plants, which are but
little developed and which never raise their cotyledons above the ground,
nevertheless inherit a slight tendency to arch themselves, although this
movement is not of the least use to them. We refer to a movement observed
by Sachs in the hypocotyls of the bean and some other Leguminosae, and
which is shown in the accompanying figure (Fig. 59), copied from his
Essay.* The hypocotyl and radicle at first grow perpendicularly downwards,
as at A, and then bend, often in the course of 24 hours, into the position
shown at B. As we shall hereafter often have to recur to this movement, we
will, for brevity sake, call it "Sachs' curvature." At first sight it might
be thought that the altered position of the radicle in B was wholly due to
the outgrowth of the epicotyl (e), the petiole (p) serving as a hinge; and
it is probable that this is partly the cause; but the hypocotyl and upper
part of the radicle themselves become slightly curved.

The above movement in the bean was repeatedly seen by us; but our
observations were made chiefly on Phaseolus multiflorus, the cotyledons of
which are like-

* 'Arbeiten des bot. Instit. Würzburg,' vol. i. 1873, p. 403.
[page 92]

wise hypogean. Some seedlings with well-developed radicles were first
immersed in a solution of permanganate of potassium; and, judging from the
changes of colour (though these were not very clearly defined), the
hypocotyl is about .3 inch in length. Straight, thin, black lines of this
length were now drawn from the bases of the short petioles along the
hypocotyls

Fig. 59. Vicia faba: germinating seeds, suspended in damp air: A, with
radicle growing perpendicularly downwards; B, the same bean after 24 hours
and after the radicle has curved itself; r. radicle; h, short hypocotyl; e,
epicotyl appearing as a knob in A and as an arch in B; p, petiole of the
cotyledon, the latter enclosed within the seed-coats.

of 23 germinating seeds, which were pinned to the lids of jars, generally
with the hilum downwards, and with their radicles pointing to the centre of
the earth. After an interval of from 24 to 48 hours the black lines on the
hypocotyls of 16 out of the 23 seedlings became distinctly curved, but in
very various degrees (namely, with radii between 20 and
[page 93]
80 mm. on Sachs' cyclometer) in the same relative direction as shown at B
in Fig. 59. As geotropism will obviously tend to check this curvature,
seven seeds were allowed to germinate with proper precautions for their
growth in a klinostat,* by which means geotropism was eliminated. The
position of the hypocotyls was observed during four successive days, and
they continued to bend towards the hilum and lower surface of the seed. On
the fourth day they were deflected by an average angle of 63o from a line
perpendicular to the lower surface, and were therefore considerably more
curved than the hypocotyl and radicle in the bean at B (Fig. 59), though in
the same relative direction.

It will, we presume, be admitted that all leguminous plants with hypogean
cotyledons are descended from forms which once raised their cotyledons
above the ground in the ordinary manner; and in doing so, it is certain
that their hypocotyls would have been abruptly arched, as in the case of
every other dicotyledonous plant. This is especially clear in the case of
Phaseolus, for out of five species, the seedlings of which we observed,
namely, P. multiflorus, caracalla, vulgaris, Hernandesii and Roxburghii
(inhabitants of the Old and New Worlds), the three last-named species have
well-developed hypocotyls which break through the ground as arches. Now, if
we imagine a seedling of the common bean or of P. multiflorus, to behave as
its progenitors once did, the hypocotyl (h, Fig. 59), in whatever position
the seed may have been buried, would become so much arched that the upper
part would be doubled down parallel to the lower part; and

* An instrument devised by Sachs, consisting essentially of a slowly
revolving horizontal axis, on which the plant under observation is
supported: see 'Würzburg Arbeiten,' 1879, p. 209.
[page 94]

this is exactly the kind of curvature which actually occurs in these two
plants, though to a much less degree. Therefore we can hardly doubt that
their short hypocotyls have retained by inheritance a tendency to curve
themselves in the same manner as they did at a former period, when this
movement was highly important to them for breaking through the ground,
though now rendered useless by the cotyledons being hypogean. Rudimentary
structures are in most cases highly variable, and we might expect that
rudimentary or obsolete actions would be equally so; and Sachs' curvature
varies extremely in amount, and sometimes altogether fails. This is the
sole instance known to us of the inheritance, though in a feeble degree, of
movements which have become superfluous from changes which the species has
undergone.

Rudimentary Cotyledons.--A few remarks on this subject may be here
interpolated. It is well known that some dicotyledonous plants produce only
a single cotyledon; for instance, certain species of Ranunculus, Corydalis,
Chaerophyllum; and we will here endeavour to show that the loss of one or
both cotyledons is apparently due to a store of nutriment being laid up in
some other part, as in the hypocotyl or one of the two cotyledons, or one
of the secondary radicles.

Fig. 60. Citrus aurantium: two young seedlings: c, larger cotyledon; c',
smaller cotyledon; h, thickened hypocotyl; r, radicle. In A the epicotyl is
still arched, in B it has become erect.
[page 95]

With the orange (Citrus aurantium) the cotyledons are hypogean, and one is
larger than the other, as may be seen in A (Fig. 60). In B the inequality
is rather greater, and the stem has grown between the points of insertion
of the two petioles, so that they do not stand opposite to one another; in
another case the separation amounted to one-fifth of an inch. The smaller
cotyledon of one seedling was extremely thin, and not half the length of
the larger one, so that it was clearly becoming rudimentary,* In all these
seedlings the hypocotyl was enlarged or swollen.

Fig. 61. Abronia umbellata: seedling twice natural size: c cotyledon; c',
rudimentary cotyledon; h, enlarged hypocotyl, with a heel or projection
(h') at the lower end; r, radicle.

With Abronia umbellata one of the cotyledons is quite rudimentary, as may
be seen (c') in Fig. 61. In this specimen it consisted of a little green
flap, 1/84th inch in length, destitute of a petiole and covered with glands
like those on the fully developed cotyledon (c). At first it stood opposite
to the larger cotyledon; but as the petiole of the latter increased in
length and grew in the same line with the hypocotyl (h), the rudiment
appeared in older seedlings as if seated some way down the hypocotyl. With
Abronia arenaria there is a similar rudiment, which in one

* In Pachira aquatica, as described by Mr. R. I. Lynch ('Journal Linn. Soc.
Bot.' vol. xvii. 1878, p. 147), one of the hypogean cotyledons is of
immense size; the other is small and soon falls off; the pair do not always
stand opposite. In another and very different water-plant, 'Trapa natans',
one of the cotyledons, filled with farinaceous matter, is much larger than
the other, which is scarcely visible, as is stated by Aug. de Candolle,
'Physiologie Veg.' tom. ii. p. 834, 1832.
[page 96]

specimen was only 1/100th and in another 1/60th inch in length; it
ultimately appeared as if seated halfway down the hypocotyl. In both these
species the hypocotyl is so much enlarged, especially at a very early age,
that it might almost be called a corm. The lower end forms a heel or
projection, the use of which will hereafter be described.

 In Cyclamen Persicum the hypocotyl, even whilst still within the seed, is
enlarged into a regular corm,* and only a single cotyledon is at first
developed (see former Fig. 57). With Ranunculus ficaria two cotyledons are
never produced, and here one of the secondary radicles is developed at an
early age into a so-called bulb.** Again, certain species of Chaerophyllum
and Corydalis produce only a single cotyledon;*** in the former the
hypocotyl, and in the latter the radicle is enlarged, according to Irmisch,
into a bulb.

In the several foregoing cases one of the cotyledons is delayed in its
development, or reduced in size, or rendered rudimentary, or quite aborted;
but in other cases both cotyledons are represented by mere rudiments. With
Opuntia basilaris this is not the case, for both cotyledons are thick and
large, and the hypocotyl shows at first no signs of enlargement; but
afterwards, when the cotyledons have withered and disarticulated
themselves, it becomes thickened, and from its tapering form, together with
its smooth, tough, brown skin, appears, when ultimately drawn down to some
depth into the soil, like a root. On the other

* Dr. H. Gressner, 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1874, p. 824.

** Irmisch, 'Beiträge zur Morphologie der Pflanzen,' 1854, pp. 11, 12;
'Bot. Zeitung,' 1874, p. 805.

*** Delpino, 'Rivista Botanica,' 1877, p. 21. It is evident from Vaucher's
account ('Hist. Phys. des Plantes d'Europe,' tom. i. 1841, p. 149) of the
germination of the seeds of several species of Corydalis, that the bulb or
tubercule begins to be formed at an extremely early age.
[page 97]

hand, with several other Cacteae, the hypocotyl is from the first much
enlarged, and both cotyledons are almost or quite rudimentary. Thus with
Cereus Landbeckii two little triangular projections, representing the
cotyledons, are narrower than the hypocotyl, which is pear-shaped, with the
point downwards. In Rhipsalis cassytha the cotyledons are represented by
mere points on the enlarged hypocotyl. In Echinocactus viridescens the
hypocotyl is globular, with two little prominences on its summit. In
Pilocereus Houlletii the hypocotyl, much swollen in the upper part, is
merely notched on the summit; and each side of the notch evidently
represents a cotyledon. Stapelia sarpedon, a member of the very distinct
family of the Asclepiadeae, is fleshy like a cactus; and here again the
upper part of the flattened hypocotyl is much thickened and bears two
minute cotyledons, which, measured internally, were only .15 inch in
length, and in breadth not equal to one-fourth of the diameter of the
hypocotyl in its narrow axis; yet these minute cotyledons are probably not
quite useless, for when the hypocotyl breaks through the ground in the form
of an arch, they are closed or pressed against one another, and thus
protect the plumule. They afterwards open.

From the several cases now given, which refer to widely distinct plants, we
may infer that there is some close connection between the reduced size of
one or both cotyledons and the formation, by the enlargement of the
hypocotyl or of the radicle, of a so-called bulb. But it may be asked, did
the cotyledons first tend to abort, or did a bulb first begin to be formed?
As all dicotyledons naturally produce two well-developed cotyledons, whilst
the thickness of the hypocotyl and of the radicle differs much in different
plants, it seems probable that these latter organs first became from
[page 98]
some cause thickened--in several instances apparently in correlation with
the fleshy nature of the mature plant--so as to contain a store of
nutriment sufficient for the seedling, and then that one or both
cotyledons, from being superfluous, decreased in size. It is not surprising
that one cotyledon alone should sometimes have been thus affected, for with
certain plants, for instance the cabbage, the cotyledons are at first of
unequal size, owing apparently to the manner in which they are packed
within the seed. It does not, however, follow from the above connection,
that whenever a bulb is formed at an early age, one or both cotyledons will
necessarily become superfluous, and consequently more or less rudimentary.
Finally, these cases offer a good illustration of the principle of
compensation or balancement of growth, or, as Goethe expresses it, "in
order to spend on one side, Nature is forced to economise on the other
side."

Circumnutation and other movements of Hypocotyls and Epicotyls, whilst
still arched and buried beneath the ground, and whilst breaking through
it.--According to the position in which a seed may chance to have been
buried, the arched hypocotyl or epicotyl will begin to protrude in a
horizontal, a more or less inclined, or in a vertical plane. Except when
already standing vertically upwards, both legs of the arch are acted on
from the earliest period by apogeotropism. Consequently they both bend
upwards until the arch becomes vertical. During the whole of this process,
even before the arch has broken through the ground, it is continually
trying to circumnutate to a slight extent; as it likewise does if it
happens at first to stand vertically up,--all which cases have been
observed and described, more or less fully, in the last chapter. After the
arch has grown to some
[page 99]
height upwards the basal part ceases to circumnutate, whilst the upper part
continues to do so.

That an arched hypocotyl or epicotyl, with the two legs fixed in the
ground, should be able to circumnutate, seemed to us, until we had read
Prof. Wiesner's observations, an inexplicable fact. He has shown* in the
case of certain seedlings, whose tips are bent downwards (or which nutate),
that whilst the posterior side of the upper or dependent portion grows
quickest, the anterior and opposite side of the basal portion of the same
internode grows quickest; these two portions being separated by an
indifferent zone, where the growth is equal on all sides. There may be even
more than one indifferent zone in the same internode; and the opposite
sides of the parts above and below each such zone grow quickest. This
peculiar manner of growth is called by Wiesner "undulatory nutation."
Circumnutation depends on one side of an organ growing quickest (probably
preceded by increased turgescence), and then another side, generally almost
the opposite one, growing quickest. Now if we look at an arch like this
[upside down U] and suppose the whole of one side--we will say the whole
convex side of both legs--to increase in length, this would not cause the
arch to bend to either side. But if the outer side or surface of the left
leg were to increase in length the arch would be pushed over to the right,
and this would be aided by the inner side of the right leg increasing in
length. If afterwards the process were reversed, the arch would be pushed
over to the opposite or left side, and so on alternately,--that is, it
would circumnutate. As an arched hypo-

* 'Die undulirende Nutation der Internodien,' Akad. der Wissench. (Vienna),
Jan. 17th, 1878. Also published separately, see p. 32.
[page 100]

cotyl, with the two legs fixed in the ground, certainly circumnutates, and
as it consists of a single internode, we may conclude that it grows in the
manner described by Wiesner. It may be added, that the crown of the arch
does not grow, or grows very slowly, for it does not increase much in
breadth, whilst the arch itself increases greatly in height.

The circumnutating movements of arched hypocotyls and epicotyls can hardly
fail to aid them in breaking through the ground, if this be damp and soft;
though no doubt their emergence depends mainly on the force exerted by
their longitudinal growth. Although the arch circumnutates only to a slight
extent and probably with little force, yet it is able to move the soil near
the surface, though it may not be able to do so at a moderate depth. A pot
with seeds of Solanum palinacanthum, the tall arched hypocotyls of which
had emerged and were growing rather slowly, was covered with fine
argillaceous sand kept damp, and this at first closely surrounded the bases
of the arches; but soon a narrow open crack was formed round each of them,
which could be accounted for only by their having pushed away the sand on
all sides; for no such cracks surrounded some little sticks and pins which
had been driven into the sand. It has already been stated that the
cotyledons of Phalaris and Avena, the plumules of Asparagus and the
hypocotyls of Brassica, were likewise able to displace the same kind of
sand, either whilst simply circumnutating or whilst bending towards a
lateral light.

As long as an arched hypocotyl or epicotyl remains buried beneath the
ground, the two legs cannot separate from one another, except to a slight
extent from the yielding of the soil; but as soon as the arch rises above
the ground, or at an earlier period if
[page 101]
the pressure of the surrounding earth be artificially removed, the arch
immediately begins to straighten itself. This no doubt is due to growth
along the whole inner surface of both legs of the arch; such growth being
checked or prevented, as long as the two legs of the arch are firmly
pressed together. When the earth is removed all round an arch and the two
legs are tied together at their bases, the growth on the under side of the
crown causes it after a time to become much flatter and broader than
naturally occurs. The straightening process consists of a modified form of
circumnutation, for the lines described during this process (as with the
hypocotyl of Brassica, and the epicotyls of Vicia and Corylus) were often
plainly zigzag and sometimes looped. After hypocotyls or epicotyls have
emerged from the ground, they quickly become perfectly straight. No trace
is left of their former abrupt curvature, excepting in the case of Allium
cepa, in which the cotyledon rarely becomes quite straight, owing to the
protuberance developed on the crown of the arch.

The increased growth along the inner surface of the arch which renders it
straight, apparently begins in the basal leg or that which is united to the
radicle; for this leg, as we often observed, is first bowed backwards from
the other leg. This movement facilitates the withdrawal of the tip of the
epicotyl or of the cotyledons, as the case may be, from within the
seed-coats and from the ground. But the cotyledons often emerge from the
ground still tightly enclosed within the seed-coats, which apparently serve
to protect them. The seed-coats are afterwards ruptured and cast off by the
swelling of the closely conjoined cotyledons, and not by any movement or
their separation from one another.

Nevertheless, in some few cases, especially with the
[page 102]
Cucurbitaceae, the seed-coats are ruptured by a curious contrivance,
described by M. Flahault.* A heel or peg is developed on one side of the
summit of the radicle or base of the hypocotyl; and this holds down the
lower half of the seed-coats (the radicle being fixed into the ground)
whilst the continued growth of the arched hypocotyl forced upwards the
upper half, and tears asunder the seed-coats at one end, and the cotyledons
are then easily withdrawn.

Fig. 62. Cucurbita ovifera: germinating seed, showing the heel or peg
projecting on one side from summit of radicle and holding down lower tip of
seed-coats, which have been partially ruptured by the growth of the arched
hypocotyl.

The accompanying figure (Fig. 62) will render this description
intelligible. Forty-one seeds of Cucurbita ovifera were laid on friable
peat and were covered by a layer about an inch in thickness, not much
pressed down, so that the cotyledons in being dragged up were subjected to
very little friction, yet forty of them came up naked, the seed-coats being
left buried in the peat. This was certainly due to the action of the peg,
for when it was prevented from acting, the cotyledons, as we shall
presently see, were lifted up still enclosed in their seed-coats. They
were, however, cast off in the course of two or three days by the swelling
of the cotyledons. Until this occurs light is excluded, and the cotyledons
cannot decompose carbonic acid; but no one probably would have thought that
the advantage thus gained by a little earlier cast-

* 'Bull. Soc. Bot. de France,' tom. xxiv. 1877, p. 201.
[page 103]

ing off of the seed-coats would be sufficient to account for the
development of the peg. Yet according to M. Flahault, seedlings which have
been prevented from casting their seed-coats whilst beneath the ground, are
inferior to those which have emerged with their cotyledons naked and ready
to act.

The peg is developed with extraordinary rapidity; for it could only just be
distinguished in two seedlings, having radicles .35 inch in length, but
after an interval of only 24 hours was well developed in both. It is
formed, according to Flahault, by the enlargement of the layers of the
cortical parenchyma at the base of the hypocotyl. If, however, we judge by
the effects of a solution of permanganate of potassium, it is developed on
the exact line of junction between the hypocotyl and radicle; for the flat
lower surface, as well as the edges, were coloured brown like the radicle;
whilst the upper slightly inclined surface was left uncoloured like the
hypocotyl, excepting indeed in one out of 33 immersed seedlings in which a
large part of the upper surface was coloured brown. Secondary roots
sometimes spring from the lower surface of the peg, which thus seems in all
respects to partake of the nature of the radicle. The peg is always
developed on the side which becomes concave by the arching of the
hypocotyl; and it would be of no service if it were formed on any other
side. It is also always developed with the flat lower side, which, as just
stated, forms a part of the radicle, at right angles to it, and in a
horizontal plane. This fact was clearly shown by burying some of the thin
flat seeds in the same position as in Fig. 62, excepting that they were not
laid on their flat broad sides, but with one edge downwards. Nine seeds
were thus planted, and the peg was developed in the
[page 104]
same position, relatively to the radicle, as in the figure; consequently it
did not rest on the flat tip of the lower half of the seed-coats, but was
inserted like a wedge between the two tips. As the arched hypocotyl grew
upwards it tended to draw up the whole seed, and the peg necessarily rubbed
against both tips, but did not hold either down. The result was, that the
cotyledons of five out of the nine seeds thus placed were raised above the
ground still enclosed within their seed-coats. Four seeds were buried with
the end from which the radicle protrudes pointing vertically downwards, and
owing to the peg being always developed in the same position, its apex
alone came into contact with, and rubbed against the tip on one side; the
result was, that the cotyledons of all four emerged still within their
seed-coats. These cases show us how the peg acts in co-ordination with the
position which the flat, thin, broad seeds would almost always occupy when
naturally sown. When the tip of the lower half of the seed-coats was cut
off, Flahault found (as we did likewise) that the peg could not act, since
it had nothing to press on, and the cotyledons were raised above the ground
with their seed-coats not cast off. Lastly, nature shows us the use of the
peg; for in the one Cucurbitaceous genus known to us, in which the
cotyledons are hypogean and do not cast their seed-coats, namely,
Megarrhiza, there is no vestige of a peg. This structure seems to be
present in most of the other genera in the family, judging from Flahault's
statements' we found it well-developed and properly acting in Trichosanthes
anguina, in which we hardly expected to find it, as the cotyledons are
somewhat thick and fleshy. Few cases can be advanced of a structure better
adapted for a special purpose than the present one.
[page 105]

With Mimosa pudica the radicle protrudes from a small hole in the sharp
edge of the seed; and on its summit, where united with the hypocotyl, a
transverse ridge is developed at an early age, which clearly aids in
splitting the tough seed-coats; but it does not aid in casting them off, as
this is subsequently effected by the swelling of the cotyledons after they
have been raised above the ground. The ridge or heel therefore acts rather
differently from that of Cucurbita. Its lower surface and the edges were
coloured brown by the permanganate of potassium, but not the upper surface.
It is a singular fact that after the ridge has done its work and has
escaped from the seed-coats, it is developed into a frill all round the
summit of the radicle.*

At the base of the enlarged hypocotyl of Abronia umbellata, where it blends
into the radicle, there is a projection or heel which varies in shape, but
its outline is too angular in our former figure (Fig. 61). The radicle
first protrudes from a small hole at one end of the tough, leathery, winged
fruit. At this period the upper part of the radicle is packed within the
fruit parallel to the hypocotyl, and the single cotyledon is doubled back
parallel to the latter. The swelling of these three parts, and especially
the rapid development of the thick heel between the hypocotyl and radicle
at the point where they are doubled, ruptures the tough fruit at the upper
end and allows the arched hypocotyl to emerge; and this seems to be the
function of the heel. A seed was cut out of the fruit and

* Our attention was called to this case by a brief statement by Nobbe in
his 'Handbuch der Samenkunde,' 1876, p. 215, where a figure is also given
of a seedling of Martynia with a heel or ridge at the junction of the
radicle and hypocotyl. This seed possesses a very hard and tough coat, and
would be likely to require aid in bursting and freeing the cotyledons.
[page 106]

allowed to germinate in damp air, and now a thin flat disc was developed
all round the base of the hypocotyl and grew to an extraordinary breadth,
like the frill described under Mimosa, but somewhat broader. Flahault says
that with Mirabilis, a member of the same family with Abronia, a heel or
collar is developed all round the base of the hypocotyl, but more on one
side than on the other; and that it frees the cotyledons from their
seed-coats. We observed only old seeds, and these were ruptured by the
absorption of moisture, independently of any aid from the heel and before
the protrusion of the radicle; but it does not follow from our experience
that fresh and tough fruits would behave in a like manner.

In concluding this section of the present chapter it may be convenient to
summarise, under the form of an illustration, the usual movements of the
hypocotyls and epicotyls of seedlings, whilst breaking through the ground
and immediately afterwards. We may suppose a man to be thrown down on his
hands and knees, and at the same time to one side, by a load of hay falling
on him. He would first endeavour to get his arched back upright, wriggling
at the same time in all directions to free himself a little from the
surrounding pressure; and this may represent the combined effects of
apogeotropism and circumnutation, when a seed is so buried that the arched
hypocotyl or epicotyl protrudes at first in a horizontal or inclined plane.
The man, still wriggling, would then raise his arched back as high as he
could; and this may represent the growth and continued circumnutation of an
arched hypocotyl or epicotyl, before it has reached the surface of the
ground. As soon as the man felt himself at all free, he would raise the
upper part of his body, whilst still on
[page 107]
his knees and still wriggling; and this may represent the bowing backwards
of the basal leg of the arch, which in most cases aids in the withdrawal of
the cotyledons from the buried and ruptured seed-coats, and the subsequent
straightening of the whole hypocotyl or epicotyl--circumnutation still
continuing.

Circumnutation of Hypocotyls and Epicotyls, when erect.--The hypocotyls,
epicotyls, and first shoots of the many seedlings observed by us, after
they had become straight and erect, circumnutated continuously. The
diversified figures described by them, often during two successive days,
have been shown in the woodcuts in the last chapter. It should be
recollected that the dots were joined by straight lines, so that the
figures are angular; but if the observations had been made every few
minutes the lines would have been more or less curvilinear, and irregular
ellipses or ovals, or perhaps occasionally circles, would have been formed.
The direction of the longer axes of the ellipses made during the same day
or on successive days generally changed completely, so as to stand at right
angles to one another. The number of irregular ellipses or circles made
within a given time differs much with different species. Thus with Brassica
oleracea, Cerinthe major, and Cucurbita ovifera about four such figures
were completed in 12 h.; whereas with Solanum palinacanthum and Opuntia
basilaris, scarcely more than one. The figures likewise differ greatly in
size; thus they were very small and in some degree doubtful in Stapelia,
and large in Brassica, etc. The ellipses described by Lathyrus nissolia and
Brassica were narrow, whilst those made by the Oak were broad. The figures
are often complicated by small loops and zigzag lines.

As most seedling plants before the development of true leaves are of low,
sometimes very low stature,
[page 108]
the extreme amount of movement from side to side of their circumnutating
stems was small; that of the hypocotyl of Githago segetum was about .2 of
an inch, and that of Cucurbita ovifera about .28. A very young shoot of
Lathyrus nissolia moved about .14, that of an American oak .2, that of the
common nut only .04, and a rather tall shoot of the Asparagus .11 of an
inch. The extreme amount of movement of the sheath-like cotyledon of
Phalaris Canariensis was .3 of an inch; but it did not move very quickly,
the tip crossing on one occasion five divisions of the micrometer, that is,
1/100th of an inch, in 22 m. 5 s. A seedling Nolana prostrata travelled the
same distance in 10 m. 38 s. Seedling cabbages circumnutate much more
quickly, for the tip of a cotyledon crossed 1/100th of an inch on the
micrometer in 3 m. 20 s.; and this rapid movement, accompanied by incessant
oscillations, was a wonderful spectacle when beheld under the microscope.

The absence of light, for at least a day, does not interfere in the least
with the circumnutation of the hypocotyls, epicotyls, or young shoots of
the various dicotyledonous seedlings observed by us; nor with that of the
young shoots of some monocotyledons. The circumnutation was indeed much
plainer in darkness than in light, for if the light was at all lateral the
stem bent towards it in a more or less zigzag course.

Finally, the hypocotyls of many seedlings are drawn during the winter into
the ground, or even beneath it so that they disappear. This remarkable
process, which apparently serves for their protection, has been fully
described by De Vries.* He shows that

* 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1879, p. 649. See also Winkler in 'Verhandl. des Bot.
Vereins der P. Brandenburg,' Jahrg. xvi. p. 16, as quoted by Haberlandt,
'Schutzeinrichungen der Keimpflanze,' 1877, p. 52.
[page 109]

it is effected by the contraction of the parenchyma-cells of the root. But
the hypocotyl itself in some cases contracts greatly, and although at first
smooth becomes covered with zigzag ridges, as we observed with Githago
segetum. How much of the drawing down and burying of the hypocotyl of
Opuntia basilaris was due to the contraction of this part and how much to
that of the radicle, we did not observe.

Circumnutation of Cotyledons.--With all the dicotyledonous seedlings
described in the last chapter, the cotyledons were in constant movement,
chiefly in a vertical plane, and commonly once up and once down in the
course of the 24 hours. But there were many exceptions to such simplicity
of movement; thus the cotyledons of Ipomoea caerulea moved 13 times either
upwards or downwards in the course of 16 h.. 18 m. Those of Oxalis rosea
moved in the same manner 7 times in the course of 24 h.; and those of
Cassia tora described 5 irregular ellipses in 9 h. The cotyledons of some
individuals of Mimosa pudica and of Lotus Jacobaeus moved only once up and
down in 24 h., whilst those of others performed within the same period an
additional small oscillation. Thus with different species, and with
different individuals of the same species, there were many gradations from
a single diurnal movement to oscillations as complex as those of the
Ipomoea and Cassia. The opposite cotyledons on the same seedling move to a
certain extent independently of one another. This was conspicuous with
those of Oxalis sensitiva, in which one cotyledon might be seen during the
daytime rising up until it stood vertically, whilst the opposite one was
sinking down.

Although the movements of cotyledons were generally in nearly the same
vertical plane, yet their upward and downward courses never exactly coin-
[page 110]
cided; so that ellipses, more or less narrow, were described, and the
cotyledons may safely be said to have circumnutated. Nor could this fact be
accounted for by the mere increase in length of the cotyledons through
growth, for this by itself would not induce any lateral movement. That
there was lateral movement in some instances, as with the cotyledons of the
cabbage, was evident; for these, besides moving up and down, changed their
course from right to left 12 times in 14 h. 15 m. With Solanum lycopersicum
the cotyledons, after falling in the forenoon, zigzagged from side to side
between 12 and 4 P.M., and then commenced rising. The cotyledons of Lupinus
luteus are so thick (about .08 of an inch) and fleshy,* that they seemed
little likely to move, and were therefore observed with especial interest;
they certainly moved largely up and down, and as the line traced was zigzag
there was some lateral movement. The nine cotyledons of a seedling Pinus
pinaster plainly circumnutated; and the figures described approached more
nearly to irregular circles than to irregular ovals or ellipses. The
sheath-like cotyledons of the Gramineae circumnutate, that is, move to all
sides, as plainly as do the hypocotyls or epicotyls of any dicotyledonous
plants. Lastly, the very young fronds of a Fern and of a Selaginella
circumnutated.

In a large majority of the cases which were carefully observed, the
cotyledons sink a little downwards in the forenoon, and rise a little in
the afternoon or evening. They thus stand rather more highly inclined
during the night than during the mid-day, at which

* The cotyledons, though bright green, resemble to a certain extent
hypogean ones; see the interesting discussion by Haberlandt ('Die
Schutzeinrichtungen,' etc., 1877, p. 95), on the gradations in the
Leguminosae between subaërial and subterranean cotyledons.
[page 111]

time they are expanded almost horizontally. The circumnutating movement is
thus at least partially periodic, no doubt in connection, as we shall
hereafter see, with the daily alternations of light and darkness. The
cotyledons of several plants move up so much at night as to stand nearly or
quite vertically; and in this latter case they come into close contact with
one another. On the other hand, the cotyledons of a few plants sink almost
or quite vertically down at night; and in this latter case they clasp the
upper part of the hypocotyl. In the same genus Oxalis the cotyledons of
certain species stand vertically up, and those of other species vertically
down, at night. In all such cases the cotyledons may be said to sleep, for
they act in the same manner as do the leaves of many sleeping plants. This
is a movement for a special purpose, and will therefore be considered in a
future chapter devoted to this subject.

In order to gain some rude notion of the proportional number of cases in
which the cotyledons of dicotyledonous plants (hypogean ones being of
course excluded) changed their position in a conspicuous manner at night,
one or more species in several genera were cursorily observed, besides
those described in the last chapter. Altogether 153 genera, included in as
many families as could be procured, were thus observed by us. The
cotyledons were looked at in the middle of the day and again at night; and
those were noted as sleeping which stood either vertically or at an angle
of at least 60o above or beneath the horizon. Of such genera there were 26;
and in 21 of them the cotyledons of some of the species rose, and in only 6
sank at night; and some of these latter cases are rather doubtful from
causes to be explained in the chapter on the sleep of cotyledons. When
[page 112]
cotyledons which at noon were nearly horizontal, stood at night at more
than 20o and less than 60o above the horizon, they were recorded as
"plainly raised;" and of such genera there were 38. We did not meet with
any distinct instances of cotyledons periodically sinking only a few
degrees at night, although no doubt such occur. We have now accounted for
64 genera out of the 153, and there remain 89 in which the cotyledons did
not change their position at night by as much as 20o--that is, in a
conspicuous manner which could easily be detected by the unaided eye and by
memory; but it must not be inferred from this statement that these
cotyledons did not move at all, for in several cases a rise of a few
degrees was recorded, when they were carefully observed. The number 89
might have been a little increased, for the cotyledons remained almost
horizontal at night in some species in a few genera, for instance,
Trifolium and Geranium, which are included amongst the sleepers, such
genera might therefore have been added to the 89. Again, one species of
Oxalis generally raised its cotyledons at night more than 20o and less than
60o above the horizon; so that this genus might have been included under
two heads. But as several species in the same genus were not often
observed, such double entries have been avoided.

In a future chapter it will be shown that the leaves of many plants which
do not sleep, rise a few degrees in the evening and during the early part
of the night; and it will be convenient to defer until then the
consideration of the periodicity of the movements of cotyledons.

On the Pulvini or Joints of Cotyledons.--With several of the seedlings
described in this and the last chapter, the summit of the petiole is
developed into a pulvinus,
[page 113]
cushion, or joint (as this organ has been variously called), like that with
which many leaves are provided. It consists of a mass of small cells
usually of a pale colour from the absence of chlorophyll, and with its
outline more or less convex, as shown in the annexed figure. In the case of
Oxalis sensitiva two-thirds of the petiole, and in that of Mimosa pudica,
apparently the whole of the short sub-petioles of the leaflets have been
converted into pulvini. With pulvinated leaves (i.e. those provided with a
pulvinus) their periodical movements depend, according to Pfeffer,* on the
cells of the pulvinus alternately expanding more quickly on one side than
on the other; whereas the similar movements of leaves not provided with
pulvini, depend on their growth being alternately more rapid on one side
than on the other.** As long as a leaf provided with a pulvinus is young
and continues to grow, its movement depends on both these causes
combined;*** and if the view now held by many botanists be sound, namely,
that growth is always preceded by the expansion of the growing cells, then
the difference between the movements induced by the aid of pulvini and

Fig. 63. Oxalis rosea: longitudinal section of a pulvinus on the summit of
the petiole of a cotyledon, drawn with the camera lucida, magnified 75
times: p, p, petiole; f, fibro-vascular bundle: b, b, commencement of blade
of cotyledon.

* 'Die Periodische Bewegungen der Blattorgane,' 1875.

** Batalin, 'Flora,' Oct. 1st, 1873

*** Pfeffer, ibid. p. 5.
[page 114]

without such aid, is reduced to the expansion of the cells not being
followed by growth in the first case, and being so followed in the second
case.

Dots were made with Indian ink along the midrib of both pulvinated
cotyledons of a rather old seedling of Oxalis Valdiviana; their distances
were repeatedly measured with an eye-piece micrometer during 8 3/4 days,
and they did not exhibit the least trace of increase. It is therefore
almost certain that the pulvinus itself was not then growing. Nevertheless,
during this whole time and for ten days afterwards, these cotyledons rose
vertically every night. In the case of some seedlings raised from seeds
purchased under the name of Oxalis floribunda, the cotyledons continued for
a long time to move vertically down at night, and the movement apparently
depended exclusively on the pulvini, for their petioles were of nearly the
same length in young, and in old seedlings which had produced true leaves.
With some species of Cassia, on the other hand, it was obvious without any
measurement that the pulvinated cotyledons continued to increase greatly in
length during some weeks; so that here the expansion of the cells of the
pulvini and the growth of the petiole were probably combined in causing
their prolonged periodic movements. It was equally evident that the
cotyledons of many plants, not provided with pulvini, increased rapidly in
length; and their periodic movements no doubt were exclusively due to
growth.

In accordance with the view that the periodic movements of all cotyledons
depend primarily on the expansion of the cells, whether or not followed by
growth, we can understand the fact that there is but little difference in
the kind or form of movement in the two sets of cases. This may be seen by
com-
[page 115]
paring the diagrams given in the last chapter. Thus the movements of the
cotyledons of Brassica oleracea and of Ipomoea caerulea, which are not
provided with pulvini, are as complex as those of Oxalis and Cassia which
are thus provided. The pulvinated cotyledons of some individuals of Mimosa
pudica and Lotus Jacobaeus made only a single oscillation, whilst those of
other individuals moved twice up and down in the course of 24 hours; so it
was occasionally with the cotyledons of Cucurbita ovifera, which are
destitute of a pulvinus. The movements of pulvinated cotyledons are
generally larger in extent than those without a pulvinus; nevertheless some
of the latter moved through an angle of 90o. There is, however, one
important difference in the two sets of cases; the nocturnal movements of
cotyledons without pulvini, for instance, those in the Cruciferae,
Cucurbitaceae, Githago, and Beta, never last even for a week, to any
conspicuous degree. Pulvinated cotyledons, on the other hand, continue to
rise at night for a much longer period, even for more than a month, as we
shall now show. But the period no doubt depends largely on the temperature
to which the seedlings are exposed and their consequent rate of
development.

[Oxalis Valdiviana.--Some cotyledons which had lately opened and were
horizontal on March 6th at noon, stood at night vertically up; on the 13th
the first true leaf was formed, and was embraced at night by the
cotyledons; on April 9th, after an interval of 35 days, six leaves were
developed, and yet the cotyledons rose almost vertically at night. The
cotyledons of another seedling, which when first observed had already
produced a leaf, stood vertically at night and continued to do so for 11
additional days. After 16 days from the first observation two leaves were
developed, and the cotyledons were still greatly raised at night. After 21
days the cotyledons during the day were deflected beneath the horizon, but
at night were raised 45o
[page 116]
above it. After 24 days from the first observation (begun after a true leaf
had been developed) the cotyledons ceased to rise at night.

Oxalis (Biophytum) sensitiva.--The cotyledons of several seedlings, 45 days
after their first expansion, stood nearly vertical at night, and closely
embraced either one or two true leaves which by this time had been formed.
These seedlings had been kept in a very warm house, and their development
had been rapid.

Oxalis corniculata.--The cotyledons do not stand vertical at night, but
generally rise to an angle of about 45o above the horizon. They continued
thus to act for 23 days after their first expansion, by which time two
leaves had been formed; even after 29 days they still rose moderately above
their horizontal or downwardly deflected diurnal position.

Mimosa pudica.--The cotyledons were expanded for the first time on Nov.
2nd, and stood vertical at night. On the 15th the first leaf was formed,
and at night the cotyledons were vertical. On the 28th they behaved in the
same manner. On Dec. 15th, that is after 44 days, the cotyledons were still
considerably raised at night; but those of another seedling, only one day
older, were raised very little.

Mimosa albida.--A seedling was observed during only 12 days, by which time
a leaf had been formed, and the cotyledons were then quite vertical at
night.

Trifolium subterraneum.--A seedling, 8 days old, had its cotyledons
horizontal at 10.30 A.M. and vertical at 9.15 P.M. After an interval of two
months, by which time the first and second true leaves had been developed,
the cotyledons still performed the same movement. They had now increased
greatly in size, and had become oval; and their petioles were actually .8
of an inch in length!

Trifolium strictum.--After 17 days the cotyledons still rose at night, but
were not afterwards observed.

Lotus Jacoboeus.--The cotyledons of some seedlings having well-developed
leaves rose to an angle of about 45o at night; and even after 3 or 4 whorls
of leaves had been formed, the cotyledons rose at night considerably above
their diurnal horizontal position.

Cassia mimosoides.--The cotyledons of this Indian species, 14 days after
their first expansion, and when a leaf had been formed, stood during the
day horizontal, and at night vertical.

Cassia sp? (a large S. Brazilian tree raised from seeds sent us
[page 117]
by F. Müller).--The cotyledons, after 16 days from their first expansion,
had increased greatly in size with two leaves just formed. They stood
horizontally during the day and vertically at night, but were not
afterwards observed.

Cassia neglecta (likewise a S. Brazilian species).--A seedling, 34 days
after the first expansion of its cotyledons, was between 3 and 4 inches in
height, with 3 well-developed leaves; and the cotyledons, which during the
day were nearly horizontal, at night stood vertical, closely embracing the
young stem. The cotyledons of another seedling of the same age, 5 inches in
height, with 4 well-developed leaves, behaved at night in exactly the same
manner.]

It is known* that there is no difference in structure between the upper and
lower halves of the pulvini of leaves, sufficient to account for their
upward or downward movements. In this respect cotyledons offer an unusually
good opportunity for comparing the structure of the two halves; for the
cotyledons of Oxalis Valdiviana rise vertically at night, whilst those of
O. rosea sink vertically; yet when sections of their pulvini were made, no
clear difference could be detected between the corresponding halves of this
organ in the two species which move so differently. With O. rosea, however,
there were rather more cells in the lower than in the upper half, but this
was likewise the case in one specimen of O. Valdiviana. the cotyledons of
both species (3 ½ mm. in length) were examined in the morning whilst
extended horizontally, and the upper surface of the pulvinus of O. rosea
was then wrinkled transversely, showing that it was in a state of
compression, and this might have been expected, as the cotyledons sink at
night; with O. Valdiviana it was the lower surface which was wrinkled, and
its cotyledons rise at night.

Trifolium is a natural genus, and the leaves of all

* Pfeffer, 'Die Period. Bewegungen,' 1875, p. 157.
[page 118]

the species seen by us are pulvinated; so it is with the cotyledons of T.
subterraneum and strictum, which stand vertically at night; whereas those
of T. resupinatum exhibit not a trace of a pulvinus, nor of any nocturnal
movement. This was ascertained by measuring the distance between the tips
of the cotyledons of four seedlings at mid-day and at night. In this
species, however, as in the others, the first-formed leaf, which is simple
or not trifoliate, rises up and sleeps like the terminal leaflet on a
mature plant.

In another natural genus, Oxalis, the cotyledons of O. Valdiviana, rosea,
floribunda, articulata, and sensitiva are pulvinated, and all move at night
into an upward or downward vertical position. In these several species the
pulvinus is seated close to the blade of the cotyledon, as is the usual
rule with most plants. Oxalis corniculata (var. Atro-purpurea) differs in
several respects; the cotyledons rise at night to a very variable amount,
rarely more than 45o; and in one lot of seedlings (purchased under the name
of O. tropaeoloides, but certainly belonging to the above variety) they
rose only from 5o to 15o above the horizon. The pulvinus is developed
imperfectly and to an extremely variable degree, so that apparently it is
tending towards abortion. No such case has hitherto, we believe, been
described. It is coloured green from its cells containing chlorophyll; and
it is seated nearly in the middle of the petiole, instead of at the upper
end as in all the other species. The nocturnal movement is effected partly
by its aid, and partly by the growth of the upper part of the petiole as in
the case of plants destitute of a pulvinus. From these several reasons and
from our having partially traced the development of the pulvinus from an
early age, the case seems worth describing in some detail.
[page 119]

[When the cotyledons of O. corniculata were dissected out of a seed from
which they would soon have naturally emerged, no trace of a pulvinus could
be detected; and all the cells forming the short petiole, 7 in number in a
longitudinal row, were of nearly equal size. In seedlings one or two days
old, the pulvinus was so indistinct that we thought at first that it did
not exist; but in the middle of the petiole an ill-defined transverse zone
of cells could be seen, which were much shorter than those both above and
below, although of the same breadth with them. They presented the
appearance of having been just formed by the transverse division of longer
cells; and there can be little doubt that this had occurred, for the cells
in the petiole which had

Fig. 64. Oxalis corniculata: A and B the almost rudimentary pulvini of the
cotyledons of two rather old seedlings, viewed as transparent objects.
Magnified 50 times.

been dissected out of the seed averaged in length 7 divisions of the
micrometer (each division equalling .003 mm.), and were a little longer
than those forming a well-developed pulvinus, which varied between 4 and 6
of these same divisions. After a few additional days the ill-defined zone
of cells becomes distinct, and although it does not extend across the whole
width of the petiole, and although the cells are of a green colour from
containing chlorophyll, yet they certainly constitute a pulvinus, which as
we shall presently see, acts as one. These small cells were arranged in
longitudinal rows, and varied from 4 to 7 in number; and the cells
themselves varied in length in different parts of the
[page 120]
same pulvinus and in different individuals. In the accompanying figures, A
and B (Fig. 64), we have views of the epidermis* in the middle part of the
petioles of two seedlings, in which the pulvinus was for this species well
developed. They offer a striking contrast with the pulvinus of O. rosea
(see former Fig. 63), or of O. Valdiviana. With the seedlings, falsely
called O. tropaeoloides, the cotyledons of which rise very little at night,
the small cells were still fewer in number and in parts formed a single
transverse row, and in other parts short longitudinal rows of only two or
three. Nevertheless they sufficed to attract the eye, when the whole
petiole was viewed as a transparent object beneath the microscope. In these
seedlings there could hardly be a doubt that the pulvinus was becoming
rudimentary and tending to disappear; and this accounts for its great
variability in structure and function.

In the following Table some measurements of the cells in fairly
well-developed pulvini of O. corniculata are given:--

Seedling 1 day old, with cotyledon 2.3 mm. in length.
Divisions of  Micrometer.**
Average length of cells of
pulvinus..................................................6 to 7
Length of longest cell below the
pulvinus.....................................  13
Length of longest cell above the
pulvinus......................................  20

Seedling 5 days old, cotyledon 3.1 mm. in length, with the pulvinus quite
distinct.
Average length of cells of
pulvinus..................................................   6
Length of longest cell below the
pulvinus.....................................  22
Length of longest cell above the
pulvinus......................................  40

Seedling 8 days old, cotyledon 5 mm. in length, with a true leaf formed but
not yet expanded.
Average length of cells of
pulvinus..................................................   9
Length of longest cell below the
pulvinus.....................................  44
Length of longest cell above the
pulvinus......................................  70

Seedling 13 days old, cotyledon 4.5 mm. in length, with a small true leaf
fully developed. Average length of cells of
pulvinus..................................................   7
Length of longest cell below the
pulvinus..................................... 30
Length of longest cell above the
pulvinus......................................  60

______________________________________

* Longitudinal sections show that the forms of the epidermic cells may be
taken as a fair representation of those constituting the pulvinus.

** Each division equalled .003 mm.
[page 121]

We here see that the cells of the pulvinus increase but little in length
with advancing age, in comparison with those of the petiole both above and
below it; but they continue to grow in width, and keep equal in this
respect with the other cells of the petiole. The rate of growth, however,
varies in all parts of the cotyledons, as may be observed in the
measurements of the 8-days' old seedling.

The cotyledons of seedlings only a day old rise at night considerably,
sometimes as much as afterwards; but there was much variation in this
respect. As the pulvinus is so indistinct at first, the movement probably
does not then depend on the expansion of its cells, but on periodically
unequal growth in the petiole. By the comparison of seedlings of different
known ages, it was evident that the chief seat of growth of the petiole was
in the upper part between the pulvinus and the blade; and this agrees with
the fact (shown in the measurements above given) that the cells grow to a
greater length in the upper than in the lower part. With a seedling 11 days
old, the nocturnal rise was found to depend largely on the action of the
pulvinus, for the petiole at night was curved upwards at this point; and
during the day, whilst the petiole was horizontal, the lower surface of the
pulvinus was wrinkled with the upper surface tense. Although the cotyledons
at an advanced age do not rise at night to a higher inclination than whilst
young, yet they have to pass through a larger angle (in one instance
amounting to 63o) to gain their nocturnal position, as they are generally
deflected beneath the horizon during the day. Even with the 11-days' old
seedling the movement did not depend exclusively on the pulvinus, for the
blade where joined to the petiole was curved upwards, and this must be
attributed to unequal growth. Therefore the periodic movements of the
cotyledons of 'O. corniculata' depend on two distinct but conjoint actions,
namely, the expansion of the cells of the pulvinus and on the growth of the
upper part of the petiole, including the base of the blade.

Lotus Jacoboeus.--The seedlings of this plant present a case parallel to
that of Oxalis corniculata in some respects, and in others unique, as far
as we have seen. The cotyledons during the first 4 or 5 days of their life
do not exhibit any plain nocturnal movement; but afterwards they stand
vertically or almost vertically up at night. There is, however, some degree
of variability in this respect, apparently dependent on the season and on
the degree to which they have been illuminated during
[page 122]
the day. With older seedlings, having cotyledons 4 mm. in length, which
rise considerably at night, there is a well-developed pulvinus close to the
blade, colourless, and rather narrower than the rest of the petiole, from
which it is abruptly separated. It is formed of a mass of small cells of an
average length of .021 mm.; whereas the cells in the lower part of the
petiole are about .06 mm., and those in the blade from .034 to .04 mm. in
length. The epidermic cells in the lower part of the petiole project
conically, and thus differ in shape from those over the pulvinus.

Turning now to very young seedlings, the cotyledons of which do not rise at
night and are only from 2 to 2 ½ mm. in length, their petioles do not
exhibit any defined zone of small cells, destitute of chlorophyll and
differing in shape exteriorly from the lower ones. Nevertheless, the cells
at the place where a pulvinus will afterwards be developed are smaller
(being on an average .015 mm. in length) than those in the lower parts of
the same petiole, which gradually become larger in proceeding downwards,
the largest being .030 mm. in length. At this early age the cells of the
blade are about .027 mm. in length. We thus see that the pulvinus is formed
by the cells in the uppermost part of the petiole, continuing for only a
short time to increase in length, then being arrested in their growth,
accompanied by the loss of their chlorophyll grains; whilst the cells in
the lower part of the petiole continue for a long time to increase in
length, those of the epidermis becoming more conical. The singular fact of
the cotyledons of this plant not sleeping at first is therefore due to the
pulvinus not being developed at an early age.]

We learn from these two cases of Lotus and Oxalis, that the development of
a pulvinus follows from the growth of the cells over a small defined space
of the petiole being almost arrested at an early age. With Lotus Jacobaeus
the cells at first increase a little in length; in Oxalis corniculata they
decrease a little, owing to self-division. A mass of such small cells
forming a pulvinus, might therefore be either acquired or lost without any
special difficulty, by different species in the same natural genus: and we
know that
[page 123]
with seedlings of Trifolium, Lotus, and Oxalis some of the species have a
well-developed pulvinus, and others have none, or one in a rudimentary
condition. As the movements caused by the alternate turgescence of the
cells in the two halves of a pulvinus, must be largely determined by the
extensibility and subsequent contraction of their walls, we can perhaps
understand why a large number of small cells will be more efficient than a
small number of large cells occupying the same space. As a pulvinus is
formed by the arrestment of the growth of its cells, movements dependent on
their action may be long-continued without any increase in length of the
part thus provided; and such long-continued movements seem to be one chief
end gained by the development of a pulvinus. Long-continued movement would
be impossible in any part, without an inordinate increase in its length, if
the turgescence of the cells was always followed by growth.

Disturbance of the Periodic Movements of Cotyledons by Light.--The
hypocotyls and cotyledons of most seedling plants are, as is well known,
extremely heliotropic; but cotyledons, besides being heliotropic, are
affected paratonically (to use Sachs' expression) by light; that is, their
daily periodic movements are greatly and quickly disturbed by changes in
its intensity or by its absence. It is not that they cease to circumnutate
in darkness, for in all the many cases observed by us they continued to do
so; but the normal order of their movements in relation to the alternations
of day and night is much disturbed or quite annulled. This holds good with
species the cotyledons of which rise or sink so much at night that they may
be said to sleep, as well as with others which rise only a little. But
different species are affected in very different degrees by changes in the
light.
[page 124]

[For instance, the cotyledons of Beta vulgaris, Solanum lycopersicum,
Cerinthe major, and Lupinus luteus, when placed in darkness, moved down
during the afternoon and early night, instead of rising as they would have
done if they had been exposed to the light. All the individuals of the
Solanum did not behave in the same manner, for the cotyledons of one
circumnutated about the same spot between 2.30 and 10 P.M. The cotyledons
of a seedling of Oxalis corniculata, which was feebly illuminated from
above, moved downwards during the first morning in the normal manner, but
on the second morning it moved upwards. The cotyledons of Lotus Jacoboeus
were not affected by 4 h. of complete darkness, but when placed under a
double skylight and thus feebly illuminated, they quite lost their
periodical movements on the third morning. On the other hand, the
cotyledons of Cucurbita ovifera moved in the normal manner during a whole
day in darkness.

Seedlings of Githago segetum were feebly illuminated from above in the
morning before their cotyledons had expanded, and they remained closed for
the next 40 h. Other seedlings were placed in the dark after their
cotyledons had opened in the morning and these did not begin to close until
about 4 h. had elapsed. The cotyledons of Oxalis rosea sank vertically
downwards after being left for 1 h. 20 m. in darkness; but those of some
other species of Oxalis were not affected by several hours of darkness. The
cotyledons of several species of Cassia are eminently susceptible to
changes in the degree of light to which they are exposed: thus seedlings of
an unnamed S. Brazilian species (a large and beautiful tree) were brought
out of the hot-house and placed on a table in the middle of a room with two
north-east and one north-west window, so that they were fairly well
illuminated, though of course less so than in the hot-house, the day being
moderately bright; and after 36 m. the cotyledons which had been horizontal
rose up vertically and closed together as when asleep; after thus remaining
on the table for 1 h. 13 m. they began to open. The cotyledons of young
seedlings of another Brazilian species and of C. neglecta, treated in the
same manner, behaved similarly, excepting that they did not rise up quite
so much: they again became horizontal after about an hour.

Here is a more interesting case: seedlings of Cassia tora in two pots,
which had stood for some time on the table in the room just described, had
their cotyledons horizontal. One pot was now exposed for 2 h. to dull
sunshine, and the cotyledons
[page 125]
remained horizontal; it was then brought back to the table, and after 50 m.
the cotyledons had risen 68o above the horizon. The other pot was placed
during the same 2 h. behind a screen in the room, where the light was very
obscure, and the cotyledons rose 63o above the horizon; the pot was then
replaced on the table, and after 50 m. the cotyledons had fallen 33o. These
two pots with seedlings of the same age stood close together, and were
exposed to exactly the same amount of light, yet the cotyledons in the one
pot were rising, whilst those in the other pot were at the same time
sinking. This fact illustrates in a striking manner that their movements
are not governed by the actual amount, but by a change in the intensity or
degree of the light. A similar experiment was tried with two sets of
seedlings, both exposed to a dull light, but different in degree, and the
result was the same. The movements of the cotyledons of this Cassia are,
however, determined (as in many other cases) largely by habit or
inheritance, independently of light; for seedlings which had been
moderately illuminated during the day, were kept all night and on the
following morning in complete darkness; yet the cotyledons were partially
open in the morning and remained open in the dark for about 6 h. The
cotyledons in another pot, similarly treated on another occasion, were open
at 7 A.M. and remained open in the dark for 4 h. 30 m., after which time
they began to close. Yet these same seedlings, when brought in the middle
of the day from a moderately bright into only a moderately dull light
raised, as we have seen, their cotyledons high above the horizon.

Sensitiveness of Cotyledons to contact.--This subject does not possess much
interest, as it is not known that sensitiveness of this kind is of any
service to seedling plants. We have observed cases in only four genera,
though we have vainly observed the cotyledons of many others. The genus
cassia seems to be pre-eminent in this respect: thus, the cotyledons of C.
tora, when extended horizontally, were both lightly tapped with a very thin
twig for 3 m. and in the course of a few minutes they formed together an
angle of 90o, so that each had risen 45o. A single cotyledon of another
seedling was tapped in a like manner for 1 m., and it rose 27o in 9 m.; and
after eight additional minutes it had risen 10o more; the opposite
cotyledon, which was not tapped, hardly moved at all. The cotyledons in all
these cases became horizontal again in less than half an hour. The pulvinus
is the most sensitive part, for on slightly pricking three cotyledons with
a
[page 126]
pin in this part, they rose up vertically; but the blade was found also to
be sensitive, care having been taken that the pulvinus was not touched.
Drops of water placed quietly on these cotyledons produced no effect, but
an extremely fine stream of water, ejected from a syringe, caused them to
move upwards. When a pot of seedlings was rapidly hit with a stick and thus
jarred, the cotyledons rose slightly. When a minute drop of nitric acid was
placed on both pulvini of a seedling, the cotyledons rose so quickly that
they could easily be seen to move, and almost immediately afterwards they
began to fall; but the pulvini had been killed and became brown.

The cotyledons of an unnamed species of Cassia (a large tree from S.
Brazil) rose 31o in the course of 26 m. after the pulvini and the blades
had both been rubbed during 1 m. with a twig; but when the blade alone was
similarly rubbed the cotyledons rose only 8o. The remarkably long and
narrow cotyledons, of a third unnamed species from S. Brazil, did not move
when their blades were rubbed on six occasions with a pointed stick for 30
s. or for 1 m.; but when the pulvinus was rubbed and slightly pricked with
a pin, the cotyledons rose in the course of a few minutes through an angle
of 60o. Several cotyledons of C. neglecta (likewise from S. Brazil) rose in
from 5 m. to 15 m. to various angles between 16o and 34o, after being
rubbed during 1 m. with a twig. Their sensitiveness is retained to a
somewhat advanced age, for the cotyledons of a little plant of C. neglecta,
34 days old and bearing three true leaves, rose when lightly pinched
between the finger and thumb. Some seedlings were exposed for 30 m. to a
wind (temp. 50o F.) sufficiently strong to keep the cotyledons vibrating,
but this to our surprise did not cause any movement. The cotyledons of four
seedlings of the Indian C. glauca were either rubbed with a thin twig for 2
m. or were lightly pinched: one rose 34o; a second only 6o; a third 13o; and
a fourth 17o. A cotyledon of C. florida similarly treated rose 9o; one of
C. corymbosa rose 7 1/2o, and one of the very distinct C. mimosoides only
6o. Those of C. pubescens did not appear to be in the least sensitive; nor
were those of C. nodosa, but these latter are rather thick and fleshy, and
do not rise at night or go to sleep.

Smithia sensitiva.--This plant belongs to a distinct sub-order of the
Leguminosae from Cassia. Both cotyledons of an oldish seedling, with the
first true leaf partially unfolded, were rubbed for 1 m. with a fine twig,
and in 5 m. each rose 32o; they
[page 127]
remained in this position for 15 m., but when looked at again 40 m. after
the rubbing, each had fallen 14o. Both cotyledons of another and younger
seedling were lightly rubbed in the same manner for 1 m., and after an
interval of 32 m. each had risen 30o. They were hardly at all sensitive to
a fine jet of water. The cotyledons of S. Pfundii, an African water plant,
are thick and fleshy; they are not sensitive and do not go to sleep.

Mimosa pudica and albida.--The blades of several cotyledons of both these
plants were rubbed or slightly scratched with a needle during 1 m. or 2 m.;
but they did not move in the least. When, however, the pulvini of six
cotyledons of M. pudica were thus scratched, two of them were slightly
raised. In these two cases perhaps the pulvinus was accidentally pricked,
for on pricking the pulvinus of another cotyledon it rose a little. It thus
appears that the cotyledons of Mimosa are less sensitive than those of the
previously mentioned plants.*

Oxalis sensitiva.--The blades and pulvini of two cotyledons, standing
horizontally, were rubbed or rather tickled for 30 s. with a fine split
bristle, and in 10 m. each had risen 48o; when looked at again in 35 m.
after being rubbed they had risen 4o more; after 30 additional minutes they
were again horizontal. On hitting a pot rapidly with a stick for 1 m., the
cotyledons of two seedlings were considerably raised in the course of 11 m.
A pot was carried a little distance on a tray and thus jolted; and the
cotyledons of four seedlings were all raised in 10 m.; after 17 m. one had
risen 56o, a second 45o, a third almost 90o, and a fourth 90o. After an
additional interval of 40 m. three of them had re-expanded to a
considerable extent. These observations were made before we were aware at
what an extraordinarily rapid rate the cotyledons circumnutate, and are
therefore liable to error. Nevertheless it is extremely improbable that the
cotyledons in the eight cases given, should all have been rising at the
time when they were irritated. The cotyledons of Oxalis Valdiviana and
rosea were rubbed and did not exhibit any sensitiveness.]

Finally, there seems to exist some relation between

* The sole notice which we have met with on the sensitiveness of
cotyledons, relates to Mimosa; for Aug. P. De Candolle says ('Phys. Vég.,'
1832, tom. ii. p. 865), "les cotyledons du M. pudica tendent à se raprocher
par leurs faces supérieures lorsqu'on les irrite."
[page 128]

the habit of cotyledons rising vertically at night or going to sleep, and
their sensitiveness, especially that of their pulvini, to a touch; for all
the above-named plants sleep at night. On the other hand, there are many
plants the cotyledons of which sleep, and are not in the least sensitive.
As the cotyledons of several species of Cassia are easily affected both by
slightly diminished light and by contact, we thought that these two kinds
of sensitiveness might be connected; but this is not necessarily the case,
for the cotyledons of Oxalis sensitiva did not rise when kept on one
occasion for 1 ½ h., and on a second occasion for nearly 4 h., in a dark
closet. Some other cotyledons, as those of Githago segetum, are much
affected by a feeble light, but do not move when scratched by a needle.
That with the same plant there is some relation between the sensitiveness
of its cotyledons and leaves seems highly probable, for the above described
Smithia and Oxalis have been called sensitiva, owing to their leaves being
sensitive; and though the leaves of the several species of Cassia are not
sensitive to a touch, yet if a branch be shaken or syringed with water,
they partially assume their nocturnal dependent position. But the relation
between the sensitiveness to contact of the cotyledons and of the leaves of
the same plant is not very close, as may be inferred from the cotyledons of
Mimosa pudica being only slightly sensitive, whilst the leaves are well
known to be so in the highest degree. Again, the leaves of Neptunia
oleracea are very sensitive to a touch, whilst the cotyledons do not appear
to be so in any degree.
[page 129]





CHAPTER III.

SENSITIVENESS OF THE APEX OF THE RADICLE TO CONTACT AND TO OTHER IRRITANTS.

Manner in which radicles bend when they encounter an obstacle in the soil--
Vicia faba, tips of radicles highly sensitive to contact and other
irritants--Effects of too high a temperature--Power of discriminating
between objects attached on opposite sides--Tips of secondary radicles
sensitive--Pisum, tips of radicles sensitive--Effects of such sensitiveness
in overcoming geotropism--Secondary radicles--Phaseolus, tips of radicles
hardly sensitive to contact, but highly sensitive to caustic and to the
removal of a slice--Tropaeolum--Gossypium--Cucurbita--Raphanus--Aesculus,
tip not sensitive to slight contact, highly sensitive to caustic--Quercus,
tip highly sensitive to contact--Power of discrimination--Zea, tip highly
sensitive, secondary radicles--Sensitiveness of radicles to moist air--
Summary of chapter.

IN order to see how the radicles of seedlings would pass over stones,
roots, and other obstacles, which they must incessantly encounter in the
soil, germinating beans (Vicia faba) were so placed that the tips of the
radicles came into contact, almost rectangularly or at a high angle, with
underlying plates of glass. In other cases the beans were turned about
whilst their radicles were growing, so that they descended nearly
vertically on their own smooth, almost flat, broad upper surfaces. The
delicate root-cap, when it first touched any directly opposing surface, was
a little flattened transversely; the flattening soon became oblique, and in
a few hours quite disappeared, the apex now pointing at right angles, or at
nearly right angles, to its former course. The radicle then seemed to glide
in its new direction over the surface which had opposed
[page 130]
it, pressing on it with very little force. How far such abrupt changes in
its former course are aided by the circumnutation of the tip must be left
doubtful. Thin slips of wood were cemented on more or less steeply inclined
glass-plates, at right angles to the radicles which were gliding down them.
Straight lines had been painted along the growing terminal part of some of
these radicles, before they met the opposing slip of wood; and the lines
became sensibly curved in 2 h. after the apex had come into contact with
the slips. In one case of a radicle, which was growing rather slowly, the
root-cap, after encountering a rough slip of wood at right angles, was at
first slightly flattened transversely: after an interval of 2 h. 30 m. the
flattening became oblique; and after an additional 3 hours the flattening
had wholly disappeared, and the apex now pointed at right angles to its
former course. It then continued to grow in its new direction alongside the
slip of wood, until it came to the end of it, round which it bent
rectangularly. Soon afterwards when coming to the edge of the plate of
glass, it was again bent at a large angle, and descended perpendicularly
into the damp sand.

When, as in the above cases, radicles encountered an obstacle at right
angles to their course, the terminal growing part became curved for a
length of between .3 and .4 of an inch (8-10 mm.), measured from the apex.
This was well shown by the black lines which had been previously painted on
them. The first and most obvious explanation of the curvature is, that it
results merely from the mechanical resistance to the growth of the radicle
in its original direction. Nevertheless, this explanation did not seem to
us satisfactory. The radicles did not present the appearance of having been
subjected to a sufficient pressure to account for
[page 131]
their curvature; and Sachs has shown* that the growing part is more rigid
than the part immediately above which has ceased to grow, so that the
latter might have been expected to yield and become curved as soon as the
apex encountered an unyielding object; whereas it was the stiff growing
part which became curved. Moreover, an object which yields with the
greatest ease will deflect a radicle: thus, as we have seen, when the apex
of the radicle of the bean encountered the polished surface of extremely
thin tin-foil laid on soft sand, no impression was left on it, yet the
radicle became deflected at right angles. A second explanation occurred to
us, namely, that even the gentlest pressure might check the growth of the
apex, and in this case growth could continue only on one side, and thus the
radicle would assume a rectangular form; but this view leaves wholly
unexplained the curvature of the upper part, extending for a length of 8-10
mm.

We were therefore led to suspect that the apex was sensitive to contact,
and that an effect was transmitted from it to the upper part of the
radicle, which was thus excited to bend away from the touching object. As a
little loop of fine thread hung on a tendril or on the petiole of a
leaf-climbing plant, causes it to bend, we thought that any small hard
object affixed to the tip of a radicle, freely suspended and growing in
damp air, might cause it to bend, if it were sensitive, and yet would not
offer any mechanical resistance to its growth. Full details will be given
of the experiments which were tried, as the result proved remarkable. The
fact of the apex of a radicle being sensitive to contact has never been
observed, though, as we shall

* 'Arbeiten Bot. Inst. Würzburg,' Heft iii. 1873, p. 398.

[page 132]
hereafter see, Sachs discovered that the radicle a little above the apex is
sensitive, and bends like a tendril towards the touching object. But when
one side of the apex is pressed by any object, the growing part bends away
from the object; and this seems a beautiful adaptation for avoiding
obstacles in the soil, and, as we shall see, for following the lines of
least resistance. Many organs, when touched, bend in one fixed direction,
such as the stamens of Berberis, the lobes of Dionaea, etc.; and many
organs, such as tendrils, whether modified leaves or flower-peduncles, and
some few stems, bend towards a touching object; but no case, we believe, is
known of an organ bending away from a touching object.

Sensitiveness of the Apex of the Radicle of Vicia faba.--Common beans,
after being soaked in water for 24 h., were pinned with the hilum downwards
(in the manner followed by Sachs), inside the cork lids of glass-vessels,
which were half filled with water; the sides and the cork were well
moistened, and light was excluded. As soon as the beans had protruded
radicles, some to a length of less than a tenth of an inch, and others to a
length of several tenths, little squares or oblongs of card were affixed to
the short sloping sides of their conical tips. The squares therefore
adhered obliquely with reference to the longitudinal axis of the radicle;
and this is a very necessary precaution, for if the bits of card
accidentally became displaced, or were drawn by the viscid matter employed
so as to adhere parallel to the side of the radicle, although only a little
way above the conical apex, the radicle did not bend in the peculiar manner
which we are here considering. Squares of about the 1/20th of an inch (i.e.
about 1 ½ mm.), or oblong bits of nearly the same size, were found to
[page 133]
be the most convenient and effective. We employed at first ordinary thin
card, such as visiting cards, or bits of very thin glass, and various other
objects; but afterwards sand-paper was chiefly employed, for it was almost
as stiff as thin card, and the roughened surface favoured its adhesion. At
first we generally used very thick gum-water; and this of course, under the
circumstances, never dried in the least; on the contrary, it sometimes
seemed to absorb vapour, so that the bits of card became separated by a
layer of fluid from the tip. When there was no such absorption and the card
was not displaced, it acted well and caused the radicle to bend to the
opposite side. I should state that thick gum-water by itself induces no
action. In most cases the bits of card were touched with an extremely small
quantity of a solution of shellac in spirits of wine, which had been left
to evaporate until it was thick; it then set hard in a few seconds, and
fixed the bits of card well. When small drops of the shellac were placed on
the tips without any card, they set into hard little beads, and these acted
like any other hard object, causing the radicles to bend to the opposite
side. Even extremely minute beads of the shellac occasionally acted in a
slight degree, as will hereafter be described. But that it was the cards
which chiefly acted in our many trials, was proved by coating one side of
the tip with a little bit of goldbeaters' skin (which by itself hardly
acts), and then fixing a bit of card to the skin with shellac which never
came into contact with the radicle: nevertheless the radicle bent away from
the attached card in the ordinary manner.

Some preliminary trials were made, presently to be described, by which the
proper temperature was determined, and then the following experiments were
made. It should be premised that the beans were
[page 134]
always fixed to the cork-lids, for the convenience of manipulation, with
the edge from which the radicle and plumule protrudes, outwards; and it
must be remembered that owing to what we have called Sachs' curvature, the
radicles, instead of growing perpendicularly downwards, often bend
somewhat, even as much

Fig. 65. Vicia faba: A, radicle beginning to bend from the attached little
square of card; B, bent at a rectangle; C, bent into a circle or loop, with
the tip beginning to bend downwards through the action of geotropism.

as about 45o inwards, or under the suspended bean. Therefore when a square
of card was fixed to the apex in front, the bowing induced by it coincided
with Sachs' curvature, and could be distinguished from it only by being
more strongly pronounced or by occurring more quickly. To avoid this source
of doubt, the squares
[page 135]
were fixed either behind, causing a curvature in direct opposition to that
of Sachs', or more commonly to the right or left sides. For the sake of
brevity, we will speak of the bits of card, etc., as fixed in front, or
behind, or laterally. As the chief curvature of the radicle is at a little
distance from the apex, and as the extreme terminal and basal portions are
nearly straight, it is possible to estimate in a rough manner the amount of
curvature by an angle; and when it is said that the radicle became
deflected at any angle from the perpendicular, this implies that the apex
was turned upwards by so many degrees from the downward direction which it
would naturally have followed, and to the side opposite to that to which
the card was affixed. That the reader may have a clear idea of the kind of
movement excited by the bits of attached card, we append here accurate
sketches of three germinating beans thus treated, and selected out of
several specimens to show the gradations in the degrees of curvature. We
will now give in detail a series of experiments, and afterwards a summary
of the results.

[In the first 12 trials, little squares or oblongs of sanded card, 1.8 mm.
in length, and 1.5 or only 0.9 mm. in breadth (i.e. .071 of an inch in
length and .059 or .035 of an inch in breadth) were fixed with shellac to
the tips of the radicles. In the subsequent trials the little squares were
only occasionally measured, but were of about the same size.

(1.) A young radicle, 4 mm. in length, had a card fixed behind: after 9 h.
deflected in the plane in which the bean is flattened, 50o from the
perpendicular and from the card, and in opposition to Sachs' curvature: no
change next morning, 23 h. from the time of attachment.

(2.) Radicle 5.5 mm. in length, card fixed behind: after 9 h. deflected in
the plane of the bean 20o from the perpendicular and from the card, and in
opposition to Sachs' curvature: after 23 h. no change.
[page 136]

(3.) Radicle 11 mm. in length, card fixed behind: after 9 h. deflected in
the plane of the bean 40o from the perpendicular and from the card, and in
opposition to Sachs' curvature. The tip of the radicle more curved than the
upper part, but in the same plane. After 23 h. the extreme tip was slightly
bent towards the card; the general curvature of the radicle remaining the
same.

(4.) Radicle 9 mm. long, card fixed behind and a little laterally: after 9
h. deflected in the plane of the bean only about 7o or 8o from the
perpendicular and from the card, in opposition to Sachs' curvature. There
was in addition a slight lateral curvature directed partly from the card.
After 23 h. no change.

(5.) Radicle 8 mm. long, card affixed almost laterally: after 9 h.
deflected 30o from the perpendicular, in the plane of the bean and in
opposition to Sachs' curvature; also deflected in a plane at right angles
to the above one, 20o from the perpendicular: after 23 h. no change.

(6.) Radicle 9 mm. long, card affixed in front: after 9 h. deflected in the
plane of the bean about 40o from the vertical, away from the card and in
the direction of Sachs' curvature. Here therefore we have no evidence of
the card being the cause of the deflection, except that a radicle never
moves spontaneously, as far as we have seen, as much as 40o in the course
of 9 h. After 23 h. no change.

(7.) Radicle 7 mm. long, card affixed to the back: after 9 h. the terminal
part of the radicle deflected in the plane of the bean 20o from the
vertical, away from the card and in opposition to Sachs' curvature. After
22 h. 30 m. this part of the radicle had become straight.

(8.) Radicle 12 mm. long, card affixed almost laterally: after 9 h.
deflected laterally in a plane at right angles to that of the bean between
40o and 50o from the vertical and from the card. In the plane of the bean
itself the deflection amounted to 8o or 9o from the vertical and from the
card, in opposition to Sachs' curvature. After 22 h. 30 m. the extreme tip
had become slightly curved towards the card.

(9.) Card fixed laterally: after 11 h. 30 m. no effect, the radicle being
still almost vertical.

(10.) Card fixed almost laterally: after 11 h. 30 m. deflected 90o from the
vertical and from the card, in a plane intermediate between that of the
bean itself and one at right
[page 137]
angles to it. Radicle consequently partially deflected from Sachs'
curvature.

(11.) Tip of radicle protected with goldbeaters' skin, with a square of
card of the usual dimensions affixed with shellac: after 11 h. greatly
deflected in the plane of the bean, in the direction of Sachs' curvature,
but to a much greater degree and in less time than ever occurs
spontaneously.

(12.) Tip of radicle protected as in last case: after 11 h. no effect, but
after 24 h. 40 m. radicle clearly deflected from the card. This slow action
was probably due to a portion of the goldbeaters' skin having curled round
and lightly touched the opposite side of the tip and thus irritated it.

(13.) A radicle of considerable length had a small square of card fixed
with shellac to its apex laterally: after only 7 h. 15 m. a length of .4 of
an inch from the apex, measured along the middle, was considerably curved
from the side bearing the card.

(14.) Case like the last in all respects, except that a length of only .25
of an inch of the radicle was thus deflected.

(15.) A small square of card fixed with shellac to the apex of a young
radicle; after 9 h. 15 m. deflected through 90o from the perpendicular and
from the card. After 24 h. deflection much decreased, and after an
additional day, reduced to 23o from the perpendicular.

(16.) Square of card fixed with shellac behind the apex of a radicle, which
from its position having been changed during growth had become very
crooked; but the terminal portion was straight, and this became deflected
to about 45o from the perpendicular and from the card, in opposition to
Sachs' curvature.

(17.) Square of card affixed with shellac: after 8 h. radicle curved at
right angles from the perpendicular and from the card. After 15 additional
hours curvature much decreased.

(18.) Square of card affixed with shellac: after 8 h. no effect; after 23
h. 3 m. from time of affixing, radicle much curved from the square. (19.)
Square of card affixed with shellac: after 24 h. no effect, but the radicle
had not grown well and seemed sickly.

(20.) Square of card affixed with shellac: after 24 h. no effect.

(21, 22.) Squares of card affixed with shellac: after 24 h. radicles of
both curved at about 45o from the perpendicular and from the cards.

(23.) Square of card fixed with shellac to young radicle: after
[page 138]
9 h. very slightly curved from the card; after 24 h. tip curved towards
card. Refixed new square laterally, after 9 h. distinctly curved from the
card, and after 24 h. curved at right angles from the perpendicular and
from the card.

(24.) A rather large oblong piece of card fixed with shellac to apex: after
24 h. no effect, but the card was found not to be touching the apex. A
small square was now refixed with shellac; after 16 h. slight deflection
from the perpendicular and from the card. After an additional day the
radicle became almost straight.

(25.) Square of card fixed laterally to apex of young radicle; after 9 h.
deflection from the perpendicular considerable; after 24 h. deflection
reduced. Refixed a fresh square with shellac: after 24 h. deflection about
40o from the perpendicular and from the card.

(26.) A very small square of card fixed with shellac to apex of young
radicle: after 9 h. the deflection from the perpendicular and from the card
amounted to nearly a right angle; after 24 h. deflection much reduced;
after an additional 24 h. radicle almost straight.

(27.) Square of card fixed with shellac to apex of young radicle: after 9
h. deflection from the card and from the perpendicular a right angle; next
morning quite straight. Refixed a square laterally with shellac; after 9 h.
a little deflection, which after 24 h. increased to nearly 20o from the
perpendicular and from the card.

(28.) Square of card fixed with shellac; after 9 h. some deflection; next
morning the card dropped off; refixed it with shellac; it again became
loose and was refixed; and now on the third trial the radicle was deflected
after 14 h. at right angles from the card.

(29.) A small square of card was first fixed with thick gum-water to the
apex. It produced a slight effect but soon fell off. A similar square was
now affixed laterally with shellac: after 9 h. the radicle was deflected
nearly 45o from the perpendicular and from the card. After 36 additional
hours angle of deflection reduced to about 30o.

(30.) A very small piece, less than 1/20th of an inch square, of thin
tin-foil fixed with shellac to the apex of a young radicle; after 24 h. no
effect. Tin-foil removed, and a small square of sanded card fixed with
shellac; after 9 h. deflection at nearly right angles from the
perpendicular and from the card. Next
[page 139]
morning deflection reduced to about 40o from the perpendicular.

(31.) A splinter of thin glass gummed to apex, after 9 h. no effect, but it
was then found not to be touching the apex of the radicle. Next morning a
square of card was fixed with shellac to it, and after 9 h. radicle greatly
deflected from the card. After two additional days the deflection had
decreased and was only 35o from the perpendicular.

(32.) Small square of sanded card, attached with thick gum-water laterally
to the apex of a long straight radicle: after 9 h. greatly deflected from
the perpendicular and from the card. Curvature extended for a length of .22
of an inch from the apex. After 3 additional hours terminal portion
deflected at right angles from the perpendicular. Next morning the curved
portion was .36 in length.

(33.) Square of card gummed to apex: after 15 h. deflected at nearly 90o
from the perpendicular and from the card.

(34.) Small oblong of sanded card gummed to apex: after 15 h. deflected 90o
from the perpendicular and from the card: in the course of the three
following days the terminal portion became much contorted and ultimately
coiled into a helix.

(35.) Square of card gummed to apex: after 9 h. deflected from card: after
24 h. from time of attachment greatly deflected obliquely and partly in
opposition to Sachs' curvature.

(36.) Small piece of card, rather less than 1/20th of an inch square,
gummed to apex: in 9 h. considerably deflected from card and in opposition
to Sachs' curvature; after 24 h. greatly deflected in the same direction.
After an additional day the extreme tip was curved towards the card.

(37.) Square of card, gummed to apex in front, caused after 8 h. 30 m.
hardly any effect; refixed fresh square laterally, after 15 h. deflected
almost 90o from the perpendicular and from the card. After 2 additional
days deflection much reduced.

(38.) Square of card gummed to apex: after 9 h. much deflection, which
after 24 h. from time of fixing increased to nearly 90o. After an
additional day terminal portion was curled into a loop, and on the
following day into a helix.

(39.) Small oblong piece of card gummed to apex, nearly in front, but a
little to one side; in 9 h. slightly deflected in the direction of Sachs'
curvature, but rather obliquely, and to side opposite to card. Next day
more curved in the same direction, and after 2 additional days coiled into
a ring.
[page 140]

(40.) Square of card gummed to apex: after 9 h. slightly curved from card;
next morning radicle straight, and apex had grown beyond the card. Refixed
another square laterally with shellac; in 9 h. deflected laterally, but
also in the direction of Sachs' curvature. After 2 additional days'
curvature considerably increased in the same direction.

(41.) Little square of tin-foil fixed with gum to one side of apex of a
young and short radicle: after 15 h. no effect, but tin-foil had become
displaced. A little square of card was now gummed to one side of apex,
which after 8 h. 40 m. was slightly deflected; in 24 h. from the time of
attachment deflected at 90o from the perpendicular and from the card; after
9 additional hours became hooked, with the apex pointing to the zenith. In
3 days from the time of attachment the terminal portion of the radicle
formed a ring or circle.

(42.) A little square of thick letter-paper gummed to the apex of a
radicle, which after 9 h. was deflected from it. In 24 h. from time when
the paper was affixed the deflection much increased, and after 2 additional
days it amounted to 50o from the perpendicular and from the paper.

(43.) A narrow chip of a quill was fixed with shellac to the apex of a
radicle. After 9 h. no effect; after 24 h. moderate deflection, but now the
quill had ceased to touch the apex. Removed quill and gummed a little
square of card to apex, which after 8 h. caused slight deflection. On the
fourth day from the first attachment of any object, the extreme tip was
curved towards the card.

(44.) A rather long and narrow splinter of extremely thin glass, fixed with
shellac to apex, it caused in 9 h. slight deflection, which disappeared in
24 h.; the splinter was then found not touching the apex. It was twice
refixed, with nearly similar results, that is, it caused slight deflection,
which soon disappeared. On the fourth day from the time of first attachment
the tip was bent towards the splinter.]

From these experiments it is clear that the apex of the radicle of the bean
is sensitive to contact, and that it causes the upper part to bend away
from the touching object. But before giving a summary of the results, it
will be convenient briefly to give a few other observations. Bits of very
thin glass and little squares
[page 141]
of common card were affixed with thick gum-water to the tips of the
radicles of seven beans, as a preliminary trial. Six of these were plainly
acted on, and in two cases the radicles became coiled up into complete
loops. One radicle was curved into a semi-circle in so short a period as 6
h. 10 m. The seventh radicle which was not affected was apparently sickly,
as it became brown on the following day; so that it formed no real
exception. Some of these trials were made in the early spring during cold
weather in a sitting-room, and others in a greenhouse, but the temperature
was not recorded. These six striking cases almost convinced us that the
apex was sensitive, but of course we determined to make many more trials.
As we had noticed that the radicles grew much more quickly when subjected
to considerable heat, and as we imagined that heat would increase their
sensitiveness, vessels with germinating beans suspended in damp air were
placed on a chimney-piece, where they were subjected during the greater
part of the day to a temperature of between 69o and 72o F.; some, however,
were placed in the hot-house where the temperature was rather higher. Above
two dozen beans were thus tried; and when a square of glass or card did not
act, it was removed, and a fresh one affixed, this being often done thrice
to the same radicle. Therefore between five and six dozen trials were
altogether made. But there was moderately distinct deflection from the
perpendicular and from the attached object in only one radicle out of this
large number of cases. In five other cases there was very slight and
doubtful deflection. We were astonished at this result, and concluded that
we had made some inexplicable mistake in the first six experiments. But
before finally relinquishing the subject, we resolved to make one
[page 142]
other trial for it occurred to us that sensitiveness is easily affected by
external conditions, and that radicles growing naturally in the earth in
the early spring would not be subjected to a temperature nearly so high as
70o F. We therefore allowed the radicles of 12 beans to grow at a
temperature of between 55o and 60o F. The result was that in every one of
these cases (included in the above-described experiments) the radicle was
deflected in the course of a few hours from the attached object. All the
above recorded successful trials, and some others presently to be given,
were made in a sitting-room at the temperatures just specified. It
therefore appears that a temperature of about, or rather above, 70o F.
destroys the sensitiveness of the radicles, either directly, or indirectly
through abnormally accelerated growth; and this curious fact probably
explains why Sachs, who expressly states that his beans were kept at a high
temperature, failed to detect the sensitiveness of the apex of the radicle.

But other causes interfere with this sensibility. Eighteen radicles were
tried with little squares of sanded card, some affixed with shellac and
some with gum-water, during the few last days of 1878, and few first days
of the next year. They were kept in a room at the proper temperature during
the day, but were probably too cold at night, as there was a hard frost at
the time. The radicles looked healthy but grew very slowly. The result was
that only 6 out of the 18 were deflected from the attached cards, and this
only to a slight degree and at a very slow rate. These radicles therefore
presented a striking contrast with the 44 above described. On March 6th and
7th, when the temperature of the room varied between 53o and 59o F., eleven
germinating beans were tried in the
[page 143]
same manner, and now every one of the radicles became curved away from the
cards, though one was only slightly deflected. Some horticulturists believe
that certain kinds of seeds will not germinate properly in the middle of
the winter, although kept at a right temperature. If there really is any
proper period for the germination of the bean, the feeble degree of
sensibility of the above radicles may have resulted from the trial having
been made in the middle of the winter, and not simply from the nights being
too cold. Lastly, the radicles of four beans, which from some innate cause
germinated later than all the others of the same lot, and which grew slowly
though appearing healthy, were similarly tried, and even after 24 h. they
were hardly at all deflected from the attached cards. We may therefore
infer that any cause which renders the growth of the radicles either slower
or more rapid than the normal rate, lessens or annuls the sensibility of
their tips to contact. It deserves particular attention that when the
attached objects failed to act, there was no bending of any kind, excepting
Sachs' curvature. The force of our evidence would have been greatly
weakened if occasionally, though rarely, the radicles had become curved in
any direction independently of the attached objects. In the foregoing
numbered paragraphs, however, it may be observed that the extreme tip
sometimes becomes, after a considerable interval of time, abruptly curved
towards the bit of card; but this is a totally distinct phenomenon, as will
presently be explained.

Summary of the Results of the foregoing Experiments on the Radicles of
Vicia faba.--Altogether little squares (about 1/20th of an inch), generally
of sanded paper as stiff as thin card (between .15 and .20 mm. in
thickness), sometimes of ordinary card, or little frag-
[page 144]
ments of very thin glass etc., were affixed at different times to one side
of the conical tips of 55 radicles. The 11 last-mentioned cases, but not
the preliminary ones, are here included. The squares, etc., were most
commonly affixed with shellac, but in 19 cases with thick gum-water. When
the latter was used, the squares were sometimes found, as previously
stated, to be separated from the apex by a layer of thick fluid, so that
there was no contact, and consequently no bending of the radicle; and such
few cases were not recorded. But in every instance in which shellac was
employed, unless the square fell off very soon, the result was recorded. In
several instances when the squares became displaced, so as to stand
parallel to the radicle, or were separated by fluid from the apex, or soon
fell off, fresh squares were attached, and these cases (described under the
numbered paragraphs) are here included. Out of 55 radicles experimented on
under the proper temperature, 52 became bent, generally to a considerable
extent from the perpendicular, and away from the side to which the object
was attached. Of the three failures, one can be accounted for, as the
radicle became sickly on the following day; and a second was observed only
during 11 h. 30 m. As in several cases the terminal growing part of the
radicle continued for some time to bend from the attached object, it formed
itself into a hook, with the apex pointing to the zenith, or even into a
ring, and occasionally into a spire or helix. It is remarkable that these
latter cases occurred more frequently when objects were attached with thick
gum-water, which never became dry, than when shellac was employed. The
curvature was often well-marked in from 7 h. to 11 h.; and in one instance
a semicircle was formed in 6 h. 10 m, from the time
[page 145]
of attachment. But in order to see the phenomenon as well displayed as in
the above described cases, it is indispensable that the bits of card, etc.,
should be made to adhere closely to one side of the conical apex; that
healthy radicles should be selected and kept at not too high or too low a
temperature, and apparently that the trials should not be made in the
middle of the winter.

In ten instances, radicles which had curved away from a square of card or
other object attached to their tips, straightened themselves to a certain
extent, or even completely, in the course of from one to two days from the
time of attachment. This was more especially apt to occur when the
curvature was slight. But in one instance (No. 27) a radicle which in 9 h.
had been deflected about 90o from the perpendicular, became quite straight
in 24 h. from the period of attachment. With No. 26, the radicle was almost
straight in 48 h. We at first attributed the straightening process to the
radicles becoming accustomed to a slight stimulus, in the same manner as a
tendril or sensitive petiole becomes accustomed to a very light loop of
thread, and unbends itself though the loop remains still suspended; but
Sachs states* that radicles of the bean placed horizontally in damp air
after curving downwards through geotropism, straighten themselves a little
by growth along their lower or concave sides. Why this should occur is not
clear: but perhaps it likewise occurred in the above ten cases. There is
another occasional movement which must not be passed over: the tip of the
radicle, for a length of from 2 to 3 mm., was found in six instances,

* 'Arbeiten Bot. Instit., Würzburg,' Heft iii. p. 456.
[page 146]

after an interval of about 24 or more hours, bent towards the bit of still
attached card,--that is, in a direction exactly opposite to the previously
induced curvature of the whole growing part for a length of from 7 to 8 mm.
This occurred chiefly when the first curvature was small, and when an
object had been affixed more than once to the apex of the same radicle. The
attachment of a bit of card by shellac to one side of the tender apex may
sometimes mechanically prevent its growth; or the application of thick
gum-water more than once to the same side may injure it; and then checked
growth on this side with continued growth on the opposite and unaffected
side would account for the reversed curvature of the apex.

Various trials were made for ascertaining, as far as we could, the nature
and degree of irritation to which the apex must be subjected, in order that
the terminal growing part should bend away, as if to avoid the cause of
irritation. We have seen in the numbered experiments, that a little square
of rather thick letter-paper gummed to the apex induced, though slowly,
considerable deflection. Judging from several cases in which various
objects had been affixed with gum, and had soon become separated from the
apex by a layer of fluid, as well as from some trials in which drops of
thick gum-water alone had been applied, this fluid never causes bending. We
have also seen in the numbered experiments that narrow splinters of quill
and of very thin glass, affixed with shellac, caused only a slight degree
of deflection, and this may perhaps have been due to the shellac itself.
Little squares of goldbeaters' skin, which is excessively thin, were
damped, and thus made to adhere to one side of the tips of two radicles;
one of these, after 24 h., produced no effect; nor did the
[page 147]
other in 8 h., within which time squares of card usually act; but after 24
h. there was slight deflection.

An oval bead, or rather cake, of dried shellac, 1.01 mm. in length and 0.63
in breadth, caused a radicle to become deflected at nearly right angles in
the course of only 6 h.; but after 23 h. it had nearly straightened itself.
A very small quantity of dissolved shellac was spread over a bit of card,
and the tips of 9 radicles were touched laterally with it; only two of them
became slightly deflected to the side opposite to that bearing the speck of
dried shellac, and they afterwards straightened themselves. These specks
were removed, and both together weighed less than 1/100th of a grain; so
that a weight of rather less than 1/200th of a grain (0.32 mg.) sufficed to
excite movement in two out of the nine radicles. Here then we have
apparently reached nearly the minimum weight which will act.

A moderately thick bristle (which on measurement was found rather
flattened, being 0.33 mm. in one diameter, and 0.20 mm. in the other) was
cut into lengths of about 1/20th of an inch. These after being touched with
thick gum-water, were placed on the tips of eleven radicles. Three of them
were affected; one being deflected in 8 h. 15 m. to an angle of about 90o
from the perpendicular; a second to the same amount when looked at after 9
h.; but after 24 h. from the time of first attachment the deflection had
decreased to only 19o; the third was only slightly deflected after 9 h.,
and the bit of bristle was then found not touching the apex; it was
replaced, and after 15 additional hours the deflection amounted to 26o from
the perpendicular. The remaining eight radicles were not at all acted on by
the bits of bristle, so that we here appear to have nearly reached the
minimum
[page 148]
of size of an object which will act on the radicle of the bean. But it is
remarkable that when the bits of bristle did act, that they should have
acted so quickly and efficiently.

As the apex of a radicle in penetrating the ground must be pressed on all
sides, we wished to learn whether it could distinguish between harder or
more resisting, and softer substances. A square of the sanded paper, almost
as stiff as card, and a square of extremely thin paper (too thin for
writing on), of exactly the same size (about 1/20th of an inch), were fixed
with shellac on opposite sides of the apices of 12 suspended radicles. The
sanded card was between 0.15 and 0.20 mm. (or between 0.0059 and 0.0079 of
an inch), and the thin paper only 0.045 mm. (or 0.00176 of an inch) in
thickness. In 8 out of the 12 cases there could be no doubt that the
radicle was deflected from the side to which the card-like paper was
attached, and towards the opposite side, bearing the very thin paper. This
occurred in some instances in 9 h., but in others not until 24 h. had
elapsed. Moreover, some of the four failures can hardly be considered as
really failures: thus, in one of them, in which the radicle remained quite
straight, the square of thin paper was found, when both were removed from
the apex, to have been so thickly coated with shellac that it was almost as
stiff as the card: in the second case, the radicle was bent upwards into a
semicircle, but the deflection was not directly from the side bearing the
card, and this was explained by the two squares having become cemented
laterally together, forming a sort of stiff gable, from which the radicle
was deflected: in the third case, the square of card had been fixed by
mistake in front, and though there was deflection from it, this might have
been due to Sachs' curvature:
[page 149]
in the fourth case alone no reason could be assigned why the radicle had
not been at all deflected. These experiments suffice to prove that the apex
of the radicle possesses the extraordinary power of discriminating between
thin card and very thin paper, and is deflected from the side pressed by
the more resisting or harder substance.

Some trials were next made by irritating the tips without any object being
left in contact with them. Nine radicles, suspended over water, had their
tips rubbed, each six times with a needle, with sufficient force to shake
the whole bean; the temperature was favourable, viz. about 63o F. In 7 out
of these cases no effect whatever was produced; in the eighth case the
radicle became slightly deflected from, and in the ninth case slightly
deflected towards, the rubbed side; but these two latter opposed curvatures
were probably accidental, as radicles do not always grow perfectly straight
downwards. The tips of two other radicles were rubbed in the same manner
for 15 seconds with a little round twig, two others for 30 seconds, and two
others for 1 minute, but without any effect being produced. We may
therefore conclude from these 15 trials that the radicles are not sensitive
to temporary contact, but are acted on only by prolonged, though very
slight, pressure.

We then tried the effects of cutting off a very thin slice parallel to one
of the sloping sides of the apex, as we thought that the wound would cause
prolonged irritation, which might induce bending towards the opposite side,
as in the case of an attached object. Two preliminary trials were made:
firstly, slices were cut from the radicles of 6 beans suspended in damp
air, with a pair of scissors, which, though sharp, probably caused
considerable crushing, and no curva-
[page 150]
ture followed. Secondly, thin slices were cut with a razor obliquely off
the tips of three radicles similarly suspended; and after 44 h. two were
found plainly bent from the sliced surface; and the third, the whole apex
of which had been cut off obliquely by accident, was curled upwards over
the bean, but it was not clearly ascertained whether the curvature had been
at first directed from the cut surface. These results led us to pursue the
experiment, and 18 radicles, which had grown vertically downwards in damp
air, had one side of their conical tips sliced off with a razor. The tips
were allowed just to enter the water in the jars, and they were exposed to
a temperature 14o - 16o C. (57o - 61o F.). The observations were made at
different times. Three were examined 12 h. after being sliced, and were all
slightly curved from the cut surface; and the curvature increased
considerably after an additional 12 h. Eight were examined after 19 h.;
four after 22 h. 30 m.; and three after 25 h. The final result was that out
of the 18 radicles thus tried, 13 were plainly bent from the cut surface
after the above intervals of time; and one other became so after an
additional interval of 13 h. 30 m. So that only 4 out of the 18 radicles
were not acted on. To these 18 cases the 3 previously mentioned ones should
be added. It may, therefore, be concluded that a thin slice removed by a
razor from one side of the conical apex of the radicle causes irritation,
like that from an attached object, and induces curvature from the injured
surface.

Lastly, dry caustic (nitrate of silver) was employed to irritate one side
of the apex. If one side of the apex or of the whole terminal growing part
of a radicle, is by any means killed or badly injured, the other side
continues to grow; and this causes the part
[page 151]
to bend over towards the injured side.* But in the following experiments we
endeavoured, generally with success, to irritate the tips on one side,
without badly injuring them. This was effected by first drying the tip as
far as possible with blotting-paper, though it still remained somewhat
damp, and then touching it once with quite dry caustic. Seventeen radicles
were thus treated, and were suspended in moist air over water at a
temperature of 58o F. They were examined after an interval of 21 h. or 24h.
The tips of two were found blackened equally all round, so that they could
tell nothing and were rejected, 15 being left. Of these, 10 were curved
from the side which had been touched, where there was a minute brown or
blackish mark. Five of these radicles, three of which were already slightly
deflected, were allowed to enter the water in the jar, and were re-examined
after an additional interval of 27 h. (i.e. in 48 h. after the application
of the caustic), and now four of them had become hooked, being bent from
the discoloured side, with their points directed to the zenith; the fifth
remained unaffected and straight. Thus 11 radicles out of the 15 were acted
on. But the curvature of the four just described was so plain, that they
alone would have sufficed to show that the radicles of the bean bend away
from that side of the apex which has been slightly irritated by caustic.

The Power of an Irritant on the apex of the Radicle

* Ciesielski found this to be the case ('Untersuchungen über die
Abwartskrümmung der Wurzel,' 1871, p. 28) after burning with heated
platinum one side of a radicle. So did we when we painted longitudinally
half of the whole length of 7 radicles, suspended over water, with a thick
layer of grease, which is very injurious or even fatal to growing parts;
for after 48 hours five of these radicles were curved towards the greased
side, two remaining straight.
[page 152]

of the Bean, compared with that of Geotropism.--We know that when a little
square of card or other object is fixed to one side of the tip of a
vertically dependent radicle, the growing part bends from it often into a
semicircle, in opposition to geotropism, which force is conquered by the
effect of the irritation from the attached object. Radicles were therefore
extended horizontally in damp air, kept at the proper low temperature for
full sensitiveness, and squares of card were affixed with shellac on the
lower sides of their tips, so that if the squares acted, the terminal
growing part would curve upwards. Firstly, eight beans were so placed that
their short, young, horizontally extended radicles would be simultaneously
acted on both by geotropism and by Sachs' curvature, if the latter came
into play; and they all eight became bowed downwards to the centre of the
earth in 20 h., excepting one which was only slightly acted on. Two of them
were a little bowed downwards in only 5 h.! Therefore the cards, affixed to
the lower sides of their tips, seemed to produce no effect; and geotropism
easily conquered the effects of the irritation thus caused. Secondly, 5
oldish radicles, 1 ½ inch in length, and therefore less sensitive than the
above-mentioned young ones, were similarly placed and similarly treated.
From what has been seen on many other occasions, it may be safely inferred
that if they had been suspended vertically they would have bent away from
the cards; and if they had been extended horizontally, without cards
attached to them, they would have quickly bent vertically downwards through
geotropism; but the result was that two of these radicles were still
horizontal after 23 h.; two were curved only slightly, and the fifth as
much as 40o beneath the horizon. Thirdly, 5 beans were fastened
[page 153]
with their flat surfaces parallel to the cork-lid, so that Sachs' curvature
would not tend to make the horizontally extended radicles turn either
upwards or downwards, and little squares of card were affixed as before, to
the lower sides of their tips. The result was that all five radicles were
bent down, or towards the centre of the earth, after only 8 h. 20 m. At the
same time and within the same jars, 3 radicles of the same age, with
squares affixed to one side, were suspended vertically; and after 8 h. 20
m. they were considerably deflected from the cards, and therefore curved
upwards in opposition to geotropism. In these latter cases the irritation
from the squares had over-powered geotropism; whilst in the former cases,
in which the radicles were extended horizontally, geotropism had
overpowered the irritation. Thus within the same jars, some of the radicles
were curving upwards and others downwards at the same time--these opposite
movements depending on whether the radicles, when the squares were first
attached to them, projected vertically down, or were extended horizontally.
This difference in their behaviour seems at first inexplicable, but can, we
believe, be simply explained by the difference between the initial power of
the two forces under the above circumstances, combined with the well-known
principle of the after-effects of a stimulus. When a young and sensitive
radicle is extended horizontally, with a square attached to the lower side
of the tip, geotropism acts on it at right angles, and, as we have seen, is
then evidently more efficient than the irritation from the square; and the
power of geotropism will be strengthened at each successive period by its
previous action--that is, by its after-effects. On the other hand, when a
square is affixed to a vertically dependent radicle, and the apex begins to
[page 154]
curve upwards, this movement will be opposed by geotropism acting only at a
very oblique angle, and the irritation from the card will be strengthened
by its previous action. We may therefore conclude that the initial power of
an irritant on the apex of the radicle of the bean, is less than that of
geotropism when acting at right angles, but greater than that of geotropism
when acting obliquely on it.

Sensitiveness of the tips of the Secondary Radicles of the Bean to
contact.--All the previous observations relate to the main or primary
radicle. Some beans suspended to cork-lids, with their radicles dipping
into water, had developed secondary or lateral radicles, which were
afterwards kept in very damp air, at the proper low temperature for full
sensitiveness. They projected, as usual, almost horizontally, with only a
slight downward curvature, and retained this position during several days.
Sachs has shown* that these secondary roots are acted on in a peculiar
manner by geotropism, so that if displaced they reassume their former
sub-horizontal position, and do not bend vertically downwards like the
primary radicle. Minute squares of the stiff sanded paper were affixed by
means of shellac (but in some instances with thick gum-water) to the tips
of 39 secondary radicles of different ages, generally the uppermost ones.
Most of the squares were fixed to the lower sides of the apex, so that if
they acted the radicle would bend upwards; but some were fixed laterally,
and a few on the upper side. Owing to the extreme tenuity of these
radicles, it was very difficult to attach the square to the actual apex.
Whether owing to this or some other circumstance, only nine of the squares
induced any
* 'Arbeiten Bot. Inst., Würzburg,' Heft iv. 1874, p. 605-617.
[page 155]

curvature. The curvature amounted in some cases to about 45o above the
horizon, in others to 90o, and then the tip pointed to the zenith. In one
instance a distinct upward curvature was observed in 8 h. 15 m., but
usually not until 24 h. had elapsed. Although only 9 out of 39 radicles
were affected, yet the curvature was so distinct in several of them, that
there could be no doubt that the tip is sensitive to slight contact, and
that the growing part bends away from the touching object. It is possible
that some secondary radicles are more sensitive than others; for Sachs has
proved* the interesting fact that each individual secondary radicle
possesses its own peculiar constitution.

Sensitiveness to contact of the Primary Radicle, a little above the apex,
in the Bean (Vicia faba) and Pea (Pisum sativum).--The sensitiveness of the
apex of the radicle in the previously described cases, and the consequent
curvature of the upper part from the touching object or other source of
irritation, is the more remarkable, because Sachs** has shown that pressure
at the distance of a few millimeters above the apex causes the radicle to
bend, like a tendril, towards the touching object. By fixing pins so that
they pressed against the radicles of beans suspended vertically in damp
air, we saw this kind of curvature; but rubbing the part with a twig or
needle for a few minutes produced no effect. Haberlandt remarks,*** that
these radicles in breaking through the seed-coats often rub and press
against the ruptured edges, and consequently bend round them. As little
squares of the card-like paper affixed with shellac to the tips were highly
efficient in causing the radicles to bend away from them, similar pieces
(of about 1/20th

* 'Arbeiten Bot. Instit., Würzburg,' Heft, iv. 1874, p. 620.

** Ibid. Heft iii. 1873, p. 437.

*** 'Die Schutzeinrichtungen der Keimpflanze,' 1877, p. 25.
[page 156]

inch square, or rather less) were attached in the same manner to one side
of the radicle at a distance of 3 or 4 mm. above the apex. In our first
trial on 15 radicles no effect was produced. In a second trial on the same
number, three became abruptly curved (but only one strongly) towards the
card within 24 h. From these cases we may infer that the pressure from a
bit of card affixed with shellac to one side above the apex, is hardly a
sufficient irritant; but that it occasionally causes the radicle to bend
like a tendril towards this side.

We next tried the effect of rubbing several radicles at a distance of 4 mm.
from the apex for a few seconds with lunar caustic (nitrate of silver); and
although the radicles had been wiped dry and the stick of caustic was dry,
yet the part rubbed was much injured and a slight permanent depression was
left. In such cases the opposite side continues to grow, and the radicle
necessarily becomes bent towards the injured side. But when a point 4 mm.
from the apex was momentarily touched with dry caustic, it was only faintly
discoloured, and no permanent injury was caused. This was shown by several
radicles thus treated straightening themselves after one or two days; yet
at first they became curved towards the touched side, as if they had been
there subjected to slight continued pressure. These cases deserve notice,
because when one side of the apex was just touched with caustic, the
radicle, as we have seen, curved itself in an opposite direction, that is,
away from the touched side.

The radicle of the common pea at a point a little above the apex is rather
more sensitive to continued pressure than that of the bean, and bends
towards the pressed side.* We experimented on a variety (York-

* Sachs, 'Arbeiten Bot. Institut., Würzburg,' Heft iii. p. 438.
[page 157]

shire Hero) which has a much wrinkled tough skin, too large for the
included cotyledons; so that out of 30 peas which had been soaked for 24 h.
and allowed to germinate on damp sand, the radicles of three were unable to
escape, and were crumpled up in a strange manner within the skin; four
other radicles were abruptly bent round the edges of the ruptured skin
against which they had pressed. Such abnormalities would probably never, or
very rarely, occur with forms developed in a state of nature and subjected
to natural selection. One of the four radicles just mentioned in doubling
backwards came into contact with the pin by which the pea was fixed to the
cork-lid; and now it bent at right angles round the pin, in a direction
quite different from that of the first curvature due to contact with the
ruptured skin; and it thus afforded a good illustration of the tendril-like
sensitiveness of the radicle a little above the apex.

Little squares of the card-like paper were next affixed to radicles of the
pea at 4 mm. above the apex, in the same manner as with the bean.
Twenty-eight radicles suspended vertically over water were thus treated on
different occasions, and 13 of them became curved towards the cards. The
greatest degree of curvature amounted to 62o from the perpendicular; but so
large an angle was only once formed. On one occasion a slight curvature was
perceptible after 5 h. 45 m., and it was generally well-marked after 14 h.
There can therefore be no doubt that with the pea, irritation from a bit of
card attached to one side of the radicle above the apex suffices to induce
curvature.

Squares of card were attached to one side of the tips of 11 radicles within
the same jars in which the above trials were made, and five of them became
plainly, and one slightly, curved away from this side. Other
[page 158]
analogous cases will be immediately described. The fact is here mentioned
because it was a striking spectacle, showing the difference in the
sensitiveness of the radicle in different parts, to behold in the same jar
one set of radicles curved away from the squares on their tips, and another
set curved towards the squares attached a little higher up. Moreover, the
kind of curvature in the two cases is different. The squares attached above
the apex cause the radicle to bend abruptly, the part above and beneath
remaining nearly straight; so that here there is little or no transmitted
effect. On the other hand, the squares attached to the apex affect the
radicle for a length of from about 4 to even 8 mm., inducing in most cases
a symmetrical curvature; so that here some influence is transmitted from
the apex for this distance along the radicle.

Pisum sativum (var. Yorkshire Hero): Sensitiveness of the apex of the
Radicle.--Little squares of the same card-like paper were affixed (April
24th) with shellac to one side of the apex of 10 vertically suspended
radicles: the temperature of the water in the bottom of the jars was 60o -
61o F. Most of these radicles were acted on in 8 h. 30 m.; and eight of
them became in the course of 24 h. conspicuously, and the remaining two
slightly, deflected from the perpendicular and from the side bearing the
attached squares. Thus all were acted on; but it will suffice to describe
two conspicuous cases. In one the terminal portion of the radicle was bent
at right angles (A, Fig. 66) after 24h.; and in the other (B) it had by
this time become hooked, with the apex pointing to the zenith. The two bits
of card here used were .07 inch in length and .04 inch in breadth. Two
other radicles, which after 8 h. 30 m. were moderately deflected, became
straight again after 24h. Another
[page 159]
trial was made in the same manner with 15 radicles; but from circumstances,
not worth explaining, they were only once and briefly examined after the
short

Fig. 66. Pisum sativum: deflection produced within 24 hours in the growth
of vertically dependent radicles, by little squares of card affixed with
shellac to one side of apex: A, bent at right angles; B, hooked.

interval of 5 h. 30 m.; and we merely record in our notes "almost all bent
slightly from the perpendicular, and away from the squares; the deflection
amounting in one or two instances to nearly a rectangle." These two sets of
cases, especially the first one, prove that the apex of the radicle is
sensitive to slight contact and that the upper part bends from the touching
object. Nevertheless, on June 1st and 4th, 8 other radicles were tried in
the same manner at a temperature of 58o - 60o F., and after 24 h. only 1
was decidedly bent from the card, 4 slightly, 2 doubtfully, and 1 not in
the least. The amount of curvature was unaccountably small; but all the
radicles which were at all bent, were bent away from the cards.

We now tried the effects of widely different temperatures on the
sensitiveness of these radicles with squares
[page 160]
of card attached to their tips. Firstly, 13 peas, most of them having very
short and young radicles, were placed in an ice-box, in which the
temperature rose during three days from 44o to 47o F. They grew slowly, but
10 out of the 13 became in the course of the three days very slightly
curved from the squares; the other 3 were not affected; so that this
temperature was too low for any high degree of sensitiveness or for much
movement. Jars with 13 other radicles were next placed on a chimney-piece,
where they were subjected to a temperature of between 68o and 72o F., and
after 24 h., 4 were conspicuously curved from the cards, 2 slightly, and 7
not at all; so that this temperature was rather too high. Lastly 12
radicles were subjected to a temperature varying between 72o and 85o F.,
and none of them were in the least affected by the squares. The above
several trials, especially the first recorded one, indicate that the most
favourable temperature for the sensitiveness of the radicle of the pea is
about 60o F.

The tips of 6 vertically dependent radicles were touched once with dry
caustic, in the manner described under Vicia faba. After 24 h. four of them
were bent from the side bearing a minute black mark; and the curvature
increased in one case after 38 h., and in another case after 48 h., until
the terminal part projected almost horizontally. The two remaining radicles
were not affected.

With radicles of the bean, when extended horizontally in damp air,
geotropism always conquered the effects of the irritation caused by squares
of card attached to the lower sides of their tips. A similar experiment was
tried on 13 radicles of the pea; the squares being attached with shellac,
and the temperature between 58o - 60o F. The result was somewhat different;
for
[page 161]
these radicles are either less strongly acted on by geotropism, or, what is
more probable, are more sensitive to contact. After a time geotropism
always prevailed, but its action was often delayed; and in three instances
there was a most curious struggle between geotropism and the irritation
caused by the cards. Four of the 13 radicles were a little curved downwards
within 6 or 8 h., always reckoning from the time when the squares were
first attached, and after 23 h. three of them pointed vertically downwards,
and the fourth at an angle of 45o beneath the horizon. These four radicles
therefore did not seem

Fig. 67. Pisum sativum: a radicle extended horizontally in damp air with a
little square of card affixed to the lower side of its tip, causing it to
bend upwards in opposition to geotropism. The deflection of the radicle
after 21 hours is shown at A, and of the same radicle after 45 hours at B,
now forming a loop.

to have been at all affected by the attached squares. Four others were not
acted on by geotropism within the first 6 or 8 h., but after 23 h. were
much bowed down. Two others remained almost horizontal for 23 h., but
afterwards were acted on. So that in these latter six cases the action of
geotropism was much delayed. The eleventh radicle was slightly curved down
after 8 h., but when looked at again after 23 h. the terminal portion was
curved upwards; if it had
[page 162]
been longer observed, the tip no doubt would have been found again curved
down, and it would have formed a loop as in the following case. The twelfth
radicle after 6 h. was slightly curved downwards; but when looked at again
after 21 h., this curvature had disappeared and the apex pointed upwards;
after 30 h. the radicle formed a hook, as shown at A (Fig. 67); which hook
after 45 h. was converted into a loop (B). The thirteenth radicle after 6
h. was slightly curved downwards, but within 21 h. had curved considerably
up, and then down again at an angle of 45o beneath the horizon, afterwards
becoming perpendicular. In these three last cases geotropism and the
irritation caused by the attached squares alternately prevailed in a highly
remarkable manner; geotropism being ultimately victorious.

Similar experiments were not always quite so successful as in the above
cases. Thus 6 radicles, horizontally extended with attached squares, were
tried on June 8th at a proper temperature, and after 7 h. 30 m. none were
in the least curved upwards and none were distinctly geotropic; whereas of
6 radicles without any attached squares, which served as standards of
comparison or controls, 3 became slightly and 3 almost rectangularly
geotropic within the 7 h. 30 m.; but after 23 h. the two lots were equally
geotropic. On July 10th another trial was made with 6 horizontally extended
radicles, with squares attached in the same manner beneath their tips; and
after 7 h. 30 m., 4 were slightly geotropic, 1 remained horizontal, and 1
was curved upwards in opposition to gravity or geotropism. This latter
radicle after 48 h. formed a loop, like that at B (Fig. 67).

An analogous trial was now made, but instead of attaching squares of card
to the lower sides of the
[page 163]
tips, these were touched with dry caustic. The details of the experiment
will be given in the chapter on Geotropism, and it will suffice here to say
that 10 peas, with radicles extended horizontally and not cauterised, were
laid on and under damp friable peat; these, which served as standards or
controls, as well as 10 others which had been touched on the upper side
with the caustic, all became strongly geotropic in 24 h. Nine radicles,
similarly placed, had their tips touched on the lower side with the
caustic; and after 24 h., 3 were slightly geotropic, 2 remained horizontal,
and 4 were bowed upwards in opposition to gravity and to geotropism. This
upward curvature was distinctly visible in 8 h. 45m. after the lower sides
of the tips had been cauterised.

Little squares of card were affixed with shellac on two occasions to the
tips of 22 young and short secondary radicles, which had been emitted from
the primary radicle whilst growing in water, but were now suspended in damp
air. Besides the difficulty of attaching the squares to such finely pointed
objects as were these radicles, the temperature was too high,--varying on
the first occasion from 72o to 77o F., and on the second being almost
steadily 78o F.; and this probably lessened the sensitiveness of the tips.
The result was that after an interval of 8 h. 30 m., 6 of the 22 radicles
were bowed upwards (one of them greatly) in opposition to gravity, and 2
laterally; the remaining 14 were not affected. Considering the unfavourable
circumstances, and bearing in mind the case of the bean, the evidence
appears sufficient to show that the tips of the secondary radicles of the
pea are sensitive to slight contact.

Phaseolus multiflorus: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle.--
Fifty-nine radicles were tried with squares
[page 164]
of various sizes of the same card-like paper, also with bits of thin glass
and rough cinders, affixed with shellac to one side of the apex. Rather
large drops of the dissolved shellac were also placed on them and allowed
to set into hard beads. The specimens were subjected to various
temperatures between 60o and 72o F., more commonly at about the latter. But
out of this considerable number of trials only 5 radicles were plainly
bent, and 8 others slightly or even doubtfully, from the attached objects;
the remaining 46 not being at all affected. It is therefore clear that the
tips of the radicles of this Phaseolus are much less sensitive to contact
than are those of the bean or pea. We thought that they might be sensitive
to harder pressure, but after several trials we could not devise any method
for pressing harder on one side of the apex than on the other, without at
the same time offering mechanical resistance to its growth. We therefore
tried other irritants.

The tips of 13 radicles, dried with blotting-paper, were thrice touched or
just rubbed on one side with dry nitrate of silver. They were rubbed
thrice, because we supposed from the foregoing trials, that the tips were
not highly sensitive. After 24 h. the tips were found greatly blackened; 6
were blackened equally all round, so that no curvature to any one side
could be expected; 6 were much blackened on one side for a length of about
1/10th of an inch, and this length became curved at right angles towards
the blackened surface, the curvature afterwards increasing in several
instances until little hooks were formed. It was manifest that the
blackened side was so much injured that it could not grow, whilst the
opposite side continued to grow. One alone out of these 13 radicles became
curved from the blackened side, the
[page 165]
curvature extending for some little distance above the apex.

After the experience thus gained, the tips of six almost dry radicles were
once touched with the dry caustic on one side; and after an interval of 10
m. were allowed to enter water, which was kept at a temperature of 65o -
67o F. The result was that after an interval of 8 h. a minute blackish
speck could just be distinguished on one side of the apex of five of these
radicles, all of which became curved towards the opposite side--in two
cases at about an angle of 45o--in two other cases at nearly a rectangle--
and in the fifth case at above a rectangle, so that the apex was a little
hooked; in this latter case the black mark was rather larger than in the
others. After 24 h. from the application of the caustic, the curvature of
three of these radicles (including the hooked one) had diminished; in the
fourth it remained the same, and in the fifth it had increased, the tip
being now hooked. It has been said that after 8 h. black specks could be
seen on one side of the apex of five of the six radicles; on the sixth the
speck, which was extremely minute, was on the actual apex and therefore
central; and this radicle alone did not become curved. It was therefore
again touched on one side with caustic, and after 15 h. 30 m. was found
curved from the perpendicular and from the blackened side at an angle of
34o, which increased in nine additional hours to 54o.

It is therefore certain that the apex of the radicle of this Phaseolus is
extremely sensitive to caustic, more so than that of the bean, though the
latter is far more sensitive to pressure. In the experiments just given,
the curvature from the slightly cauterised side of the tip, extended along
the radicle for a length of nearly 10 mm.; whereas in the first set
[page 166]
of experiments, when the tips of several were greatly blackened and injured
on one side, so that their growth was arrested, a length of less than 3 mm.
became curved towards the much blackened side, owing to the continued
growth of the opposite side. This difference in the results is interesting,
for it shows that too strong an irritant does not induce any transmitted
effect, and does not cause the adjoining, upper and growing part of the
radicle to bend. We have analogous cases with Drosera, for a strong
solution of carbonate of ammonia when absorbed by the glands, or too great
heat suddenly applied to them, or crushing them, does not cause the basal
part of the tentacles to bend, whilst a weak solution of the carbonate, or
a moderate heat, or slight pressure always induced such bending. Similar
results were observed with Dionaea and Pinguicula.

The effect of cutting off with a razor a thin slice from one side of the
conical apex of 14 young and short radicles was next tried. Six of them
after being operated on were suspended in damp air; the tips of the other
eight, similarly suspended, were allowed to enter water at a temperature of
about 65o F. It was recorded in each case which side of the apex had been
sliced off, and when they were afterwards examined the direction of the
curvature was noted, before the record was consulted. Of the six radicles
in damp air, three had their tips curved after an interval of 10 h. 15 m.
directly away from the sliced surface, whilst the other three were not
affected and remained straight; nevertheless, one of them after 13
additional hours became slightly curved from the sliced surface. Of the
eight radicles with their tips immersed in water, seven were plainly curved
away from the sliced surfaces after 10 h. 15 m.; and with
[page 167]
respect to the eighth which remained quite straight, too thick a slice had
been accidentally removed, so that it hardly formed a real exception to the
general result. When the seven radicles were looked at again, after an
interval of 23 h. from the time of slicing, two had become distorted; four
were deflected at an angle of about 70o from the perpendicular and from the
cut surface; and one was deflected at nearly 90o, so that it projected
almost horizontally, but with the extreme tip now beginning to bend
downwards through the action of geotropism. It is therefore manifest that a
thin slice cut off one side of the conical apex, causes the upper growing
part of the radicle of this Phaseolus to bend, through the transmitted
effects of the irritation, away from the sliced surface.

Tropaeolum majus: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle to contact.--
Little squares of card were attached with shellac to one side of the tips
of 19 radicles, some of which were subjected to 78o F., and others to a
much lower temperature. Only 3 became plainly curved from the squares, 5
slightly, 4 doubtfully, and 7 not at all. These seeds were, as we believed,
old, so we procured a fresh lot, and now the results were widely different.
Twenty-three were tried in the same manner; five of the squares produced no
effect, but three of these cases were no real exceptions, for in two of
them the squares had slipped and were parallel to the apex, and in the
third the shellac was in excess and had spread equally all round the apex.
One radicle was deflected only slightly from the perpendicular and from the
card; whilst seventeen were plainly deflected. The angles in several of
these latter cases varied between 40o and 65o from the perpendicular; and
in two of them it amounted after 15 h. or 16 h. to about 90o. In one
instance a loop
[page 168]
was nearly completed in 16 h. There can, therefore, be no doubt that the
apex is highly sensitive to slight contact, and that the upper part of the
radicle bends away from the touching object.

Gossypium herbaceum: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle.--Radicles
were experimented on in the same manner as before, but they proved
ill-fitted for our purpose, as they soon became unhealthy when suspended in
damp air. Of 38 radicles thus suspended, at temperatures varying from 66o
to 69o F., with squares of card attached to their tips, 9 were plainly and
7 slightly or even doubtfully deflected from the squares and from the
perpendicular; 22 not being affected. We thought that perhaps the above
temperature was not high enough, so 19 radicles with attached squares,
likewise suspended in damp air, were subjected to a temperature of from 74o
to 79o F., but not one of them was acted on, and they soon became
unhealthy. Lastly, 19 radicles were suspended in water at a temperature
from 70o to 75o F., with bits of glass or squares of the card attached to
their tips by means of Canada-balsam or asphalte, which adhered rather
better than shellac beneath the water. The radicles did not keep healthy
for long. The result was that 6 were plainly and 2 doubtfully deflected
from the attached objects and the perpendicular; 11 not being affected. The
evidence consequently is hardly conclusive, though from the two sets of
cases tried under a moderate temperature, it is probable that the radicles
are sensitive to contact; and would be more so under favourable conditions.

Fifteen radicles which had germinated in friable peat were suspended
vertically over water. Seven of them served as controls, and they remained
quite straight during 24 h. The tips of the other eight radicles
[page 169]
were just touched with dry caustic on one side. After only 5 h. 10 m. five
of them were slightly curved from the perpendicular and from the side
bearing the little blackish marks. After 8 h. 40 m., 4 out of these 5 were
deflected at angles between 15o and 65o from the perpendicular. On the
other hand, one which had been slightly curved after 5 h. 10 m., now became
straight. After 24 h. the curvature in two cases had considerably
increased; also in four other cases, but these latter radicles had now
become so contorted, some being turned upwards, that it could no longer be
ascertained whether they were still curved from the cauterised side. The
control specimens exhibited no such irregular growth, and the two sets
presented a striking contrast. Out of the 8 radicles which had been touched
with caustic, two alone were not affected, and the marks left on their tips
by the caustic were extremely minute. These marks in all cases were oval or
elongated; they were measured in three instances, and found to be of nearly
the same size, viz. 2/3 of a mm. in length. Bearing this fact in mind, it
should be observed that the length of the curved part of the radicle, which
had become deflected from the cauterised side in the course of 8 h. 40 m.
was found to be in three cases 6, 7, and 9 mm.

Cucurbita ovifera: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle.--The tips
proved ill-fitted for the attachment of cards, as they are extremely fine
and flexible. Moreover, owing to the hypocotyls being soon developed and
becoming arched, the whole radicle is quickly displaced and confusion is
thus caused. A large number of trials were made, but without any definite
result, excepting on two occasions, when out of 23 radicles 10 were
deflected from the attached squares
[page 170]
of card, and 13 were not acted on. Rather large squares, though difficult
to affix, seemed more efficient than very small ones.

We were much more successful with caustic; but in our first trial, 15
radicles were too much cauterised, and only two became curved from the
blackened side; the others being either killed on one side, or blackened
equally all round. In our next trial the dried tips of 11 radicles were
touched momentarily with dry caustic, and after a few minutes were immersed
in water. The elongated marks thus caused were never black, only brown, and
about ½ mm. in length, or even less. In 4 h. 30 m. after the cauterisation,
6 of them were plainly curved from the side with the brown mark, 4
slightly, and 1 not at all. The latter proved unhealthy, and never grew;
and the marks on 2 of the 4 slightly curved radicles were excessively
minute, one being distinguishable only with the aid of a lens. Of 10
control specimens tried in the same jars at the same time, not one was in
the least curved. In 8 h. 40 m. after the cauterisation, 5 of the radicles
out of the 10 (the one unhealthy one being omitted) were deflected at about
90o, and 3 at about 45o from the perpendicular and from the side bearing
the brown mark. After 24 h. all 10 radicles had increased immensely in
length; in 5 of them the curvature was nearly the same, in 2 it had
increased, and in 3 it had decreased. The contrast presented by the 10
controls, after both the 8 h. 40 m. and the 24 h. intervals, was very
great; for they had continued to grow vertically downwards, excepting two
which, from some unknown cause, had become somewhat tortuous.

In the chapter on Geotropism we shall see that 10 radicles of this plant
were extended horizontally on and beneath damp friable peat, under which
conditions
[page 171]
they grow better and more naturally than in damp air; and their tips were
slightly cauterised on the lower side, brown marks about ½ mm. in length
being thus caused. Uncauterised specimens similarly placed became much bent
downwards through geotropism in the course of 5 or 6 hours. After 8 h. only
3 of the cauterised ones were bowed downwards, and this in a slight degree;
4 remained horizontal; and 3 were curved upwards in opposition to
geotropism and from the side bearing the brown mark. Ten other specimens
had their tips cauterised at the same time and in the same degree, on the
upper side; and this, if it produced any effect, would tend to increase the
power of geotropism; and all these radicles were strongly bowed downwards
after 8 h. From the several foregoing facts, there can be no doubt that the
cauterisation of the tip of the radicle of this Cucurbita on one side, if
done lightly enough, causes the whole growing part to bend to the opposite
side.
Raphanus sativus: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle.--We here
encountered many difficulties in our trials, both with squares of card and
with caustic; for when seeds were pinned to a cork-lid, many of the
radicles, to which nothing had been done, grew irregularly, often curving
upwards, as if attracted by the damp surface above; and when they were
immersed in water they likewise often grew irregularly. We did not
therefore dare to trust our experiments with attached squares of card;
nevertheless some of them seemed to indicate that the tips were sensitive
to contact. Our trials with caustic generally failed from the difficulty of
not injuring too greatly the extremely fine tips. Out of 7 radicles thus
tried, one became bowed after 22 h. at an angle of 60o, a second at 40o,
[page 172]
and a third very slightly from the perpendicular and from the cauterised
side.

Aesculus hippocastanum: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle.--Bits of
glass and squares of card were affixed with shellac or gum-water to the
tips of 12 radicles of the horse-chestnut; and when these objects fell off,
they were refixed; but not in a single instance was any curvature thus
caused. These massive radicles, one of which was above 2 inches in length
and .3 inch in diameter at its base, seemed insensible to so slight a
stimulus as any small attached object. Nevertheless, when the apex
encountered an obstacle in its downward course, the growing part became so
uniformly and symmetrically curved, that its appearance indicated not mere
mechanical bending, but increased growth along the whole convex side, due
to the irritation of the apex.

That this is the correct view may be inferred from the effects of the more
powerful stimulus of caustic. The bending from the cauterised side occurred
much slower than in the previously described species, and it will perhaps
be worth while to give our trials in detail.

[The seeds germinated in sawdust, and one side of the tips of the radicles
were slightly rubbed once with dry nitrate of silver; and after a few
minutes were allowed to dip into water. They were subjected to a rather
varying temperature, generally between 52o and 58o F. A few cases have not
been thought worth recording, in which the whole tip was blackened, or in
which the seedling soon became unhealthy.

(1.) The radicle was slightly deflected from the cauterised side in one day
(i.e. 24 h.); in three days it stood at 60o from the perpendicular; in four
days at 90o; on the fifth day it was curved up about 40o above the horizon;
so that it had passed through an angle of 130o in the five days, and this
was the greatest amount of curvature observed.

(2.) In two days radicle slightly deflected; after seven days
[page 173]
deflected 69o from the perpendicular and from the cauterised side; after
eight days the angle amounted to nearly 90o.

(3.) After one day slight deflection, but the cauterised mark was so faint
that the same side was again touched with caustic. In four days from the
first touch deflection amounted to 78o, which in an additional day
increased to 90o.

(4.) After two days slight deflection, which during the next three days
certainly increased but never became great; the radicle did not grow well
and died on the eighth day.

(5.) After two days very slight deflection; but this on the fourth day
amounted to 56o from the perpendicular and from the cauterised side.

(6.) After three days doubtfully, but after four days certainly deflected
from the cauterised side. On the fifth day deflection amounted to 45o from
the perpendicular, and this on the seventh day increased to about 90o.

(7.) After two days slightly deflected; on the third day the deflection
amounted to 25o from the perpendicular, and this did not afterwards
increase.

(8.) After one day deflection distinct; on the third day it amounted to
44o, and on the fourth day to 72o from the perpendicular and the cauterised
side.

(9.) After two days deflection slight, yet distinct; on the third day the
tip was again touched on the same side with caustic and thus killed.

(10.) After one day slight deflection, which after six days increased to
50o from the perpendicular and the cauterised side.

(11.) After one day decided deflection, which after six days increased to
62o from the perpendicular and from the cauterised side.

(12.) After one day slight deflection, which on the second day amounted to
35o, on the fourth day to 50o, and the sixth day to 63o from the
perpendicular and the cauterised side.

(13.) Whole tip blackened, but more on one side than the other; on the
fourth day slightly, and on the sixth day greatly deflected from the more
blackened side; the deflection on the ninth day amounted to 90o from the
perpendicular.

(14.) Whole tip blackened in the same manner as in the last case: on the
second day decided deflection from the more blackened side, which increased
on the seventh day to nearly 90o; on the following day the radicle appeared
unhealthy.

(15.) Here we had the anomalous case of a radicle bending
[page 174]
slightly towards the cauterised side on the first day, and continuing to do
so for the next three days, when the deflection amounted to about 90o from
the perpendicular. The cause appeared to lie in the tendril-like
sensitiveness of the upper part of the radicle, against which the point of
a large triangular flap of the seed-coats pressed with considerable force;
and this irritation apparently conquered that from the cauterised apex.]

These several cases show beyond doubt that the irritation of one side of
the apex, excites the upper part of the radicle to bend slowly towards the
opposite side. This fact was well exhibited in one lot of five seeds pinned
to the cork-lid of a jar; for when after 6 days the lid was turned upside
down and viewed from directly above, the little black marks made by the
caustic were now all distinctly visible on the upper sides of the tips of
the laterally bowed radicles. A thin slice was shaved off with a razor from
one side of the tips of 22 radicles, in the manner described under the
common bean; but this kind of irritation did not prove very effective. Only
7 out of the 22 radicles became moderately deflected in from 3 to 5 days
from the sliced surface, and several of the others grew irregularly. The
evidence, therefore, is far from conclusive.

Quercus robur: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle.--The tips of the
radicles of the common oak are fully as sensitive to slight contact as are
those of any plant examined by us. They remained healthy in damp air for 10
days, but grew slowly. Squares of the card-like paper were fixed with
shellac to the tips of 15 radicles, and ten of these became conspicuously
bowed from the perpendicular and from the squares; two slightly, and three
not at all. But two of the latter were not real exceptions, as they were at
first very short, and hardly grew afterwards. Some of the more
[page 175]
remarkable cases are worth describing. The radicles were examined on each
successive morning, at nearly the same hour, that is, after intervals of 24
h.

[No. 1. This radicle suffered from a series of accidents, and acted in an
anomalous manner, for the apex appeared at first insensible and afterwards
sensitive to contact. The first square was attached on Oct 19th; on the
21st the radicle was not at all curved, and the square was accidentally
knocked off; it was refixed on the 22nd, and the radicle became slightly
curved from the square, but the curvature disappeared on the 23rd, when the
square was removed and refixed. No curvature ensued, and the square was
again accidentally knocked off, and refixed. On the morning of the 27th it
was washed off by having reached the water in the bottom of the jar. The
square was refixed, and on the 29th, that is, ten days after the first
square had been attached, and two days after the attachment of the last
square, the radicle had grown to the great length of 3.2 inches, and now
the terminal growing part had become bent away from the square into a hook
(see Fig. 68).

Fig. 68. Quercus robur: radicle with square of card attached to one side of
apex, causing it to become hooked. Drawing one-half natural scale.

No. 2. Square attached on the 19th; on the 20th radicle slightly deflected
from it and from the perpendicular; on the 21st deflected at nearly right
angles; it remained during the next two days in this position, but on the
25th the upward curvature was lessened through the action of geotropism,
and still more so on the 26th.

No. 3. Square attached on the 19th; on the 21st a trace of curvature from
the square, which amounted on the 22nd to about 40o, and on the 23rd to 53o
from the perpendicular.

No. 4. Square attached on the 21st; on the 22nd trace of curvature from the
square; on the 23rd completely hooked with the point turned up to the
zenith. Three days afterwards (i.e. 26th) the curvature had wholly
disappeared and the apex pointed perpendicularly downwards.

No. 5. Square attached on the 21st; on the 22nd decided
[page 176]
though slight curvature from the square; on the 23rd the tip had curved up
above the horizon, and on the 24th was hooked with the apex pointing almost
to the zenith, as in Fig. 68.

No. 6. Square attached on the 21st; on the 22nd slightly curved from the
square; 23rd more curved; 25th considerably curved; 27th all curvature
lost, and the radicle was now directed perpendicularly downwards.

No. 7. Square attached on the 21st; on the 22nd a trace of curvature from
the square, which increased next day, and on the 24th amounted to a right
angle.

It is, therefore, manifest that the apex of the radicle of the oak is
highly sensitive to contact, and retains its sensitiveness during several
days. The movement thus induced was, however, slower than in any of the
previous cases, with the exception of that of Aesculus. As with the bean,
the terminal growing part, after bending, sometimes straightened itself
through the action of geotropism, although the object still remained
attached to the tip.

The same remarkable experiment was next tried, as in the case of the bean;
namely, little squares of exactly the same size of the card-like sanded
paper and of very thin paper (the thicknesses of which have been given
under Vicia faba) were attached with shellac on opposite sides (as
accurately as could be done) of the tips of 13 radicles, suspended in damp
air, at a temperature of 65o - 66o F. The result was striking, for 9 out of
these 13 radicles became plainly, and 1 very slightly, curved from the
thick paper towards the side bearing the thin paper. In two of these cases
the apex became completely hooked after two days; in four cases the
deflection from the perpendicular and from the side bearing the thick
paper, amounted in from two to four days to angles of 90o, 72o, 60o, and
49o, but in two other cases to only 18o and 15o. It should, however, be
stated that in the
[page 177]
case in which the deflection was 49o, the two squares had accidentally come
into contact on one side of the apex, and thus formed a lateral gable; and
the deflection was directed in part from this gable and in part from the
thick paper. In three cases alone the radicles were not affected by the
difference in thickness of the squares of paper attached to their tips, and
consequently did not bend away from the side bearing the stiffer paper.

Zea mays: Sensitiveness of the apex of the Radicle to contact.--A large
number of trials were made on this plant, as it was the only monocotyledon
on which we experimented. An abstract of the results will suffice. In the
first place, 22 germinating seeds were pinned to cork-lids without any
object being attached to their radicles, some being exposed to a
temperature of 65o - 66o F., and others to between 74o and 79o; and none of
them became curved, though some were a little inclined to one side. A few
were selected, which from having germinated on sand were crooked, but when
suspended in damp air the terminal part grew straight downwards. This fact
having been ascertained, little squares of the card-like paper were affixed
with shellac, on several occasions, to the tips of 68 radicles. Of these
the terminal growing part of 39 became within 24 h. conspicuously curved
away from the attached squares and from the perpendicular; 13 out of the 39
forming hooks with their points directed towards the zenith, and 8 forming
loops. Moreover, 7 other radicles out of the 68, were slightly and two
doubtfully deflected from the cards. There remain 20 which were not
affected; but 10 of these ought not to be counted; for one was diseased,
two had their tips quite surrounded by shellac, and the squares on 7 had
slipped so as to stand parallel to the apex, instead of obliquely
[page 178]
on it. There were therefore only 10 out of the 68 which certainly were not
acted on. Some of the radicles which were experimented on were young and
short, most of them of moderate length, and two or three exceeded three
inches in length. The curvature in the above cases occurred within 24 h.,
but it was often conspicuous within a much shorter period. For instance,
the terminal growing part of one radicle was bent upwards into a rectangle
in 8 h. 15 m., and of another in 9 h. On one occasion a hook was formed in
9 h. Six of the radicles in a jar containing nine seeds, which stood on a
sand-bath, raised to a temperature varying from 76o to 82o F., became
hooked, and a seventh formed a complete loop, when first looked at after 15
hours.

The accompanying figures of four germinating seeds (Fig. 69) show, firstly,
a radicle (A) the apex of which has become so much bent away from the
attached square as to form a hook. Secondly (B), a hook converted through
the continued irritation of the card, aided perhaps by geotropism, into an
almost complete circle or loop. The tip in the act of forming a loop
generally rubs against the upper part of the radicle, and pushes off the
attached square; the loop then contracts or closes, but never disappears;
and the apex afterwards grows vertically downwards, being no longer
irritated by any attached object. This frequently occurred, and is
represented at C. The jar above mentioned with the six hooked radicles and
another jar were kept for two additional days, for the sake of observing
how the hooks would be modified. Most of them became converted into simple
loops, like that figured at C; but in one case the apex did not rub against
the upper part of the radicle and thus remove the card; and it consequently
made, owing
[page 179]
to the continued irritation from the card, two complete loops, that is, a
helix of two spires; which afterwards became pressed closely together. Then
geotropism prevailed and caused the apex to grow perpendicularly downwards.
In another case, shown at (D), the apex

Fig. 69. Zea mays: radicles excited to bend away from the little squares of
card attached to one side of their tips.

in making a second turn or spire, passed through the first loop, which was
at first widely open, and in doing so knocked off the card; it then grew
perpendicularly downwards, and thus tied itself into a knot, which soon
became tight!

Secondary Radicles of Zea.--A short time after the first radicle has
appeared, others protrude from the
[page 180]
seed, but not laterally from the primary one. Ten of these secondary
radicles, which were directed obliquely downwards, were experimented on
with very small squares of card attached with shellac to the lower sides of
their tips. If therefore the squares acted, the radicles would bend upwards
in opposition to gravity. The jar stood (protected from light) on a
sand-bath, which varied between 76o and 82o F. After only 5 h. one appeared
to be a little deflected from the square, and after 20 h. formed a loop.
Four others were considerably curved from the squares after 20 h., and
three of them became hooked, with their tips pointing to the zenith,--one
after 29 h. and the two others after 44 h. By this latter time a sixth
radicle had become bent at a right angle from the side bearing the square.
Thus altogether six out of the ten secondary radicles were acted on, four
not being affected. There can, therefore, be no doubt that the tips of
these secondary radicles are sensitive to slight contact, and that when
thus excited they cause the upper part to bend from the touching object;
but generally, as it appears, not in so short a time as in the case of the
first-formed radicle.

SENSITIVENESS OF THE TIP OF THE RADICLE TO MOIST AIR.

Sachs made the interesting discovery, a few years ago, that the radicles of
many seedling plants bend towards an adjoining damp surface.* We shall here
endeavour to show that this peculiar form of sensitiveness resides in their
tips. The movement is directly the reverse of that excited by the irritants
hitherto considered, which cause the growing part of the

* 'Arbeiten des Bot. Institut., in Würzburg,' vol. i. 1872, p. 209.
[page 181]

radicle to bend away from the source of irritation. In our experiments we
followed Sachs' plan, and sieves with seeds germinating in damp sawdust
were suspended so that the bottom was generally inclined at 40o with the
horizon. If the radicles had been acted on solely by geotropism, they would
have grown out of the bottom of the sieve perpendicularly downwards; but as
they were attracted by the adjoining damp surface they bent towards it and
were deflected 50o from the perpendicular. For the sake of ascertaining
whether the tip or the whole growing part of the radicle was sensitive to
the moist air, a length of from 1 to 2 mm. was coated in a certain number
of cases with a mixture of olive-oil and lamp-black. This mixture was made
in order to give consistence to the oil, so that a thick layer could be
applied, which would exclude, at least to a large extent, the moist air,
and would be easily visible. A greater number of experiments than those
which were actually tried would have been necessary, had not it been
clearly established that the tip of the radicle is the part which is
sensitive to various other irritants.

[Phaseolus multiflorus.--Twenty-nine radicles, to which nothing had been
done, growing out of a sieve, were observed at the same time with those
which had their tips greased, and for an equal length of time. Of the 29,
24 curved themselves so as to come into close contact with the bottom of
the sieve. The place of chief curvature was generally at a distance of 5 or
6 mm. from the apex. Eight radicles had their tips greased for a length of
2 mm., and two others for a length of 1 ½ mm.; they were kept at a
temperature of 15o - 16o C. After intervals of from 19 h. to 24 h. all were
still vertically or almost vertically dependent, for some of them had moved
towards the adjoining damp surface by about 10o. They had therefore not
been acted on, or only slightly acted on, by the damper air on one side,
although the whole upper part was freely exposed. After 48 h. three of
these radicles became
[page 182]
considerably curved towards the sieve; and the absence of curvature in some
of the others might perhaps be accounted for by their not having grown very
well. But it should be observed that during the first 19 h. to 24 h. all
grew well; two of them having increased 2 and 3 mm. in length in 11 h.;
five others increased 5 to 8 mm. in 19 h.; and two, which had been at first
4 and 6 mm. in length, increased in 24 h. to 15 and 20 mm.

The tips of 10 radicles, which likewise grew well, were coated with the
grease for a length of only 1 mm., and now the result was somewhat
different; for of these 4 curved themselves to the sieve in from 21 h. to
24h., whilst 6 did not do so. Five of the latter were observed for an
additional day, and now all excepting one became curved to the sieve.

The tips of 5 radicles were cauterised with nitrate of silver, and about 1
mm. in length was thus destroyed. They were observed for periods varying
between 11 h. and 24h., and were found to have grown well. One of them had
curved until it came into contact with the sieve; another was curving
towards it; whilst the remaining three were still vertically dependent. Of
7 not cauterised radicles observed at the same time, all had come into
contact with the sieve.

The tips of 11 radicles were protected by moistened gold-beaters' skin,
which adheres closely, for a length varying from 1 ½ to 2 ½ mm. After 22 h.
to 24 h., 6 of these radicles were clearly bent towards or had come into
contact with the sieve; 2 were slightly curved in this direction, and 3 not
at all. All had grown well. Of 14 control specimens observed at the same
time, all excepting one had closely approached the sieve. It appears from
these cases that a cap of goldbeaters' skin checks, though only to a slight
degree, the bending of the radicles to an adjoining damp surface. Whether
an extremely thin sheet of this substance when moistened allows moisture
from the air to pass through it, we do not know. One case indicated that
the caps were sometimes more efficient than appears from the above results;
for a radicle, which after 23 h. had only slightly approached the sieve,
had its cap (1 ½ mm. in length) removed, and during the next 15 ½ h. it
curved itself abruptly towards the source of moisture, the chief seat of
curvature being at a distance of 2 to 3 mm. from the apex.

Vicia faba.--The tips of 13 radicles were coated with the grease for a
length of 2 mm.; and it should be remembered that with these radicles the
seat of chief curvature is about
[page 183]
4 or 5 mm. from the apex. Four of them were examined after 22h., three
after 26 h., and six after 36 h., and none had been attracted towards the
damp lower surface of the sieve. In another trial 7 radicles were similarly
treated, and 5 of them still pointed perpendicularly downwards after 11 h.,
whilst 2 were a little curved towards the sieve; by an accident they were
not subsequently observed. In both these trials the radicles grew well; 7
of them, which were at first from 4 to 11 mm. in length, were after 11 h.
between 7 and 16 mm.; 3 which were at first from 6 to 8 mm. after 26 h.
were 11.5 to 18 mm. in length; and lastly, 4 radicles which were at first 5
to 8 mm. after 46 h. were 18 to 23 mm. in length. The control or ungreased
radicles were not invariably attracted towards the bottom of the sieve. But
on one occasion 12 out of 13, which were observed for periods between 22 h.
and 36 h., were thus attracted. On two other occasions taken together, 38
out of 40 were similarly attracted. On another occasion only 7 out of 14
behaved in this manner, but after two more days the proportion of the
curved increased to 17 out of 23. On a last occasion only 11 out of 20 were
thus attracted. If we add up these numbers, we find that 78 out of 96 of
the control specimens curved themselves towards the bottom of the sieve. Of
the specimens with greased tips, 2 alone out of the 20 (but 7 of these were
not observed for a sufficiently long time) thus curved themselves. We can,
therefore, hardly doubt that the tip for a length of 2 mm. is the part
which is sensitive to a moist atmosphere, and causes the upper part to bend
towards its source.

The tips of 15 radicles were cauterised with nitrate of silver, and they
grew as well as those above described with greased tips. After an interval
of 24 h., 9 of them were not at all curved towards the bottom of the sieve;
2 were curved towards it at angles of 20o and 12o from their former
vertical position, and 4 had come into close contact with it. Thus the
destruction of the tip for a length of about 1 mm. prevented the curvature
of the greater number of these radicles to the adjoining damp surface. Of
24 control specimens, 23 were bent to the sieve, and on a second occasion
15 out of 16 were similarly curved in a greater or less degree. These
control trials are included in those given in the foregoing paragraph.

Avena sativa.--The tips of 13 radicles, which projected between 2 and 4 mm.
from the bottom of the sieve, many of
[page 184]
them not quite perpendicularly downwards, were coated with the black grease
for a length of from 1 to 1 ½ mm. The sieves were inclined at 30o with the
horizon. The greater number of these radicles were examined after 22 h.,
and a few after 25 h., and within these intervals they had grown so quickly
as to have nearly doubled their lengths. With the ungreased radicles the
chief seat of curvature is at a distance of not less than between 3.5 and
5.5 mm., and not more than between 7 and 10 mm. from the apex. Out of the
13 radicles with greased tips, 4 had not moved at all towards the sieve; 6
were deflected towards it and from the perpendicular by angles varying
between 10o and 35o; and 3 had come into close contact with it. It appears,
therefore, at first sight that greasing the tips of these radicles had
checked but little their bending to the adjoining damp surface. But the
inspection of the sieves on two occasions produced a widely different
impression on the mind; for it was impossible to behold the radicles with
the black greased tips projecting from the bottom, and all those with
ungreased tips, at least 40 to 50 in number, clinging closely to it, and
feel any doubt that the greasing had produced a great effect. On close
examination only a single ungreased radicle could be found which had not
become curved towards the sieve. It is probable that if the tips had been
protected by grease for a length of 2 mm. instead of from 1 to 1 ½ mm.,
they would not have been affected by the moist air and none would have
become curved.

Triticum vulgare.--Analogous trials were made on 8 radicles of the common
wheat; and greasing their tips produced much less effect than in the case
of the oats. After 22 h., 5 of them had come into contact with the bottom
of the sieve; 2 had moved towards it 10o and 15o, and one alone remained
perpendicular. Not one of the very numerous ungreased radicles failed to
come into close contact with the sieve. These trials were made on Nov.
28th, when the temperature was only 4.8o C. at 10 A.M. We should hardly
have thought this case worth notice, had it not been for the following
circumstance. In the beginning of October, when the temperature was
considerably higher, viz., 12o to 13o C., we found that only a few of the
ungreased radicles became bent towards the sieve; and this indicates that
sensitiveness to moisture in the air is increased by a low temperature, as
we have seen with the radicles of Vicia faba relatively to objects attached
to their tips. But in the present instance it is possible that a difference
in the dryness
[page 185]
of the air may have caused the difference in the results at the two
periods.]

Finally, the facts just given with respect to Phaseolus multiflorus, Vicia
faba, and Avena sativa show, as it seems to us, that a layer of grease
spread for a length of 1 ½ to 2 mm. over the tip of the radicle, or the
destruction of the tip by caustic, greatly lessens or quite annuls in the
upper and exposed part the power of bending towards a neighbouring source
of moisture. We should bear in mind that the part which bends most, lies at
some little distance above the greased or cauterised tip; and that the
rapid growth of this part, proves that it has not been injured by the tips
having been thus treated. In those cases in which the radicles with greased
tips became curved, it is possible that the layer of grease was not
sufficiently thick wholly to exclude moisture, or that a sufficient length
was not thus protected, or, in the case of the caustic, not destroyed. When
radicles with greased tips are left to grow for several days in damp air,
the grease is drawn out into the finest reticulated threads and dots, with
narrow portions of the surface left clean. Such portions would, it is
probable, be able to absorb moisture, and thus we can account for several
of the radicles with greased tips having become curved towards the sieve
after an interval of one or two days. On the whole, we may infer that
sensitiveness to a difference in the amount of moisture in the air on the
two sides of a radicle resides in the tip, which transmits some influence
to the upper part, causing it to bend towards the source of moisture.
Consequently, the movement is the reverse of that caused by objects
attached to one side of the tip, or by a thin slice being cut off, or by
being slightly cauterised. In a future chapter it will be shown that
sensitiveness to the attraction of
[page 186]
gravity likewise resides in the tip; so that it is the tip which excites
the adjoining parts of a horizontally extended radicle to bend towards the
centre of the earth.

SECONDARY RADICLES BECOMING VERTICALLY GEOTROPIC BY THE DESTRUCTION OR
INJURY OF THE TERMINAL PART OF THE PRIMARY RADICLE.

Sachs has shown that the lateral or secondary radicles of the bean, and
probably of other plants, are acted on by geotropism in so peculiar a
manner, that they grow out horizontally or a little inclined downwards; and
he has further shown* the interesting fact, that if the end of the primary
radicle be cut off, one of the nearest secondary radicles changes its
nature and grows perpendicularly downwards, thus replacing the primary
radicle. We repeated this experiment, and planted beans with amputated
radicles in friable peat, and saw the result described by Sachs; but
generally two or three of the secondary radicles grew perpendicularly
downwards. We also modified the experiment, by pinching young radicles a
little way above their tips, between the arms of a U-shaped piece of thick
leaden wire. The part pinched was thus flattened, and was afterwards
prevented from growing thicker. Five radicles had their ends cut off, and
served as controls or standards. Eight were pinched; of these 2 were
pinched too severely and their ends died and dropped off; 2 were not
pinched enough and were not sensibly affected; the remaining 4 were pinched
sufficiently to check the growth of the terminal part, but did not appear
otherwise injured. When the U-shaped wires were removed, after an

* 'Arbeiten Bot. Institut., Würzburg,' Heft iv. 1874, p. 622.
[page 187]

interval of 15 days, the part beneath the wire was found to be very thin
and easily broken, whilst the part above was thickened. Now in these four
cases, one or more of the secondary radicles, arising from the thickened
part just above the wire, had grown perpendicularly downwards. In the best
case the primary radicle (the part below the wire being 1 ½ inch in length)
was somewhat distorted, and was not half as long as three adjoining
secondary radicles, which had grown vertically, or almost vertically,
downwards. Some of these secondary radicles adhered together or had become
confluent. We learn from these four cases that it is not necessary, in
order that a secondary radicle should assume the nature of a primary one,
that the latter should be actually amputated; it is sufficient that the
flow of sap into it should be checked, and consequently should be directed
into the adjoining secondary radicles; for this seems to be the most
obvious result of the primary radicle being pinched between the arms of a
U-shaped wire.

This change in the nature of secondary radicles is clearly analogous, as
Sachs has remarked, to that which occurs with the shoots of trees, when the
leading one is destroyed and is afterwards replaced by one or more of the
lateral shoots; for these now grow upright instead of sub-horizontally. But
in this latter case the lateral shoots are rendered apogeotropic, whereas
with radicles the lateral ones are rendered geotropic. We are naturally led
to suspect that the same cause acts with shoots as with roots, namely, an
increased flow of sap into the lateral ones. We made some trials with Abies
communis and pectinata, by pinching with wire the leading and all the
lateral shoots excepting one. But we believe that they were too old when
experimented on; and some were pinched too severely, and
[page 188]
some not enough. Only one case succeeded, namely, with the spruce-fir. The
leading shoot was not killed, but its growth was checked; at its base there
were three lateral shoots in a whorl, two of which were pinched, one being
thus killed; the third was left untouched. These lateral shoots, when
operated on (July 14th) stood at an angle of 8o above the horizon; by Sept.
8th the unpinched one had risen 35o; by Oct. 4th it had risen 46o, and by
Jan. 26th 48o, and it had now become a little curved inwards. Part of this
rise of 48o may be attributed to ordinary growth, for the pinched shoot
rose 12o within the same period. It thus follows that the unpinched shoot
stood, on Jan. 26th, 56o above the horizon, or 34o from the vertical; and
it was thus obviously almost ready to replace the slowly growing, pinched,
leading shoot. Nevertheless, we feel some doubt about this experiment, for
we have since observed with spruce-firs growing rather unhealthily, that
the lateral shoots near the summit sometimes become highly inclined, whilst
the leading shoot remains apparently sound.

A widely different agency not rarely causes shoots which naturally would
have brown out horizontally to grow up vertically. The lateral branches of
the Silver Fir (A. pectinata) are often affected by a fungus, Aecidium
elatinum, which causes the branch to enlarge into an oval knob formed of
hard wood, in one of which we counted 24 rings of growth. According to De
Bary*, when the mycelium penetrates a bud beginning to elongate, the shoot
developed from it grows vertically upwards. Such upright shoots after-

* See his valuable article in 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1867, p. 257, on these
monstrous growths, which are called in German "Hexenbesen," or
"witch-brooms."
[page 189]

wards produce lateral and horizontal branches; and they then present a
curious appearance, as if a young fir-tree had grown out of a ball of clay
surrounding the branch. These upright shoots have manifestly changed their
nature and become apogeotropic; for if they had not been affected by the
Aecidium, they would have grown out horizontally like all the other twigs
on the same branches. This change can hardly be due to an increased flow of
sap into the part; but the presence of the mycelium will have greatly
disturbed its natural constitution.

According to Mr. Meehan,* the stems of three species of Euphorbia and of
Portulaca oleracea are "normally prostrate or procumbent;" but when they
are attacked by an Aecidium, they "assume an erect habit." Dr. Stahl
informs us that he knows of several analogous cases; and these seem to be
closely related to that of the Abies. The rhizomes of Sparganium ramosum
grow out horizontally in the soil to a considerable length, or are
diageotropic; but F. Elfving found that when they were cultivated in water
their tips turned upwards, and they became apogeotropic. The same result
followed when the stem of the plant was bent until it cracked or was merely
much bowed.**

No explanation has hitherto been attempted of such cases as the foregoing,-
-namely, of secondary radicles growing vertically downwards, and of lateral
shoots growing vertically upwards, after the amputation of

* 'Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philadelphia,' June 16th, 1874, and July 23rd,
1875.
** See F. Elfving's interesting paper in 'Arbeiten Bot. Institut., in
Würzburg,' vol. ii. 1880, p. 489. Carl Kraus (Triesdorf) had previously
observed ('Flora,' 1878, p. 324) that the underground shoots of Triticum
repens bend vertically up when the parts above ground are removed, and when
the rhizomes are kept partly immersed in water.
[page 190]

the primary radicle or of the leading shoot. The following considerations
give us, as we believe, the clue. Firstly, any cause which disturbs the
constitution* is apt to induce reversion; such as the crossing of two
distinct races, or a change of conditions, as when domestic animals become
feral. But the case which most concerns us, is the frequent appearance of
peloric flowers on the summit of a stem, or in the centre of the
inflorescence,--parts which, it is believed, receive the most sap; for when
an irregular flower becomes perfectly regular or peloric, this may be
attributed, at least partly, to reversion to a primitive and normal type.
Even the position of a seed at the end of the capsule sometimes gives to
the seedling developed from it a tendency to revert. Secondly, reversions
often occur by means of buds, independently of reproduction by seed; so
that a bud may revert to the character of a former state many
bud-generations ago. In the case of animals, reversions may occur in the
individual with advancing age. Thirdly and lastly, radicles when they first
protrude from the seed are always geotropic, and plumules or shoots almost
always apogeotropic. If then any cause, such as an increased flow of sap or
the presence of mycelium, disturbs the constitution of a lateral shoot or
of a secondary radicle, it is apt to revert to its primordial state; and it
becomes either apogeotropic or geotropic, as the case may be, and
consequently grows either vertically upwards or downwards. It is indeed
pos-

* The facts on which the following conclusions are founded are given in
'The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,' 2nd edit. 1875.
On the causes leading to reversion see chap. xii. vol. ii. and p. 59, chap.
xiv. On peloric flowers, chap. xiii. p. 32; and see p. 337 on their
position on the plant. With respect to seeds, p. 340. On reversion by means
of buds, p. 438, chap. xi. vol. i.
[page 191]

sible, or even probable, that this tendency to reversion may have been
increased, as it is manifestly of service to the plant.

SUMMARY OF CHAPTER.

A part or organ may be called sensitive, when its irritation excites
movement in an adjoining part. Now it has been shown in this chapter, that
the tip of the radicle of the bean is in this sense sensitive to the
contact of any small object attached to one side by shellac or gum-water;
also to a slight touch with dry caustic, and to a thin slice cut off one
side. The radicles of the pea were tried with attached objects and caustic,
both of which acted. With Phaseolus multiflorus the tip was hardly
sensitive to small squares of attached card, but was sensitive to caustic
and to slicing. The radicles of Tropaeolum were highly sensitive to
contact; and so, as far as we could judge, were those of Gossypium
herbaceum, and they were certainly sensitive to caustic. The tips of the
radicles of Cucurbita ovifera were likewise highly sensitive to caustic,
though only moderately so to contact. Raphanus sativus offered a somewhat
doubtful case. With Aesculus the tips were quite indifferent to bodies
attached to them, though sensitive to caustic. Those of Quercus robur and
Zea mays were highly sensitive to contact, as were the radicles of the
latter to caustic. In several of these cases the difference in
sensitiveness of the tip to contact and to caustic was, as we believe,
merely apparent; for with Gossypium, Raphanus, and Cucurbita, the tip was
so fine and flexible that it was very difficult to attach any object to one
of its sides. With the radicles of Aesculus, the tips were not at all
sensitive to small bodies attached to them; but it does not follow from
this
[page 192]
fact that they would not have been sensitive to somewhat greater continued
pressure, if this could have been applied.

The peculiar form of sensitiveness which we are here considering, is
confined to the tip of the radicle for a length of from 1 mm. to 1.5 mm.
When this part is irritated by contact with any object, by caustic, or by a
thin slice being cut off, the upper adjoining part of the radicle, for a
length of from 6 or 7 to even 12 mm., is excited to bend away from the side
which has been irritated. Some influence must therefore be transmitted from
the tip along the radicle for this length. The curvature thus caused is
generally symmetrical. The part which bends most apparently coincides with
that of the most rapid growth. The tip and the basal part grow very slowly
and they bend very little.

Considering the widely separated position in the vegetable series of the
several above-named genera, we may conclude that the tips of the radicles
of all, or almost all, plants are similarly sensitive, and transmit an
influence causing the upper part to bend. With respect to the tips of the
secondary radicles, those of Vicia faba, Pisum sativum, and Zea mays were
alone observed, and they were found similarly sensitive.

In order that these movements should be properly displayed, it appears
necessary that the radicles should grow at their normal rate. If subjected
to a high temperature and made to grow rapidly, the tips seem either to
lose their sensitiveness, or the upper part to lose the power of bending.
So it appears to be if they grow very slowly from not being vigorous, or
from being kept at too low a temperature; also when they are forced to
germinate in the middle of the winter.
[page 193]

The curvature of the radicle sometimes occurs within from 6 to 8 hours
after the tip has been irritated, and almost always within 24 h., excepting
in the case of the massive radicles of Aesculus. The curvature often
amounts to a rectangle,--that is, the terminal part bends upwards until the
tip, which is but little curved, projects almost horizontally. Occasionally
the tip, from the continued irritation of the attached object, continues to
bend up until it forms a hook with the point directed towards the zenith,
or a loop, or even a spire. After a time the radicle apparently becomes
accustomed to the irritation, as occurs in the case of tendrils, for it
again grows downwards, although the bit of card or other object may remain
attached to the tip. It is evident that a small object attached to the free
point of a vertically suspended radicle can offer no mechanical resistance
to its growth as a whole, for the object is carried downwards as the
radicle elongates, or upwards as the radicle curves upwards. Nor can the
growth of the tip itself be mechanically checked by an object attached to
it by gum-water, which remains all the time perfectly soft. The weight of
the object, though quite insignificant, is opposed to the upward curvature.
We may therefore conclude that it is the irritation due to contact which
excites the movement. The contact, however, must be prolonged, for the tips
of 15 radicles were rubbed for a short time, and this did not cause them to
bend. Here then we have a case of specialised sensibility, like that of the
glands of Drosera; for these are exquisitely sensitive to the slightest
pressure if prolonged, but not to two or three rough touches.

When the tip of a radicle is lightly touched on one side with dry nitrate
of silver, the injury caused is
[page 194]
very slight, and the adjoining upper part bends away from the cauterised
point, with more certainty in most cases than from an object attached on
one side. Here it obviously is not the mere touch, but the effect produced
by the caustic, which induces the tip to transmit some influence to the
adjoining part, causing it to bend away. If one side of the tip is badly
injured or killed by the caustic, it ceases to grow, whilst the opposite
side continues growing; and the result is that the tip itself bends towards
the injured side and often becomes completely hooked; and it is remarkable
that in this case the adjoining upper part does not bend. The stimulus is
too powerful or the shock too great for the proper influence to be
transmitted from the tip. We have strictly analogous cases with Drosera,
Dionaea and Pinguicula, with which plants a too powerful stimulus does not
excite the tentacles to become incurved, or the lobes to close, or the
margin to be folded inwards.

With respect to the degree of sensitiveness of the apex to contact under
favourable conditions, we have seen that with Vicia faba a little square of
writing-paper affixed with shellac sufficed to cause movement; as did on
one occasion a square of merely damped goldbeaters' skin, but it acted very
slowly. Short bits of moderately thick bristle (of which measurements have
been given) affixed with gum-water acted in only three out of eleven
trials, and beads of dried shellac under 1/200th of a grain in weight acted
only twice in nine cases; so that here we have nearly reached the minimum
of necessary irritation. The apex, therefore, is much less sensitive to
pressure than the glands of Drosera, for these are affected by far thinner
objects than bits of bristle, and by a very much less weight than 1/200th
of a grain.
[page 195]
But the most interesting evidence of the delicate sensitiveness of the tip
of the radicle, was afforded by its power of discriminating between
equal-sized squares of card-like and very thin paper, when these were
attached on opposite sides, as was observed with the radicles of the bean
and oak.

When radicles of the bean are extended horizontally with squares of card
attached to the lower sides of their tips, the irritation thus caused was
always conquered by geotropism, which then acts under the most favourable
conditions at right angles to the radicle. But when objects were attached
to the radicles of any of the above-named genera, suspended vertically, the
irritation conquered geotropism, which latter power at first acted
obliquely on the radicle; so that the immediate irritation from the
attached object, aided by its after-effects, prevailed and caused the
radicle to bend upwards, until sometimes the point was directed to the
zenith. We must, however, assume that the after-effects of the irritation
of the tip by an attached object come into play, only after movement has
been excited. The tips of the radicles of the pea seem to be more sensitive
to contact than those of the bean, for when they were extended horizontally
with squares of card adhering to their lower sides, a most curious struggle
occasionally arose, sometimes one and sometimes the other force prevailing,
but ultimately geotropism was always victorious; nevertheless, in two
instances the terminal part became so much curved upwards that loops were
subsequently formed. With the pea, therefore, the irritation from an
attached object, and from geotropism when acting at right angles to the
radicle, are nearly balanced forces. Closely similar results were observed
with the horizontally extended radicles of Cucurbita ovifera,
[page 196]
when their tips were slightly cauterised on the lower side.

Finally, the several co-ordinated movements by which radicles are enabled
to perform their proper functions are admirably perfect. In whatever
direction the primary radicle first protrudes from the seed, geotropism
guides it perpendicularly downwards; and the capacity to be acted on by the
attraction of gravity resides in the tip. But Sachs has proved* that the
secondary radicles, or those emitted by the primary one, are acted on by
geotropism in such a manner that they tend to bend only obliquely
downwards. If they had been acted on like the primary radicle, all the
radicles would have penetrated the ground in a close bundle. We have seen
that if the end of the primary radicle is cut off or injured, the adjoining
secondary radicles become geotropic and grow vertically downwards. This
power must often be of great service to the plant, when the primary radicle
has been destroyed by the larvae of insects, burrowing animals, or any
other accident. The tertiary radicles, or those emitted by the secondary
ones, are not influenced, at least in the case of the bean, by geotropism;
so they grow out freely in all directions. From this manner of growth of
the various kinds of radicles, they are distributed, together with their
absorbent hairs, throughout the surrounding soil, as Sachs has remarked, in
the most advantageous manner; for the whole soil is thus closely searched.

 Geotropism, as was shown in the last chapter, excites the primary radicle
to bend downwards with very little force, quite insufficient to penetrate
the ground. Such penetration is effected by the pointed

* 'Arbeiten Bot. Institut, Würzburg,' Heft iv. 1874, pp. 605-631.
[page 197]

apex (protected by the root-cap) being pressed down by the longitudinal
expansion or growth of the terminal rigid portion, aided by its transverse
expansion, both of which forces act powerfully. It is, however,
indispensable that the seeds should be at first held down in some manner.
When they lie on the bare surface they are held down by the attachment of
the root-hairs to any adjoining objects; and this apparently is effected by
the conversion of their outer surfaces into a cement. But many seeds get
covered up by various accidents, or they fall into crevices or holes. With
some seeds their own weight suffices. The circumnutating movement of the
terminal growing part both of the primary and secondary radicles is so
feeble that it can aid them very little in penetrating the ground,
excepting when the superficial layer is very soft and damp. But it must aid
them materially when they happen to break obliquely into cracks, or into
burrows made by earth-worms or larvae. This movement, moreover, combined
with the sensitiveness of the tip to contact, can hardly fail to be of the
highest importance; for as the tip is always endeavouring to bend to all
sides it will press on all sides, and will thus be able to discriminate
between the harder and softer adjoining surfaces, in the same manner as it
discriminated between the attached squares of card-like and thin paper.
Consequently it will tend to bend from the harder soil, and will thus
follow the lines of least resistance. So it will be if it meets with a
stone or the root of another plant in the soil, as must incessantly occur.
If the tip were not sensitive, and if it did not excite the upper part of
the root to bend away, whenever it encountered at right angles some
obstacle in the ground, it would be liable
[page 198]
to be doubled up into a contorted mass. But we have seen with radicles
growing down inclined plates of glass, that as soon as the tip merely
touched a slip of wood cemented across the plate, the whole terminal
growing part curved away, so that the tip soon stood at right angles to its
former direction; and thus it would be with an obstacle encountered in the
ground, as far as the pressure of the surrounding soil would permit. We can
also understand why thick and strong radicles, like those of Aesculus,
should be endowed with less sensitiveness than more delicate ones; for the
former would be able by the force of their growth to overcome any slight
obstacle.

After a radicle, which has been deflected by some stone or root from its
natural downward course, reaches the edge of the obstacle, geotropism will
direct it to grow again straight downward; but we know that geotropism acts
with very little force, and here another excellent adaptation, as Sachs has
remarked,* comes into play. For the upper part of the radicle, a little
above the apex, is, as we have seen, likewise sensitive; and this
sensitiveness causes the radicle to bend like a tendril towards the
touching object, so that as it rubs over the edge of an obstacle, it will
bend downwards; and the curvature thus induced is abrupt, in which respect
it differs from that caused by the irritation of one side of the tip. This
downward bending coincides with that due to geotropism, and both will cause
the root to resume its original course.

As radicles perceive an excess of moisture in the air on one side and bend
towards this side, we may infer that they will act in the same manner with
respect to moisture in the earth. The sensitiveness to moisture

* 'Arbeiten Bot. Inst., Würzburg,' Heft iii. p. 456.
[page 199]

resides in the tip, which determines the bending of the upper part. This
capacity perhaps partly accounts for the extent to which drain-pipes often
become choked with roots.

Considering the several facts given in this chapter, we see that the course
followed by a root through the soil is governed by extraordinarily complex
and diversified agencies,--by geotropism acting in a different manner on
the primary, secondary, and tertiary radicles,--by sensitiveness to
contact, different in kind in the apex and in the part immediately above
the apex, and apparently by sensitiveness to the varying dampness of
different parts of the soil. These several stimuli to movement are all more
powerful than geotropism, when this acts obliquely on a radicle, which has
been deflected from its perpendicular downward course. The roots, moreover,
of most plants are excited by light to bend either to or from it; but as
roots are not naturally exposed to the light it is doubtful whether this
sensitiveness, which is perhaps only the indirect result of the radicles
being highly sensitive to other stimuli, is of any service to the plant.
The direction which the apex takes at each successive period of the growth
of a root, ultimately determines its whole course; it is therefore highly
important that the apex should pursue from the first the most advantageous
direction; and we can thus understand why sensitiveness to geotropism, to
contact and to moisture, all reside in the tip, and why the tip determines
the upper growing part to bend either from or to the exciting cause. A
radicle may be compared with a burrowing animal such as a mole, which
wishes to penetrate perpendicularly down into the ground. By continually
moving his head from side to side, or circumnutating, he will feel any
stone
[page 200]
or other obstacle, as well as any difference in the hardness of the soil,
and he will turn from that side; if the earth is damper on one than on the
other side he will turn thitherward as a better hunting-ground.
Nevertheless, after each interruption, guided by the sense of gravity, he
will be able to recover his downward course and to burrow to a greater
depth.
[page 201]



CHAPTER IV.

THE CIRCUMNUTATING MOVEMENTS OF THE SEVERAL PARTS OF MATURE PLANTS.

Circumnutation of stems: concluding remarks on--Circumnutation of stolons:
aid thus afforded in winding amongst the stems of surrounding plants--
Circumnutation of flower-stems--Circumnutation of Dicotyledonous leaves--
Singular oscillatory movement of leaves of Dionaea--Leaves of Cannabis sink
at night--Leaves of Gymnosperms--Of Monocotyledons--Cryptogams--Concluding
remarks on the circumnutation of leaves; generally rise in the evening and
sink in the morning.

WE have seen in the first chapter that the stems of all seedlings, whether
hypocotyls or epicotyls, as well as the cotyledons and the radicles, are
continually circumnutating--that is they grow first on one side and then on
another, such growth being probably preceded by increased turgescence of
the cells. As it was unlikely that plants should change their manner of
growth with advancing age, it seemed probable that the various organs of
all plants at all ages, as long as they continued to grow, would be found
to circumnutate, though perhaps to an extremely small extent. As it was
important for us to discover whether this was the case, we determined to
observe carefully a certain number of plants which were growing vigorously,
and which were not known to move in any manner. We commenced with stems.
Observations of this kind are tedious, and it appeared to us that it would
be sufficient to observe the stems in about a score of genera, belonging to
widely distinct families and inhabitants of various countries. Several
plants
[page 202]
were selected which, from being woody, or for other reasons, seemed the
least likely to circumnutate. The observations and the diagrams were made
in the manner described in the Introduction. Plants in pots were subjected
to a proper temperature, and whilst being observed, were kept either in
darkness or were feebly illuminated from above. They are arranged in the
order adopted by Hooker in Le Maout and Decaisne's 'System of Botany.' The
number of the family to which each genus belongs is appended, as this
serves to show the place of each in the series.

[(1.) Iberis umbellata (Cruciferae, Fam. 14).--The movement of the stem of
a young plant, 4 inches in height, consisting of four internodes (the
hypocotyl included) besides a large bud

Fig. 70. Iberis umbellata: circumnutation of stem of young plant, traced
from 8.30 A.M. Sept. 13th to same hour on following morning. Distance of
summit of stem beneath the horizontal glass 7.6 inches. Diagram reduced to
half of original size. Movement as here shown magnified between 4 and 5
times.

on the summit, was traced, as here shown, during 24 h. (Fig. 70). As far as
we could judge the uppermost inch alone of the stem circumnutated, and this
in a simple manner. The movement was slow, and the rate very unequal at
different times. In part of its course an irregular ellipse, or rather
triangle, was completed in 6 h. 30 m.

 (2.) Brassica oleracea (Cruciferae).--A very young plant, bearing three
leaves, of which the longest was only three-quarters of an inch in length,
was placed under a microscope, furnished with an eye-piece micrometer, and
the tip of the largest leaf was
[page 203]
found to be in constant movement. It crossed five divisions of the
micrometer, that is, 1/100th of an inch, in 6 m. 20 s. There could hardly
be a doubt that it was the stem which chiefly moved, for the tip did not
get quickly out of focus; and this would have occurred had the movement
been confined to the leaf, which moves up or down in nearly the same
vertical plane.

(3.) Linum usitatissimum (Lineae, Fam. 39).--The stems of this plant,
shortly before the flowering period, are stated by Fritz Müller ('Jenaische
Zeitschrift,' B. v. p. 137) to revolve, or circumnutate.

(4.) Pelargonium zonale (Geraniaceae, Fam. 47).--A young plant, 7 ½ inches
in height, was observed in the usual manner; but, in order to see the bead
at the end of the glass filament

Fig. 71. Pelargonium zonale: circumnutation of stem of young plant, feebly
illuminated from above. Movement of bead magnified about 11 times; traced
on a horizontal glass from noon on March 9th to 8 A.M. on the 11th.

and at the same time the mark beneath, it was necessary to cut off three
leaves on one side. We do not know whether it was owing to this cause, or
to the plant having previously become bent to one side through
heliotropism, but from the morning of the 7th of March to 10.30 P.M. on the
8th, the stem moved a considerable distance in a zigzag line in the same
general direction. During the night of the 8th it moved to some distance at
right angles to its former course, and next morning (9th) stood for a time
almost still. At noon on the 9th a new tracing was begun (see Fig. 71),
which was continued till 8 A.M. on the 11th. Between noon on the 9th and 5
P.M. on the 10th (i.e. in the course of 29 h.), the stem described a
circle. This plant therefore circumnutates, but at a very slow rate, and to
a small extent.

 (5.) Tropaeolum majus (?) (dwarfed var. called Tom Thumb); (Geraniaceae,
Fam. 47).--The species of this genus climb by the
[page 204]
aid of their sensitive petioles, but some of them also twine round
supports; but even these latter species do not begin to circumnutate in a
conspicuous manner whilst young. The

Fig. 72. Tropaeolum majus (?): circumnutation of stem of young plant,
traced on a horizontal glass from 9 A.M. Dec. 26th to 10 A.M. on 27th.
Movement of bead magnified about 5 times, and here reduced to half of
original scale.

variety here treated of has a rather thick stem, and is so dwarf that
apparently it does not climb in any manner. We therefore wished to
ascertain whether the stem of a young plant, consisting of two internodes,
together 3.2 inches in height, circumnutated. It was observed during 25 h.,
and we see in Fig. 72 that the stem moved in a zigzag course, indicating
circumnutation.

Fig. 73. Trifolium resupinatum: circumnutation of stem, traced on vertical
glass from 9.30 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. Nov. 3rd. Tracing not greatly magnified,
reduced to half of original size. Plant feebly illuminated from above.

 (6.) Trifolium resupinatum (Leguminosae, Fam. 75).--When we treat of the
sleep of plants, we shall see that the stems in several Leguminous genera,
for instance, those of Hedysarum, Mimosa, Melilotus, etc., which are not
climbers, circumnutate in a conspicuous manner. We will here give only a
single instance (Fig. 73), showing the circumnutation of the stem of a
large plant of a clover, Trifolium resupinatum. In the course of 7 h. the
stem changed
[page 205]
its course greatly eight times and completed three irregular circles or
ellipses. It therefore circumnutated rapidly. Some of the lines run at
right angles to one another.

Fig. 74. Rubus (hybrid): circumnutation of stem, traced on horizontal
glass, from 4 P.M. March 14th to 8.30 A.M. 16th. Tracing much magnified,
reduced to half of original size. Plant illuminated feebly from above.

 (7.) Rubus idaeus (hybrid) (Rosaceae, Fam. 76).--As we happened to have a
young plant, 11 inches in height and growing vigorously, which had been
raised from a cross between the raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and a North
American Rubus, it was observed in the usual manner. During the morning of
March 14th the stem almost completed a circle, and then moved far to the
right. At 4 P.M. it reversed its course, and now a fresh tracing was begun,
which was continued during 40 ½ h., and is given in Fig. 74. We here have
well-marked circumnutation.

(8.) Deutzia gracilis (Saxifrageae, Fam. 77).--A shoot on a bush about 18
inches in height was observed. The bead changed its course greatly eleven
times in the course of 10 h. 30 m. (Fig. 75), and there could be no doubt
about the circumnutation of the stem.

Fig. 75. Deutzia gracilis: circumnutation of stem, kept in darkness, traced
on horizontal glass, from 8.30 A.M. to 7 P.M. March 20th. Movement of bead
originally magnified about 20 times, here reduced to half scale.

(9.) Fuchsia (greenhouse var., with large flowers, probably a hybrid)
(Onagrarieae, Fam. 100).--A young plant, 15 inches in height, was observed
during nearly 48 h. The
[page 206]
accompanying figure (Fig. 76) gives the necessary particulars, and shows
that the stem circumnutated, though rather slowly.

Fig. 76. Fuchsia (garden var.): circumnutation of stem, kept in darkness,
traced on horizontal glass, from 8.30 A.M. to 7 P.M. March 20th. Movement
of bead originally magnified about 40 times, here reduced to half scale.

(10.) Cereus speciocissimus (garden var., sometimes called Phyllocactus
multiflorus) (Cacteae, Fam. 109).--This plant, which was growing vigorously
from having been removed a few days before from the greenhouse to the
hot-house, was observed with especial interest, as it seemed so little
probable that the stem would circumnutate. The branches are flat, or
flabelliform; but some of them are triangular in section, with the three
sides hollowed out. A branch of this latter shape, 9 inches in length and 1
½ in diameter, was chosen for observation, as less likely to circumnutate
than a flabelliform branch. The movement of the bead at the end of the
glass filament, affixed to the summit of the branch, was traced (A, Fig.
77) from 9.23 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. on Nov. 23rd, during which time it changed
its course greatly six times. On the 24th another tracing was made (see B),
and the bead on this day changed its course oftener, making in 8 h. what
may be considered as four ellipses, with their longer axes differently
directed. The position of the stem and its commencing course on the
following morning are likewise shown. There can be no doubt that this
branch, though appearing quite rigid, circumnutated; but the
[page 207]
extreme amount of movement during the time was very small, probably rather
less than the 1/20th of an inch.

Fig 77. Cereus speciocissimus: circumnutation of stem, illuminated from
above, traced on a horizontal glass, in A from 9 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. on Nov.
23rd; and in B from 8.30 A.M. on the 24th to 8 A.M. on the 25th. Movement
of the bead in B magnified about 38 times.

(11.) Hedera helix (Araliaceae, Fam. 114).--The stem is known to be
apheliotropic, and several seedlings growing in a pot in the greenhouse
became bent in the middle of the summer at right angles from the light. On
Sept. 2nd some of these stems were tied up so as to stand vertically, and
were placed before a north-east window; but to our surprise they were now
decidedly heliotropic, for during 4 days they curved themselves towards the
light, and their course being traced on a horizontal glass, was strongly
zigzag. During the 6 succeeding days they circumnutated over the same small
space at a slow rate, but there could be no doubt about their
circumnutation. The plants were kept exactly in the same place before the
window, and after an interval of 15 days the stems were again observed
during 2 days and their movements traced, and
[page 208]
they were found to be still circumnutating, but on a yet smaller scale.

(12.) Gazania ringens (Compositae, Fam. 122).--The circumnutation of the
stem of a young plant, 7 inches in height, as measured to the tip of the
highest leaf, was traced during 33 h., and is shown in the accompanying
figure (Fig. 78). Two

Fig. 78. Gazania ringens: circumnutation of stem traced from 9 A.M. March
21st to 6 P.M. on 22nd; plant kept in darkness. Movement of bead at the
close of the observations magnified 34 times, here reduced to half the
original scale.

main lines may be observed running at nearly right angles to two other main
lines; but these are interrupted by small loops.

(13.) Azalea Indica (Ericineae, Fam. 128).--A bush 21 inches in height was
selected for observation, and the circumnutation of its leading shoot was
traced during 26 h. 40 m., as shown in the following figure (Fig. 79).

 (14.) Plumbago Capensis (Plumbagineae, Fam. 134).--A small lateral branch
which projected from a tall freely growing bush, at an angle of 35o above
the horizon, was selected for observation. For the first 11 h. it moved to
a considerable distance in a nearly straight line to one side, owing
probably to its having been previously deflected by the light whilst
standing in the greenhouse. At 7.20 P.M. on March 7th a fresh tracing was
begun and continued for the next 43 h. 40 m. (see Fig. 80). During the
first 2 h. it followed nearly the same direction as before, and then
changed it a little; during the night it moved at nearly right angles to
its previous course. Next
[page 209]
day (8th) it zigzagged greatly, and on the 9th moved irregularly round and
round a small circular space. By 3 P.M. on the 9th the figure had become so
complicated that no more dots could be made; but the shoot continued during
the evening of the 9th, the whole of the 10th, and the morning of the 11th
to

Fig. 79. Azalea Indica: circumnutation of stem, illuminated from above,
traced on horizontal glass, from 9.30 A.M. March 9th to 12.10 P.M. on the
10th. But on the morning of the 10th only four dots were made between 8.30
A.M. and 12.10 P.M., both hours included, so that the circumnutation is not
fairly represented in this part of the diagram. Movement of the bead here
magnified about 30 times.

Fig. 80. Plumbago Capensis: circumnutation of tip of a lateral branch,
traced on horizontal glass, from 7.20 P.M. on March 7th to 3 P.M. on the
9th. Movement of bead magnified 13 times. Plant feebly illuminated from
above.

circumnutate over the same small space, which was only about the 1/26th of
an inch (.97 mm.) in diameter. Although this branch circumnutated to a very
small extent, yet it changed its course frequently. The movements ought to
have been more magnified.

(15.) Aloysia citriodora (Verbenaceae, Fam. 173).--The following figure
(Fig. 81) gives the movements of a shoot during
[page 210]
31 h. 40 m., and shows that it circumnutated. The bush was 15 inches in
height.

Fig. 81. Aloysia citriodora: circumnutation of stem, traced from 8.20 A.M.
on March 22nd to 4 P.M. on 23rd. Plant kept in darkness. Movement magnified
about 40 times.

(16.) Verbena melindres (?) (a scarlet-flowered herbaceous var.)
(Verbenaceae).--A shoot 8 inches in height had been laid horizontally, for
the sake of observing its apogeotropism, and the terminal portion had grown
vertically upwards for a length of 1 ½ inch. A glass filament, with a bead
at the end, was fixed

Fig. 82. Verbena melindres: circumnutation of stem in darkness, traced on
vertical glass, from 5.30 P.M. on June 5th to 11 A.M. June 7th. Movement of
bead magnified 9 times.

upright to the tip, and its movements were traced during 41 h. 30 m. on a
vertical glass (Fig. 82). Under these circumstances the lateral movements
were chiefly shown; but as the lines from side to side are not on the same
level, the shoot
[page 211]
must have moved in a plane at right angles to that of the lateral movement,
that is, it must have circumnutated. On the next day (6th) the shoot moved
in the course of 16 h. four times to the right, and four times to the left;
and this apparently represents the formation of four ellipses, so that each
was completed in 4 h.
(17.) Ceratophyllum demersum (Ceratophylleae, Fam. 220).--An interesting
account of the movements of the stem of this water-plant has been published
by M. E. Rodier.* The movements are confined to the young internodes,
becoming less and less lower down the stem; and they are extraordinary from
their amplitude. The stems sometimes moved through an angle of above 200o
in 6 h., and in one instance through 220o in 3 h. They generally bent from
right to left in the morning, and in an opposite direction in the
afternoon; but the movement was sometimes temporarily reversed or quite
arrested. It was not affected by light. It does not appear that M. Rodier
made any diagram on a horizontal plane representing the actual course
pursued by the apex, but he speaks of the "branches executing round their
axes of growth a movement of torsion." From the particulars above given,
and remembering in the case of twining plants and of tendrils, how
difficult it is not to mistake their bending to all points of the compass
for true torsion, we are led to believe that the stems of this
Ceratophyllum circumnutate, probably in the shape of narrow ellipses, each
completed in about 26 h. The following statement, however, seems to
indicate something different from ordinary circumnutation, but we cannot
fully understand it. M. Rodier says: "Il est alors facile de voir que le
mouvement de flexion se produit d'abord dans les mérithalles supérieurs,
qu'il se propage ensuite, en s'amoindrissant du haut en bas; tandis qu'au
contraire le movement de redressement commence par la partie inférieur pour
se terminer a la partie supérieure qui, quelquefois, peu de temps avant de
se relever tout à fait, forme avec l'axe un angle très aigu."

 (18.) Coniferae.--Dr. Maxwell Masters states ('Journal Linn. Soc.,' Dec.
2nd, 1879) that the leading shoots of many Coniferae during the season of
their active growth exhibit very remarkable movements of revolving
nutation, that is, they circumnutate. We may feel sure that the lateral
shoots whilst growing would exhibit the same movement if carefully
observed.

* 'Comptes Rendus,' April 30th, 1877. Also a second notice published
separately in Bourdeaux, Nov. 12th, 1877.
[page 212]

(19.) Lilium auratum (Fam. Liliaceae).--The circumnutation

Fig. 83. Lilium auratum: circumnutation of a stem in darkness, traced on a
horizontal glass, from 8 A.M. on March 14th to 8.35 A.M. on 16th. But it
should be noted that our observations were interrupted between 6 P.M. on
the 14th and 12.15 P.M. on the 15th, and the movements during this interval
of 18 h. 15 m. are represented by a long broken line. Diagram reduced to
half original scale.

of the stem of a plant 24 inches in height is represented in the above
figure (Fig. 83).

Fig. 84. Cyperus alternifolius: circumnutation of stem, illuminated from
above, traced on horizontal glass, from 9.45 A.M. March 9th to 9 P.M. on
10th. The stem grew so rapidly whilst being observed, that it was not
possible to estimate how much its movements were magnified in the tracing.

 (20.) Cyperus alternifolius (Fam. Cyperaceae.)--A glass
[page 213]
filament, with a bead at the end, was fixed across the summit of a young
stem 10 inches in height, close beneath the crown of elongated leaves. On
March 8th, between 12.20 and 7.20 P.M. the stem described an ellipse, open
at one end. On the following day a new tracing was begun (Fig. 84), which
plainly shows that the stem completed three irregular figures in the course
of 35 h. 15 m.]

Concluding Remarks on the Circumnutation of Stems.--Any one who will
inspect the diagrams now given, and will bear in mind the widely separated
position of the plants described in the series,--remembering that we have
good grounds for the belief that the hypocotyls and epicotyls of all
seedlings circumnutate,--not forgetting the number of plants distributed in
the most distinct families which climb by a similar movement,--will
probably admit that the growing stems of all plants, if carefully observed,
would be found to circumnutate to a greater or less extent. When we treat
of the sleep and other movements of plants, many other cases of
circumnutating stems will be incidentally given. In looking at the
diagrams, we should remember that the stems were always growing, so that in
each case the circumnutating apex as it rose will have described a spire of
some kind. The dots were made on the glasses generally at intervals of an
hour, or hour and a half, and were then joined by straight lines. If they
had been made at intervals of 2 or 3 minutes, the lines would have been
more curvilinear, as in the case of the tracks left on the smoked
glass-plates by the tips of the circumnutating radicles of seedling plants.
The diagrams generally approach in form to a succession of more or less
irregular ellipses or ovals, with their longer axes directed to different
points of the compass during the same day or on succeeding days. The stems
there-
[page 214]
fore, sooner or later, bend to all sides; but after a stem has bent in any
one direction, it commonly bends back at first in nearly, though not quite,
the opposite direction; and this gives the tendency to the formation of
ellipses, which are generally narrow, but not so narrow as those described
by stolons and leaves. On the other hand, the figures sometimes approach in
shape to circles. Whatever the figure may be, the course pursued is often
interrupted by zigzags, small triangles, loops, or ellipses. A stem may
describe a single large ellipse one day, and two on the next. With
different plants the complexity, rate, and amount of movement differ much.
The stems, for instance, of Iberis and Azalea described only a single large
ellipse in 24 h.; whereas those of the Deutzia made four or five deep
zigzags or narrow ellipses in 11 ½ h., and those of the Trifolium three
triangular or quadrilateral figures in 7 h.

CIRCUMNUTATION OF STOLONS OR RUNNERS.

Stolons consist of much elongated, flexible branches, which run along the
surface of the ground and form roots at a distance from the parent-plant.
They are therefore of the same homological nature as stems; and the three
following cases may be added to the twenty previously given cases.

[Fragaria (cultivated garden var.): Rosaceae.--A plant growing in a pot had
emitted a long stolon; this was supported by a stick, so that it projected
for the length of several inches horizontally. A glass filament bearing two
minute triangles of paper was affixed to the terminal bud, which was a
little upturned; and its movements were traced during 21 h., as shown in
Fig. 85. In the course of the first 12 h. it moved twice up and twice down
in somewhat zigzag lines, and no doubt travelled in the same manner during
the night. On the following
[page 215]
morning after an interval of 20 h. the apex stood a little higher than it
did at first, and this shows that the stolon had not been
Fig. 85. Fragaria: circumnutation of stolon, kept in darkness, traced on
vertical glass, from 10.45 A.M. May 18th to 7.45 A.M. on 19th.

acted on within this time by geotropism;* nor had its own weight caused it
to bend downwards.

On the following morning (19th) the glass filament was detached and refixed
close behind the bud, as it appeared possible that the circumnutation of
the terminal bud and of the adjoining part of the stolon might be
different. The movement was now traced during two consecutive days (Fig.
86). During the first day the filament travelled in the course of 14 h. 30
m. five times up and four times down, besides some lateral movement. On the
20th the course was even more complicated, and can hardly be followed in
the figure; but the filament moved in 16 h. at least five times up and five
times down, with very little

* Dr. A. B. Frank states ('Die Naturliche wagerechte Richtung von
Pflanzentheilen,' 1870, p. 20) that the stolons of this plant are acted on
by geotropism, but only after a considerable interval of time.
[page 216]

lateral deflection. The first and last dots made on this second day, viz.,
at 7 A.M. and 11 P.M., were close together, showing that the stolon had not
fallen or risen. Nevertheless, by comparing its position on the morning of
the 19th and 21st, it is obvious that the stolon had sunk; and this may be
attributed to slow bending down either from its own weight or from
geotropism.

Fig. 86. Fragaria: circumnutation of the same stolon as in the last figure,
observed in the same manner, and traced from 8 A.M. May 19th to 8 A.M.
21st.

During a part of the 20th an orthogonal tracing was made by applying a cube
of wood to the vertical glass and bringing the apex of the stolon at
successive periods into a line with one edge; a dot being made each time on
the glass. This tracing therefore represented very nearly the actual amount
of movement of the apex; and in the course of 9 h. the distance of the
extreme dots from one another was .45 inch. By the same method it was
ascertained that the apex moved between 7 A.M. on the 20th and 8 A.M. on
the 21st a distance of .82 inch.

A younger and shorter stolon was supported so that it projected at about
45o above the horizon, and its movement was traced by the same orthogonal
method. On the first day the apex soon rose above the field of vision. By
the next morning it had sunk, and the course pursued was now traced during
14 h. 30 m. (Fig. 87). The amount of movement was almost the same,
[page 217]
from side to side as up and down; and differed in this respect remarkably
from the movement in the previous cases. During the latter part of the day,
viz., between 3 and 10.30 P.M., the

Fig. 87. Fragaria: circumnutation of another and younger stolon, traced
from 8 A.M. to 10.30 P.M. Figure reduced to one-half of original scale.

actual distance travelled by the apex amounted to 1.15 inch; and in the
course of the whole day to at least 2.67 inches. This is an amount of
movement almost comparable with that of some climbing plants. The same
stolon was observed on the following day, and now it moved in a somewhat
less complex manner, in a plane not far from vertical. The extreme amount
of actual movement was 1.55 inch in one direction, and .6 inch in another
direction at right angles. During neither of these days did the stolon bend
downwards through geotropism or its own weight.

Four stolons still attached to the plant were laid on damp sand in the back
of a room, with their tips facing the north-east windows. They were thus
placed because De Vries says* that they are apheliotropic when exposed to
the light of the sun; but we could not perceive any effect from the above
feeble degree of illumination. We may add that on another occasion, late in
the summer, some stolons, placed upright before a south-west window

* 'Arbeiten Bot Inst., Würzburg,' 1872, p. 434.
[page 218]

on a cloudy day, became distinctly curved towards the light, and were
therefore heliotropic. Close in front of the tips of the prostrate stolons,
a crowd of very thin sticks and the dried haulms of grasses were driven
into the sand, to represent the crowded stems of surrounding plants in a
state of nature. This was done for the sake of observing how the growing
stolons would pass through them. They did so easily in the course of 6
days, and their circumnutation apparently facilitated their passage. When
the tips encountered sticks so close together that they could not pass
between them, they rose up and passed over them. The sticks and haulms were
removed after the passage of the four stolons, two of which were found to
have assumed a permanently sinuous shape, and two were still straight. But
to this subject we shall recur under Saxifraga.

Saxifraga sarmentosa (Saxifrageae).--A plant in a suspended pot had emitted
long branched stolons, which depended like

Fig. 88. Saxifraga sarmentosa: circumnutation of an inclined stolon, traced
in darkness on a horizontal glass, from 7.45 A.M. April 18th to 9 A.M. on
19th. Movement of end of stolon magnified 2.2 times.

threads on all sides. Two were tied up so as to stand vertically, and their
upper ends became gradually bent downwards, but so slowly in the course of
several days, that the bending was probably due to their weight and not to
geotropism. A glass filament with little triangles of paper was fixed to
the end of one of these stolons, which was 17 ½ inches in length, and had
already become much bent down, but still projected at a considerable angle
above the horizon. It moved only slightly three times from side to side and
then upwards; on the following day
[page 219]
the movement was even less. As this stolon was so long we thought that its
growth was nearly completed, so we tried another which was thicker and
shorter, viz., 10 1/4 inches in length. It moved greatly, chiefly upwards,
and changed its course five times in the course of the day. During the
night it curved so much upwards in opposition to gravity, that the movement
could no longer be traced on the vertical glass, and a horizontal one had
to be used. The movement was followed during the next 25 h., as shown in
Fig. 88. Three irregular ellipses, with their longer axes somewhat
differently directed, were almost completed in the first 15 h. The extreme
actual amount of movement of the tip during the 25 h. was .75 inch.
Several stolons were laid on a flat surface of damp sand, in the same
manner as with those of the strawberry. The friction of the sand did not
interfere with their circumnutation; nor could we detect any evidence of
their being sensitive to contact. In order to see how in a state of nature
they would act, when encountering a stone or other obstacle on the ground,
short pieces of smoked glass, an inch in height, were stuck upright into
the sand in front of two thin lateral branches. Their tips scratched the
smoked surface in various directions; one made three upward and two
downward lines, besides a nearly horizontal one; the other curled quite
away from the glass; but ultimately both surmounted the glass and pursued
their original course. The apex of a third thick stolon swept up the glass
in a curved line, recoiled and again came into contact with it; it then
moved to the right, and after ascending, descended vertically; ultimately
it passed round one end of the glass instead of over it.

Many long pins were next driven rather close together into the sand, so as
to form a crowd in front of the same two thin lateral branches; but these
easily wound their way through the crowd. A thick stolon was much delayed
in its passage; at one place it was forced to turn at right angles to its
former course; at another place it could not pass through the pins, and the
hinder part became bowed; it then curved upwards and passed through an
opening between the upper part of some pins which happened to diverge; it
then descended and finally emerged through the crowd. This stolon was
rendered permanently sinuous to a slight degree, and was thicker where
sinuous than elsewhere, apparently from its longitudinal growth having been
checked.

Cotyledon umbilicus (Crassulaceae).--A plant growing in a pan
[page 220]
of damp moss had emitted 2 stolons, 22 and 20 inches in length. One of
these was supported, so that a length of 4 ½ inches projected in a straight
and horizontal line, and the movement of the apex was traced. The first dot
was made at 9.10 A.M.;

Fig. 89. Cotyledon umbilicus: circumnutation of stolon, traced from 11.15
A.M. Aug. 25th to 11 A.M. 27th. Plant illuminated from above. The terminal
internode was .25 inch in length, the penultimate 2.25 and the third 3.0
inches in length. Apex of stolon stood at a distance of 5.75 inches from
the vertical glass; but it was not possible to ascertain how much the
tracing was magnified, as it was not known how great a length of the
internode circumnutated.

the terminal portion soon began to bend downwards and continued to do so
until noon. Therefore a straight line, very nearly as long as the whole
figure here given (Fig. 89), was first traced on the glass; but the upper
part of this line has not been copied in the diagram. The curvature
occurred in the middle
[page 221]
of the penultimate internode; and its chief seat was at the distance of 1
1/4 inch from the apex; it appeared due to the weight of the terminal
portion, acting on the more flexible part of the internode, and not to
geotropism. The apex after thus sinking down from 9.10 A.M. to noon, moved
a little to the left; it then rose up and circumnutated in a nearly
vertical plane until 10.35 P.M. On the following day (26th) it was ob-

Fig. 90. Cotyledon umbilicus: circumnutation and downward movement of
another stolon, traced on vertical glass, from 9.11 A.M. Aug. 25th to 11
A.M. 27th. Apex close to glass, so that figure but little magnified, and
here reduced to two-thirds of original size.

served from 6.40 A.M. to 5.20 P.M., and within this time it moved twice up
and twice down. On the morning of the 27th the apex stood as high as it did
at 11.30 A.M. on the 25th. Nor did it sink down during the 28th, but
continued to circumnutate about the same place.

Another stolon, which resembled the last in almost every
[page 222]
respect, was observed during the same two days, but only two inches of the
terminal portion was allowed to project freely and horizontally. On the
25th it continued from 9.10 A.M. to 1.30 P.M. to bend straight downwards,
apparently owing to its weight (Fig. 90); but after this hour until 10.35
P.M. it zigzagged. This fact deserves notice, for we here probably see the
combined effects of the bending down from weight and of circumnutation. The
stolon, however, did not circumnutate when it first began to bend down, as
may be observed in the present diagram, and as was still more evident in
the last case, when a longer portion of the stolon was left unsupported. On
the following day (26th) the stolon moved twice up and twice down, but
still continued to fall; in the evening and during the night it travelled
from some unknown cause in an oblique direction.]

We see from these three cases that stolons or runners circumnutate in a
very complex manner. The lines generally extend in a vertical plane, and
this may probably be attributed to the effect of the weight of the
unsupported end of the stolon; but there is always some, and occasionally a
considerable, amount of lateral movement. The circumnutation is so great in
amplitude that it may almost be compared with that of climbing plants. That
the stolons are thus aided in passing over obstacles and in winding between
the stems of the surrounding plants, the observations above given render
almost certain. If they had not circumnutated, their tips would have been
liable to have been doubled up, as often as they met with obstacles in
their path; but as it is, they easily avoid them. This must be a
considerable advantage to the plant in spreading from its parent-stock; but
we are far from supposing that the power has been gained by the stolons for
this purpose, for circumnutation seems to be of universal occurrence with
all growing parts; but it is not improbable that the amplitude of the
movement may have been specially increased for this purpose.
[page 223]

CIRCUMNUTATION OF FLOWER-STEMS.

We did not think it necessary to make any special observations on the
circumnutation of flower-stems, these being axial in their nature, like
stems or stolons; but some were incidentally made whilst attending to other
subjects, and these we will here briefly give. A few observations have also
been made by other botanists. These taken together suffice to render it
probable that all peduncles and sub-peduncles circumnutate whilst growing.

[Oxalis carnosa.--The peduncle which springs from the thick and woody stem
of this plant bears three or four sub-peduncles.

Fig. 91. Oxalis carnosa: flower-stem, feebly illuminated from above, its
circumnutation traced from 9 A.M. April 13th to 9 A.M. 15th. Summit of
flower 8 inches beneath the horizontal glass. Movement probably magnified
about 6 times.

A filament with little triangles of paper was fixed within the calyx of a
flower which stood upright. Its movements were observed for 48 h.; during
the first half of this time the flower was fully expanded, and during the
second half withered. The figure here given (Fig. 91) represents 8 or 9
ellipses. Although the main peduncle circumnutated, and described one large
and
[page 224]
two smaller ellipses in the course of 24 h., yet the chief seat of movement
lies in the sub-peduncles, which ultimately bend vertically downwards, as
will be described in a future chapter. The peduncles of Oxalis acetosella
likewise bend downwards, and afterwards, when the pods are nearly mature,
upwards; and this is effected by a circumnutating movement.

It may be seen in the above figure that the flower-stem of O. carnosa
circumnutated during two days about the same spot. On the other hand, the
flower-stem of O. sensitiva undergoes a strongly marked, daily, periodical
change of position, when kept at a proper temperature. In the middle of the
day it stands vertically up, or at a high angle; in the afternoon it sinks,
and in the evening projects horizontally, or almost horizontally, rising
again during the night. This movement continues from the period when the
flowers are in bud to when, as we believe, the pods are mature: and it
ought perhaps to have been included amongst the so-called sleep-movements
of plants. A tracing was not made, but the angles were measured at
successive periods during one whole day; and these showed that the movement
was not continuous, but that the peduncle oscillated up and down. We may
therefore conclude that it circumnutated. At the base of the peduncle there
is a mass of small cells, forming a well-developed pulvinus, which is
exteriorly coloured purple and hairy. In no other genus, as far as we know,
is the peduncle furnished with a pulvinus. The peduncle of O. Ortegesii
behaved differently from that of O. sensitiva, for it stood at a less angle
above the horizon in the middle of the day, then in the morning or evening.
By 10.20 P.M. it had risen greatly. During the middle of the day it
oscillated much up and down.

Trifolium subterraneum.--A filament was fixed vertically to the uppermost
part of the peduncle of a young and upright flower-head (the stem of the
plant having been secured to a stick); and its movements were traced during
36 h. Within this time it described (see Fig. 92) a figure which represents
four ellipses; but during the latter part of the time the peduncle began to
bend downwards, and after 10.30 P.M. on the 24th it curved so rapidly down,
that by 6.45 A.M. on the 25th it stood only 19o above the horizon. It went
on circumnutating in nearly the same position for two days. Even after the
flower-heads have buried themselves in the ground they continue, as will
hereafter be shown, to circumnutate. It will also be seen in the next
chapter that the sub-peduncles of the separate flowers of
[page 225]
Trifolium repens circumnutate in a complicated course during several days.
I may add that the gynophore of Arachis hypogoea,

Fig. 92. Trifolium subterraneum: main flower-peduncle, illuminated from
above, circumnutation traced on horizontal glass, from 8.40 A.M. July 23rd
to 10.30 P.M. 24th.

which looks exactly like a peduncle, circumnutates whilst growing
vertically downwards, in order to bury the young pod in the ground.

The movements of the flowers of Cyclamen Persicum were not observed; but
the peduncle, whilst the pod is forming, increases much in length, and bows
itself down by a circumnutating movement. A young peduncle of Maurandia
semperflorens, 1 ½ inch in length, was carefully observed during a whole
day, and it made 4 ½ narrow, vertical, irregular and short ellipses, each
at an average rate of about 2 h. 25 m. An adjoining peduncle described
during the same time similar, though fewer, ellipses.* According to Sachs**
the flower-stems, whilst growing,

* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 2nd edit., 1875, p. 68.

** 'Text-Book of Botany,' 1875,
[[page 226]]
p. 766. Linnaeus and Treviranus (according to Pfeffer, 'Die Periodischen
Bewegungen,' etc., p. 162) state that the flower-stalks of many plants
occupy different positions by night and day, and we shall see in the
chapter on the Sleep of Plants that this implies circumnutation.
[page 226]

of many plants, for instance, those of Brassica napus, revolve or
circumnutate; those of Allium porrum bend from side to side, and, if this
movement had been traced on a horizontal glass, no doubt ellipses would
have been formed. Fritz Müller has described* the spontaneous revolving
movements of the flower-stems of an Alisma, which he compares with those of
a climbing plant.

We made no observations on the movements of the different parts of flowers.
Morren, however, has observed** in the stamens of Sparmannia and Cereus a
"fremissement spontané," which, it may be suspected, is a circumnutating
movement. The circumnutation of the gynostemium of Stylidium, as described
by Gad,*** is highly remarkable, and apparently aids in the fertilisation
of the flowers. The gynostemium, whilst spontaneously moving, comes into
contact with the viscid labellum, to which it adheres, until freed by the
increasing tension of the parts or by being touched.]

We have now seen that the flower-stems of plants belonging to such widely
different families as the Cruciferae, Oxalidae, Leguminosae, Primulaceae,
Scrophularineae, Alismaceae, and Liliaceae, circumnutate; and that there
are indications of this movement in many other families. With these facts
before us, bearing also in mind that the tendrils of not a few plants
consist of modified peduncles, we may admit without much doubt that all
growing flower-stems circumnutate.

CIRCUMNUTATION OF LEAVES: DICOTYLEDONS.

Several distinguished botanists, Hofmeister, Sachs, Pfeffer, De Vries,
Batalin, Millardet, etc., have ob-

* 'Jenaische Zeitsch.,' B. v. p. 133.

**  'N. Mem. de l'Acad. R. de Bruxelles,' tom. xiv. 1841, p. 3.

*** 'Sitzungbericht des bot. Vereins der P. Brandenburg,' xxi. p. 84.
[page 227]
served, and some of them with the greatest care, the periodical movements
of leaves; but their attention has been chiefly, though not exclusively,
directed to those which move largely and are commonly said to sleep at
night. From considerations hereafter to be given, plants of this nature are
here excluded, and will be treated of separately. As we wished to ascertain
whether all young and growing leaves circumnutated, we thought that it
would be sufficient if we observed between 30 and 40 genera, widely
distributed throughout the vegetable series, selecting some unusual forms
and others on woody plants. All the plants were healthy and grew in pots.
They were illuminated from above, but the light perhaps was not always
sufficiently bright, as many of them were observed under a skylight of
ground-glass. Except in a few specified cases, a fine glass filament with
two minute triangles of paper was fixed to the leaves, and their movements
were traced on a vertical glass (when not stated to the contrary) in the
manner already described. I may repeat that the broken lines represent the
nocturnal course. The stem was always secured to a stick, close to the base
of the leaf under observation. The arrangement of the species, with the
number of the Family appended, is the same as in the case of stems.

Fig. 93. Sarracenia purpurea: circumnutation of young pitcher, traced from
8 A.M. July 3rd to 10.15 A.M. 4th. Temp. 17o - 18o C. Apex of pitcher 20
inches from glass, so movement greatly magnified.

(1.) Sarracenia purpurea (Sarraceneae, Fam. 11).--A young leaf, or pitcher,
8 ½ inches in height, with the bladder swollen but with the hood not as yet
open, had a filament fixed transversely
[page 228]
across its apex; it was observed for 48 h., and during the whole of this
time it circumnutated in a nearly similar manner, but to a very small
extent. The tracing given (Fig. 93) relates only to the movement during the
first 26 h.

(2) Glaucium luteum (Papaveraceae, Fam. 12).--A young plant, bearing only 8
leaves, had a filament attached to the youngest leaf but one, which was 3
inches in length, including the petiole. The circumnutating movement was
traced during 47 h. On both days the leaf descended from before 7 A.M.
until about 11 A.M., and then ascended slightly during the rest of the day
and the early part of the night. During the latter part of the night it
fell greatly. It did not ascend so much during the second as during the
first day, and it descended considerably lower on the second night than on
the first. This difference was probably due to the illumination from above
having been insufficient during the two days of observation. Its course
during the two days is shown in Fig. 94.

Fig. 94. Glaucium luteum: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 9.30
A.M. June 14th to 8.30 A.M. 16th. Tracing not much magnified, as apex of
leaf stood only 5 ½ inches from the glass.

(3.) Crambe maritima (Cruciferae, Fam. 14).--A leaf 9 ½ inches in length on
a plant not growing vigorously was first observed. Its apex was in constant
movement, but this could hardly be traced, from being so small in extent.
The apex, however, certainly changed its course at least 6 times in the
course of 14 h. A more vigorous young plant, bearing only 4 leaves, was
then selected, and a filament was affixed to the midrib of the third leaf
from the base, which, with the petiole, was 5 inches in length. The leaf
stood up almost vertically, but the tip
[page 229]
was deflected, so that the filament projected almost horizontally, and its
movements were traced during 48 h. on a vertical glass as shown in the
accompanying figure (Fig. 95). We here plainly see that the leaf was
continually circumnutating; but the proper periodicity of its movements was
disturbed by its being only dimly illuminated from above through a double
skylight. We infer that this was the case, because two leaves on plants
growing out of doors, had their angles above the horizon measured in the
middle of the day and at 9 to about 10 P.M. on successive nights, and they
were found at this latter hour to have risen by an average angle of 9o
above their mid-day position: on the following morning they fell to their
former position. Now it may be observed in the diagram that the leaf rose
during the second night, so that it stood at 6.40 A.M. higher than at 10.20
P.M. on the preceding night; and this may be attributed to the leaf
adjusting itself to the dim light, coming exclusively from above.

Fig. 95. Crambe maritima: circumnutation of leaf, disturbed by being
insufficiently illuminated from above, traced from 7.50 A.M. June 23rd to 8
A.M. 25th. Apex of leaf 15 1/4 inches from the vertical glass, so that the
tracing was much magnified, but is here reduced to one-fourth of original
scale.

(4.) Brassica oleracea (Cruciferae).--Hofmeister and Batalin* state that
the leaves of the cabbage rise at night, and fall by day. We covered a
young plant, bearing 8 leaves, under a large bell-glass, placing it in the
same position with respect to the

* 'Flora,' 1873, p. 437.
[page 230]

light in which it had long remained, and a filament was fixed at the
distance of .4 of an inch from the apex of a young leaf nearly 4 inches in
length. Its movements were then traced during three days, but the tracing
is not worth giving. The leaf fell during the whole morning, and rose in
the evening and during the early part of the night. The ascending and
descending lines did not coincide, so that an irregular ellipse was formed
each 24 h. The basal part of the midrib did not move, as was ascertained by
measuring at successive periods the angle which it formed with the horizon,
so that the movement was confined to the terminal portion of the leaf,
which moved through an angle of 11o in the course of 24 h., and the
distance travelled by the apex, up and down, was between .8 and .9 of an
inch.

In order to ascertain the effect of darkness, a filament was fixed to a
leaf 5 ½ inches in length, borne by a plant which after forming a head had
produced a stem. The leaf was inclined 44o above the horizon, and its
movements were traced on a vertical glass every hour by the aid of a taper.
During the first day the leaf rose from 8 A.M. to 10.40 P.M. in a slightly
zigzag course, the actual distance travelled by the apex being .67 of an
inch. During the night the leaf fell, whereas it ought to have risen; and
by 7 A.M. on the following morning it had fallen .23 of an inch, and it
continued falling until 9.40 A.M. It then rose until 10.50 P.M., but the
rise was interrupted by one considerable oscillation, that is, by a fall
and re-ascent. During the second night it again fell, but only to a very
short distance, and on the following morning re-ascended to a very short
distance. Thus the normal course of the leaf was greatly disturbed, or
rather completely inverted, by the absence of light; and the movements were
likewise greatly diminished in amplitude.

We may add that, according to Mr. A. Stephen Wilson,* the young leaves of
the Swedish turnip, which is a hybrid between B. oleracea and rapa, draw
together in the evening so much "that the horizontal breadth diminishes
about 30 per cent. of the daylight breadth." Therefore the leaves must rise
considerably at night.

(5.) Dianthus caryophyllus (Caryophylleae, Fam. 26).--The

* 'Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh,' vol. xiii. p. 32. With respect to the
origin of the Swedish turnip, see Darwin, 'Animals and Plants under
Domestication,' 2nd edit. vol. i. p. 344.
[page 231]

terminal shoot of a young plant, growing very vigorously, was selected for
observation. The young leaves at first stand up vertically and close
together, but they soon bend outwards and downwards, so as to become
horizontal, and often at the same time a little to one side. A filament was
fixed to the tip of a young leaf whilst still highly inclined, and the
first dot was made on the vertical glass at 8.30 A.M. June 13th, but it
curved downwards so quickly that by 6.40 A.M. on the following morning it
stood only a little above the horizon. In Fig. 96

Fig. 96. Dianthus caryophyllus: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from
10.15 P.M. June 13th to 10.35 P.M. 16th. Apex of leaf stood, at the close
of our observations, 8 3/4 inches from the vertical glass, so tracing not
greatly magnified. The leaf was 5 1/4 inches long. Temp. 15 1/2o - 17 1/2o
C.

the long, slightly zigzag line representing this rapid downward course,
which was somewhat inclined to the left, is not given; but the figure shows
the highly tortuous and zigzag course, together with some loops, pursued
during the next 2 ½ days. As the leaf continued to move all the time to the
left, it is evident that the zigzag line represents many circumnutations.

(6.) Camellia Japonica (Camelliaceae, Fam. 32).--A youngish leaf, which
together with its petiole was 2 3/4 inches in length and which arose from a
side branch on a tall bush, had a filament attached to its apex. This leaf
sloped downwards at an angle of 40o beneath the horizon. As it was thick
and rigid, and its
[page 232]
petiole very short, much movement could not be expected. Nevertheless, the
apex changed its course completely seven times in the course of 11 ½ h.,
but moved to only a very small distance. On the next day the movement of
the apex was traced during 26 h. 20 m. (as shown in Fig. 97), and was
nearly of the same nature, but rather less complex. The movement seems to
be periodical, for on both days the leaf circumnutated in the forenoon,
fell in the afternoon (on the first day until between 3 and 4 P.M., and on
the second day until 6 P.M.), and then rose, falling again during the night
or early morning.

Fig. 97. Camellia Japonica: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 6.40 A.M.
June 14th to 6.50 A.M. 15th. Apex of leaf 12 inches from the vertical
glass, so figure considerably magnified. Temp. 16o - 16 1/2o C.

In the chapter on the Sleep of Plants we shall see that the leaves in
several Malvaceous genera sink

Fig. 98. Pelargonium zonale: circumnutation and downward movement of young
leaf, traced from 9.30 A.M. June 14th to 6.30 P.M. 16th. Apex of leaf 9 1.4
inches from the vertical glass, so figure moderately magnified. Temp. 15o -
16 1/2o C.

at night; and as they often do not then occupy a vertical position,
especially if they have not been well illuminated during
[page 233]
the day, it is doubtful whether some of these cases ought not to have been
included in the present chapter.

(7.) Pelargonium zonale (Geraniaceae, Fam. 47).--A young leaf, 1 1/4 inch
in breadth, with its petiole 1 inch long, borne on a young plant, was
observed in the usual manner during 61 h.; and its course is shown in the
preceding figure (Fig. 98). During the first day and night the leaf moved
downwards, but circumnutated between 10 A.M. and 4.30 P.M. On the second
day it sank and rose again, but between 10 A.M. and 6 P.M. it circumnutated
on an extremely small scale. On the third day the circumnutation was more
plainly marked.

(8.) Cissus discolor (Ampelideae, Fam. 67).--A leaf, not nearly full-grown,
the third from the apex of a shoot on a cut-down plant, was observed during
31 h. 30 m. (see Fig. 99). The day was cold (15o - 16o C.), and if the
plant had been observed in the hot-house, the circumnutation, though plain
enough as it was, would probably have been far more conspicuous.

Fig. 99. Cissus discolor: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 10.35 A.M.
May 28th to 6 P.M. 29th. Apex of leaf 8 3/4 inches from the vertical glass.

(9.) Vicia faba (Leguminosae, Fam. 75).--A young leaf, 3.1 inches in
length, measured from base of petiole to end of leaflets, had a filament
affixed to the midrib of one of the two terminal leaflets, and its
movements were traced during 51 ½ h. The filament fell all morning (July
2nd) till 3 P.M., and then rose greatly till 10.35 P.M.; but the rise this
day was so great, compared with that which subsequently occurred, that it
was probably due in part to the plant being illuminated from above. The
latter part of the course on July 2nd is alone given in the following
figure (Fig. 100). On the next day (July 3rd) the leaf again fell in the
morning, then circumnutated in a conspicuous manner, and rose till late at
night; but the movement was not traced after 7.15 P.M., as by that time the
filament pointed towards the upper edge of the glass. During the latter
part of the night or early morning it again fell in the same manner as
before.
[page 234]

As the evening rise and the early morning fall were unusually large, the
angle of the petiole above the horizon was measured at the two periods, and
the leaf was found to have risen 19o

Fig. 100. Vicia faba: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 7.15 P.M. July
2nd to 10.15 A.M. 4th. Apex of the two terminal leaflets 7 1/4 inches from
the vertical glass. Figure here reduced to two-thirds of original scale.
Temp. 17o - 18o C.

between 12.20 P.M. and 10.45 P.M., and to have fallen 23o 30 seconds
between the latter hour and 10.20 A.M. on the following morning.

The main petiole was now secured to a stick close to the base
[page 235]
of the two terminal leaflets, which were 1.4 inch in length; and the
movements of one of them were traced during 48 h. (see Fig. 101). The
course pursued is closely analogous to that of the whole leaf. The zigzag
line between 8.30 A.M. and 3.30 P.M. on the second day represents 5 very
small ellipses, with their
Fig 101. Vicia faba: circumnutation of one of the two terminal leaflets,
the main petiole having been secured, traced from 10.40 A.M. July 4th to
10.30 A.M. 6th. Apex of leaflet 6 5/8 inches from the vertical glass.
Tracing here reduced to one-half of original scale. Temp. 16o - 18o C.

longer axes differently directed. From these observations it follows that
both the whole leaf and the terminal leaflets undergo a well-marked daily
periodical movement, rising in the evening and falling during the latter
part of the night or early morning; whilst in the middle of the day they
generally circumnutate round the same small space.
[page 236]

(10.) Acacia retinoides (Leguminosae).--The movement of a young phyllode, 2
3/8 inches in length, and inclined at a considerable angle above the
horizon, was traced during 45 h. 30 m.; but in the figure here given (Fig.
102), its circumnutation is shown during only 21 h. 30 m. During part of
this time (viz., 14 h. 30 m.) the phyllode described a figure representing
5 or 6 small ellipses. The actual amount of movement in a vertical
direction was .3 inch. The phyllode rose considerably between 1.30 P.M. and
4 P.M., but there was no evidence on either day of a regular periodic
movement.

Fig. 102. Acacia retinoides: circumnutation of a young phyllode, traced
from 10.45 A.M. July 18th to 8.15 A.M. 19th. Apex of phyllode 9 inches from
the vertical glass; temp. 16 1/2o - 17 1/2o C.

(11.) Lupinus speciosus (Leguminosae).--Plants were raised from seed
purchased under this name. This is one of the species in this large genus,
the leaves of which do not sleep at night. The petioles rise direct from
the ground, and are from 5 to 7 inches in length. A filament was fixed to
the midrib of one of the longer leaflets, and the movement of the whole
leaf was traced, as shown in Fig. 103. In the course of 6 h. 30 m. the
filament went four times up and three times down. A new tracing was then
begun (not here given), and during 12 ½ h. the leaf moved eight times up
and seven times down; so that it described 7 ½ ellipses in this time, and
this is an extraordinary rate of movement. The summit of the petiole was
then secured to a stick, and the separate leaflets were found to be
continually circumnutating.

Fig. 103. Lupinus speciosus: circumnutation of leaf, traced on vertical
glass, from 10.15 A.M. to 5.45 P.M.; i.e., during 6 h. 30 m.
[page 237]

(12.) Echeveria stolonifera (Crassulaceae, Fam. 84).--The older leaves of
this plant are so thick and fleshy, and the young ones so short and broad,
that it seemed very improbable that any circumnutation could be detected. A
filament was fixed to a young upwardly inclined leaf, .75 inch in length
and .28 in breadth, which stood on the outside of a terminal rosette of
leaves, produced by a plant growing very vigorously. Its movement was
traced during 3 days, as here shown (Fig. 104). The course was chiefly in
an upward direction, and this may be attributed to the elongation of the
leaf through growth; but we see that the lines are strongly zigzag, and
that occasionally there was distinct circumnutation, though on a very small
scale.

Fig. 104. Echeveria stolonifera: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 8.20
A.M. June 25th to 8.45 A.M. 28th. Apex of leaf 12 1/4 inches from the
glass, so that the movement was much magnified; temp. 23o - 24 1/2o C.
(13.) Bryophyllum (vel Calanchae) calycinum (Crassulaceae).--Duval-Jouve
('Bull. Soc. Bot. de France,' Feb. 14th, 1868) measured the distance
between the tips of the upper pair of leaves on this plant, with the result
shown in the following Table. It should be noted that the measurements on
Dec. 2nd were made on a different pair of leaves: --

               8 A.M.      2 P.M.      7 P.M.
Nov. 16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 mm.. . . . . .25 mm. . . ..
. . .(?)
  "     19. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48  " . . . . . . .  60 ". .
. . . . .  48 mm.
Dec.   2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22  ". . . . . . . . 43 ". . .
. . . . .28  "

We see from this Table that the leaves stood considerably further apart at
2 P.M. than at either 8 A.M. or 7 P.M.; and this shows that they rise a
little in the evening and fall or open in the forenoon.

(14.) Drosera rotundifolia (Droseraceae, Fam. 85).--The movements of a
young leaf, having a long petiole but with its tentacles (or gland-bearing
hairs) as yet unfolded, were traced during 47 h. 15 m. The figure (Fig.
105) shows that it circumnutated largely, chiefly in a vertical direction,
making two ellipses each
[page 238]
day. On both days the leaf began to descend after 12 or 1 o'clock, and
continued to do so all night, though to a very unequal distance on the two
occasions. We therefore thought that the movement was periodic; but on
observing three other leaves during several successive days and nights, we
found this to be an error; and the case is given merely as a caution. On
the third morning the above leaf occupied almost exactly the same position
as on the first morning; and the tentacles by this time had unfolded
sufficiently to project at right angles to the blade or disc.

Fig. 105. Drosera rotundifolia: circumnutation of young leaf, with filament
fixed to back of blade, traced from 9.15 A.M. June 7th to 8.30 A.M. June
9th. Figure here reduced to one-half original scale.

The leaves as they grow older generally sink more and more downwards. The
movement of an oldish leaf, the glands of which were still secreting
freely, was traced for 24 h., during which time it continued to sink a
little in a slightly zigzag line. On the following morning, at 7 A.M., a
drop of a solution of carbonate of ammonia (2 gr. to 1 oz. of water) was
placed on the disc, and this blackened the glands and induced inflection of
many of the tentacles. The weight of the drop caused the leaf at first to
sink a little; but immediately afterwards it began to rise in a somewhat
zigzag course, and continued to do so till 3 P.M. It then circumnutated
about the same spot on a very small scale for 21 h.; and during the next 21
h. it sank in a zigzag line to nearly the same level which it had held when
the ammonia was first administered. By this time the tentacles had
re-expanded, and the glands had recovered their proper colour. We thus
learn that an old leaf
[page 239]
circumnutates on a small scale, at least whilst absorbing carbonate of
ammonia; for it is probable that this absorption may stimulate growth and
thus re-excite circumnutation. Whether the rising of the glass filament
which was attached to the back of the leaf, resulted from its margin
becoming slightly inflected (as generally occurs), or from the rising of
the petiole, was not ascertained.

In order to learn whether the tentacles or gland-bearing hairs
circumnutate, the back of a young leaf, with the innermost tentacles as yet
incurved, was firmly cemented with shellac to a flat stick driven into
compact damp argillaceous sand. The plant was placed under a microscope
with the stage removed and with an eye-piece micrometer, of which each
division equalled 1/500 of an inch. It should be stated that as the leaves
grow older the tentacles of the exterior rows bend outwards and downwards,
so as ultimately to become deflected considerably beneath the horizon. A
tentacle in the second row from the margin was selected for observation,
and was found to be moving outwards at a rate of 1/500 of an inch in 20 m.,
or 1/100 of inch in 1 h. 40 m.; but as it likewise moved from side to side
to an extent of above 1/500 of inch, the movement was probably one of
modified circumnutation. A tentacle on an old leaf was next observed in the
same manner. In 15 m. after being placed under the microscope it had moved
about 1/1000 of an inch. During the next 7 ½ h. it was looked at
repeatedly, and during this whole time it moved only another 1/1000 of an
inch; and this small movement may have been due to the settling of the damp
sand (on which the plant rested), though the sand had been firmly pressed
down. We may therefore conclude that the tentacles when old do not
circumnutate; yet this tentacle was so sensitive, that in 23 seconds after
its gland had been merely touched with a bit of raw meat, it began to curl
inwards. This fact is of some importance, as it apparently shows that the
inflection of the tentacles from the stimulus of absorbed animal matter
(and no doubt from that of contact with any object) is not due to modified
circumnutation.

(15.) Dionoea muscipula (Droseraceae).--It should be premised that the
leaves at an early stage of their development have the two lobes pressed
closely together. These are at first directed back towards the centre of
the plant; but they gradually rise up and soon stand at right angles to the
petiole, and ultimately in nearly a straight line with it. A young leaf,
which with the
[page 240]
petiole was only 1.2 inch in length, had a filament fixed externally along
the midrib of the still closed lobes, which projected at right angles to
the petiole. In the evening this leaf completed an ellipse in the course of
2 h. On the following day (Sept. 25th) its movements were traced during 22
h.; and we see in Fig. 106 that it moved in the same general direction, due
to the straightening of the leaf, but in an extremely zigzag line. This
line represents several drawn-out or modified ellipses. There can therefore
be no doubt that this young leaf circumnutated.

Fig. 106. Dionaea muscipula: circumnutation of a young and expanding leaf,
traced on a horizontal glass in darkness, from noon Sept. 24th to 10 A.M.
25th. Apex of leaf 13 ½ inches from the glass, so tracing considerably
magnified.

A rather old, horizontally extended leaf, with a filament attached along
the under side of the midrib, was next observed during 7 h. It hardly
moved, but when one of its sensitive hairs was touched, the blades closed,
though not very quickly. A new dot was now made on the glass, but in the
course of 14 h. 20 m. there was hardly any change in the position of the
filament. We may therefore infer that an old and only moderately sensitive
leaf does not circumnutate plainly; but we shall soon see that it by no
means follows that such a leaf is absolutely motionless. We may further
infer that the stimulus from a touch does not re-excite plain
circumnutation.

Another full-grown leaf had a filament attached externally along one side
of the midrib and parallel to it, so that the filament would move if the
lobes closed. It should be first stated that, although a touch on one of
the sensitive hairs of a vigorous leaf causes it to close quickly, often
almost instantly, yet when a bit of damp meat or some solution of carbonate
of ammonia is placed on the lobes, they close so slowly that generally 24
h. is required for the completion of the act. The above leaf was first
observed for 2 h. 30 m., and did not circumnutate, but it ought to have
been observed for a
[page 241]
longer period; although, as we have seen, a young leaf completed a fairly
large ellipse in 2 h. A drop of an infusion of raw meat was then placed on
the leaf, and within 2 h. the glass filament rose a little; and this
implies that the lobes had begun to close, and perhaps the petiole to rise.
It continued to rise with extreme slowness for the next 8 h. 30 m. The
position of the pot was then (7.15 P.M., Sept. 24th) slightly changed and
an additional drop of the infusion given, and a new tracing was begun (Fig.
107). By 10.50 P.M. the filament had risen only a little more, and it fell
during the night. On the following morning the lobes were closing more
quickly, and by 5 P.M. it was evident to the eye that they had closed
considerably; by 8.48. P.M. this was still plainer, and by 10.45 P.M. the
marginal spikes were interlocked. The leaf fell a little during the night,
and next morning (25th) at 7 A.M. the lobes were completely shut. The
course pursued, as may be seen in the figure, was

Fig. 107. Dionoea muscipula: closure of the lobes and circumnutation of a
full-grown leaf, whilst absorbing an infusion of raw meat, traced in
darkness, from 7.15 P.M. Sept. 24th to 9 A.M. 26th. Apex of leaf 8 ½ inches
from the vertical glass. Figure here reduced to two-thirds of original
scale.

strongly zigzag, and this indicates that the closing of the lobes was
combined with the circumnutation of the whole leaf; and there cannot be
much doubt, considering how motionless the leaf was during 2 h. 30 m.
before it received the infusion, that the absorption of the animal matter
had excited it to circumnutate. The leaf was occasionally observed for the
next four days, but was kept in rather too cool a place; nevertheless, it
continued to circumnutate to a small extent, and the lobes remained closed.

It is sometimes stated in botanical works that the lobes close or sleep at
night; but this is an error. To test the statement, very long glass
filaments were fixed inside the two lobes of three leaves, and the
distances between their tips were measured in the middle of the day and at
night; but no difference could be detected.

The previous observations relate to the movements of the whole leaf, but
the lobes move independently of the petiole, and
[page 242]
seem to be continually opening and shutting to a very small extent. A
nearly full-grown leaf (afterwards proved to be highly sensitive to
contact) stood almost horizontally, so that by driving a long thin pin
through the foliaceous petiole close to the blade, it was rendered
motionless. The plant, with a little triangle of paper attached to one of
the marginal spikes, was placed under a microscope with an eye-piece
micrometer, each division of which equalled 1/500 of an inch. The apex of
the paper-triangle was now seen to be in constant slight movement; for in 4
h. it crossed nine divisions, or 9/500 of an inch, and after ten additional
hours it moved back and had crossed 5/500 in an opposite direction. The
plant was kept in rather too cool a place, and on the following day it
moved rather less, namely, 1/500 in 3 h., and 2/500 in an opposite
direction during the next 6 h. The two lobes, therefore, seem to be
constantly closing or opening, though to a very small distance; for we must
remember that the little triangle of paper affixed to the marginal spike
increased its length, and thus exaggerated somewhat the movement. Similar
observations, with the important difference that the petiole was left free
and the plant kept under a high temperature, were made on a leaf, which was
healthy, but so old that it did not close when its sensitive hairs were
repeatedly touched, though judging from other cases it would have slowly
closed if it had been stimulated by animal matter. The apex of the triangle
was in almost, though not quite, constant movement, sometimes in one
direction and sometimes in an opposite one; and it thrice crossed five
divisions of the micrometer (i.e. 1/100 of an inch) in 30 m. This movement
on so small a scale is hardly comparable with ordinary circumnutation; but
it may perhaps be compared with the zigzag lines and little loops, by which
the larger ellipses made by other plants are often interrupted.

In the first chapter of this volume, the remarkable oscillatory movements
of the circumnutating hypocotyl of the cabbage have been described. The
leaves of Dionaea present the same phenomenon, which is a wonderful one, as
viewed under a low power (2-inch object-glass), with an eye-piece
micrometer of which each division (1/500 of an inch) appeared as a rather
wide space. The young unexpanded leaf, of which the circumnutating
movements were traced (Fig. 106), had a glass filament fixed
perpendicularly to it; and the movement of the apex was observed in the
hot-house (temp. 84o to 86o F.), with light admitted only from above, and
with any lateral currents of air
[page 243]
excluded. The apex sometimes crossed one or two divisions of the micrometer
at an imperceptibly slow rate, but generally it moved onwards by rapid
starts or jerks of 2/1000 or 3/1000, and in one instance of 4/1000 of an
inch. After each jerk forwards, the apex drew itself backwards with
comparative slowness for part of the distance which had just been gained;
and then after a very short time made another jerk forwards. Four
conspicuous jerks forwards, with slower retreats, were seen on one occasion
to occur in exactly one minute, besides some minor oscillations. As far as
we could judge, the advancing and retreating lines did not coincide, and if
so, extremely minute ellipses were each time described. Sometimes the apex
remained quite motionless for a short period. Its general course during the
several hours of observation was in two opposite directions, so that the
leaf was probably circumnutating.

An older leaf with the lobes fully expanded, and which was afterwards
proved to be highly sensitive to contact, was next observed in a similar
manner, except that the plant was exposed to a lower temperature in a room.
The apex oscillated forwards and backwards in the same manner as before;
but the jerks forward were less in extent, viz. about 1/1000 inch; and
there were longer motionless periods. As it appeared possible that the
movements might be due to currents of air, a wax taper was held close to
the leaf during one of the motionless periods, but no oscillations were
thus caused. After 10 m., however, vigorous oscillations commenced, perhaps
owing to the plant having been warmed and thus stimulated. The candle was
then removed and before long the oscillations ceased; nevertheless, when
looked at again after an interval of 1 h. 30 m., it was again oscillating.
The plant was taken back into the hot-house, and on the following morning
was seen to be oscillating, though not very vigorously. Another old but
healthy leaf, which was not in the least sensitive to a touch, was likewise
observed during two days in the hot-house, and the attached filament made
many little jerks forwards of about 2/1000 or only 1/1000 of an inch.

Finally, to ascertain whether the lobes independently of the petiole
oscillated, the petiole of an old leaf was cemented close to the blade with
shellac to the top of a little stick driven into the soil. But before this
was done the leaf was observed, and found to be vigorously oscillating or
jerking; and after it had been cemented to the stick, the oscillations of
about 2/1000 of an inch still continued. On the following day a little
infusion
[page 244]
of raw meat was placed on the leaf, which caused the lobes to close
together very slowly in the course of two days; and the oscillations
continued during this whole time and for the next two days. After nine
additional days the leaf began to open and the margins were a little
everted, and now the apex of the glass filament remained for long periods
motionless, and then moved backwards and forwards for a distance of about
1/1000 of an inch slowly, without any jerks. Nevertheless, after warming
the leaf with a taper held close to it, the jerking movement recommenced.

This same leaf had been observed 2 ½ months previously, and was then found
to be oscillating or jerking. We may therefore infer that this kind of
movement goes on night and day for a very long period; and it is common to
young unexpanded leaves and to leaves so old as to have lost their
sensitiveness to a touch, but which were still capable of absorbing
nitrogenous matter. The phenomenon when well displayed, as in the young
leaf just described, is a very interesting one. It often brought before our
minds the idea of effort, or of a small animal struggling to escape from
some constraint.

(16.) Eucalyptus resinifera (Myrtaceae, Fam. 94).--A young leaf, two inches
in length together with the petiole, produced by a lateral shoot from a
cut-down tree, was observed in the usual manner. The blade had not as yet
assumed its vertical position. On June 7th only a few observations were
made, and the tracing merely showed that the leaf had moved three times
upwards and three downwards. On the following day it was observed more
frequently; and two tracings were made (see A and B, Fig. 108), as a single
one would have been too complicated. The apex changed its course 13 times
in the course of 16 h., chiefly up and down, but with some lateral
movement. The actual amount of movement in any one direction was small.

Fig. 108. Eucalyptus resinifera: circumnutation of a leaf, traced, A, from
6.40 A.M. to 1 P.M. June 8th; B, from 1 P.M. 8th to 8.30 A.M. 9th. Apex of
leaf 14 ½ inches from the horizontal glass, so figures considerably
magnified.

(17.) Dahlia (garden var.) (Compositae, Fam. 122).--A fine young
[page 245]
leaf 5 3/4 inches in length, produced by a young plant 2 feet high, growing
vigorously in a large pot, was directed at an angle of about 45o beneath
the horizon. On June 18th the leaf descended from 10 A.M. till 11.35 A.M.
(see Fig. 109); it then ascended greatly till 6 P.M., this ascent being
probably due to the light

Fig. 109. Dahlia: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 10 A.M. June 18th to
8.10 A.M. 20th, but with a break of 1 h. 40 m. on the morning of the 19th,
as, owing to the glass filament pointing too much to one side, the pot had
to be slightly moved; therefore the relative position of the two tracings
is somewhat arbitrary. The figure here given is reduced to one-fifth of the
original scale. Apex of leaf 9 inches from the glass in the line of its
inclination, and 4 3/4 in a horizontal line.
coming only from above. It zigzagged between 6 P.M. and 10.35 P.M., and
ascended a little during the night. It should be remarked that the vertical
distances in the lower part of the diagram are much exaggerated, as the
leaf was at first deflected beneath the horizon, and after it had sunk
downwards, the filament pointed in a very oblique line towards the glass.
Next
[page 246]
day the leaf descended from 8.20 A.M. till 7.15 P.M., then zigzagged and
ascended greatly during the night. On the morning of the 20th the leaf was
probably beginning to descend, though the short line in the diagram is
horizontal. The actual distances travelled by the apex of the leaf were
considerable, but could not be calculated with safety. From the course
pursued on the second day, when the plant had accommodated itself to the
light from above, there cannot be much doubt that the leaves undergo a
daily periodic movement, sinking during the day and rising at night.

(18.) Mutisia clematis (Compositae).--The leaves terminate in tendrils and
circumnutate like those of other tendril-bearers; but this plant is here
mentioned, on account of an erroneous statement* which has been published,
namely, that the leaves sink at night and rise during the day. The leaves
which behaved in this manner had been kept for some days in a northern room
and had not been sufficiently illuminated. A plant therefore was left
undisturbed in the hot-house, and three leaves had their angles measured at
noon and at 10 P.M. All three were inclined a little beneath the horizon at
noon, but one stood at night 2o, the second 21o, and the third 10o higher
than in the middle of the day; so that instead of sinking they rise a
little at night.

(19.) Cyclamen Persicum (Primulaceae, Fam. 135).--A young leaf, 1.8 of an
inch in length, petiole included, produced by an old root-stock, was
observed during three days in the usual manner (Fig. 110). On the first day
the leaf fell more than afterwards, apparently from adjusting itself to the
light from above. On all three days it fell from the early morning to about
7 P.M., and from that hour rose during the night, the course being slightly
zigzag. The movement therefore is strictly periodic. It should be noted
that the leaf would have sunk each evening a little lower down than it did,
had not the glass filament rested between 5 and 6 P.M. on the rim of the
pot. The amount of movement was considerable; for if we assume that the
whole leaf to the base of the petiole became bent, the tracing would be
magnified rather less than five times, and this would give to the apex a
rise and fall of half an inch, with some lateral movement. This amount,
however, would not attract attention without the aid of a tracing or
measurement of some kind.

* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 1875, p. 118.
[page 247]

 (20.) Allamanda Schottii (Apocyneae, Fam. 144).--The young leaves of this
shrub are elongated, with the blade bowed so much

Fig. 110. Cyclamen Persicum: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 6.45 A.M.
June 2nd to 6.40 A.M. 5th. Apex of leaf 7 inches from the vertical glass.

downwards as almost to form a semicircle. The chord--that is, a line drawn
from the apex of the blade to the base of the petiole--of a young leaf, 4
3/4 inches in length, stood at 2.50 P.M. on
[page 248]
Dec. 5th at an angle of 13o beneath the horizon, but by 9.30 P.M. the blade
had straightened itself so much, which implies the raising of the apex,
that the chord now stood at 37o above the horizon, and had therefore risen
50o. On the next day similar angular measurements of the same leaf were
made; and at noon the chord stood 36o beneath the horizon, and 9.30 P.M. 3
1/2o above it, so had risen 39 1/2o. The chief cause of the rising movement
lies in the straightening of the blade, but the short petiole rises between
4o and 5o. On the third night the chord stood at 35o above the horizon, and
if the leaf occupied the same position at noon, as on the previous day, it
had risen 71o. With older leaves no such change of curvature could be
detected. The plant was then brought into the house and kept in a
north-east room, but at night there was no change in the curvature of the
young leaves; so that previous exposure to a strong light is apparently
requisite for the periodical change of curvature in the blade, and for the
slight rising of the petiole.

(21.) Wigandia (Hydroleaceae, Fam. 149).--Professor Pfeffer informs us that
the leaves of this plant rise in the evening; but as we do not know whether
or not the rising is great, this species ought perhaps to be classed
amongst sleeping plants.

Fig. 111. Petunia violacea: downward movement and circumnutation of a very
young leaf, traced from 10 A.M. June 2nd to 9.20 A.M. June 6th. N.B.--At
6.40 A.M. on the 5th it was necessary to move the pot a little, and a new
tracing was begun at the point where two dots are not joined in the
diagram. Apex of leaf 7 inches from the vertical glass. Temp. generally 17
1/2o C.
[page 249]

(22.) Petunia violacea (Solaneae, Fam. 157).--A very young leaf, only 3/4
inch in length, highly inclined upwards, was observed for four days. During
the whole of this time it bent outwards and downwards, so as to become more
and more nearly horizontal. The strongly marked zigzag line in the figure
on p. 248 (Fig. 111), shows that this was effected by modified
circumnutation; and during the latter part of the time there was much
ordinary circumnutation on a small scale. The movement in the diagram is
magnified between 10 and 11 times. It exhibits a clear trace of
periodicity, as the leaf rose a little each evening; but this upward
tendency appeared to be almost conquered by the leaf striving to become
more and more horizontal as it grew older. The angles which two older
leaves formed together, were measured in the evening and about noon on 3
successive days, and each night the angle decreased a little, though
irregularly.

Fig. 112. Acanthus mollis: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 9.20
A.M. June 14th to 8.30 A.M. 16th. Apex of leaf 11 inches from the vertical
glass, so movement considerably magnified. Figure here reduced to one-half
of original scale. Temp. 15o - 16 1/2o C.

(23.) Acanthus mollis (Acanthaceae, Fam. 168).--The younger of two leaves,
2 1/4 inches in length, petiole included, produced by a seedling plant, was
observed during 47 h. Early on each of the three mornings, the apex of the
leaf fell; and it continued to fall till 3 P.M., on the two afternoons when
observed. After 3 P.M. it rose considerably, and continued to rise on the
second night until the early morning. But on the first night it fell
instead of rising, and we have little doubt that this was owing to the leaf
being very young and becoming through epinastic growth more and more
horizontal; for it may be seen in the diagram (Fig. 112), that the leaf
stood on a higher level on the first than on the second day. The leaves of
an allied species ('A. spinosus') certainly rose every night; and the rise
between noon and 10.15 P.M., when measured on one occasion, was 10o. This
rise was chiefly
[page 250]
or exclusively due to the straightening of the blade, and not to the
movement of the petiole. We may therefore conclude that the leaves of
Acanthus circumnutate periodically, falling in the morning and rising in
the afternoon and night.

(24.) Cannabis sativa (Cannabineae, Fam. 195).--We have here the rare case
of leaves moving downwards in the evening, but not to a sufficient degree
to be called sleep.* In the early morning, or in the latter part of the
night, they move upwards. For instance, all the young leaves near the
summits of several stems stood almost horizontally at 8 A.M. May 29th and
at 10.30 P.M. were considerably declined. On a subsequent day two leaves
stood at 2 P.M. at 21o and 12o beneath the horizon, and at 10 P.M. at 38o
beneath it. Two other leaves on a younger plant were horizontal at 2 P.M.,
and at 10 P.M. had sunk to 36o beneath the horizon. With respect to this
downward movement of the leaves, Kraus believes that it is due to their
epinastic growth. He adds, that the leaves are relaxed during the day, and
tense at night, both in sunny and rainy weather.

(25.) Pinus pinaster (Coniferae, Fam. 223).--The leaves on the summits of
the terminal shoots stand at first in a bundle almost upright, but they
soon diverge and ultimately become almost horizontal. The movements of a
young leaf, nearly one inch in length, on the summit of a seedling plant
only 3 inches high, were traced from the early morning of June 2nd to the
evening of the 7th. During these five days the leaf diverged, and its apex
descended at first in an almost straight line; but during the two latter
days it zigzagged so much that it was evidently circumnutating. The same
little plant, when grown to a height of 5 inches, was again observed during
four days. A filament was fixed transversely to the apex of a leaf, one
inch in length, and which had already diverged considerably from its
originally upright position. It continued to diverge (see A, Fig. 113), and
to descend from 11.45 A.M. July 31st to 6.40 A.M. Aug. 1st. On August 1st
it circumnutated about the same small space, and again descended at night.
Next morning the pot was moved nearly one inch to the right, and a new
tracing was begun (B). From this time, viz., 7 A.M. August 2nd to 8.20 A.M.
on the 4th,

* We were led to observe this plant by Dr. Carl Kraus' paper, 'Beiträge zur
Kentniss der Bewegungen Wachsender Laubblätter,' Flora, 1879, p. 66. We
regret that we cannot fully understand parts of this paper.
[page 251]

the leaf manifestly circumnutated. It does not appear from the diagram that
the leaves move periodically, for the descending course during the first
two nights, was clearly due to epinastic

Fig. 113. Pinus pinaster: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 11.45
A.M. July 31st to 8.20 A.M. Aug. 4th. At 7 A.M. Aug. 2nd the pot was moved
an inch to one side, so that the tracing consists of two figures. Apex of
leaf 14 ½ inches from the vertical glass, so movements much magnified.

growth, and at the close of our observations the leaf was not nearly so
horizontal as it would ultimately become.

Pinus austriaca.--Two leaves, 3 inches in length, but not
[page 252]
quite fully grown, produced by a lateral shoot, on a young tree 3 feet in
height, were observed during 29 h. (July 31st), in the same manner as the
leaves of the previous species. Both these leaves certainly circumnutated,
making within the above period two, or two and a half, small, irregular
ellipses.

(26.) Cycas pectinata (Cycadeae, Fam. 224).--A young leaf, 11 ½ inches in
length, of which the leaflets had only recently become uncurled, was
observed during 47 h. 30 m. The main petiole was secured to a stick at the
base of the two terminal leaflets. To one of the latter, 3 3/4 inches in
length, a filament was fixed; the leaflet was much bowed downward, but as
the terminal part was upturned, the filament projected almost horizontally.
The leaflet moved (see Fig. 114) largely and periodically, for it fell
until about 7 P.M. and rose during the night, falling again next morning
after 6.40 A.M. The descending lines are in a marked manner zigzag, and so
probably would have been the ascending lines, if they had been traced
throughout the night.

Fig. 114. Cycas pectinata: circumnutation of one of the terminal leaflets,
traced from 8.30 A.M. June 22nd to 8 A.M. June 24th. Apex of leaflet 7 3/4
inches from the vertical glass, so tracing not greatly magnified, and here
reduced to one-third of original scale; temp. 19o - 21o C.

CIRCUMNUTATION OF LEAVES: MONOCOTYLEDONS.

(27.) Canna Warscewiczii (Cannaceae, Fam. 2).--The movements of a young
leaf, 8 inches in length and 3 ½ in breadth, produced by a vigorous young
plant, were observed during 45 h. 50 m., as shown in Fig. 115. The pot was
slided about an inch to the right on the morning of the 11th, as a single
figure would have been too complicated; but the two figures are continuous
in time. The movement is periodical, as the leaf descended from the early
morning until about 5 P.M., and ascended during the rest of the evening and
[page 253]
part of the night. On the evening of the 11th it circumnutated on a small
scale for some time about the same spot.

Fig. 115. Canna Warscewiczii: circumnutation of leaf, traced (A) from 11.30
A.M. June 10th to 6.40 A.M. 11th; and (B) from 6.40 A.M. 11th to 8.40 A.M.
12th. Apex of leaf 9 inches from the vertical glass.

(28.) Iris pseudo-acorus (Irideae, Fam. 10).--The movements of a young
leaf, rising 13 inches above the water in which the plant grew, were traced
as shown in the figure (Fig. 116), during 27 h. 30 m. It manifestly
circumnutated, though only to a small extent. On the second morning,
between 6.40 A.M. and 2 P.M. (at which latter hour the figure here given
ends), the apex changed its course five times. During the next 8 h. 40 m.
it zigzagged much, and descended as far as the lowest dot in the figure,
making in its course two very small ellipses; but if these lines had been
added to the diagram it would have been too complex.

Fig. 116. Iris pseudo-acorus: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 10.30
A.M. May 28th to 2 P.M. 29th. Tracing continued to 11 P.M., but not here
copied. Apex of leaf 12 inches beneath the horizontal glass, so figure
considerably magnified. Temp. 15o - 16o C.
(29.) Crinum Capense (Amaryllideae, Fam. 11).--The leaves of this plant are
remarkable for their great length and narrowness: one was measured and
found to be 53 inches long and only 1.4 broad at the base. Whilst quite
young they stand up almost vertically to the height of about a foot;
afterwards
[page 254]
their tips begin to bend over, and subsequently hang vertically down, and
thus continue to grow. A rather young leaf was selected, of which the
dependent tapering point was as yet only 5 ½ inches in length, the upright
basal part being 20 inches high, though this part would ultimately become
shorter by being more bent over. A large bell-glass was placed over the
plant, with a black dot on one side; and by bringing the dependent apex of
the leaf into a line with this dot, the accompanying figure (Fig. 117) was
traced on the other side of the bell, during 2 ½ days. During the first day
(22nd) the tip travelled laterally far to the left, perhaps in consequence
of the plant having been

Fig. 117. Crinum Capense: circumnutation of dependent tip of young leaf,
traced on a bell-glass, from 10.30 P.M. May 22nd to 10.15 A.M. 25th. Figure
not greatly magnified.

disturbed; and the last dot made at 10.30 P.M. on this day is alone here
given. As we see in the figure, there can be no doubt that the apex of this
leaf circumnutated.

A glass filament with little triangles of paper was at the same time fixed
obliquely across the tip of a still younger leaf, which stood vertically up
and was as yet straight. Its movements were traced from 3 P.M. May 22nd to
10.15 A.M. 25th. The leaf was growing rapidly, so that the apex ascended
greatly during this period; as it zigzagged much it was clearly
circumnutating, and it apparently tended to form one ellipse each day. The
lines traced during the night were much more vertical than those traced
during the day; and this indicates that the tracing would have exhibited a
nocturnal rise and a diurnal fall, if the leaf had not grown so quickly.
The movement of this same leaf after an interval of six days (May 31st), by
which time the tip had curved outwards into a horizontal position,
[page 255]
and had thus made the first step towards becoming dependent, was traced
orthogonically by the aid of a cube of wood (in the manner before
explained); and it was thus ascertained that the actual distance travelled
by the apex, and due to circumnutation, was 3 1/8 inches in the course of
20 ½ h. During the next 24 h. it travelled 2 ½ inches. The circumnutating
movement, therefore, of this young leaf was strongly marked.

(30.) Pancratium littorale (Amaryllideae).--The movements, much magnified,
of a leaf, 9 inches in length and inclined at about 45o above the horizon,
were traced during two days. On the first day it changed its course
completely, upwards and downwards and laterally, 9 times in 12 h.; and the
figure traced apparently represented five ellipses. On the second day it
was observed seldomer, and was therefore not seen to change its course so
often, viz., only 6 times, but in the same complex manner as before. The
movements were small in extent, but there could be no doubt about the
circumnutation of the leaf.

(31.) Imatophyllum vel Clivia (sp.?) (Amaryllideae).--A long glass filament
was fixed to a leaf, and the angle formed by it with the horizon was
measured occasionally during three successive days. It fell each morning
until between 3 and 4 P.M., and rose at night. The smallest angle at any
time above the horizon was 48o, and the largest 50o; so that it rose only 2o
at night; but as this was observed each day, and as similar observations
were nightly made on another leaf on a distinct plant, there can be no
doubt that the leaves move periodically, though to a very small extent. The
position of the apex when it stood highest was .8 of an inch above its
lowest point.

(32.) Pistia stratiotes (Aroideae, Fam. 30).--Hofmeister remarks that the
leaves of this floating water-plant are more highly inclined at night than
by day.* We therefore fastened a fine glass filament to the midrib of a
moderately young leaf, and on Sept. 19th measured the angle which it formed
with the horizon 14 times between 9 A.M. and 11.50 P.M. The temperature of
the hot-house varied during the two days of observation between 18 1/2o and
23 1/2o C. At 9 A.M. the filament stood at 32o above the horizon; at 3.34
P.M. at 10o and at 11.50 P.M. at 55o; these two latter angles being the
highest and the lowest observed during the day, showing a difference of
45o. The rising did not become strongly marked until between

* 'Die Lehre von der Pflanzenzelle,' 1867, p. 327.
[page 256]

5 and 6 P.M. On the next day the leaf stood at only 10o above the horizon
at 8.25 A.M., and it remained at about 15o till past 3 P.M.; at 5.40 P.M.
it was 23o, and at 9.30 P.M. 58o; so that the rise was more sudden this
evening than on the previous one, and the difference in the angle amounted
to 48o. The movement is obviously periodical, and as the leaf stood on the
first night at 55o, and on the second night at 58o above the horizon, it
appeared very steeply inclined. This case, as we shall see in a future
chapter, ought perhaps to have been included under the head of sleeping
plants.

(33.) Pontederia (sp.?) (from the highlands of St. Catharina,

Fig. 118. Pontederia (sp.?): circumnutation of leaf, traced from 4.50 P.M.
July 2nd to 10.15 A.M. 4th. Apex of leaf 16 ½ inches from the vertical
glass, so tracing greatly magnified. Temp. about 17o C., and therefore
rather too low.

Brazil) (Pontederiaceae, Fam. 46).--A filament was fixed across the apex of
a moderately young leaf, 7 ½ inches in height, and its movements were
traced during 42 ½ h. (see Fig. 118). On the first evening, when the
tracing was begun, and during the night, the leaf descended considerably.
On the next morning it ascended in a strongly marked zigzag line, and
descended again in the evening and during the night. The movement,
therefore, seems to be periodic, but some doubt is thrown on this
conclusion, because another leaf, 8 inches in height, appearing older and
standing more highly inclined, behaved differently. During the first 12 h.
it circumnutated over a
[page 257]
small space, but during the night and the whole following day it ascended
in the same general direction; the ascent being effected by repeated up and
down well-pronounced oscillations.

CRYPTOGAMS.

(34.) Nephrodium molle (Filices, Fam. 1).--A filament was fixed near the
apex of a young frond of this Fern, 17 inches in height, which was not as
yet fully uncurled; and its movements were traced during 24 h. We see in
Fig. 119 that it

Fig. 119. Nephrodium molle: circumnutation of rachis, traced from 9.15 A.M.
May 28th to 9 A.M. 29th. Figure here given two-thirds of original scale.

plainly circumnutated. The movement was not greatly magnified as the frond
was placed near to the vertical glass, and would probably have been greater
and more rapid had the day been warmer. For the plant was brought out of a
warm greenhouse and observed under a skylight, where the temperature was
between 15o and 16o C. We have seen in Chap. I. that a frond of this Fern,
as yet only slightly lobed and with a rachis only .23 inch in height,
plainly circumnutated.*

* Mr. Loomis and Prof. Asa Gray have described ('Botanical Gazette,' 1880,
pp. 27, 43), an extremely curious case of movement in the fronds, but only
in the fruiting fronds, of Asplenium trichomanes. They move almost as
rapidly as the little leaflets of Desmodium gyrans, alternately backwards
and forwards through from 20 to 40 degrees, in a plane at right angles to
that of the frond. The apex of the frond describes "a long and very narrow
ellipse," so that it circumnutates. But the movement differs from ordinary
[[page 258]]
circumnutation as it occurs only when the plant is exposed to the light;
even artificial light "is sufficient to excite motion for a few minutes."
[page 258]

In the chapter on the Sleep of Plants the conspicuous circumnutation of
Marsilea quadrifoliata (Marsileaceae, Fam. 4) will be described.

It has also been shown in Chap. I. that a very young Selaginella
(Lycopodiaceae, Fam. 6), only .4 inch in height, plainly circumnutated; we
may therefore conclude that older plants, whilst growing, would do the
same.

Fig. 120. Lunularia vulgaris: circumnutation of a frond, traced from 9 A.M.
Oct 25th to 8 A.M. 27th.

(35.) Lunularia vulgaris (Hepaticae, Fam. 11, Muscales).--The earth in an
old flower-pot was coated with this plant, bearing gemmae. A highly
inclined frond, which projected .3 inch above the soil and was .4 inch in
breadth, was selected for observation. A glass hair of extreme tenuity, .75
inch in length, with its end whitened, was cemented with shellac to the
frond at right angles to its breadth; and a white stick with a minute black
spot was driven into the soil close behind the end of the hair. The white
end could be accurately brought into a line with the black spot, and dots
could thus be successively made on the vertical glass-plate in front. Any
movement of the frond would of course be exhibited and increased by the
long glass hair; and the black spot was placed so close behind the end of
the hair, relatively to the distance of the glass-plate in front, that the
movement of the end was magnified about 40 times. Nevertheless, we are
convinced that our tracing gives a fairly faithful representation of the
movements of the frond. In the intervals between each observation, the
plant was covered by a small bell-glass. The frond, as already stated,
[page 259]
was highly inclined, and the pot stood in front of a north-east window.
During the five first days the frond moved downwards or became less
inclined; and the long line which was traced was strongly zigzag, with
loops occasionally formed or nearly formed; and this indicated
circumnutation. Whether the sinking was due to epinastic growth, or
apheliotropism, we do not know. As the sinking was slight on the fifth day,
a new tracing was begun on the sixth day (Oct. 25th), and was continued for
47 h.; it is here given (Fig. 120). Another tracing was made on the next
day (27th) and the frond was found to be still circumnutating, for during
14 h. 30 m. it changed its course completely (besides minor changes) 10
times. It was casually observed for two more days, and was seen to be
continually moving.

The lowest members of the vegetable series, the Thallogens, apparently
circumnutate. If an Oscillaria be watched under the microscope, it may be
seen to describe circles about every 40 seconds. After it has bent to one
side, the tip first begins to bend back to the opposite side and then the
whole filament curves over in the same direction. Hofmeister* has given a
minute account of the curious, but less regular though constant, movements
of Spirogyra: during 2 ½ h. the filament moved 4 times to the left and 3
times to the right, and he refers to a movement at right angles to the
above. The tip moved at the rate of about 0.1 mm. in five minutes. He
compares the movement with the nutation of the higher plants.** We shall
hereafter see that heliotropic movements result from modified
circumnutation, and as unicellular Moulds bend to the light we may infer
that they also circumnutate.]

CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE CIRCUMNUTATION OF LEAVES.

The circumnutating movements of young leaves in 33 genera, belonging to 25
families, widely distributed

* 'Ueber die Bewegungen der Faden der Spirogyra princeps: Jahreshefte des
Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg,' 1874, p. 211.

** Zukal also remarks (as quoted in 'Journal R. Microscop. Soc.,' 1880,
vol. iii. p. 320) that the movements of Spirulina, a member of the
Oscillatorieae, are closely analogous "to the well-known rotation of
growing shoots and tendrils."
[page 260]

amongst ordinary and gymnospermous Dicotyledons and amongst Monocotyledons,
together with several Cryptogams, have now been described. It would,
therefore, not be rash to assume that the growing leaves of all plants
circumnutate, as we have seen reason to conclude is the case with
cotyledons. The seat of movement generally lies in the petiole, but
sometimes both in the petiole and blade, or in the blade alone. The extent
of the movement differed much in different plants; but the distance passed
over was never great, except with Pistia, which ought perhaps to have been
included amongst sleeping plants. The angular movement of the leaves was
only occasionally measured; it commonly varied from only 2o (and probably
even less in some instances) to about 10o; but it amounted to 23o in the
common bean. The movement is chiefly in a vertical plane, but as the
ascending and descending lines never coincided, there was always some
lateral movement, and thus irregular ellipses were formed. The movement,
therefore, deserves to be called one of circumnutation; for all
circumnutating organs tend to describe ellipses,--that is, growth on one
side is succeeded by growth on nearly but not quite the opposite side. The
ellipses, or the zigzag lines representing drawn-out ellipses, are
generally very narrow; yet with the Camellia, their minor axes were half as
long, and with the Eucalyptus more than half as long as their major axes.
In the case of Cissus, parts of the figure more nearly represented circles
than ellipses. The amount of lateral movement is therefore sometimes
considerable. Moreover, the longer axes of the successively formed ellipses
(as with the Bean, Cissus, and Sea-kale), and in several instances the
zigzag lines representing ellipses, were extended in very different
directions during the same day or on
[page 261]
the next day. The course followed was curvilinear or straight, or slightly
or strongly zigzag, and little loops or triangles were often formed. A
single large irregular ellipse may be described on one day, and two smaller
ones by the same plant on the next day. With Drosera two, and with Lupinus,
Eucalyptus and Pancratium, several were formed each day.

The oscillatory and jerking movements of the leaves of Dionaea, which
resemble those of the hypocotyl of the cabbage, are highly remarkable, as
seen under the microscope. They continue night and day for some months, and
are displayed by young unexpanded leaves, and by old ones which have lost
their sensibility to a touch, but which, after absorbing animal matter,
close their lobes. We shall hereafter meet with the same kind of movement
in the joints of certain Gramineae, and it is probably common to many
plants while circumnutating. It is, therefore, a strange fact that no such
movement could be detected in the tentacles of Drosera rotundifolia, though
a member of the same family with Dionaea; yet the tentacle which was
observed was so sensitive, that it began to curl inwards in 23 seconds
after being touched by a bit of raw meat.

One of the most interesting facts with respect to the circumnutation of
leaves is the periodicity of their movements; for they often, or even
generally, rise a little in the evening and early part of the night, and
sink again on the following morning. Exactly the same phenomenon was
observed in the case of cotyledons. The leaves in 16 genera out of the 33
which were observed behaved in this manner, as did probably 2 others. Nor
must it be supposed that in the remaining 15 genera there was no
periodicity in their movements; for 6 of them were observed during too
short a period for any judgment to be formed on this head,
[page 262]
and 3 were so young that their epinastic growth, which serves to bring them
down into a horizontal position, overpowered every other kind of movement.
In only one genus, Cannabis, did the leaves sink in the evening, and Kraus
attributes this movement to the prepotency of their epinastic growth. That
the periodicity is determined by the daily alternations of light and
darkness there can hardly be a doubt, as will hereafter be shown.
Insectivorous plants are very little affected, as far as their movements
are concerned, by light; and hence probably it is that their leaves, at
least in the cases of Sarracenia, Drosera, and Dionaea, do not move
periodically. The upward movement in the evening is at first slow, and with
different plants begins at very different hours;--with Glaucium as early as
11 A.M., commonly between 3 and 5 P.M., but sometimes as late as 7 P.M. It
should be observed that none of the leaves described in this chapter
(except, as we believe, those of Lupinus speciosus) possess a pulvinus; for
the periodical movements of leaves thus provided have generally been
amplified into so-called sleep-movements, with which we are not here
concerned. The fact of leaves and cotyledons frequently, or even generally,
rising a little in the evening and sinking in the morning, is of interest
as giving the foundation from which the specialised sleep-movements of many
leaves and cotyledons, not provided with a pulvinus, have been developed.
the above periodicity should be kept in mind, by any one considering the
problem of the horizontal position of leaves and cotyledons during the day,
whilst illuminated from above.
[page 263]

CHAPTER V.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: CLIMBING PLANTS; EPINASTIC AND HYPONASTIC
MOVEMENTS.

Circumnutation modified through innate causes or through the action of
external conditions--Innate causes--Climbing plants; similarity of their
movements with those of ordinary plants; increased amplitude; occasional
points of difference--Epinastic growth of young leaves--Hyponastic growth
of the hypocotyls and epicotyls of seedlings--Hooked tips of climbing and
other plants due to modified circumnutation--Ampelopsis tricuspidata--
Smithia Pfundii--Straightening of the tip due to hyponasty--Epinastic
growth and circumnutation of the flower-peduncles of Trifolium repens and
Oxalis carnosa.

THE radicles, hypocotyls and epicotyls of seedling plants, even before they
emerge from the ground, and afterwards the cotyledons, are all continually
circumnutating. So it is with the stems, stolons, flower-peduncles, and
leaves of older plants. We may, therefore, infer with a considerable degree
of safety that all the growing parts of all plants circumnutate. Although
this movement, in its ordinary or unmodified state, appears in some cases
to be of service to plants, either directly or indirectly--for instance,
the circumnutation of the radicle in penetrating the ground, or that of the
arched hypocotyl and epicotyl in breaking through the surface--yet
circumnutation is so general, or rather so universal a phenomenon, that we
cannot suppose it to have been gained for any special purpose. We must
believe that it follows in some unknown way from the manner in which
vegetable tissues grow.
[page 264]

We shall now consider the many cases in which circumnutation has been
modified for various special purposes; that is, a movement already in
progress is temporarily increased in some one direction, and temporarily
diminished or quite arrested in other directions. These cases may be
divided in two sub-classes; in one of which the modification depends on
innate or constitutional causes, and is independent of external conditions,
excepting in so far that the proper ones for growth must be present. In the
second sub-class the modification depends to a large extent on external
agencies, such as the daily alternations of light and darkness, or light
alone, temperature, or the attraction of gravity. The first small sub-class
will be considered in the present chapter, and the second sub-class in the
remainder of this volume.

THE CIRCUMNUTATION OF CLIMBING PLANTS.

The simplest case of modified circumnutation is that offered by climbing
plants, with the exception of those which climb by the aid of motionless
hooks or of rootlets: for the modification consists chiefly in the greatly
increased amplitude of the movement. This would follow either from greatly
increased growth over a small length, or more probably from moderately
increased growth spread over a considerable length of the moving organ,
preceded by turgescence, and acting successively on all sides. The
circumnutation of climbers is more regular than that of ordinary plants;
but in almost every other respect there is a close similarity between their
movements, namely, in their tendency to describe ellipses directed
successively to all points of the compass--in their courses being often
interrupted by zigzag lines, triangles, loops, or small
[page 265]
ellipses--in the rate of movement, and in different species revolving once
or several times within the same length of time. In the same internode, the
movements cease first in the lower part and then slowly upwards. In both
sets of cases the movement may be modified in a closely analogous manner by
geotropism and by heliotropism; though few climbing plants are heliotropic.
Other points of similarity might be pointed out.

That the movements of climbing plants consist of ordinary circumnutation,
modified by being increased in amplitude, is well exhibited whilst the
plants are very young; for at this early age they move like other
seedlings, but as they grow older their movements gradually increase
without undergoing any other change. That this power is innate, and is not
excited by any external agencies, beyond those necessary for growth and
vigour, is obvious. No one doubts that this power has been gained for the
sake of enabling climbing plants to ascend to a height, and thus to reach
the light. This is effected by two very different methods; first, by
twining spirally round a support, but to do so their stems must be long and
flexible; and, secondly, in the case of leaf-climbers and tendril-bearers,
by bringing these organs into contact with a support, which is then seized
by the aid of their sensitiveness. It may be here remarked that these
latter movements have no relation, as far as we can judge, with
circumnutation. In other cases the tips of tendrils, after having been
brought into contact with a support, become developed into little discs
which adhere firmly to it.

We have said that the circumnutation of climbing plants differs from that
of ordinary plants chiefly by its greater amplitude. But most leaves
circumnutate
[page 266]
in an almost vertical plane, and therefore describe very narrow ellipses,
whereas the many kinds of tendrils which consist of metamorphosed leaves,
make much broader ellipses or nearly circular figures; and thus they have a
far better chance of catching hold of a support on any side. The movements
of climbing plants have also been modified in some few other special ways.
Thus the circumnutating stems of Solnanum dulcamara can twine round a
support only when this is as thin and flexible as a string or thread. The
twining stems of several British plants cannot twine round a support when
it is more than a few inches in thickness; whilst in tropical forests some
can embrace thick trunks;* and this great difference in power depends on
some unknown difference in their manner of circumnutation. The most
remarkable special modification of this movement which we have observed is
in the tendrils of Echinocystis lobata; these are usually inclined at about
45o above the horizon, but they stiffen and straighten themselves so as to
stand upright in a part of their circular course, namely, when they
approach and have to pass over the summit or the shoot from which they
arise. If they had not possessed and exercised this curious power, they
would infallibly have struck against the summit of the shoot and been
arrested in their course. As soon as one of these tendrils with its three
branches begins to stiffen itself and rise up vertically, the revolving
motion becomes more rapid; and as soon as it has passed over the point of
difficulty, its motion coinciding with that from its own weight, causes it
to fall into its previously inclined position so quickly, that the apex can
be seen travelling like the hand of a gigantic clock.

* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' p. 36.
[page 267]

A large number of ordinary leaves and leaflets and a few flower-peduncles
are provided with pulvini; but this is not the case with a single tendril
at present known. The cause of this difference probably lies in the fact,
that the chief service of a pulvinus is to prolong the movement of the part
thus provided after growth has ceased; and as tendrils or other
climbing-organs are of use only whilst the plant is increasing in height or
growing, a pulvinus which served to prolong their movements would be
useless.

It was shown in the last chapter that the stolons or runners of certain
plants circumnutate largely, and that this movement apparently aids them in
finding a passage between the crowded stems of adjoining plants. If it
could be proved that their movements had been modified and increased for
this special purpose, they ought to have been included in the present
chapter; but as the amplitude of their revolutions is not so conspicuously
different from that of ordinary plants, as in the case of climbers, we have
no evidence on this head. We encounter the same doubt in the case of some
plants which bury their pods in the ground. This burying process is
certainly favoured by the circumnutation of the flower-peduncle; but we do
not know whether it has been increased for this special purpose.

EPINASTY--HYPONASTY.

The term epinasty is used by De Vries* to express greater longitudinal
growth along the upper than

* 'Arbeiten des Bot. Inst., in Würzburg,' Heft ii. 1872, p. 223. De Vries
has slightly modified (p. 252) the meaning of the above two terms as first
used by Schimper, and they have been adopted in this sense by Sachs.
[page 268]

along the lower side of a part, which is thus caused to bend downwards; and
hyponasty is used for the reversed process, by which the part is made to
bend upwards. These actions come into play so frequently that the use of
the above two terms is highly convenient. The movements thus induced result
from a modified form of circumnutation; for, as we shall immediately see,
an organ under the influence of epinasty does not generally move in a
straight line downwards, or under that of hyponasty upwards, but oscillates
up and down with some lateral movement: it moves, however, in a
preponderant manner in one direction. This shows that there is some growth
on all sides of the part, but more on the upper side in the case of
epinasty, and more on the lower side in that of hyponasty, than on the
other sides. At the same time there may be in addition, as De Vries
insists, increased growth on one side due to geotropism, and on another
side due to heliotropism; and thus the effects of epinasty or of hyponasty
may be either increased or lessened.

He who likes, may speak of ordinary circumnutation as being combined with
epinasty, hyponasty, the effects of gravitation, light, etc.; but it seems
to us, from reasons hereafter to be given, to be more correct to say that
circumnutation is modified by these several agencies. We will therefore
speak of circumnutation, which is always in progress, as modified by
epinasty, hyponasty, geotropism, or other agencies, whether internal or
external.

[One of the commonest and simplest cases of epinasty is that offered by
leaves, which at an early age are crowded together round the buds, and
diverge as they grow older. Sachs first remarked that this was due to
increased growth along the upper side of the petiole and blade; and De
Vries has now shown in more detail that the movement is thus caused, aided
slightly by
[page 269]
the weight of the leaf, and resisted as he believes by apogeotropism, at
least after the leaf has somewhat diverged. In our observations on the
circumnutation of leaves, some were selected which were rather too young,
so that they continued to diverge or sink downwards whilst their movements
were being traced. This may be seen in the diagrams (Figs. 98 and 112, pp.
232 and 249) representing the circumnutation of the young leaves of
Acanthus mollis and Pelargonium zonale. Similar cases were observed with
Drosera. The movements of a young leaf, only 3/4 inch in length, of Petunia
violacea were traced during four days, and offers a better instance (Fig.
111, p. 248) as it diverged during the whole of this time in a curiously
zigzag line with some of the angles sharply acute, and during the latter
days plainly circumnutated. Some young leaves of about the same age on a
plant of this Petunia, which had been laid horizontally, and on another
plant which was left upright, both being kept in complete darkness,
diverged in the same manner for 48 h., and apparently were not affected by
apogeotropism; though their stems were in a state of high tension, for when
freed from the sticks to which they had been tied, they instantly curled
upwards.

The leaves, whilst very young, on the leading shoots of the Carnation
(Dianthus caryophyllus) are highly inclined or vertical; and if the plant
is growing vigorously they diverge so quickly that they become almost
horizontal in a day. But they move downwards in a rather oblique line and
continue for some time afterwards to move in the same direction, in
connection, we presume, with their spiral arrangement on the stem. The
course pursued by a young leaf whilst thus obliquely descending was traced,
and the line was distinctly yet not strongly zigzag; the larger angles
formed by the successive lines amounting only to 135o, 154o, and 163o. The
subsequent lateral movement (shown in Fig. 96, p. 231) was strongly zigzag
with occasional circumnutations. The divergence and sinking of the young
leaves of this plant seem to be very little affected by geotropism or
heliotropism; for a plant, the leaves of which were growing rather slowly
(as ascertained by measurement) was laid horizontally, and the opposite
young leaves diverged from one another symmetrically in the usual manner,
without any upturning in the direction of gravitation or towards the light.

The needle-like leaves of Pinus pinaster form a bundle whilst young;
afterwards they slowly diverge, so that those on the upright shoots become
horizontal. The movements of one such
[page 270]
young leaf was traced during 4 ½ days, and the tracing here given (Fig.
121) shows that it descended at first in a nearly straight line, but
afterwards zigzagged, making one or two little loops. The diverging and
descending movements of a rather older leaf were also traced (see former
Fig. 113, p. 251): it descended during the first day and night in a
somewhat zigzag line; it then circumnutated round a small space and again
descended. By this time the leaf had nearly assumed its final position, and
now plainly circumnutated. As in the case of the Carnation, the leaves,
whilst very young, do not seem to be much affected by geotropism or
heliotropism, for those on a young plant laid horizontally, and those on
another plant left upright, both kept in the dark, continued to diverge in
the usual manner without bending to either side.

Fig. 121. Pinus pinaster: epinastic downward movement of a young leaf,
produced by a young plant in a pot, traced on a vertical glass under a
skylight, from 6.45 A.M. June 2nd to 10.40 P.M. 6th.

With Coboea scandens, the young leaves, as they successively diverge from
the leading shoot which is bent to one side, rise up so as to project
vertically, and they retain this position for some time whilst the tendril
is revolving. The diverging and ascending movements of the petiole of one
such a leaf, were traced on a vertical glass under a skylight; and the
course pursued was in most parts nearly straight, but there were two
[page 271]
well-marked zigzags (one of them forming an angle of 112o), and this
indicates circumnutation.

The still closed lobes of a young leaf of Dionaea projected at right angles
to the petiole, and were in the act of slowly rising. A glass filament was
attached to the under side of the midrib, and its movements were traced on
a vertical glass. It circumnutated once in the evening, and on the next day
rose, as already described (see Fig. 106, p. 240), by a number of acutely
zigzag lines, closely approaching in character to ellipses. This movement
no doubt was due to epinasty, aided by apogeotropism, for the closed lobes
of a very young leaf on a plant which had been placed horizontally, moved
into nearly the same line with the petiole, as if the plant had stood
upright; but at the same time the lobes curved laterally upwards, and thus
occupied an unnatural position, obliquely to the plane of the foliaceous
petiole.

As the hypocotyls and epicotyls of some plants protrude from the seed-coats
in an arched form, it is doubtful whether the arching of these parts, which
is invariably present when they break through the ground, ought always to
be attributed to epinasty; but when they are at first straight and
afterwards become arched, as often happens, the arching is certainly due to
epinasty. As long as the arch is surrounded by compact earth it must retain
its form; but as soon as it rises above the surface, or even before this
period if artificially freed from the surrounding pressure, it begins to
straighten itself, and this no doubt is mainly due to hyponasty. The
movement of the upper and lower half of the arch, and of the crown, was
occasionally traced; and the course was more or less zigzag, showing
modified circumnutation.

With not a few plants, especially climbers, the summit of the shoot is
hooked, so that the apex points vertically downwards. In seven genera of
twining plants* the hooking, or as it has been called by Sachs, the
nutation of the tip, is mainly due to an exaggerated form of
circumnutation. That is, the growth is so great along one side that it
bends the shoot completely over to the opposite side, thus forming a hook;
the longitudinal line or zone of growth then travels a little laterally
round the shoot, and the hook points in a slightly different direction, and
so onwards until the hook is completely reversed. Ultimately it

* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 2nd edit. p. 13.
[page 272]

comes back to the point whence it started. This was ascertained by painting
narrow lines with Indian ink along the convex surface of several hooks, and
the line was found slowly to become at first lateral, then to appear along
the concave surface, and ultimately back again on the convex surface. In
the case of Lonicera brachypoda the hooked terminal part of the revolving
shoot straightens itself periodically, but is never reversed; that is, the
periodically increased growth of the concave side of the hook is sufficient
only to straighten it, and not to bend it over to the opposite side. The
hooking of the tip is of service to twining plants by aiding them to catch
hold of a support, and afterwards by enabling this part to embrace the
support much more closely than it could otherwise have done at first, thus
preventing it, as we often observed, from being blown away by a strong
wind. Whether the advantage thus gained by twining plants accounts for
their summits being so frequently hooked, we do not know, as this structure
is not very rare with plants which do not climb, and with some climbers
(for instance, Vitis, Ampelopsis, Cissus, etc.) to whom it does not afford
any assistance in climbing.

With respect to those cases in which the tip remains always bent or hooked
towards the same side, as in the genera just named, the most obvious
explanation is that the bending is due to continued growth in excess along
the convex side. Wiesner, however, maintains* that in all cases the hooking
of the tip is the result of its plasticity and weight,--a conclusion which
from what we have already seen with several climbing plants is certainly
erroneous. Nevertheless, we fully admit that the weight of the part, as
well as geotropism, etc., sometimes come into play.

Ampelopsis tricuspidata.--This plant climbs by the aid of adhesive
tendrils, and the hooked tips of the shoots do not appear to be of any
service to it. The hooking depends chiefly, as far as we could ascertain,
on the tip being affected by epinasty and geotropism; the lower and older
parts continually straightening themselves through hyponasty and
apogeotropism. We believe that the weight of the apex is an unimportant
element, because on horizontal or inclined shoots the hook is often
extended horizontally or even faces upwards. Moreover shoots frequently
form loops instead of hooks; and in this case the

* 'Sitzb. der k. Akad. der Wissensch.,' Vienna, Jan. 1880, p. 16.
[page 273]

Fig. 122. Ampelopsis tricuspidata: hyponastic movement of hooked tip of
leading shoot, traced from 8.10 A.M. July 13th to 8 A.M. 15th. Apex of
shoot 5 ½ inches from the vertical glass. Plant illuminated through a
skylight. Temp. 17 1/2o - 19o C. Diagram reduced to one-third of original
scale.

extreme part, instead of hanging vertically down as would follow if weight
was the efficient cause, extends horizontally or even points upwards. A
shoot, which terminated in a rather open hook, was fastened in a highly
inclined downward position, so that the concave side faced upwards, and the
result was that the apex at first curved upwards. This apparently was due
to epinasty and not to apogeotropism, for the apex, soon after passing the
perpendicular, curved so rapidly downwards that we could not doubt that the
movement was at least aided by geotropism. In the course of a few hours the
hook was thus converted into a loop with the apex of the shoot pointing
straight downwards. The longer axis of the loop was at first horizontal,
but afterwards became vertical. During this same time the basal part of the
hook (and subsequently of the loop) curved itself slowly upwards; and this
must have been wholly due to apogeotropism in opposition to hyponasty. The
loop was then fastened upside down, so that its basal half would be
simultaneously acted on by hyponasty (if present) and by apogeotropism; and
now it curved itself so greatly upwards in the course of only 4 h. that
there could hardly be a doubt that both forces were acting
[page 274]
together. At the same time the loop became open and was thus reconverted
into a hook, and this apparently was effected by the geotropic movement of
the apex in opposition to epinasty. In the case of Ampelopsis hederacea,
weight plays, as far as we could judge, a more important part in the
hooking of the tip.

In order to ascertain whether the shoots of A. tricuspidata in
straightening themselves under the combined action of hyponasty and
apogeotropism moved in a simple straight course, or whether they
circumnutated, glass filaments were fixed to the crowns of four hooked tips
standing in their natural position; and the movements of the filaments were
traced on a vertical glass. All four tracings resembled each other in a
general manner; but we will give only one (see Fig. 122, p. 273). The
filament rose at first, which shows that the hook was straightening itself;
it then zigzagged, moving a little to the left between 9.25 A.M. and 9 P.M.
From this latter hour on the 13th to 10.50 A.M. on the following morning
(14th) the hook continued to straighten itself, and then zigzagged a short
distance to the right. But from 1 P.M. to 10.40 P.M. on the 14th the
movement

Fig. 123. Smithia Pfundii: hyponastic movement of the curved summit of a
stem, whilst straightening itself, traced from 9 A.M. July 10th to 3 P.M.
13th. Apex 9 ½ inches from the vertical glass. Diagram reduced to one-fifth
of original scale. Plant illuminated through skylight; temp. 17 1/2o - 19o
C.
[page 275]

was reversed and the shoot became more hooked. During the night, after
10.40 P.M. to 8.15 A.M. on the 15th, the hook again opened or straightened
itself. By this time the glass filament had become so highly inclined that
its movements could no longer be traced with accuracy; and by 1.30 P.M. on
this same day, the crown of the former arch or hook had become perfectly
straight and vertical. There can therefore be no doubt that the
straightening of the hooked shoot of this plant is effected by the
circumnutation of the arched portion--that is, by growth alternating
between the upper and lower surface, but preponderant on the lower surface,
with some little lateral movement.

We were enabled to trace the movement of another straightening shoot for a
longer period (owing to its slower growth and to its having been placed
further from the vertical glass), namely, from the early morning on July
13th to late in the evening of the 16th. During the whole daytime of the
14th, the hook straightened itself very little, but zigzagged and plainly
circumnutated about nearly the same spot. By the 16th it had become nearly
straight, and the tracing was no longer accurate, yet it was manifest that
there was still a considerable amount of movement both up and down and
laterally; for the crown whilst continuing to straighten itself
occasionally became for a short time more curved, causing the filament to
descend twice during the day.

Smithia Pfundii.--The stiff terminal shoots of this Leguminous water-plant
from Africa project so as to make a rectangle with the stem below; but this
occurs only when the plants are growing vigorously, for when kept in a cool
place, the summits of the stems become straight, as they likewise did at
the close of the growing season. The direction of the rectangularly bent
part is independent of the chief source of light. But from observing the
effects of placing plants in the dark, in which case several shoots became
in two or three days upright or nearly upright, and when brought back into
the light again became rectangularly curved, we believe that the bending is
in part due to apheliotropism, apparently somewhat opposed by
apogeotropism. On the other hand, from observing the effects of tying a
shoot downwards, so that the rectangle faced upwards, we are led to believe
that the curvature is partly due to epinasty. As the rectangularly bent
portion of an upright stem grows older, the lower part straightens itself;
and this is effected through hyponasty. He who has read Sachs' recent Essay
on the vertical
[page 276]
and inclined positions of the parts of plants* will see how difficult a
subject this is, and will feel no surprise at our expressing ourselves
doubtfully in this and other such cases.

A plant, 20 inches in height, was secured to a stick close beneath the
curved summit, which formed rather less than a rectangle with the stem
below. The shoot pointed away from the observer; and a glass filament
pointing towards the vertical glass on which the tracing was made, was
fixed to the convex surface of the curved portion. Therefore the descending
lines in the figure represent the straightening of the curved portion as it
grew older. The tracing (Fig. 123, p. 274) was begun at 9 A.M. on July
10th; the filament at first moved but little in a zigzag line, but at 2
P.M. it began rising and continued to do so till 9 P.M.; and this proves
that the terminal portion was being more bent downwards. After 9 P.M. on
the 10th an opposite movement commenced, and the curved portion began to
straighten itself, and this continued till 11.10 A.M. on the 12th, but was
interrupted by some small oscillations and zigzags, showing movement in
different directions. After 11.10 A.M. on the 12th this part of the stem,
still considerably curved, circumnutated in a conspicuous manner until
nearly 3 P.M. on the 13th; but during all this time a downward movement of
the filament prevailed, caused by the continued straightening of the stem.
By the afternoon of the 13th, the summit, which had originally been
deflected more than a right angle from the perpendicular, had grown so
nearly straight that the tracing could no longer be continued on the
vertical glass. There can therefore be no doubt that the straightening of
the abruptly curved portion of the growing stem of this plant, which
appears to be wholly due to hyponasty, is the result of modified
circumnutation. We will only add that a filament was fixed in a different
manner across the curved summit of another plant, and the same general kind
of movement was observed.

Trifolium repens.--In many, but not in all the species of Trifolium, as the
separate little flowers wither, the sub-peduncles bend downwards, so as to
depend parallel to the upper part of the main peduncle. In Tr. subterraneum
the main peduncle curves downwards for the sake of burying its capsules,
and in this species the sub-peduncles of the separate flowers bend

* 'Ueber Orthotrope und Plagiotrope Pflanzentheile;' 'Arbeiten des Bot.
Inst., in Würzburg,' Heft ii. 1879, p. 226.
[page 277]

Fig. 124. Trifolium repens: circumnutating and epinastic movements of the
sub-peduncle of a single flower, traced on a vertical glass under a
skylight, in A from 11.30 A.M. Aug. 27th to 7 A.M. 30th; in B from 7 A.M.
Aug. 30th to a little after 6 P.M. Sept. 8th.
[page 278]

upwards, so as to occupy the same position relatively to the upper part of
the main peduncle as in Tr. repens. This fact alone would render it
probable that the movements of the sub-peduncles in Tr. repens were
independent of geotropism. Nevertheless, to make sure, some flower-heads
were tied to little sticks upside down and others in a horizontal position;
their sub-peduncles, however, all quickly curved upwards through the action
of heliotropism. We therefore protected some flower-heads, similarly
secured to sticks, from the light, and although some of them rotted, many
of their sub-peduncles turned very slowly from their reversed or from their
horizontal positions, so as to stand in the normal manner parallel to the
upper part of the main peduncle. These facts show that the movement is
independent of geotropism or apheliotropism; it must there[fore] be
attributed to epinasty, which however is checked, at least as long as the
flowers are young, by heliotropism. Most of the above flowers were never
fertilised owing to the exclusion of bees; they consequently withered very
slowly, and the movements of the sub-peduncles were in like manner much
retarded.

To ascertain the nature of the movement of the sub-peduncle, whilst bending
downwards, a filament was fixed across the summit of the calyx of a not
fully expanded and almost upright flower, nearly in the centre of the head.
The main peduncle was secured to a stick close beneath the head. In order
to see the marks on the glass filament, a few flowers had to be cut away on
the lower side of the head. The flower under observation at first diverged
a little from its upright position, so as to occupy the open space caused
by the removal of the adjoining flowers. This required two days, after
which time a new tracing was begun (Fig. 124). In A we see the complex
circumnutating course pursued from 11.30 A.M. Aug. 26th to 7 A.M. on the
30th. The pot was then moved a very little to the right, and the tracing
(B) was continued without interruption from 7 A.M. Aug. 30th to after 6
P.M. Sept. 8th. It should be observed that on most of these days, only a
single dot was made each morning at the same hour. Whenever the flower was
observed carefully, as on Aug. 30th and Sept. 5th and 6th, it was found to
be circumnutating over a small space. At last, on Sept. 7th, it began to
bend downwards, and continued to do so until after 6 P.M. on the 8th, and
indeed until the morning of the 9th, when its movements could no longer be
traced on the vertical glass. It was carefully observed during the whole of
the 8th, and by
[page 279]
10.30 P.M. it had descended to a point lower down by two-thirds of the
length of the figure as here given; but from want of space the tracing has
been copied in B, only to a little after 6 P.M. On the morning of the 9th
the flower was withered, and the sub-peduncle now stood at an angle of 57o
beneath the horizon. If the flower had been fertilised it would have
withered much sooner, and have moved much more quickly. We thus see that
the sub-peduncle oscillated up and down, or circumnutated, during its whole
downward epinastic course.

The sub-peduncles of the fertilised and withered flowers of Oxalis carnosa
likewise bend downwards through epinasty, as will be shown in a future
chapter; and their downward course is strongly zigzag, indicating
circumnutation.]

The number of instances in which various organs move through epinasty or
hyponasty, often in combination with other forces, for the most diversified
purposes, seems to be inexhaustibly great; and from the several cases which
have been here given, we may safely infer that such movements are due to
modified circumnutation.
[page 280]


CHAPTER VI.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: SLEEP OR NYCTITROPIC MOVEMENTS, THEIR USE: SLEEP
OF COTYLEDONS.

Preliminary sketch of the sleep or nyctitropic movements of leaves--
Presence of pulvini--The lessening of radiation the final cause of
nyctitropic movements--Manner of trying experiments on leaves of Oxalis,
Arachis, Cassia, Melilotus, Lotus and Marsilea and on the cotyledons of
Mimosa--Concluding remarks on radiation from leaves--Small differences in
the conditions make a great difference in the result - Description of the
nyctitropic position and movements of the cotyledons of various plants--
List of species--Concluding remarks--Independence of the nyctitropic
movements of the leaves and cotyledons of the same species--Reasons for
believing that the movements have been acquired for a special purpose.

The so-called sleep of leaves is so conspicuous a phenomenon that it was
observed as early as the time of Pliny;* and since Linnaeus published his
famous Essay, 'Somnus Plantarum,' it has been the subject of several
memoirs. Many flowers close at night, and these are likewise said to sleep;
but we are not here concerned with their movements, for although effected
by the same mechanism as in the case of young leaves, namely, unequal
growth on the opposite sides (as first proved by Pfeffer), yet they differ
essentially in being excited chiefly by changes of temperature instead of
light; and in being effected, as far as we can judge, for a different
purpose. Hardly any one supposes that there is any real analogy

* Pfeffer has given a clear and interesting sketch of the history of this
subject in his 'Die Periodischen Bewegungen der Blattorgane,' 1875, P. 163.
[page 281]

between the sleep of animals and that of plants,* whether of leaves or
flowers. It seems therefore, advisable to give a distinct name to the
so-called sleep-movements of plants. These have also generally been
confounded, under the term "periodic," with the slight daily rise and fall
of leaves, as described in the fourth chapter; and this makes it all the
more desirable to give some distinct name to sleep-movements. Nyctitropism
and nyctitropic, i.e. night-turning, may be applied both to leaves and
flowers, and will be occasionally used by us; but it would be best to
confine the term to leaves. The leaves of some few plants move either
upwards or downwards when the sun shines intensely on them, and this
movement has sometimes been called diurnal sleep; but we believe it to be
of an essentially different nature from the nocturnal movement, and it will
be briefly considered in a future chapter.

The sleep or nyctitropism of leaves is a large subject, and we think that
the most convenient plan will be first to give a brief account of the
position which leaves assume at night, and of the advantages apparently
thus gained. Afterwards the more remarkable cases will be described in
detail, with respect to cotyledons in the present chapter, and to leaves in
the next chapter. Finally, it will be shown that these movements result
from circumnutation, much modified and regulated by the alternations of day
and night, or light and darkness; but that they are also to a certain
extent inherited.

Leaves, when they go to sleep, move either upwards or downwards, or in the
case of the leaflets of com-

* Ch. Royer must, however, be excepted; see 'Annales des Sc. Nat.' (5th
series), Bot. vol. ix. 1868, p. 378.

[page 282]
pound leaves, forwards, that is, towards the apex of the leaf, or
backwards, that is, towards its base; or, again, they may rotate on their
own axes without moving either upwards or downwards. But in almost every
case the plane of the blade is so placed as to stand nearly or quite
vertically at night. Therefore the apex, or the base, or either lateral
edge, may be directed towards the zenith. Moreover, the upper surface of
each leaf, and more especially of each leaflet, is often brought into close
contact with that of the opposite one; and this is sometimes effected by
singularly complicated movements. This fact suggests that the upper surface
requires more protection than the lower one. For instance, the terminal
leaflet in Trifolium, after turning up at night so as to stand vertically,
often continues to bend over until the upper surface is directed downwards
whilst the lower surface is fully exposed to the sky; and an arched roof is
thus formed over the two lateral leaflets, which have their upper surfaces
pressed closely together. Here we have the unusual case of one of the
leaflets not standing vertically, or almost vertically, at night.

Considering that leaves in assuming their nyctitropic positions often move
through an angle of 90o; that the movement is rapid in the evening; that in
some cases, as we shall see in the next chapter, it is extraordinarily
complicated; that with certain seedlings, old enough to bear true leaves,
the cotyledons move vertically upwards at night, whilst at the same time
the leaflets move vertically downwards; and that in the same genus the
leaves or cotyledons of some species move upwards, whilst those of other
species move downwards;--from these and other such facts, it is hardly
possible to doubt that plants must derive some
[page 283]
great advantage from such remarkable powers of movement.

The nyctitropic movements of leaves and cotyledons are effected in two
ways,* firstly, by means of pulvini which become, as Pfeffer has shown,
alternately more turgescent on opposite sides; and secondly, by increased
growth along one side of the petiole or midrib, and then on the opposite
side, as was first proved by Batalin.** But as it has been shown by De
Vries*** that in these latter cases increased growth is preceded by the
increased turgescence of the cells, the difference between the above two
means of movement is much diminished, and consists chiefly in the
turgescence of the cells of a fully developed pulvinus, not being followed
by growth. When the movements of leaves or cotyledons, furnished with a
pulvinus and destitute of one, are compared, they are seen to be closely
similar, and are apparently effected for the same purpose. Therefore, with
our object in view, it does not appear advisable to separate the above two
sets of cases into two distinct classes. There is, however, one important
distinction between them, namely, that movements effected by growth on the
alternate sides, are confined to young growing leaves, whilst those
effected by means of a pulvinus last for a long time. We have already seen
well-marked instances of this latter fact with cotyledons, and so it is
with leaves, as has been observed by Pfeffer and by ourselves. The long
endurance of the nyctitropic movements when effected by the aid of pulvini
indicates, in addition to the evidence already advanced, the functional
import-

* This distinction was first pointed out (according to Pfeffer, 'Die
Periodischen Bewegungen der Blattorgane,' 1875, p. 161) by Dassen in 1837.

** 'Flora,' 1873, p. 433.

*** 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1879, Dec. 19th, p. 830.

[page 284]
ance of such movements to the plant. There is another difference between
the two sets of cases, namely, that there is never, or very rarely, any
torsion of the leaves, excepting when a pulvinus is present;* but this
statement applies only to periodic and nyctitropic movements as may be
inferred from other cases given by Frank.**
The fact that the leaves of many plants place themselves at night in widely
different positions from what they hold during the day, but with the one
point in common, that their upper surfaces avoid facing the zenith, often
with the additional fact that they come into close contact with opposite
leaves or leaflets, clearly indicates, as it seems to us, that the object
gained is the protection of the upper surfaces from being chilled at night
by radiation. There is nothing improbable in the upper surface needing
protection more than the lower, as the two differ in function and
structure. All gardeners know that plants suffer from radiation. It is this
and not cold winds which the peasants of Southern Europe fear for their
olives.*** Seedlings are often protected from radiation by a very thin
covering of straw; and fruit-trees on walls by a few fir-branches, or even
by a fishing-net, suspended over them. There is a variety of the
gooseberry,**** the flowers of which from being produced before the leaves,
are not protected by them from radiation, and consequently often fail to
yield fruit. An excellent observer***** has remarked

* Pfeffer, 'Die Period. Beweg. der Blattorgane.' 1875, p. 159.

** 'Die Nat. Wagerechte Richtung von Pflanzentheilen,' 1870, p. 52

*** Martins in 'Bull. Soc. Bot. de France,' tom. xix. 1872. Wells, in his
famous 'Essay on Dew,' remarks that an exposed thermometer rises as soon as
even a fleecy cloud, high in the sky, passes over the zenith.

**** 'Loudon's Gardener's Mag.,' vol. iv. 1828, p. 112.

***** Mr. Rivers in 'Gardener's Chron.,' 1866, p. 732.
[page 285]

that one variety of the cherry has the petals of its flowers much curled
backwards, and after a severe frost all the stigmas were killed; whilst at
the same time, in another variety with incurved petals, the stigmas were
not in the least injured.

This view that the sleep of leaves saves them from being chilled at night
by radiation, would no doubt have occurred to Linnaeus, had the principle
of radiation been then discovered; for he suggests in many parts of his
'Somnus Plantarum' that the position of the leaves at night protects the
young stems and buds, and often the young inflorescence, against cold
winds. We are far from doubting that an additional advantage may be thus
gained; and we have observed with several plants, for instance, Desmodium
gyrans, that whilst the blade of the leaf sinks vertically down at night,
the petiole rises, so that the blade has to move through a greater angle in
order to assume its vertical position than would otherwise have been
necessary; but with the result that all the leaves on the same plant are
crowded together as if for mutual protection.

We doubted at first whether radiation would affect in any important manner
objects so thin as are many cotyledons and leaves, and more especially
affect differently their upper and lower surfaces; for although the
temperature of their upper surfaces would undoubtedly fall when freely
exposed to a clear sky, yet we thought that they would so quickly acquire
by conduction the temperature of the surrounding air, that it could hardly
make any sensible difference to them, whether they stood horizontally and
radiated into the open sky, or vertically and radiated chiefly in a lateral
direction towards neighbouring plants and other objects. We endeavoured,
therefore, to ascertain something on this head by preventing the leaves
[page 286]
of several plants from going to sleep, and by exposing to a clear sky when
the temperature was beneath the freezing-point, these, as well as the other
leaves on the same plants which had already assumed their nocturnal
vertical position. Our experiments show that leaves thus compelled to
remain horizontal at night, suffered much more injury from frost than those
which were allowed to assume their normal vertical position. It may,
however, be said that conclusions drawn from such observations are not
applicable to sleeping plants, the inhabitants of countries where frosts do
not occur. But in every country, and at all seasons, leaves must be exposed
to nocturnal chills through radiation, which might be in some degree
injurious to them, and which they would escape by assuming a vertical
position.

In our experiments, leaves were prevented from assuming their nyctitropic
position, generally by being fastened with the finest entomological pins
(which did not sensibly injure them) to thin sheets of cork supported on
sticks. But in some instances they were fastened down by narrow strips of
card, and in others by their petioles being passed through slits in the
cork. The leaves were at first fastened close to the cork, for as this is a
bad conductor, and as the leaves were not exposed for long periods, we
thought that the cork, which had been kept in the house, would very
slightly warm them; so that if they were injured by the frost in a greater
degree than the free vertical leaves, the evidence would be so much the
stronger that the horizontal position was injurious. But we found that when
there was any slight difference in the result, which could be detected only
occasionally, the leaves which had been fastened closely down suffered
rather more than those fastened with very long and
[page 287]
thin pins, so as to stand from ½ to 3/4 inch above the cork. This
difference in the result, which is in itself curious as showing what a very
slight difference in the conditions influences the amount of injury
inflicted, may be attributed, as we believe, to the surrounding warmer air
not circulating freely beneath the closely pinned leaves and thus slightly
warming them. This conclusion is supported by some analogous facts
hereafter to be given.

We will now describe in detail the experiments which were tried. These were
troublesome from our not being able to predict how much cold the leaves of
the several species could endure. Many plants had every leaf killed, both
those which were secured in a horizontal position and those which were
allowed to sleep--that is, to rise up or sink down vertically. Others again
had not a single leaf in the least injured, and these had to be re-exposed
either for a longer time or to a lower temperature.

[Oxalis acetosella.--A very large pot, thickly covered with between 300 and
400 leaves, had been kept all winter in the greenhouse. Seven leaves were
pinned horizontally open, and were exposed on March 16th for 2 h. to a
clear sky, the temperature on the surrounding grass being -4o C. (24o to 25o
F.). Next morning all seven leaves were found quite killed, so were many of
the free ones which had previously gone to sleep, and about 100 of them,
either dead or browned and injured were picked off. Some leaves showed that
they had been slightly injured by not expanding during the whole of the
next day, though they afterwards recovered. As all the leaves which were
pinned open were killed, and only about a third or fourth of the others
were either killed or injured, we had some little evidence that those which
were prevented from assuming their vertically dependent position suffered
most.

The following night (17th) was clear and almost equally cold (-3o to -4o C.
on the grass), and the pot was again exposed, but this time for only 30 m.
Eight leaves had been pinned out,
[page 288]
and in the morning two of them were dead, whilst not a single other leaf on
the many plants was even injured.

On the 23rd the pot was exposed for 1 h. 30 m., the temperature on the
grass being only -2o C., and not one leaf was injured: the pinned open
leaves, however, all stood from ½ to 3/4 of an inch above the cork.

On the 24th the pot was again placed on the ground and exposed to a clear
sky for between 35 m. and 40 m. By a mistake the thermometer was left on an
adjoining sun-dial 3 feet high, instead of being placed on the grass; it
recorded 25o to 26o F. (-3.3o to -3.8o C.), but when looked at after 1 h.
had fallen to 22o F. (-5.5o C.); so that the pot was perhaps exposed to
rather a lower temperature than on the two first occasions. Eight leaves
had been pinned out, some close to the cork and some above it, and on the
following morning five of them (i.e. 63 per cent.) were found killed. By
counting a portion of the leaves we estimated that about 250 had been
allowed to go to sleep, and of these about 20 were killed (i.e. only 8 per
cent.), and about 30 injured.

Considering these cases, there can be no doubt that the leaves of this
Oxalis, when allowed to assume their normal vertically dependent position
at night, suffer much less from frost than those (23 in number) which had
their upper surfaces exposed to the zenith.

Oxalis carnosa.--A plant of this Chilian species was exposed for 30 m. to a
clear sky, the thermometer on the grass standing at -2o C., with some of
its leaves pinned open, and not one leaf on the whole bushy plant was in
the least injured. On the 16th of March another plant was similarly exposed
for 30 m., when the temperature on the grass was only a little lower, viz.,
-3o to -4o C. Six of the leaves had been pinned open, and next morning five
of them were found much browned. The plant was a large one, and none of the
free leaves, which were asleep and depended vertically, were browned,
excepting four very young ones. But three other leaves, though not browned,
were in a rather flaccid condition, and retained their nocturnal position
during the whole of the following day. In this case it was obvious that the
leaves which were exposed horizontally to the zenith suffered most. This
same pot was afterwards exposed for 35 - 40 m. on a slightly colder night,
and every leaf, both the pinned open and the free ones, was killed. It may
be added that two pots of O. corniculata (var. Atro-
[page 289]
purpurea) were exposed for 2 h. and 3 h. to a clear sky with the temp. on
grass -2o C., and none of the leaves, whether free or pinned open, were at
all injured.

Arachis hypogoea.--Some plants in a pot were exposed at night for 30 m. to
a clear sky, the temperature on the surrounding grass being -2o C., and on
two nights afterwards they were again exposed to the same temperature, but
this time during 1 h. 30 m. On neither occasion was a single leaf, whether
pinned open or free, injured; and this surprised us much, considering its
native tropical African home. Two plants were next exposed (March 16th) for
30 m. to a clear sky, the temperature of the surrounding grass being now
lower, viz., between -3o and -4o C., and all four pinned-open leaves were
killed and blackened. These two plants bore 22 other and free leaves
(excluding some very young bud-like ones) and only two of these were killed
and three somewhat injured; that is, 23 per cent. were either killed or
injured, whereas all four pinned-open leaves were utterly killed.

On another night two pots with several plants were exposed for between 35
m. and 40 m. to a clear sky, and perhaps to a rather lower temperature, for
a thermometer on a dial, 3 feet high, close by stood at -3.3o to -3.8o C.
In one pot three leaves were pinned open, and all were badly injured; of
the 44 free leaves, 26 were injured, that is, 59 per cent. In the other pot
3 leaves were pinned open and all were killed; four other leaves were
prevented from sleeping by narrow strips of stiff paper gummed across them,
and all were killed; of 24 free leaves, 10 were killed, 2 much injured, and
12 unhurt; that is, 50 per cent. of the free leaves were either killed or
much injured. Taking the two pots together, we may say that rather more
than half of the free leaves, which were asleep, were either killed or
injured, whilst all the ten horizontally extended leaves, which had been
prevented from going to sleep, were either killed or much injured.

Cassia floribunda.--A bush was exposed at night for 40 m. to a clear sky,
the temperature on the surrounding grass being -2o C., and not a leaf was
injured.* It was again exposed on

* Cassia laevigata was exposed to a clear sky for 35 m., and C. calliantha
(a Guiana species) for 60 m., the temperature on the surrounding grass
being -2o C., and neither was in the least injured. But when C. laevigata
was exposed for 1 h., the temp. on the surrounding grass being between -3o
and -4o C., every leaf was killed.
[page 290]

another night for 1 h., when the temperature of the grass was -4o C.; and
now all the leaves on a large bush, whether pinned flat open or free, were
killed, blackened, and shrivelled, with the exception of those on one small
branch, low down, which was very slightly protected by the leaves on the
branches above. Another tall bush, with four of its large compound leaves
pinned out horizontally, was afterwards exposed (temp. of surrounding grass
exactly the same, viz., -4o C.), but only for 30 m. On the following
morning every single leaflet on these four leaves was dead, with both their
upper and lower surfaces completely blackened. Of the many free leaves on
the bush, only seven were blackened, and of these only a single one (which
was a younger and more tender leaf than any of the pinned ones) had both
surfaces of the leaflets blackened. The contrast in this latter respect was
well shown by a free leaf, which stood between two pinned-open ones; for
these latter had the lower surfaces of their leaflets as black as ink,
whilst the intermediate free leaf, though badly injured, still retained a
plain tinge of green on the lower surface of the leaflets. This bush
exhibited in a striking manner the evil effects of the leaves not being
allowed to assume at night their normal dependent position; for had they
all been prevented from doing so, assuredly every single leaf on the bush
would have been utterly killed by this exposure of only 30 m. The leaves
whilst sinking downwards in the evening twist round, so that the upper
surface is turned inwards, and is thus better protected than the outwardly
turned lower surface. Nevertheless, it was always the upper surface which
was more blackened than the lower, whenever any difference could be
perceived between them; but whether this was due to the cells near the
upper surface being more tender, or merely to their containing more
chlorophyll, we do not know.

Melilotus officinalis.--A large pot with many plants, which had been kept
during the winter in the greenhouse, was exposed during 5 h. at night to a
slight frost and clear sky. Four leaves had been pinned out, and these died
after a few days; but so did many of the free leaves. Therefore nothing
certain could be inferred from this trial, though it indicated that the
horizontally extended leaves suffered most. Another large pot with many
plants was next exposed for 1 h., the temperature on the surrounding grass
being lower, viz., -3o to -4o C. Ten leaves had been pinned out, and the
result was striking, for on the following morning all these were found much
injured or
[page 291]
killed, and none of the many free leaves on the several plants were at all
injured, with the doubtful exception of two or three very young ones.

Melilotus Italica.--Six leaves were pinned out horizontally, three with
their upper and three with their lower surfaces turned to the zenith. The
plants were exposed for 5 h. to a clear sky, the temperature on ground
being about -1o C. Next morning the six pinned-open leaves seemed more
injured even than the younger and more tender free ones on the same
branches. The exposure, however, had been too long, for after an interval
of some days many of the free leaves seemed in almost as bad a condition as
the pinned-out ones. It was not possible to decide whether the leaves with
their upper or those with their lower surfaces turned to the zenith had
suffered most.

Melilotus suaveolens.--Some plants with 8 leaves pinned out were exposed to
a clear sky during 2 h., the temperature on the surrounding grass being -2o
C. Next morning 6 out of these 8 leaves were in a flaccid condition. There
were about 150 free leaves on the plant, and none of these were injured,
except 2 or 3 very young ones. But after two days, the plants having been
brought back into the greenhouse, the 6 pinned-out leaves all recovered.

Melilotus Taurica.--Several plants were exposed for 5 h. during two nights
to a clear sky and slight frost, accompanied by some wind; and 5 leaves
which had been pinned out suffered more than those both above and below on
the same branches which had gone to sleep. Another pot, which had likewise
been kept in the greenhouse, was exposed for 35 - 40 m. to a clear sky, the
temperature of the surrounding grass being between -3o and -4o C. Nine
leaves had been pinned out, and all of these were killed. On the same
plants there were 210 free leaves, which had been allowed to go to sleep,
and of these about 80 were killed, i.e. only 38 per cent.

Melilotus Petitpierreana.--The plants were exposed to a clear sky for 35 -
40 m.: temperature on surrounding grass -3o to -4o C. Six leaves had been
pinned out so as to stand about ½ inch above the cork, and four had been
pinned close to it. These 10 leaves were all killed, but the closely pinned
ones suffered most, as 4 of the 6 which stood above the cork still retained
small patches of a green colour. A considerable number, but not nearly all,
of the free leaves, were killed or much injured, whereas all the pinned out
ones were killed.
[page 292]

Melilotus macrorrhiza.--The plants were exposed in the same manner as in
the last case. Six leaves had been pinned out horizontally, and five of
them were killed, that is, 83 percent. We estimated that there were 200
free leaves on the plants, and of these about 50 were killed and 20 badly
injured, so that about 35 per cent of the free leaves were killed or
injured.

Lotus aristata.--Six plants were exposed for nearly 5 h. to a clear sky;
temperature on surrounding grass -1.5o C. Four leaves had been pinned out
horizontally, and 2 of these suffered more than those above or below on the
same branches, which had been allowed to go to sleep. It is rather a
remarkable fact that some plants of Lotus Jacoboeus, an inhabitant of so
hot a country as the Cape Verde Islands, were exposed one night to a clear
sky, with the temperature of the surrounding grass -2o C., and on a second
night for 30 m. with the temperature of the grass between -3o and -4o C.,
and not a single leaf, either the pinned-out or free ones, was in the least
injured.

Marsilea quadrifoliata.--A large plant of this species--the only
Cryptogamic plant known to sleep--with some leaves pinned open, was exposed
for 1 h. 35 m. to a clear sky, the temperature on the surrounding ground
being -2o C., and not a single leaf was injured. After an interval of some
days the plant was again exposed for 1 h. to a clear sky, with the
temperature on the surrounding ground lower, viz., -4o C. Six leaves had
been pinned out horizontally, and all of them were utterly killed. The
plant had emitted long trailing stems, and these had been wrapped round
with a blanket, so as to protect them from the frozen ground and from
radiation; but a very large number of leaves were left freely exposed,
which had gone to sleep, and of these only 12 were killed. After another
interval, the plant, with 9 leaves pinned out, was again exposed for 1 h.,
the temperature on the ground being again -4o C. Six of the leaves were
killed, and one which did not at first appear injured afterwards became
streaked with brown. The trailing branches, which rested on the frozen
ground, had one-half or three-quarters of their leaves killed, but of the
many other leaves on the plant, which alone could be fairly compared with
the pinned-out ones, none appeared at first sight to have been killed, but
on careful search 12 were found in this state. After another interval, the
plant with 9 leaves pinned out, was exposed for 35 - 40 m. to a clear sky
and to nearly the same, or perhaps a rather lower, temperature (for the
thermometer by an accident had been left on a
[page 293]
sun-dial close by), and 8 of these leaves were killed. Of the free leaves
(those on the trailing branches not being considered), a good many were
killed, but their number, compared with the uninjured ones, was small.
Finally, taking the three trials together, 24 leaves, extended
horizontally, were exposed to the zenith and to unobstructed radiation, and
of these 20 were killed and 1 injured; whilst a relatively very small
proportion of the leaves, which had been allowed to go to sleep with their
leaflets vertically dependent, were killed or injured.

The cotyledons of several plants were prepared for trial, but the weather
was mild and we succeeded only in a single instance in having seedlings of
the proper age on nights which were clear and cold. The cotyledons of 6
seedlings of Mimosa pudica were fastened open on cork and were thus exposed
for 1 h. 45 m. to a clear sky, with the temperature on the surrounding
ground at 29o F.; of these, 3 were killed. Two other seedlings, after their
cotyledons had risen up and had closed together, were bent over and
fastened so that they stood horizontally, with the lower surface of one
cotyledon fully exposed to the zenith, and both were killed. Therefore of
the 8 seedlings thus tried 5, or more than half, were killed. Seven other
seedlings with their cotyledons in their normal nocturnal position, viz.,
vertical and closed, were exposed at the same time, and of these only 2
were killed.* Hence it appears, as far as these few trials tell anything,
that the vertical position at night of the cotyledons of Mimosa pudica
protects them to a certain degree from the evil effects of radiation and
cold.]

Concluding Remarks on the Radiation from Leaves at Night.--We exposed on
two occasions during the summer to a clear sky several pinned-open leaflets
of Trifolium pratense, which naturally rise at night, and of Oxalis
purpurea, which naturally sink at night (the plants growing out of doors),
and looked at

* We were surprised that young seedlings of so tropical a plant as Mimosa
pudica were able to resist, as well as they did, exposure for 1 hr. 45 m.
to a clear sky, the temperature on the surrounding ground being 29o F. It
may be added that seedlings of the Indian 'Cassia pubescens' were exposed
for 1 h. 30 m. to a clear sky, with the temp. on the surrounding ground at
-2o C., and they were not in the least injured.
[page 294]

them early on several successive mornings, after they had assumed their
diurnal positions. The difference in the amount of dew on the pinned-open
leaflets and on those which had gone to sleep was generally conspicuous;
the latter being sometimes absolutely dry, whilst the leaflets which had
been horizontal were coated with large beads of dew. This shows how much
cooler the leaflets fully exposed to the zenith must have become, than
those which stood almost vertically, either upwards or downwards, during
the night.

From the several cases above given, there can be no doubt that the position
of the leaves at night affects their temperature through radiation to such
a degree, that when exposed to a clear sky during a frost, it is a question
of life and death. We may therefore admit as highly probable, seeing that
their nocturnal position is so well adapted to lessen radiation, that the
object gained by their often complicated sleep movements, is to lessen the
degree to which they are chilled at night. It should be kept in mind that
it is especially the upper surface which is thus protected, as it is never
directed towards the zenith, and is often brought into close contact with
the upper surface of an opposite leaf or leaflet.

We failed to obtain sufficient evidence, whether the better protection of
the upper surface has been gained from its being more easily injured than
the lower surface, or from its injury being a greater evil to the plant.
That there is some difference in constitution between the two surfaces is
shown by the following cases. Cassia floribunda was exposed to a clear sky
on a sharp frosty night, and several leaflets which had assumed their
nocturnal dependent position with their lower surfaces turned outwards so
as to be
[page 295]
exposed obliquely to the zenith, nevertheless had these lower surfaces less
blackened than the upper surfaces which were turned inwards and were in
close contact with those of the opposite leaflets. Again, a pot full of
plants of Trifolium resupinatum, which had been kept in a warm room for
three days, was turned out of doors (Sept. 21st) on a clear and almost
frosty night. Next morning ten of the terminal leaflets were examined as
opaque objects under the microscope. These leaflets, in going to sleep,
either turn vertically upwards, or more commonly bend a little over the
lateral leaflets, so that their lower surfaces are more exposed to the
zenith than their upper surfaces. Nevertheless, six of these ten leaflets
were distinctly yellower on the upper than on the lower and more exposed
surface. In the remaining four, the result was not so plain, but certainly
whatever difference there was leaned to the side of the upper surface
having suffered most.

It has been stated that some of the leaflets experimented on were fastened
close to the cork, and others at a height of from ½ to 3/4 of an inch above
it; and that whenever, after exposure to a frost, any difference could be
detected in their states, the closely pinned ones had suffered most. We
attributed this difference to the air, not cooled by radiation, having been
prevented from circulating freely beneath the closely pinned leaflets. That
there was really a difference in the temperature of leaves treated in these
two different methods, was plainly shown on one occasion; for after the
exposure of a pot with plants of Melilotus dentata for 2 h. to a clear sky
(the temperature on the surrounding grass being -2o C.), it was manifest
that more dew had congealed into hoar-frost on the closely pinned leaflets,
than on those which stood horizontally
[page 296]
a little above the cork. Again, the tips of some few leaflets, which had
been pinned close to the cork, projected a little beyond the edge, so that
the air could circulate freely round them. This occurred with six leaflets
of Oxalis acetosella, and their tips certainly suffered rather less then
the rest of the same leaflets; for on the following morning they were still
slightly green. The same result followed, even still more clearly, in two
cases with leaflets of Melilotus officinalis which projected a little
beyond the cork; and in two other cases some leaflets which were pinned
close to the cork were injured, whilst other free leaflets on the same
leaves, which had not space to rotate and assume their proper vertical
position, were not at all injured.

Another analogous fact deserves notice: we observed on several occasions
that a greater number of free leaves were injured on the branches which had
been kept motionless by some of their leaves having been pinned to the
corks, than on the other branches. This was conspicuously the case with
those of Melilotus Petitpierreana, but the injured leaves in this instance
were not actually counted. With Arachis hypogaea, a young plant with 7
stems bore 22 free leaves, and of these 5 were injured by the frost, all of
which were on two stems, bearing four leaves pinned to the cork-supports.
With Oxalis carnosa, 7 free leaves were injured, and every one of them
belonged to a cluster of leaves, some of which had been pinned to the cork.
We could account for these cases only by supposing that the branches which
were quite free had been slightly waved about by the wind, and that their
leaves had thus been a little warmed by the surrounding warmer air. If we
hold our hands motionless before a hot fire, and then wave them about, we
[page 297]
immediately feel relief; and this is evidently an analogous, though
reversed, case. These several facts--in relation to leaves pinned close to
or a little above the cork-supports--to their tips projecting beyond it--
and to the leaves on branches kept motionless--seem to us curious, as
showing how a difference, apparently trifling, may determine the greater or
less injury of the leaves. We may even infer as probable that the less or
greater destruction during a frost of the leaves on a plant which does not
sleep, may often depend on the greater or less degree of flexibility of
their petioles and of the branches which bear them.

NYCTITROPIC OR SLEEP MOVEMENTS OF COTYLEDONS.

We now come to the descriptive part of our work, and will begin with
cotyledons, passing on to leaves in the next chapter. We have met with only
two brief notices of cotyledons sleeping. Hofmeister,* after stating that
the cotyledons of all the observed seedlings of the Caryophylleae (Alsineae
and Sileneae) bend upwards at night (but to what angle he does not state),
remarks that those of Stellaria media rise up so as to touch one another;
they may therefore safely be said to sleep. Secondly, according to Ramey**,
the cotyledons of Mimosa pudica and of Clianthus Dampieri rise up almost
vertically at night and approach each other closely. It has been shown in a
previous chapter that the cotyledons of a large number of plants bend a
little upwards at night, and we here have to meet the difficult question at
what inclination may they be said to sleep? According to the view which we
maintain, no movement deserves to be called

* 'Die Lehre von der Pflanzenzelle,' 1867, p. 327.

** 'Adansonia,' March 10th, 1869.

[page 298]
nyctitropic, unless it has been acquired for the sake of lessening
radiation; but this could be discovered only by a long series of
experiments, showing that the leaves of each species suffered from this
cause, if prevented from sleeping. We must therefore take an arbitrary
limit. If a cotyledon or leaf is inclined at 60o above or beneath the
horizon, it exposes to the zenith about one-half of its area; consequently
the intensity of its radiation will be lessened by about half, compared
with what it would have been if the cotyledon or leaf had remained
horizontal. This degree of diminution certainly would make a great
difference to a plant having a tender constitution. We will therefore speak
of a cotyledon and hereafter of a leaf as sleeping, only when it rises at
night to an angle of about 60o, or to a still higher angle, above the
horizon, or sinks beneath it to the same amount. Not but that a lesser
diminution of radiation may be advantageous to a plant, as in the case of
Datura stramonium, the cotyledons of which rose from 31o at noon to 55o at
night above the horizon. The Swedish turnip may profit by the area of its
leaves being reduced at night by about 30 per cent., as estimated by Mr. A.
S. Wilson; though in this case the angle through which the leaves rose was
not observed. On the other hand, when the angular rise of cotyledons or of
leaves is small, such as less than 30o, the diminution of radiation is so
slight that it probably is of no significance to the plant in relation to
radiation. For instance, the cotyledons of Geranium Ibericum rose at night
to 27o above the horizon, and this would lessen radiation by only 11 per
cent.: those of Linum Berendieri rose to 33o, and this would lessen
radiation by 16 per cent.

There are, however, some other sources of doubt with
[page 299]
respect to the sleep of cotyledons. In certain cases, the cotyledons whilst
young diverge during the day to only a very moderate extent, so that a
small rise at night, which we know occurs with the cotyledons of many
plants, would necessarily cause them to assume a vertical or nearly
vertical position at night; and in this case it would be rash to infer that
the movement was effected for any special purpose. On this account we
hesitated long whether we should introduce several Cucurbitaceous plants
into the following list; but from reasons, presently to be given, we
thought that they had better be at least temporarily included. This same
source of doubt applies in some few other cases; for at the commencement of
our observations we did not always attend sufficiently to whether the
cotyledons stood nearly horizontally in the middle of the day. With several
seedlings, the cotyledons assume a highly inclined position at night during
so short a period of their life, that a doubt naturally arises whether this
can be of any service to the plant. Nevertheless, in most of the cases
given in the following list, the cotyledons may be as certainly said to
sleep as may the leaves of any plant. In two cases, namely with the cabbage
and radish, the cotyledons of which rise almost vertically during the few
first nights of their life, it was ascertained by placing young seedlings
in the klinostat, that the upward movement was not due to apogeotropism.

The names of the plants, the cotyledons of which stand at night at an angle
of at least 60o with the horizon, are arranged in the appended list on the
same system as previously followed. The numbers of the Families, and with
the Leguminosae the numbers of the Tribes, have been added to show how
widely the plants in question are distributed throughout the
[page 300]
dicotyledonous series. A few remarks will have to be made about many of the
plants in the list. In doing so, it will be convenient not to follow
strictly any systematic order, but to treat of the Oxalidae and the
Leguminosae at the close; for in these two Families the cotyledons are
generally provided with a pulvinus, and their movements endure for a much
longer time than those of the other plants in the list.

List of Seedling Plants, the cotyledons of which rise or sink at night to
an angle of at least 60o above or beneath the horizon.

Brassica oleracea. Cruciferae (Fam. 14).
-- napus (as we are informed by Prof. Pfeffer). Raphanus sativus.
Cruciferae.
Githago segetum. Caryophylleae (Fam. 26).
Stellaria media (according to Hofmeister, as quoted). Caryophylleae.
Anoda Wrightii. Malvaceae (Fam. 36).
Gossypium (var. Nankin cotton). Malvaceae.
Oxalis rosea. Oxalidae (Fam. 41).
-- floribunda.
-- articulata.
-- Valdiviana.
-- sensitiva.
Geranium rotundifolium. Geraniaceae (Fam. 47).
Trifolium subterraneum. Leguminosae (Fam. 75, Tribe 3).
-- strictum.
-- leucanthemum.
Lotus ornithopopoides. Leguminosae (Tribe 4).
-- peregrinus.
-- Jacobaeus.
Clianthus Dampieri. Leguminosae (Tribe 5)--according to M. Ramey.
Smithia sensitiva. Leguminosae (Tribe 6).
Haematoxylon Campechianum. Leguminosae (Tribe 13)--according to Mr. R. I.
Lynch.
Cassia mimosoides. Leguminosae (Tribe 14).
-- glauca.
-- florida.
-- corymbosa.
-- pubescens.
-- tora.
-- neglecta.
-- 3 other Brazilian unnamed species.
Bauhinia (sp.?. Leguminosae (Tribe 15).
Neptunia oleracea. Leguminosae (Tribe 20).
Mimosa pudica. Leguminosae (Tribe 21).
-- albida.
Cucurbita ovifera. Cucurbitaceae (Fam. 106).
-- aurantia.
Lagenaria vulgaris. Cucurbitaceae.
Cucumis dudaim. Cucurbitaceae.
Apium petroselinum. Umbelliferae (Fam. 113).
-- graveolens.
Lactuca scariola. Compositae (Fam. 122).
Helianthus annuus (?). Compositae.
Ipomoea caerulea. Convolvulaceae (Fam. 151).
-- purpurea.
-- bona-nox.
-- coccinea.
[page 301]
List of Seedling Plants (continued).
Solanum lycopersicum. Solaneae (Fam. 157.)
Mimulus, (sp. ?) Scrophularineae (Fam. 159)--from information given us by
Prof. Pfeffer.
Mirabilis jalapa. Nyctagineae (Fam. 177).
Mirabilis longiflora.
Beta vulgaris. Polygoneae (Fam. 179).
Amaranthus caudatus. Amaranthaceae (Fam. 180).
Cannabis sativa (?). Cannabineae (Fam. 195).

Brassica oleracea (Cruciferae).--It was shown in the first chapter that the
cotyledons of the common cabbage rise in the evening and stand vertically
up at night with their petioles in contact. But as the two cotyledons are
of unequal height, they frequently interfere a little with each other's
movements, the shorter one often not standing quite vertically. They awake
early in the morning; thus at 6.45 A.M. on Nov. 27th, whilst if was still
dark, the cotyledons, which had been vertical and in contact on the
previous evening, were reflexed, and thus presented a very different
appearance. It should be borne in mind that seedlings in germinating at the
proper season, would not be subjected to darkness at this hour in the
morning. The above amount of movement of the cotyledons is only temporary,
lasting with plants kept in a warm greenhouse from four to six days; how
long it would last with seedlings growing out of doors we do not know.

Raphanus sativus.--In the middle of the day the blades of the cotyledons of
10 seedlings stood at right angles to their hypocotyls, with their petioles
a little divergent; at night the blades stood vertically, with their bases
in contact and with their petioles parallel. Next morning, at 6.45 A.M.,
whilst it was still dark, the blades were horizontal. On the following
night they were much raised, but hardly stood sufficiently vertical to be
said to be asleep, and so it was in a still less degree on the third night.
Therefore the cotyledons of this plant (kept in the greenhouse) go to sleep
for even a shorter time than those of the cabbage. Similar observations
were made, but only during a single day and night, on 13 other seedlings
likewise raised in the greenhouse, with the same result.

The petioles of the cotyledons of 11 young seedlings of Sinapis nigra were
slightly divergent at noon, and the blades stood at right angles to the
hypocotyls; at night the petioles were in close contact, and the blades
considerably raised, with their bases in contact, but only a few stood
sufficiently upright to be called asleep. On the following morning,
[page 302]
the petioles diverged before it was light. The hypocotyl is slightly
sensitive, so that if rubbed with a needle it bends towards the rubbed
side. In the case of Lepidium sativum, the petioles of the cotyledons of
young seedlings diverge during the day and converge so as to touch each
other during the night, by which means the bases of the tripartite blades
are brought into contact; but the blades are so little raised that they
cannot be said to sleep. The cotyledons of several other cruciferous plants
were observed, but they did not rise sufficiently during the night to be
said to sleep.

Githago segetum (Caryophylleae).--On the first day after the cotyledons had
burst through the seed-coats, they stood at noon at an angle of 75o above
the horizon; at night they moved upwards, each through an angle of 15o so
as to stand quite vertical and in contact with one another. On the second
day they stood at noon at 59o above the horizon, and again at night were
completely closed, each having risen 31o. On the fourth day the cotyledons
did not quite close at night. The first and succeeding pairs of young true
leaves behaved in exactly the same manner. We think that the movement in
this case may be called nyctitropic, though the angle passed through was
small. The cotyledons are very sensitive to light and will not expand if
exposed to an extremely dim one.

Anoda Wrightii (Malvaceae).--The cotyledons whilst moderately young, and
only from .2 to .3 inch in diameter, sink in the evening from their mid-day
horizontal position to about 35o beneath the horizon. But when the same
seedlings were older and had produced small true leaves, the almost
orbicular cotyledons, now .55 inch in diameter, moved vertically downwards
at night. This fact made us suspect that their sinking might be due merely
to their weight; but they were not in the least flaccid, and when lifted up
sprang back through elasticity into their former dependent position. A pot
with some old seedlings was turned upside down in the afternoon, before the
nocturnal fall had commenced, and at night they assumed in opposition to
their own weight (and to any geotropic action) an upwardly directed
vertical position. When pots were thus reversed, after the evening fall had
already commenced, the sinking movement appeared to be somewhat disturbed;
but all their movements were occasionally variable without any apparent
cause. This latter fact, as well as that of the young cotyledons not
sinking nearly so much as the older ones, deserves notice.
[page 303]
Although the movement of the cotyledons endured for a long time, no
pulvinus was exteriorly visible; but their growth continued for a long
time. The cotyledons appear to be only slightly heliotropic, though the
hypocotyl is strongly so.

Gossypium arboreum (?) (var. Nankin cotton) (Malvaceae).--The cotyledons
behave in nearly the same manner as those of the Anoda. On June 15th the
cotyledons of two seedlings were .65 inch in length (measured along the
midrib) and stood horizontally at noon; at 10 P.M. they occupied the same
position and had not fallen at all. On June 23rd, the cotyledons of one of
these seedlings were 1.1 inch in length, and by 10 P.M. they had fallen
from a horizontal position to 62o beneath the horizon. The cotyledons of
the other seedling were 1.3 inch in length, and a minute true leaf had been
formed; they had fallen at 10 P.M. to 70o beneath the horizon. On June
25th, the true leaf of this latter seedling was .9 inch in length, and the
cotyledons occupied nearly the same position at night. By July 9th the
cotyledons appeared very old and showed signs of withering; but they stood
at noon almost horizontally, and at 10 P.M. hung down vertically.

Gossypium herbaceum.--It is remarkable that the cotyledons of this species
behave differently from those of the last. They were observed during 6
weeks from their first development until they had grown to a very large
size (still appearing fresh and green), viz. 2 ½ inches in breadth. At this
age a true leaf had been formed, which with its petiole was 2 inches long.
During the whole of these 6 weeks the cotyledons did not sink at night; yet
when old their weight was considerable and they were borne by much
elongated petioles. Seedlings raised from some seed sent us from Naples,
behaved in the same manner; as did those of a kind cultivated in Alabama
and of the Sea-island cotton. To what species these three latter forms
belong we do not know. We could not make out in the case of the Naples
cotton, that the position of the cotyledons at night was influenced by the
soil being more or less dry; care being taken that they were not rendered
flaccid by being too dry. The weight of the large cotyledons of the Alabama
and Sea-island kinds caused them to hang somewhat downwards, when the pots
in which they grew were left for a time upside down. It should, however, be
observed that these three kinds were raised in the middle of the winter,
which sometimes greatly interferes with the proper nyctitropic movements of
leaves and cotyledons.
[page 304]

Cucurbitaceae.--The cotyledons of Cucurbita aurantia and ovifera, and of
Lagenaria vulgaris, stand from the 1st to the 3rd day of their life at
about 60o above the horizon, and at night rise up so as to become vertical
and in close contact with one another. With Cucumis dudaim they stood at
noon at 45o above the horizon, and closed at night. The tips of the
cotyledons of all these species are, however, reflexed, so that this part
is fully exposed to the zenith at night; and this fact is opposed to the
belief that the movement is of the same nature as that of sleeping plants.
After the first two or three days the cotyledons diverge more during the
day and cease to close at night. Those of Trichosanthes anguina are
somewhat thick and fleshy, and did not rise at night; and they could
perhaps hardly be expected to do so. On the other hand, those of
Acanthosicyos horrida* present nothing in their appearance opposed to their
moving at night in the same manner as the preceding species; yet they did
not rise up in any plain manner. This fact leads to the belief that the
nocturnal movements of the above-named species has been acquired for some
special purpose, which may be to protect the young plumule from radiation,
by the close contact of the whole basal portion of the two cotyledons.

Geranium rotundifolium (Geraniaceae).--A single seedling came up
accidentally in a pot, and its cotyledons were observed to bend
perpendicularly downwards during several successive nights, having been
horizontal at noon. It grew into a fine plant but died before flowering: it
was sent to Kew and pronounced to be certainly a Geranium, and in all
probability the above-named species. This case is remarkable because the
cotyledons of G. cinereum, Endressii, Ibericum, Richardsoni, and
subcaulescens were observed during some weeks in the winter, and they did
not sink, whilst those of G. Ibericum rose 27o at night.

Apium petroselinum (Umbelliferae).--A seedling had its cotyledons (Nov.
22nd) almost fully expanded during the day; by 8.30 P.M. they had risen
considerably, and at 10.30 P.M. were almost closed, their tips being only
8/100 of an inch apart. On the following morning (23rd) the tips were
58/100 of an inch apart,

* This plant, from Dammara Land in S. Africa, is remarkable from being the
one known member of the Family which is not a climber; it has been
described in 'Transact. Linn. Soc.,' xxvii. p. 30.
[page 305]

or more than seven times as much. On the next night the cotyledons occupied
nearly the same position as before. On the morning of the 24th they stood
horizontally, and at night were 60o above the horizon; and so it was on the
night of the 25th. But four days afterwards (on the 29th), when the
seedlings were a week old, the cotyledons had ceased to rise at night to
any plain degree.

Apium graveolens.--The cotyledons at noon were horizontal, and at 10 P.M.
stood at an angle of 61o above the horizon.

Lactuca scariola (Compositae).--The cotyledons whilst young stood
sub-horizontally during the day, and at night rose so as to be almost
vertical, and some were quite vertical and closed; but this movement ceased
when they had grown old and large, after an interval of 11 days.

Helianthus annuus (Compositae).--This case is rather doubtful; the
cotyledons rise at night, and on one occasion they stood at 73o above the
horizon, so that they might then be said to have been asleep.

Ipomoea caerulea vel Pharbitis nil (Convolvulaceae).--The cotyledons behave
in nearly the same manner as those of the Anoda and Nankin cotton, and like
them grow to a large size. Whilst young and small, so that their blades
were from .5 to .6 of an inch in length, measured along the middle to the
base of the central notch, they remained horizontal both during the middle
of the day and at night. As they increased in size they began to sink more
and more in the evening and early night; and when they had grown to a
length (measured in the above manner) of from 1 to 1.25 inch, they sank
between 55o and 70o beneath the horizon. They acted, however, in this
manner only when they had been well illuminated during the day.
Nevertheless, the cotyledons have little or no power of bending towards a
lateral light, although the hypocotyl is strongly heliotropic. They are not
provided with a pulvinus, but continue to grow for a long time.

Ipomoea purpurea (vel Pharbitis hispida).--The cotyledons behave in all
respects like those of I. caerulea. A seedling with cotyledons .75 inch in
length (measured as before) and 1.65 inch in breadth, having a small true
leaf developed, was placed at 5.30 P.M. on a klinostat in a darkened box,
so that neither weight nor geotropism could act on them. At 10 P.M. one
cotyledon stood at 77o and the other at 82o beneath the horizon. Before
being placed in the klinostat they stood at 15o and 29o
[page 306]
beneath the horizon. The nocturnal position depends chiefly on the
curvature of the petiole close to the blade, but the whole petiole becomes
slightly curved downwards. It deserves notice that seedlings of this and
the last-named species were raised at the end of February and another lot
in the middle of March, and the cotyledons in neither case exhibited any
nyctitropic movement.

Ipomoea bona-nox.--The cotyledons after a few days grow to an enormous
size, those on a young seedling being 3 1/4 inches in breadth. They were
extended horizontally at noon, and at 10 P.M. stood at 63o beneath the
horizon. five days afterwards they were 4 ½ inches in breadth, and at night
one stood at 64o and the other 48o beneath the horizon. Though the blades
are thin, yet from their great size and from the petioles being long, we
imagined that their depression at night might be determined by their
weight; but when the pot was laid horizontally, they became curved towards
the hypocotyl, which movement could not have been in the least aided by
their weight, at the same time they were somewhat twisted upwards through
apogeotropism. Nevertheless, the weight of the cotyledons is so far
influential, that when on another night the pot was turned upside down,
they were unable to rise and thus to assume their proper nocturnal
position.

Ipomoea coccinea.--The cotyledons whilst young do not sink at night, but
when grown a little older, but still only .4 inch in length (measured as
before) and .82 in breadth, they became greatly depressed. In one case they
were horizontal at noon, and at 10 P.M. one of them stood at 64o and the
other at 47o beneath the horizon. The blades are thin, and the petioles,
which become much curved down at night, are short, so that here weight can
hardly have produced any effect. With all the above species of Ipomoea,
when the two cotyledons on the same seedling were unequally depressed at
night, this seemed to depend on the position which they had held during the
day with reference to the light.

Solanum lycopersicum (Solaneae).--The cotyledons rise so much at night as
to come nearly in contact. Those of 'S. palinacanthum' were horizontal at
noon, and by 10 P.M. had risen only 27o 30 minutes; but on the following
morning before it was light they stood at 59o above the horizon, and in the
afternoon of the same day were again horizontal. The behaviour of the
cotyledons of this latter species seems, therefore, to be anomalous.
[page 307]

Mirabilis jalapa and longiflora (Nyctagineae).--The cotyledons, which are
of unequal size, stand horizontally during the middle of the day, and at
night rise up vertically and come into close contact with one another. But
this movement with M. longiflora lasted for only the three first nights.

Beta vulgaris (Polygoneae).--A large number of seedlings were observed on
three occasions. During the day the cotyledons sometimes stood
sub-horizontally, but more commonly at an angle of about 50o above the
horizon, and for the first two or three nights they rose up vertically so
as to be completely closed. During the succeeding one or two nights they
rose only a little, and afterwards hardly at all.

Amaranthus caudatus (Amaranthaceae).--At noon the cotyledons of many
seedlings, which had just germinated, stood at about 45o above the horizon,
and at 10.15 P.M. some were nearly and the others quite closed. On the
following morning they were again well expanded or open.

Cannabis sativa (Cannabineae).--We are very doubtful whether this plant
ought to be here included. The cotyledons of a large number of seedlings,
after being well illuminated during the day, were curved downwards at
night, so that the tips of some pointed directly to the ground, but the
basal part did not appear to be at all depressed. On the following morning
they were again flat and horizontal. the cotyledons of many other seedlings
were at the same time not in any way affected. Therefore this case seems
very different from that of ordinary sleep, and probably comes under the
head of epinasty, as is the case with the leaves of this plant according to
Kraus. The cotyledons are heliotropic, and so is the hypocotyl in a still
stronger degree.

Oxalis.--We now come to cotyledons provided with a pulvinus, all of which
are remarkable from the continuance of the nocturnal movements during
several days or even weeks, and apparently after growth has ceased. The
cotyledons of O. rosea, floribunda and articulata sink vertically down at
night and clasp the upper part of the hypocotyl. Those of O. Valdiviana and
sensitiva, on the contrary, rise vertically up, so that their upper
surfaces come into close contact; and after the young leaves are developed
these are clasped by the cotyledons. As in the daytime they stand
horizontally, or are even a little deflected beneath the horizon, they move
in the evening through an angle of at least 90o. Their complicated
circumnutating movements during the day have
[page 308]
been described in the first chapter. The experiment was a superfluous one,
but pots with seedlings of O. rosea and floribunda were turned upside down,
as soon as the cotyledons began to show any signs of sleep, and this made
no difference in their movements.

Leguminosae.--It may be seen in our list that the cotyledons of several
species in nine genera, widely distributed throughout the Family, sleep at
night; and this probably is the case with many others. The cotyledons of
all these species are provided with a pulvinus; and the movement in all is
continued during many days or weeks. In Cassia the cotyledons of the ten
species in the list rise up vertically at night and come into close contact
with one another. We observed that those of C. florida opened in the
morning rather later than those of C. glauca and pubescens. The movement is
exactly the same in C. mimosoides as in the other species, though its
subsequently developed leaves sleep in a different manner. The cotyledons
of an eleventh species, namely, C. nodosa, are thick and fleshy, and do not
rise up at night. The circumnutation of the cotyledons during the day of C.
tora has been described in the first chapter. Although the cotyledons of
Smithia sensitiva rose from a horizontal position in the middle of the day
to a vertical one at night, those of S. Pfundii, which are thick and
fleshy, did not sleep. When Mimosa pudica and albida have been kept at a
sufficiently high temperature during the day, the cotyledons come into
close contact at night; otherwise they merely rise up almost vertically.
The circumnutation of those of M. pudica has been described. The cotyledons
of a Bauhinia from St. Catharina in Brazil stood during the day at an angle
of about 50o above the horizon, and at night rose to 77o; but it is
probable that they would have closed completely, if the seedlings had been
kept in a warmer place.

Lotus.--In three species of Lotus the cotyledons were observed to sleep.
Those of L. Jacoboeus present the singular case of not rising at night in
any conspicuous manner for the first 5 or 6 days of their life, and the
pulvinus is not well developed at this period. Afterwards the sleeping
movement is well displayed, though to a variable degree, and is long
continued. We shall hereafter meet with a nearly parallel case with the
leaves of Sida rhombifolia. The cotyledons of L. Gebelii are only slightly
raised at night, and differ much in this respect from the three species in
our list.
[page 309]

Trifolium.--The germination of 21 species was observed. In most of them the
cotyledons rise hardly at all, or only slightly, at night; but those of T.
glomeratum, striatum and incarnactum rose from 45o to 55o above the
horizon. With T. subterraneum, leucanthemum and strictum, they stood up
vertically; and with T. strictum the rising movement is accompanied, as we
shall see, by another movement, which makes us believe that the rising is
truly nyctitropic. We did not carefully examine the cotyledons of all the
species for a pulvinus, but this organ was distinctly present in those of
T. subterraneum and strictum; whilst there was no trace of a pulvinus in
some species, for instance, in T. resupinatum, the cotyledons of which do
not rise at night.

Trifolium subterraneum.--The blades of the cotyledons on the first day
after germination (Nov. 21st) were not fully expanded, being inclined at
about 35o above the horizon; at night they rose to about 75o. Two days
afterwards the blades at noon were horizontal, with the petioles highly
inclined upwards; and it is remarkable that the nocturnal movement is
almost wholly confined to the blades, being effected by the pulvinus at
their bases; whilst the petioles retain day and night nearly the same
inclination. On this night (Nov. 23rd), and for some few succeeding nights,
the blades rose from a horizontal into a vertical position, and then became
bowed inwards at about an average angle of 10o; so that they had passed
through an angle of 100o. Their tips now almost touched one another, their
bases being slightly divergent. The two blades thus formed a highly
inclined roof over the axis of the seedling. This movement is the same as
that of the terminal leaflet of the tripartite leaves of many species of
Trifolium. After an interval of 8 days (Nov. 29th) the blades were
horizontal during the day, and vertical at night, and now they were no
longer bowed inwards. They continued to move in the same manner for the
following two months, by which time they had increased greatly in size,
their petioles being no less than .8 of an inch in length, and two true
leaves had by this time been developed.

Trifolium strictum.--On the first day after germination the cotyledons,
which are provided with a pulvinus, stood at noon horizontally, and at
night rose to only about 45o above the horizon. Four days afterwards the
seedlings were again observed at night, and now the blades stood vertically
and were in contact, excepting the tips, which were much deflexed, so that
they faced the zenith. At this age the petioles are curved
[page 310]
upwards, and at night, when the bases of the blades are in contact, the two
petioles together form a vertical ring surrounding the plumule. The
cotyledons continued to act in nearly the same manner for 8 or 10 days from
the period of germination; but the petioles had by this time become
straight and had increased much in length. After from 12 to 14 days the
first simple true leaf was formed, and during the ensuing fortnight a
remarkable movement was repeatedly observed. At I. (Fig. 125) we have a
sketch, made in the middle of the day, of a seedling about a fortnight old.
The two cotyledons, of which Rc is the right and Lc the left one, stand
directly opposite one another,

Fig. 125. Trifolium strictum: diurnal and nocturnal positions of the two
cotyledons and of the first leaf. I. Seedling viewed obliquely from above,
during the day: Rc, right cotyledon; Lc, left cotyledon; F, first true
leaf. II. A rather younger seedling, viewed at night: Rc, right cotyledon
raised, but its position not otherwise changed; Lc, left cotyledon raised
and laterally twisted; F, first leaf raised and twisted so as to face the
left twisted cotyledon. III. Same seedling viewed at night from the
opposite side. The back of the first leaf, F, is here shown instead of the
front, as in II.

and the first true leaf (F) projects at right angles to them. At night (see
II. and III.) the right cotyledon (Rc) is greatly raised, but is not
otherwise changed in position. The left cotyledon (Lc) is likewise raised,
but it is also twisted so that its blade, instead of exactly facing the
opposite one, now stands at nearly right angles to it. This nocturnal
twisting movement is effected not by means of the pulvinus, but by the
twisting of the whole length of the petiole, as could be seen by the curved
line of its upper concave surface. At the same time the true leaf (F) rises
up, so as to stand vertically, or it even passes the vertical and is
inclined a little inwards. It also twists a little, by which means the
upper surface of its blade fronts, and almost comes into contact with, the
upper surface of the twisted
[page 311]
left cotyledon. This seems to be the object gained by these singular
movements. Altogether 20 seedlings were examined on successive nights, and
in 19 of them it was the left cotyledon alone which became twisted, with
the true leaf always so twisted that its upper surface approached closely
and fronted that of the left cotyledon. In only one instance was the right
cotyledon twisted, with the true leaf twisted towards it; but this seedling
was in an abnormal condition, as the left cotyledon did not rise up
properly at night. This whole case is remarkable, as with the cotyledons of
no other plant have we seen any nocturnal movement except vertically
upwards or downwards. It is the more remarkable, because we shall meet with
an analogous case in the leaves of the allied genus Melilotus, in which the
terminal leaflet rotates at night so as to present one edge to the zenith
and at the same time bends to one side, so that its upper surface comes
into contact with that of one of the two now vertical lateral leaflets.]

Concluding Remarks on the Nyctitropic Movements of Cotyledons.--The sleep
of cotyledons (though this is a subject which has been little attended to),
seems to be a more common phenomenon than that of leaves. We observed the
position of the cotyledons during the day and night in 153 genera, widely
distributed throughout the dicotyledonous series, but otherwise selected
almost by hazard; and one or more species in 26 of these genera placed
their cotyledons at night so as to stand vertically or almost vertically,
having generally moved through an angle of at least 60o. If we lay on one
side the Leguminosae, the cotyledons of which are particularly liable to
sleep, 140 genera remain; and out of these, the cotyledons of at least one
species in 19 genera slept. Now if we were to select by hazard 140 genera,
excluding the Leguminosae, and observed their leaves at night, assuredly
not nearly so many as 19 would be found to include sleeping species. We
here refer exclusively to the plants observed by ourselves.
[page 312]

In our entire list of seedlings, there are 30 genera, belonging to 16
Families, the cotyledons of which in some of the species rise or sink in
the evening or early night, so as to stand at least 60o above or beneath
the horizon. In a large majority of the genera, namely, 24, the movement is
a rising one; so that the same direction prevails in these nyctitropic
movements as in the lesser periodic ones described in the second chapter.
The cotyledons move downwards during the early part of the night in only 6
of the genera; and in one of them, Cannabis, the curving down of the tip is
probably due to epinasty, as Kraus believes to be the case with the leaves.
The downward movement to the amount of 90o is very decided in Oxalis
Valdiviana and sensitiva, and in Geranium rotundifolium. It is a remarkable
fact that with Anoda Wrightii, one species of Gossypium and at least 3
species of Ipomoea, the cotyledons whilst young and light sink at night
very little or not at all; although this movement becomes well pronounced
as soon as they have grown large and heavy. Although the downward movement
cannot be attributed to the weight of the cotyledons in the several cases
which were investigated, namely, in those of the Anoda, Ipomoea purpurea
and bona-nox, nor in that of I. coccinea, yet bearing in mind that
cotyledons are continually circumnutating, a slight cause might at first
have determined whether the great nocturnal movement should be upwards or
downwards. We may therefore suspect that in some aboriginal member of the
groups in question, the weight of the cotyledons first determined the
downward direction. The fact of the cotyledons of these species not sinking
down much whilst they are young and tender, seems opposed to the belief
that the greater movement when they are
[page 313]
grown older, has been acquired for the sake of protecting them from
radiation at night; but then we should remember that there are many plants,
the leaves of which sleep, whilst the cotyledons do not; and if in some
cases the leaves are protected from cold at night whilst the cotyledons are
not protected, so in other cases it may be of more importance to the
species that the nearly full-grown cotyledons should be better protected
than the young ones.

In all the species of Oxalis observed by us, the cotyledons are provided
with pulvini; but this organ has become more or less rudimentary in O.
corniculata, and the amount of upward movement of its cotyledons at night
is very variable, but is never enough to be called sleep. We omitted to
ascertain whether the cotyledons of Geranium rotundifolium possess pulvini.
In the Leguminosae all the cotyledons which sleep, as far as we have seen,
are provided with pulvini. But with Lotus Jacobaeus, these are not fully
developed during the first few days of the life of the seedling, and the
cotyledons do not then rise much at night. With Trifolium strictum the
blades of the cotyledons rise at night by the aid of their pulvini; whilst
the petiole of one cotyledon twists half-round at the same time,
independently of its pulvinus.

As a general rule, cotyledons which are provided with pulvini continue to
rise or sink at night during a much longer period than those destitute of
this organ. In this latter case the movement no doubt depends on
alternately greater growth on the upper and lower side of the petiole, or
of the blade, or of both, preceded probably by the increased turgescence of
the growing cells. Such movements generally last for a very short period--
for instance, with Brassica and Githago for 4 or 5 nights, with Beta for 2
or 3, and with
[page 314]
Raphanus for only a single night. There are, however, some strong
exceptions to this rule, as the cotyledons of Gossypium, Anoda and Ipomoea
do not possess pulvini, yet continue to move and to grow for a long time.
We thought at first that when the movement lasted for only 2 or 3 nights,
it could hardly be of any service to the plant, and hardly deserved to be
called sleep; but as many quickly-growing leaves sleep for only a few
nights, and as cotyledons are rapidly developed and soon complete their
growth, this doubt now seems to us not well-founded, more especially as
these movements are in many instances so strongly pronounced. We may here
mention another point of similarity between sleeping leaves and cotyledons,
namely, that some of the latter (for instance, those of Cassia and Githago)
are easily affected by the absence of light; and they then either close, or
if closed do not open; whereas others (as with the cotyledons of Oxalis)
are very little affected by light. In the next chapter it will be shown
that the nyctitropic movements both of cotyledons and leaves consist of a
modified form of circumnutation.

As in the Leguminosae and Oxalidae, the leaves and the cotyledons of the
same species generally sleep, the idea at first naturally occurred to us,
that the sleep of the cotyledons was merely an early development of a habit
proper to a more advanced stage of life. But no such explanation can be
admitted, although there seems to be some connection, as might have been
expected, between the two sets of cases. For the leaves of many plants
sleep, whilst their cotyledons do not do so--of which fact Desmodium gyrans
offers a good instance, as likewise do three species of Nicotiana observed
by us; also Sida rhombifolia, Abutilon Darwinii, and Chenopodium album. On
the other
[page 315]
hand, the cotyledons of some plants sleep and not the leaves, as with the
species of Beta, Brassica, Geranium, Apium, Solanum, and Mirabilis, named
in our list. Still more striking is the fact that, in the same genus, the
leaves of several or of all the species may sleep, but the cotyledons of
only some of them, as occurs with Trifolium, Lotus, Gossypium, and
partially with Oxalis. Again, when both the cotyledons and the leaves of
the same plant sleep, their movements may be of a widely dissimilar nature:
thus with Cassia the cotyledons rise vertically up at night, whilst their
leaves sink down and twist round so as to turn their lower surfaces
outwards. With seedlings of Oxalis Valdiviana, having 2 or 3 well-developed
leaves, it was a curious spectacle to behold at night each leaflet folded
inwards and hanging perpendicularly downwards, whilst at the same time and
on the same plant the cotyledons stood vertically upwards.

These several facts, showing the independence of the nocturnal movements of
the leaves and cotyledons on the same plant, and on plants belonging to the
same genus, lead to the belief that the cotyledons have acquired their
power of movement for some special purpose. Other facts lead to the same
conclusion, such as the presence of pulvini, by the aid of which the
nocturnal movement is continued during some weeks. In Oxalis the cotyledons
of some species move vertically upwards, and of others vertically downwards
at night; but this great difference within the same natural genus is not so
surprising as it may at first appear, seeing that the cotyledons of all the
species are continually oscillating up and down during the day, so that a
small cause might determine whether they should rise or sink at night.
Again, the peculiar nocturnal movement of the left-hand coty-
[page 316]
ledon of Trifolium strictum, in combination with that of the first true
leaf. Lastly, the wide distribution in the dicotyledonous series of plants
with cotyledons which sleep. Reflecting on these several facts, our
conclusion seems justified, that the nyctitropic movements of cotyledons,
by which the blade is made to stand either vertically or almost vertically
upwards or downwards at night, has been acquired, at least in most cases,
for some special purpose; nor can we doubt that this purpose is the
protection of the upper surface of the blade, and perhaps of the central
bud or plumule, from radiation at night.
[page 317]


CHAPTER VII.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: NYCTITROPIC OR SLEEP MOVEMENTS OF LEAVES.

Conditions necessary for these movements--List of Genera and Families,
which include sleeping plants--Description of the movements in the several
Genera--Oxalis: leaflets folded at night--Averrhoa: rapid movements of the
leaflets--Porlieria: leaflets close when plant kept very dry--Tropaeolum:
leaves do not sleep unless well illuminated during day--Lupinus: various
modes of sleeping--Melilotus: singular movements of terminal leaflet--
Trifolium--Desmodium: rudimentary lateral leaflets, movements of, not
developed on young plants, state of their pulvini--Cassia: complex
movements of the leaflets--Bauhinia: leaves folded at night--Mimosa pudica:
compounded movements of leaves, effect of darkness--Mimosa albida, reduced
leaflets of--Schrankia: downward movement of the pinnae--Marsilea: the only
cryptogam known to sleep--Concluding remarks and summary--Nyctitropism
consists of modified circumnutation, regulated by the alternations of light
and darkness--Shape of first true leaves.

WE now come to the nyctitropic or sleep movements of leaves. It should be
remembered that we confine this term to leaves which place their blades at
night either in a vertical position or not more than 30o from the
vertical,--that is, at least 60o above or beneath the horizon. In some few
cases this is effected by the rotation of the blade, the petiole not being
either raised or lowered to any considerable extent. The limit of 30o from
the vertical is obviously an arbitrary one, and has been selected for
reasons previously assigned, namely, that when the blade approaches the
perpendicular as nearly as this, only half as much of the surface is
exposed at night to the
[page 318]
zenith and to free radiation as when the blade is horizontal. Nevertheless,
in a few instances, leaves which seem to be prevented by their structure
from moving to so great an extent as 60o above or beneath the horizon, have
been included amongst sleeping plants.

It should be premised that the nyctitropic movements of leaves are easily
affected by the conditions to which the plants have been subjected. If the
ground is kept too dry, the movements are much delayed or fail: according
to Dassen,* even if the air is very dry the leaves of Impatiens and Malva
are rendered motionless. Carl Kraus has also lately insisted** on the great
influence which the quantity of water absorbed has on the periodic
movements of leaves; and he believes that this cause chiefly determines the
variable amount of sinking of the leaves of Polygonum convolvulus at night;
and if so, their movements are not in our sense strictly nyctitropic.
Plants in order to sleep must have been exposed to a proper temperature:
Erythrina crista-galli, out of doors and nailed against a wall, seemed in
fairly good health, but the leaflets did not sleep, whilst those on another
plant kept in a warm greenhouse were all vertically dependent at night. In
a kitchen-garden the leaflets of Phaseolus vulgaris did not sleep during
the early part of the summer. Ch. Royer says,*** referring I suppose to the
native plants in France, that they do not sleep when the temperature is
below 5o C. or 41o F. In the case of several sleeping plants, viz., species
of

* Dassen,'Tijdschrift vor. Naturlijke Gesch. en Physiologie,' 1837, vol.
iv. p. 106. See also Ch. Royer on the importance of a proper state of
turgescence of the cells, in 'Annal. des Sc. Nat. Bot.' (5th series), ix.
1868, p. 345.

** 'Beiträge zur Kentniss der Bewegungen,' etc., in 'Flora,' 1879, pp. 42,
43, 67, etc.

*** 'Annal. des Sc. Nat. Bot.' (5th Series), ix. 1868, p. 366.
[page 319]

Tropaeolum, Lupinus, Ipomoea, Abutilon, Siegesbeckia, and probably other
genera, it is indispensable that the leaves should be well illuminated
during the day in order that they may assume at night a vertical position;
and it was probably owing to this cause that seedlings of Chenopodium album
and Siegesbeckia orientalis, raised by us during the middle of the winter,
though kept at a proper temperature, did not sleep. Lastly, violent
agitation by a strong wind, during a few minutes, of the leaves of Maranta
arundinacea (which previously had not been disturbed in the hot-house),
prevented their sleeping during the two next nights.

We will now give our observations on sleeping plants, made in the manner
described in the Introduction. The stem of the plant was always secured
(when not stated to the contrary) close to the base of the leaf, the
movements of which were being observed, so as to prevent the stem from
circumnutating. As the tracings were made on a vertical glass in front of
the plant, it was obviously impossible to trace its course as soon as the
leaf became in the evening greatly inclined either upwards or downwards; it
must therefore be understood that the broken lines in the diagrams, which
represent the evening and nocturnal courses, ought always to be prolonged
to a much greater distance, either upwards or downwards, than appears in
them. The conclusions which may be deduced from our observations will be
given near the end of this chapter.

In the following list all the genera which include sleeping plants are
given, as far as known to us. The same arrangement is followed as in former
cases, and the number of the Family is appended. This list possesses some
interest, as it shows that the habit of
[page 320]
sleeping is common to some few plants throughout the whole vascular series.
The greater number of the genera in the list have been observed by
ourselves with more or less care; but several are given on the authority of
others (whose names are appended in the list), and about these we have
nothing more to say. No doubt the list is very imperfect, and several
genera might have been added from the 'Somnus Plantarum' by Linnaeus; but
we could not judge in some of his cases, whether the blades occupied at
night a nearly vertical position. He refers to some plants as sleeping, for
instance, Lathyrus odoratus and Vicia faba, in which we could observe no
movement deserving to be called sleep, and as no one can doubt the accuracy
of Linnaeus, we are left in doubt.

[List of Genera, including species the leaves of which sleep.

CLASS I. DICOTYLEDONS.

Sub-class I. ANGIOSPERMS.

Genus                      Family.

Githago                      Caryophylleae (26).
Stellaria (Batalin).                "
Portulaca (Ch.Royer).               Portulaceae (27).
Sida                        Malvaceae (36).
Abutilon.                       "
Malva (Linnaeus and Pfeffer).             "
Hibiscus (Linnaeus).                 "
Anoda.                        "
Gossypium.                      "
Ayenia (Linnaeus).                Sterculaceae (37).
Triumfetta (Linnaeus).              Tiliaceae (38).
Linum (Batalin).                 Lineae (39).
Oxalis.                      Oxalidae (41).
Averrhoa.                       "
Porlieria.                    Zygophylleae (45).
Guiacum.                        "
Impatiens (Linnaeus, Pfeffer, Batalin).           Balsamineae (48).
Tropaeolum.                    Tropaeoleae (49).
Crotolaria (Thiselton Dyer).           Leguminosae (75) Tribe II.
Lupinus.                        "       "
Cytisus.                         "       "
Trigonella.                       "     Tr. III.
Medicago.                                "
Melilotus.                        "       "
Trifolium.                        "       "
Securigera.                       "     Tr. IV.
Lotus.                          "       "
Psoralea.                       "      Tr. V.
Amorpha (Cuchartre).                   "       "
Daelea.                         "       "
Indigofera.                      "        "
Tephrosia.                      "         "
Wistaria.                       "         "
Robinia.                        "        "
Sphaerophysa.                     "        "
Colutea.                        "        "
Astragalus.                      "        "
Glycyrrhiza.                      "        "
Coronilla.                       "      Tr. VI.
Hedysarum.                       "        "
[page 321]

List of Genera (continued).

CLASS I. DICOTYLEDONS.

Sub-class I. ANGIOSPERMS.

Genus                      Family.
Onobrychis.         Leguminosae (75) Tr. VI.
Smithia.                        "        "
Arachis.                        "        "
Desmodium.                       "        "
Urania.                        "        "
Vicia.                         "      Tr. VII.
Centrosema.                      "      Tr. VIII.
Amphicarpaea.                     "        "
Glycine.                        "        "
Erythrina.                       "        "
Apios.                         "        "
Phaseolus.                       "        "
Sophora.                        "       Tr. X.
Caesalpinia.                      "       Tr. XIII.
Haematoxylon.                     "        "
Gleditschia (Duchartre).                "        "
Poinciana.                       "        "
Cassia.                        "       Tr. XIV.
Bauhinia.                       "       Tr. XV.
Tamarindus.                      "       Tr. XVI.
Adenanthera.                      "       Tr. XX.
Prosopis.                       "        "
Neptunia.                       "        "
Mimosa.                        "        "
Schrankia.                       "        "
Acacia.                        "       Tr. XXII.
Albizzia.                       "       Tr. XXIII.
Melaleuca (Bouché).           Myrtaceae (94).

Sub-class I. ANGIOSPERMS (continued).

Genus                      Family.
Aenothera (Linnaeus).          Omagrarieae (100).
Passiflora.               Passifloracea (105).
Siegesbeckia.              Compositae (122).
Ipomoea.                 Convolvulacea (151).
Nicotiana.                Solaneae (157).
Mirabilis.                Nyctagineae (177).
Polygonum (Batalin).           Polygoneae (179).
Amaranthus.               Amaranthaceae (180).
Chenopodium.               Chenopodieae (181).
Pimelia (Bouché).            Thymeteae (188).
Euphorbia.                Euphorbiaceae (202)
Phyllanthus (Pfeffer).            "

Sub-class II. GYMNOSPERMS.
Aies (Chatin).

CLASS II. MONOCOTYLEDONS.

Thalia.                   Cannaceae (21).
Maranta.                      "
Colocasia.                 Aroideae (30).
Strephium.                 Gramineae (55).

CLASS III. ACOTYLEDONS.

Marsilea.                  Marsileaceae (4).

Githago segetum (Caryophylleae).--The first leaves produced by young
seedlings, rise up and close together at night. On a rather older seedling,
two young leaves stood at noon at 55o above the horizon, and at night at
86o, so each had risen 31o. The angle, however, was less in some cases.
Similar observations were occasionally made on young leaves (for the older
ones moved very little) produced by nearly full-grown plants. Batalin says
('Flora,' Oct. 1st, 1873, p. 437) that the young leaves of Stellaria close
up so completely at night that they form together great buds.

Sida (Malvaceae).--the nyctitropic movements of the leaves in this genus
are remarkable in some respects. Batalin informs
[page 322]
us (see also 'Flora,' Oct. 1st, 1873, p. 437) that those of S. napaea fall
at night, but to what angle he cannot remember. The leaves of S.
rhombifolia and retusa, on the other hand, rise up vertically, and are
pressed against the stem. We have therefore here within the same genus,
directly opposite movements. Again, the leaves of S. rhombifolia are
furnished with a pulvinus, formed of a mass of small cells destitute of
chlorophyll, and with their longer axes perpendicular to the axis of the
petiole. As measured along this latter line, these cells are only 1/5th of
the length of those of the petiole; but instead of being abruptly separated
from them (as is usual with the pulvinus in most plants), they graduate
into the larger cells of the petiole. On the other hand, S. napaea,
according to Batalin, does not possess a pulvinus; and he informs us that a
gradation may be traced in the several species of the genus between these
two states of the petiole. Sida rhombifolia presents another peculiarity,
of which we have seen no other instance with leaves that sleep: for those
on very young plants, though they rise somewhat in the evening, do not go
to sleep, as we observed

Fig. 126. Sida rhombifolia: circumnutation and nyctitropic (or sleep)
movements of a leaf on a young plant, 9 ½ inches high; filament fixed to
midrib of nearly full-grown leaf, 2 3/8 inches in length; movement traced
under a sky-light. Apex of leaf 5 5/8 inches from the vertical glass, so
diagram not greatly enlarged.
[page 323]

on several occasions; whilst those on rather older plants sleep in a
conspicuous manner. For instance a leaf (.85 of an inch in length) on a
very young seedling 2 inches high, stood at noon 9o above the horizon, and
at 10 P.M. at 28o, so it had risen only 19o; another leaf (1.4 inch in
length) on a seedling of the same height, stood at the same two periods at
7o and 32o, and therefore had risen 25o. These leaves, which moved so
little, had a fairly well-developed pulvinus. After an interval of some
weeks, when the same seedlings were 2 ½ and 3 inches in height, some of the
young leaves stood up at night quite vertically, and others were highly
inclined; and so it was with bushes which were fully grown and were
flowering.

The movement of a leaf was traced from 9.15 A.M. on May 28th to 8.30 A.M.
on the 30th. The temperature was too low (15o - 16o C.), and the
illumination hardly sufficient; consequently the leaves did not become
quite so highly inclined at night, as they had done previously and as they
did subsequently in the hot-house: but the movements did not appear
otherwise disturbed. On the first day the leaf sank till 5.15 P.M.; it then
rose rapidly and greatly till 10.5 P.M., and only a little higher during
the rest of the night (Fig. 126). Early on the next day (29th) it fell in a
slightly zigzag line rapidly until 9 A.M., by which time it had reached
nearly the same place as on the previous morning. During the remainder of
the day it fell slowly, and zigzagged laterally. The evening rise began
after 4 P.M. in the same manner as before, and on the second morning it
again fell rapidly. The ascending and descending lines do not coincide, as
may be seen in the diagram. On the 30th a new tracing was made (not here
given) on a rather enlarged scale, as the apex of the leaf now stood 9
inches from the vertical glass. In order to observe more carefully the
course pursued at the time when the diurnal fall changes into the nocturnal
rise, dots were made every half-hour between 4 P.M. and 10.30 P.M. This
rendered the lateral zigzagging movement during the evening more
conspicuous than in the diagram given, but it was of the same nature as
there shown. The impression forced on our minds was that the leaf was
expending superfluous movement, so that the great nocturnal rise might not
occur at too early an hour.

Abutilon Darwinii (Malvaceae).--The leaves on some very young plants stood
almost horizontally during the day, and hung down vertically at night. Very
fine plants kept in a
[page 324]
large hall, lighted only from the roof, did not sleep at night for in order
to do so the leaves must be well illuminated during the day. The cotyledons
do not sleep. Linnaeus says that the leaves of his Sida abutilon sink
perpendicularly down at night, though the petioles rise. Prof. Pfeffer
informs us that the leaves of a Malva, allied to M. sylvestris, rise
greatly at night; and this genus, as well as that of Hibiscus, are included
by Linnaeus in his list of sleeping plants.

Anoda Wrightii (Malvaceae).--The leaves, produced by very young plants,
when grown to a moderate size, sink at night either almost vertically down
or to an angle of about 45o beneath the horizon; for there is a
considerable degree of variability in the amount of sinking at night, which
depends in part on the degree to which they have been illuminated during
the day. But the leaves, whilst quite young, do not sink down at night, and
this is a very unusual circumstance. The summit of the petiole, where it
joins the blade, is developed into a pulvinus, and this is present in very
young leaves which do not sleep; though it is not so well defined as in
older leaves.

Gossypium (var. Nankin cotton, Malvaceae).--Some young leaves, between 1
and 2 inches in length, borne by two seedlings 6 and 7 ½ inches in height,
stood horizontally, or were raised a little above the horizon at noon on
July 8th and 9th; but by 10 P.M. they had sunk down to between 68o and 90o
beneath the horizon. When the same plants had grown to double the above
height, their leaves stood at night almost or quite vertically dependent.
The leaves on some large plants of G. maritimum and Brazilense, which were
kept in a very badly lighted hot-house, only occasionally sank much
downwards at night, and hardly enough to be called sleep.

Oxalis (Oxalidae).--In most of the species in this large genus the three
leaflets sink vertically down at night; but as their sub-petioles are short
the blades could not assume this position from the want of space, unless
they were in some manner rendered narrower; and this is effected by their
becoming more or less folded (Fig. 127). The angle formed by the two halves
of the same leaflet was found to vary in different individuals of several
species between 92o and 150o; in three of the best folded leaflets of O.
fragrans it was 76o, 74o, and 54o. The angle is often different in the three
leaflets of the same leaf. As the leaflets sink down at night and become
folded, their lower surfaces are brought near together (see B), or even
into
[page 325]
close contact; and from this circumstance it might be thought that the
object of the folding was the protection of their lower surfaces. If this
had been the case, it would have formed a strongly marked exception to the
rule, that when there is any difference in the degree of protection from
radiation of the two surfaces of the leaves, it is always the upper surface
which is the best protected. But that the folding of the leaflets, and
consequent mutual approximation of their lower surfaces, serves merely to
allow them to sink down vertically, may be

Fig. 127. Oxalis acetosella: A, leaf seen from vertically above; B, diagram
of leaf asleep, also seen from vertically above.

inferred from the fact that when the leaflets do not radiate from the
summit of a common petiole, or, again, when there is plenty of room from
the sub-petioles not being very short, the leaflets sink down without
becoming folded. This occurs with the leaflets of O. sensitiva, Plumierii,
and bupleurifolia.

There is no use in giving a long list of the many species which sleep in
the above described manner. This holds good with species having rather
fleshy leaves, like those of O. carnosa, or large leaves like those of O.
Ortegesii, or four leaflets like those of O. variabilis. There are,
however, some species which show no signs of sleep, viz., O. pentaphylla,
enneaphylla, hirta, and rubella. We will now describe the nature of the
movements in some of the species.

Oxalis acetosella.--The movement of a leaflet, together with that of the
main petiole, are shown in the following diagram (Fig. 128), traced between
11 A.M. on October 4th and 7.45 A.M. on the 5th. After 5.30 P.M. on the 4th
the leaflet sank rapidly, and at 7 P.M. depended vertically. for some time
before it assumed this latter position, its movements could, of course, no
longer be traced on the vertical glass, and the broken line in the diagram
ought to be extended much further
[page 326]
down in this and all other cases. By 6.45 A.M. on the following morning it
had risen considerably, and continued to rise for the next hour; but,
judging from other observations, it would soon have begun to fall again.
Between 11 A.M. and 5.30 P.M. the leaflet moved at least four times up and
four times down before the great nocturnal fall commenced; it reached its
highest point at noon. Similar observations were made on two other
leaflets, with nearly the same results. Sachs and Pfeffer have also
described briefly* the autonomous movements of the leaves of this plant.

Fig 128. Oxalis acetosella: circumnutation and nyctitropic movements of a
nearly full-grown leaf, with filament attached to the midrib of one of the
leaflets; traced on vertical glass during 20 h. 45m.

On another occasion the petiole of a leaf was secured to a little stick
close beneath the leaflets, and a filament tipped with a bead of
sealing-wax was affixed to the mid-rib of one of them, and a mark was
placed close behind. At 7 P.M., when the leaflets were asleep, the filament
depended vertically down, and the movements of the bead were then traced
till 10.40 P.M., as shown in the following diagram (Fig. 129). We here see
that the leaflet moved a little from side to side, as well as a little up
and down, whilst asleep.

* Sachs in 'Flora,' 1863, p. 470, etc; Pfeffer, 'Die Period. Bewegungen,'
etc., 1875, p. 53.
[page 327]

Fig 129. Oxalis acetosella: circumnutation of leaflet when asleep; traced
on vertical glass during 3 h. 40 m.

Oxalis Valdiviana.--The leaves resemble those of the last species, and the
movements of two leaflets (the main petioles of both having been secured)
were traced during two days; but the tracings are not given, as they
resembled that of O. acetosella, with the exception that the up and down
oscillations were not so frequent during the day, and there was more
lateral movement, so that broader ellipses were described. The leaves awoke
early in the morning, for by 6.45 A.M. on June 12th and 13th they had not
only risen to their full height, but had already begun to fall, that is,
they were circumnutating. We have seen in the last chapter that the
cotyledons, instead of sinking, rise up vertically at night.

Oxalis Ortegesii.--The large leaves of this plant sleep like those of the
previous species. The main petioles are long, and that of a young leaf rose
20o between noon and 10 P.M., whilst the petiole of an older leaf rose only
13o. Owing to this rising of the petioles, and the vertical sinking of the
large leaflets, the leaves become crowded together at night, and the whole
plant then exposes a much smaller surface to radiation than during the day.

Oxalis Plumierii.--In this species the three leaflets do not surround the
summit of the petiole, but the terminal leaflet projects in the line of the
petiole, with a lateral leaflet on each side. They all sleep by bending
vertically downwards, but do not become at all folded. The petiole is
rather long, and, one having been secured to a stick, the movement of the
terminal leaflet was traced during 45 h. on a vertical glass. It moved in a
very simple manner, sinking rapidly after 5 P.M., and rising rapidly early
next morning. During the middle of the day it moved slowly and a little
laterally. Consequently the ascending and descending lines did not
coincide, and a single great ellipse was formed each day. There was no
other evidence of circumnutation, and this fact is of interest, as we shall
hereafter see.

Oxalis sensitiva.--The leaflets, as in the last species, bend vertically
down at night, without becoming folded. The much elongated main petiole
rises considerably in the evening, but in
[page 328]
some very young plants the rise did not commence until late at night. We
have seen that the cotyledons, instead of sinking like the leaflets, rise
up vertically at night.

Oxalis bupleurifolia.--This species is rendered remarkable by the petioles
being foliaceous, like the phyllodes of many Acacias. The leaflets are
small, of a paler green and more tender consistence than the foliaceous
petioles. The leaflet which was observed was .55 inch in length, and was
borne by a petiole 2 inches long and .3 inch broad. It may be suspected
that the leaflets are on the road to abortion or obliteration, as has
actually occurred with those of another Brazilian species, O. rusciformis.
Nevertheless, in the present species the nyctitropic movements are
perfectly performed. The foliaceous petiole was first observed during 48
h., and found to be in continued circumnutation, as shown in the
accompanying figure (Fig. 130). It rose during the day and early part of
the night, and fell during the remainder of the night and early morning;
but the movement was not sufficient to be called sleep. The ascending and
descending lines did not coincide, so that an ellipse was formed each day.
There was but little zigzagging; if the filament had been fixed
longitudinally, we should probably have seen that there was more lateral
movement than appears in the diagram.

Fig. 130. Oxalis bupleurifolia: circumnutation of foliaceous petiole,
filament fixed obliquely across end of petiole; movements traced on
vertical glass from 9 A.M. June 26th to 8.50 A.M. 28th. Apex of leaflet 4 ½
inches from the glass, so movement not much magnified. Plant 9 inches high,
illuminated from above. Temp. 23 1/2o - 24 1/2o C.

A terminal leaflet on another leaf was next observed (the petiole being
secured), and its movements are shown in Fig. 131. During the day the
leaflets are extended horizontally, and at night depend vertically; and as
the petiole rises during the day the leaflets have to bend down in the
evening
[page 329]
more than 90o, so as to assume at night their vertical position. On the
first day the leaflet simply moved up and down; on the

Fig. 131. Oxalis bupleurifolia: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of
terminal leaflet, with filament affixed along the midrib; traced on a
vertical glass from 9 A.M. on June 26th to 8.45 A.M. 28th. Conditions the
same as in the last case.

second day it plainly circumnutated between 8 A.M. and 4.30 P.M., after
which hour the great evening fall commenced.
[page 330]

Averrhoa bilimbi (Oxalidae).--It has long been known,* firstly, that the
leaflets in this genus sleep; secondly, that they move spontaneously during
the day; and thirdly, that they are sensitive to a touch; but in none of
these respects do they differ essentially from the species of Oxalis. They
differ, however, as Mr. R. I. Lynch** has lately shown, in their
spontaneous movements being strongly marked. In the case of A. bilimbi, it
is a wonderful spectacle to behold on a warm sunny day the leaflets one
after the other sinking rapidly downwards, and again ascending slowly.
Their movements rival those of Desmodium gyrans. At night the leaflets hang
vertically down; and now

Fig. 132. Averrhoa bilimbi: leaf asleep; drawing reduced.

they are motionless, but this may be due to the opposite ones being pressed
together (Fig. 132). The main petiole is in constant movement during the
day, but no careful observations were made on it. The following diagrams
are graphic representations of the variations in the angle, which a given
leaflet makes with the vertical. The observations were made as follows. The
plant growing in a pot was kept in a high temperature, the petiole of the
leaf to be observed pointing straight at the observer, being separated from
him by a vertical pane of glass. The petiole was secured so that the basal
joint, or pulvinus, of one of the lateral leaflets was at the centre of a
graduated arc placed close behind the leaflet. A fine glass filament was
fixed to the leaf, so as to project like a continuation of the

* Dr. Bruce, 'Philosophical Trans.,' 1785, p. 356.

** 'Journal Linn. Soc.,' vol. xvi. 1877, p. 231.
[page 331]

midrib. This filament acted as an index; and as the leaf rose and fell,
rotating about its basal joint, its angular movement

Fig. 133. Averrhoa bilimbi: angular movements of a leaflet during its
evening descent, when going to sleep. Temp. 78o - 81o F.

could be recorded by reading off at short intervals of time the position of
the glass filament on the graduated arc. In order
[page 332]
to avoid errors of parallax, all readings were made by looking through a
small ring painted on the vertical glass, in a line with the joint of the
leaflet and the centre of the graduated arc. In the following diagrams the
ordinates represent the angles which the leaflet made with the vertical at
successive instants.* It follows that a fall in the curve represents an
actual dropping of the leaf, and that the zero line represents a vertically
dependent position. Fig. 133 represents the nature of the movements which
occur in the evening, as soon as the leaflets begin to assume their
nocturnal position. At 4.55 P.M. the leaflet formed an angle of 85o with
the vertical, or was only 5o below the horizontal; but in order that the
diagram might get into our page, the leaflet is represented falling from
75o instead of 85o. Shortly after 6 P.M. it hung vertically down, and had
attained its nocturnal position. Between 6.10 and 6.35 P.M. it performed a
number of minute oscillations of about 2o each, occupying periods of 4 or 5
m. The complete state of rest of the leaflet which ultimately followed is
not shown in the diagram. It is manifest that each oscillation consists of
a gradual rise, followed by a sudden fall. Each time the leaflet fell, it
approached nearer to the nocturnal position than it did on the previous
fall. The amplitude of the oscillations diminished, while the periods of
oscillation became shorter.

In bright sunshine the leaflets assume a highly inclined dependent
position. A leaflet in diffused light was observed rising for 25 m. A blind
was then pulled up so that the plant was brightly illuminated (BR in Fig.
134), and within a minute it began to fall, and ultimately fell 47o, as
shown in the diagram. This descent was performed by six descending steps,
precisely similar to those by which the nocturnal fall is effected. The
plant was then again shaded (SH), and a long slow rise occurred until
another series of falls commenced at BR', when the sun was again admitted.
In this experiment cool air was allowed to enter by the windows being
opened at the same time that the blinds were pulled up, so that in spite of
the sun shining on the plant the temperature was not raised.

The effect of an increase of temperature in diffused light is

* In all the diagrams 1 mm. in the horizontal direction represents one
minute of time. Each mm. in the vertical direction represents one degree of
angular movement. In Figs. 133 and 134 the temperature is represented
(along the ordinates) in the scale of 1 mm. to each 0.1 degree C. In Fig.
135 each mm. equals 0.2o F.
[page 333]

shown in Fig. 135. The temperature began to rise at 11.35 A.M. (in
consequence of the fire being lighted), but by 12.42 a marked fall had
occurred. It may be seen in the diagram that when the temperature was
highest there were rapid oscillations

Fig. 134. Averrhoa bilimbi: angular movements of leaflet during a change
from bright illumination to shade; temperature (broken line) remaining
nearly the same.

of small amplitude, the mean position of the leaflet being at the time
nearer the vertical. When the temperature began to fall, the oscillations
became slower and larger, and the mean position of the leaf again
approached the horizontal. The rate of oscillation was sometimes quicker
than is represented in the above diagram. Thus, when the temperature was
between 31o and
[page 334]

Fig. 135. Averrhoa bilimbi: angular movement of leaflet during a change of
temperature; light remaining the same. The broken line shows the change of
temperature.
[page 335]

32o C., 14 oscillations of a few degrees occurred in 19 m. On the other
hand, an oscillation may be much slower; thus a leaflet was observed
(temperature 25o C.) to rise during 40 m. before it fell and completed its
oscillation.

Fig. 136. Porlieria hygrometrica: circumnutation and nyctitropic movements
of petiole of leaf, traced from 9.35 A.M. July 7th to about midnight on the
8th. Apex of leaf 7 ½ inches from the vertical glass. Temp. 19 1/2o - 20
1/2o C.

Porlieria hygrometrica (Zygophylleae).--The leaves of this plant (Chilian
form) are from 1 to 1 ½ inch in length, and bear as many as 16 or 17 small
leaflets on each side, which do not stand opposite one another. They are
articulated to the petiole, and the petiole to the branch by a pulvinus. We
must premise that apparently two forms are confounded under the same name:
the leaves on a bush from Chili, which was sent to us from Kew, bore many
leaflets, whilst those on plants in the Botanic Garden at Würzburg bore
only 8 or 9 pairs; and the whole character of the bushes appeared somewhat
different. We shall also see that they differ in a remarkable physiological
peculiarity. On the Chilian plant the petioles of the younger leaves on
upright branches, stood horizontally during the day, and at night sank down
vertically so as to depend parallel and close to the branch beneath. The
petioles of rather older leaves did not become at night vertically
depressed, but only highly inclined. In one instance we found a branch
which had grown perpendicularly downwards, and the petioles on it moved in
the same direction relatively to the branch as just stated, and therefore
moved upwards. On horizontal branches the younger petioles likewise move at
night in the same direction as before, that is, towards the branch, and are
consequently then extended horizontally; but it is remarkable that the
older petioles on the
[page 336]
same branch, though moving a little in the same direction, also bend
downwards; they thus occupy a somewhat different position, relatively to
the centre of the earth and to the branch, from that of the petioles on the
upright branches. With respect to the leaflets, they move at night towards
the apex of the petiole until their midribs stand nearly parallel to it;
and they then lie neatly imbricated one over the other. Thus half of the
upper surface of each leaflet is in close contact with half of the lower
surface of the one next in advance; and all the leaflets, excepting the
basal ones, have the whole of their upper surfaces and half of their lower
surfaces well protected. Those on the opposite sides of the same petiole do
not come into close contact at night, as occurs with the leaflets of so
many Leguminosae but are separated by an open furrow; nor could they
exactly coincide, as they stand alternately with respect to one another.

The circumnutation of the petiole of a leaf 3/4 of an inch in length, on an
upright branch, was observed during 36h., and is shown in the preceding
diagram (Fig. 136). On the first morning, the leaf fell a little and then
rose until 1 P.M., and this was probably due to its being now illuminated
through a skylight from above; it then circumnutated on a very small scale
round the same spot until about 4 P.M., when the great evening fall
commenced. During the latter part of the night or very early on the next
morning the leaf rose again. On the second day it fell during the morning
till 1 P.M., and this no doubt is its normal habit. From 1 to 4 P.M. it
rose in a zigzag line, and soon afterwards the great evening fall
commenced. It thus completed a double oscillation during the 24 h.

The specific name given to this plant by Ruiz and Pavon, indicates that in
its native arid home it is affected in some manner by the dryness or
dampness of the atmosphere.* In the Botanic Garden at Würzburg, there was a
plant in a pot out of doors which was daily watered, and another in the
open ground which was never watered. After some hot and dry weather there
was a great difference in the state of the leaflets on these two plants;
those on the unwatered plant in the open ground remaining half,

* 'Systema Veg. Florae Peruvianae et Chilensis,' tom. i. p. 95, 1798. We
cannot understand the account given by the authors of the behaviour of this
plant in its native home. There is much about its power of foretelling
changes in the weather; and it appears as if the brightness of the sky
largely determined the opening and closing of the leaflets.
[page 337]

or even quite, closed during the day. But twigs cut from this bush, with
their ends standing in water, or wholly immersed in it, or kept in damp air
under a bell-glass, opened their leaves though exposed to a blazing sun;
whilst those on the plant in the ground remained closed. The leaves on this
same plant, after some heavy rain, remained open for two days; they then
became half closed during two days, and after an additional day were quite
closed. This plant was now copiously watered, and on the following morning
the leaflets were fully expanded. The other plant growing in a pot, after
having been exposed to heavy rain, was placed before a window in the
Laboratory, with its leaflets open, and they remained so during the daytime
for 48 h.; but after an additional day were half closed. The plant was then
watered, and the leaflets on the two following days remained open. On the
third day they were again half closed, but on being again watered remained
open during the two next days. From these several facts we may conclude
that the plant soon feels the want of water; and that as soon as this
occurs, it partially or quite closes its leaflets, which in their then
imbricated condition expose a small surface to evaporation. It is therefore
probable that this sleep-like movement, which occurs only when the ground
is dry, is an adaptation against the loss of moisture.

A bush about 4 feet in height, a native of Chili, which was thickly covered
with leaves, behaved very differently, for during the day it never closed
its leaflets. On July 6th the earth in the small pot in which it grew
appeared extremely dry, and it was given a very little water. After 21 and
22 days (on the 27th and 28th), during the whole of which time the plant
did not receive a drop of water, the leaves began to droop, but they showed
no signs of closing during the day. It appeared almost incredible that any
plant, except a fleshy one, could have kept alive in soil so dry, which
resembled the dust on a road. On the 29th, when the bush was shaken, some
leaves fell off, and the remaining ones were unable to sleep at night. It
was therefore moderately watered, as well as syringed, late in the evening.
On the next morning (30th) the bush looked as fresh as ever, and at night
the leaves went to sleep. It may be added that a small branch while growing
on the bush was enclosed, by means of a curtain of bladder, during 13 days
in a large bottle half full of quicklime, so that the air within must have
been intensely dry; yet the leaves on this branch did not suffer in the
[page 338]
least, and did not close at all during the hottest days. Another trial was
made with the same bush on August 2nd and 6th (the soil appearing at this
latter date extremely dry), for it was exposed out of doors during the
whole day to the wind, but the leaflets showed no signs of closing. The
Chilian form therefore differs widely from the one at Würzburg, in not
closing its leaflets when suffering from the want of water; and it can live
for a surprisingly long time without water.

Tropaeolum majus (?) (cultivated var.) (Tropaeoleae).--Several plants in
pots stood in the greenhouse, and the blades of the leaves which faced the
front-lights were during the day highly inclined and at night vertical;
whilst the leaves on the back of the pots, though of course illuminated
through the roof, did not become vertical at night. We thought, at first,
that this difference in their positions was in some manner due to
heliotropism, for the leaves are highly heliotropic. The true explanation,
however, is that unless they are well illuminated during at least a part of
the day they do not sleep at night; and a little difference in the degree
of illumination determines whether or not they shall become vertical at
night. We have observed no other so well-marked a case as this, of the
influence of previous illumination on nyctitropic movements. The leaves
present also another peculiarity in their habit of rising or awaking in the
morning, being more strongly fixed or inherited than that of sinking or
sleeping at night. The movements are caused by the bending of an upper part
of the petiole, between ½ and 1 inch in length; but the part close to the
blade, for about 1/4 of an inch in length, does not bend and always remains
at right angles to the blade. The bending portion does not present any
external or internal difference in structure from the rest of the petiole.
We will now give the experiments on which the above conclusions are
founded.

A large pot with several plants was brought on the morning of Sept. 3rd out
of the greenhouse and placed before a north-east window, in the same
position as before with respect to the light, as far as that was possible.
On the front of the plants, 24 leaves were marked with thread, some of
which had their blades horizontal, but the greater number were inclined at
about 45o, beneath the horizon; at night all these, without exception,
became vertical. Early on the following morning (4th) they reassumed their
former positions, and at night again became vertical. On the 5th the
shutters were opened at 6.15 A.M., and
[page 339]
by 8.18 A.M., after the leaves had been illuminated for 2 h. 3 m. and had
acquired their diurnal position, they were placed in a dark cupboard. They
were looked at twice during the day and thrice in the evening, the last
time at 10.30 P.M., and not one had become vertical. At 8 A.M. on the
following morning (6th) they still retained the same diurnal position, and
were now replaced before the north-east window. At night all the leaves
which had faced the light had their petioles curved and their blades
vertical; whereas none of the leaves on the back of the plants, although
they had been moderately illuminated by the diffused light of the room,
were vertical. They were now at night placed in the same dark cupboard; at
9 A.M. on the next morning (7th) all those which had been asleep had
reassumed their diurnal position. The pot was then placed for 3 h. in the
sunshine, so as to stimulate the plants; at noon they were placed before
the same north-east window, and at night the leaves slept in the usual
manner and awoke on the following morning. At noon on this day (8th) the
plants, after having been left before the north-east window for 5 h. 45 m.
and thus illuminated (though not brightly, as the sky was cloudy during the
whole time), were replaced in the dark cupboard, and at 3 P.M. the position
of the leaves was very little, if at all, altered, so that they are not
quickly affected by darkness; but by 10.15 P.M. all the leaves which had
faced the north-east sky during the 5 h. 45 m. of illumination stood
vertical, whereas those on the back of the plant retained their diurnal
position. On the following morning (9th) the leaves awoke as on the two
former occasions in the dark, and they were kept in the dark during the
whole day; at night a very few of them became vertical, and this was the
one instance in which we observed any inherited tendency or habit in this
plant to sleep at the proper time. That it was real sleep was shown by
these same leaves reassuming their diurnal position on the following
morning (10th) whilst still kept in the dark.

The pot was then (9.45 A.M. 10th) replaced, after having been kept for 36
h. in darkness, before the north-east window; and at night the blades of
all the leaves (excepting a few on the back of the plants) became
conspicuously vertical.
At 6.45 A.M. (11th) after the plants had been illuminated on the same side
as before during only 25 m., the pot was turned round, so that the leaves
which had faced the light now faced the interior of the room, and not one
of these went to sleep at night;
[page 340]
whilst some, but not many, of those which had formerly stood facing the
back of the room and which had never before been well illuminated or gone
to sleep, now assumed a vertical position at night. On the next day (12th)
the plant was turned round into its original position, so that the same
leaves faced the light as formerly, and these now went to sleep in the
usual manner. We will only add that with some young seedlings kept in the
greenhouse, the blades of the first pair of true leaves (the cotyledons
being hypogean) stood during the day almost horizontally and at night
almost vertically.

A few observations were subsequently made on the circumnutation of three
leaves, whilst facing a north-east window; but the tracings are not given,
as the leaves moved somewhat towards the light. It was, however, manifest
that they rose and fell more than once during the daytime, the ascending
and descending lines being in parts extremely zigzag. The nocturnal fall
commenced about 7 P.M., and the leaves had risen considerably by 6.45 A.M.
on the following morning.

Leguminosae.--This Family includes many more genera with sleeping species
than all the other families put together. The number of the tribes to which
each genus belongs, according to Bentham and Hooker's arrangement, has been
added.

Crotolaria (sp.?) (Tribe 2).--This plant is monophyllous, and we are
informed by Mr. T. Thiselton Dyer that the leaves rise up vertically at
night and press against the stem.

Lupinus (Tribe 2).--The palmate or digitate leaves of the species in this
large genus sleep in three different manners. One of the simplest, is that
all the leaflets become steeply inclined downwards at night, having been
during the day extended horizontally. This is shown in the accompanying
figures (Fig. 137), of a leaf of L. pilosus, as seen during the day from
vertically above, and of another leaf asleep with the leaflets inclined
downwards. As in this position they are crowded together, and as they do
not become folded like those in the genus Oxalis, they cannot occupy a
vertically dependent position; but they are often inclined at an angle of
50o beneath the horizon. In this species, whilst the leaflets are sinking,
the petioles rise up, in two instances when the angles were measured to the
extent of 23o. The leaflets of L. sub-carnosus and arboreus, which were
horizontal during the day, sank down at night in nearly the same manner;
the former to an angle of 38o and the latter of 36o, beneath the horizon;
but their petioles
[page 341]
did not move in any plainly perceptible degree. It is, however, quite
possible, as we shall presently see, that if a large number of plants of
the three foregoing and of the following species

Fig. 137. Lupinus pilosus: A, leaf seen from vertically above in daytime;
B, leaf asleep, seen laterally at night.

were to be observed at all seasons, some of the leaves would be found to
sleep in a different manner.

In the two following species the leaflets, instead of moving downwards,
rise at night. With L. Hartwegii some stood at noon at a mean angle of 36o
above the horizon, and at night at 51o, thus forming together a hollow cone
with moderately steep sides. The petiole of one leaf rose 14o and of a
second 11o at night. With L. luteus a leaflet rose from 47o at noon to 65o
above the horizon at night, and another on a distinct leaf rose from 45o to
69o. The petioles, however, sink at night to a small extent, viz., in three
instances by 2o, 6o, and 9o 30 seconds. Owing to this movement of the
petioles, the outer and longer leaflets have to bend up a little more than
the shorter and inner ones, in order that all should stand symmetrically at
night. We shall presently see that some leaves on the same individual
plants of L. luteus sleep in a very different manner.

We now come to a remarkable position of the leaves when asleep, which is
common to several species of Lupines. On the same leaf the shorter
leaflets, which generally face the centre of the plant, sink at night,
whilst the longer ones on the opposite side rise; the intermediate and
lateral ones merely twisting on their own axes. But there is some
variability with respect to which leaflets rise or fall. As might have been
expected from such diverse and complicated movements, the
[page 342]
base of each leaflet is developed (at least in the case of L. luteus) into
a pulvinus. The result is that all the leaflets on the same leaf stand at
night more or less highly inclined, or even quite vertically, forming in
this latter case a vertical star. This occurs with the leaves of a species
purchased under the name of

Fig. 138. Lupinus pubescens: A, leaf viewed laterally during the day; B,
same leaf at night; C, another leaf with the leaflet forming a vertical
star at night. Figures reduced.

L. pubescens; and in the accompanying figures we see at A (Fig. 138) the
leaves in their diurnal position; and at B the same plant at night with the
two upper leaves having their leaflets almost vertical. At C another leaf,
viewed laterally, is shown with the leaflets quite vertical. It is chiefly
or exclusively the youngest leaves which form at night vertical stars. But
there
[page 343]
is much variability in the position of the leaves at night on the same
plant; some remaining with their leaflets almost horizontal, others forming
more or less highly inclined or vertical stars, and some with all their
leaflets sloping downwards, as in our first class of cases. It is also a
remarkable fact, that although all the plants produced from the same lot of
seeds were identical in appearance, yet some individuals at night had the
leaflets of all their leaves arranged so as to form more or less highly
inclined stars; others had them all sloping downwards and never forming a
star; and others, again, retained them either in a horizontal position or
raised them a little.

We have as yet referred only to the different positions of the leaflets of
L. pubescens at night; but the petioles likewise differ in their movements.
That of a young leaf which formed a highly inclined star at night, stood at
noon at 42o above the horizon, and during the night at 72o, so had risen
30o. The petiole of another leaf, the leaflets of which occupied a similar
position at night, rose only 6o. On the other hand, the petiole of a leaf
with all its leaflets sloping down at night, fell at this time 4o. The
petioles of two rather older leaves were subsequently observed; both of
which stood during the day at exactly the same angle, viz., 50o above the
horizon, and one of these rose 7o - 8o, and the other fell 3o - 4o at night.
We meet with cases like that of L. pubescens with some other species. On a
single plant of L. mutabilis some leaves, which stood horizontally during
the day, formed highly inclined stars at night, and the petiole of one rose
7o. Other leaves which likewise stood horizontally during the day, had at
night all their leaflets sloping downwards at 46o beneath the horizon, but
their petioles had hardly moved. Again, L. luteus offered a still more
remarkable case, for on two leaves, the leaflets which stood at noon at
about 45o above the horizon, rose at night to 65o and 69o, so that they
formed a hollow cone with steep sides. Four leaves on the same plant, which
had their leaflets horizontal at noon, formed vertical stars at night; and
three other leaves equally horizontal at noon, had all their leaflets
sloping downwards at night. So that the leaves on this one plant assumed at
night three different positions. Though we cannot account for this fact, we
can see that such a stock might readily give birth to species having widely
different nyctitropic habits.

Little more need be said about the sleep of the species of Lupinus;
several, namely, L. polyphyllus, nanus, Menziesii, speciosus,
[page 344]
and albifrons, though observed out of doors and in the greenhouse, did not
change the position of their leaves sufficiently at night to be said to
sleep. From observations made on two sleeping species, it appears that, as
with Tropaeolum majus, the leaves must be well illuminated during the day
in order to sleep at night. For several plants, kept all day in a
sitting-room with north-east windows, did not sleep at night; but when the
pots were placed on the following day out of doors, and were brought in at
night, they slept in the usual manner. the trial was repeated on the
following day and night with the same result.

Some observations were made on the circumnutation of the leaves of L.
luteus and arboreus. It will suffice to say that the leaflets of the latter
exhibited a double oscillation in the course of 24 h.; for they fell from
the early morning until 10.15 A.M., then rose and zigzagged greatly till 4
P.M., after which hour the great nocturnal fall commenced. By 8 A.M. on the
following morning the leaflets had risen to their proper height. We have
seen in the fourth chapter, that the leaves of Lupinus speciosus, which do
not sleep, circumnutate to an extraordinary extent, making many ellipses in
the course of the day.

Cytisus (Tribe 2), Trigonella and Medicago (Tribe 3).--Only

Fig. 139. Medicago marina: A, leaves during the day; B, leaves asleep at
night.

a few observations were made on these three genera. The petioles on a young
plant, about a foot in height, of Cytisus fragrans rose at night, on one
occasion 23o and on another 33o. The three leaflets also bend upwards, and
at the same time
[page 345]
approach each other, so that the base of the central leaflet overlaps the
bases of the two lateral leaflets. They bend up so much that they press
against the stem; and on looking down on one of these young plants from
vertically above, the lower surfaces of the leaflets are visible; and thus
their upper surfaces, in accordance with the general rule, are best
protected from radiation. Whilst the leaves on these young plants were thus
behaving, those on an old bush in full flower did not sleep at night.

Trigonella Cretica resembles a Melilotus in its sleep, which will be
immediately described. According to M. Royer,* the leaves of Medicago
maculata rise up at night, and "se renversent un peu de manière à presenter
obliquement au ciel leur face inférieure." A drawing is here given (Fig.
139) of the leaves of M. marina awake and asleep; and this would almost
serve for Cytisus fragrans in the same two states.

Melilotus (Tribe 3).--The species in this genus sleep in a remarkable
manner. The three leaflets of each leaf twist through an angle of 90o, so
that their blades stand vertically at night with one lateral edge presented
to the zenith (Fig. 140). We shall best understand the other and more
complicated movements, if we imagine ourselves always to hold the leaf with
the tip of the terminal leaflet pointed to the north. The leaflets in
becoming vertical at night could of course twist so that their upper
surfaces should face to either side; but the two lateral leaflets always
twist so that this surface tends to face the north, but as they move at the
same time towards the terminal leaflet, the upper surface of the one faces
about N.N.W., and that of the other N.N.E. The terminal leaflet behaves
differently, for it twists to either side, the upper surface facing
sometimes east and sometimes west, but rather more commonly west than east.
The terminal leaflet also moves in another and more remarkable manner, for
whilst its blade is twisting and becoming vertical, the whole leaflet bends
to one side, and invariably to the side towards which the upper surface is
directed; so that if this surface faces the west the whole leaflet bends to
the west, until it comes into contact with the upper and vertical surface
of the western lateral leaflet. Thus the upper surface of the terminal and
of one of the two lateral leaflets is well protected.

The fact of the terminal leaflet twisting indifferently to either

* 'Annales des Sc. Nat. Bot.' (5th series), ix. 1868, p. 368.
[page 346]

side and afterwards bending to the same side, seemed to us so remarkable,
that we endeavoured to discover the cause. We imagined that at the
commencement of the movement it might be determined by one of the two
halves of the leaflet being a little heavier than the other. Therefore bits
of wood were gummed on one side of several leaflets, but this produced no
effect; and they continued to twist in the same direction as

Fig. 140. Melilotus officinalis: A, leaf during the daytime. B, another
leaf asleep. C, a leaf asleep as viewed from vertically above; but in this
case the terminal leaflet did not happen to be in such close contact with
the lateral one, as is usual.

they had previously done. In order to discover whether the same leaflet
twisted permanently in the same direction, black threads were tied to 20
leaves, the terminal leaflets of which twisted so that their upper surfaces
faced west, and 14 white threads to leaflets which twisted to the east.
These were observed occasionally during 14 days, and they all continued,
with a single exception, to twist and bend in the same direction; for
[page 347]
one leaflet, which had originally faced east, was observed after 9 days to
face west. The seat of both the twisting and bending movement is in the
pulvinus of the sub-petioles.

We believe that the leaflets, especially the two lateral ones, in
performing the above described complicated movements generally bend a
little downwards; but we are not sure of this, for, as far as the main
petiole is concerned, its nocturnal movement is largely determined by the
position which the leaf happens to occupy during the day. Thus one main
petiole was observed to rise at night 59o, whilst three others rose only 7o
and 9o. The petioles and sub-petioles are continually circumnutating during
the whole 24 h., as we shall presently see.

The leaves of the following 15 species, M. officinalis, suaveolens,
parviflora, alba, infesta, dentata, gracilis, sulcata, elegans, coerulea,
petitpierreana, macrorrhiza, Italica, secundiflora, and Taurica, sleep in
nearly the same manner as just described; but the bending to one side of
the terminal leaflet is apt to fail unless the plants are growing
vigorously. With M. petitpierreana and secundiflora the terminal leaflet
was rarely seen to bend to one side. In young plants of M. Italica it bent
in the usual manner, but with old plants in full flower, growing in the
same pot and observed at the same hour, viz., 8.30 P.M., none of the
terminal leaflets on several scores of leaves had bent to one side, though
they stood vertically; nor had the two lateral leaflets, though standing
vertically, moved towards the terminal one. At 10.30 P.M., and again one
hour after midnight, the terminal leaflets had become very slightly bent to
one side, and the lateral leaflets had moved a very little towards the
terminal one, so that the position of the leaflets even at this late hour
was far from the ordinary one. Again, with M. Taurica the terminal leaflets
were never seen to bend towards either of the two lateral leaflets, though
these, whilst becoming vertical, had bent towards the terminal one. The
sub-petiole of the terminal leaflet in this species is of unusual length,
and if the leaflet had bent to one side, its upper surface could have come
into contact only with the apex of either lateral leaflet; and this,
perhaps, is the meaning of the loss of the lateral movement.

The cotyledons do not sleep at night. the first leaf consists of a single
orbicular leaflet, which twists at night so that the blade stands
vertically. It is a remarkable fact that with M. Taurica, and in a somewhat
less degree with M. macrorrhiza and petitpierreana, all the many small and
young leaves produced during
[page 348]
the early spring from shoots on some cut-down plants in the greenhouse,
slept in a totally different manner from the normal one; for the three
leaflets, instead of twisting on their own axes so as to present their
lateral edges to the zenith, turned upwards and stood vertically with their
apices pointing to the zenith. They thus assumed nearly the same position
as in the allied genus Trifolium; and on the same principle that
embryological characters reveal the lines of descent in the animal kingdom,
so the movements of the small leaves in the above three species of
Melilotus, perhaps indicate that this genus is descended from a form which
was closely allied to and slept like a Trifolium. Moreover, there is one
species, M. messanensis, the leaves of which, on full-grown plants between
2 and 3 feet in height, sleep like the foregoing small leaves and like
those of a Trifolium. We were so much surprised at this latter case that,
until the flowers and fruit were examined, we thought that the seeds of
some Trifolium had been sown by mistake instead of those of a Melilotus. It
appears therefore probable that M. messanensis has either retained or
recovered a primordial habit.

The circumnutation of a leaf of M. officinalis was traced, the stem being
left free; and the apex of the terminal leaflet described three laterally
extended ellipses, between 8 A.M. and 4 P.M.; after the latter hour the
nocturnal twisting movement commenced. It was afterwards ascertained that
the above movement was compounded of the circumnutation of the stem on a
small scale, of the main petiole which moved most, and of the sub-petiole
of the terminal leaflet. The main petiole of a leaf having been secured to
a stick, close to the base of the sub-petiole of the terminal leaflet, the
latter described two small ellipses between 10.30 A.M., and 2 P.M. At 7.15
P.M., after this same leaflet (as well as another) had twisted themselves
into their vertical nocturnal position, they began to rise slowly, and
continued to do so until 10.35 P.M., after which hour they were no longer
observed.

As M. messanensis sleeps in an anomalous manner, unlike that of any other
species in the genus, the circumnutation of a terminal leaflet, with the
stem secured, was traced during two days. On each morning the leaflet fell,
until about noon, and then began to rise very slowly; but on the first day
the rising movement was interrupted between 1 and 3 P.M. by the formation
of a laterally extended ellipse, and on the second day, at the same time,
by two smaller ellipses. The rising movement then
[page 349]
recommenced, and became rapid late in the evening, when the leaflet was
beginning to go to sleep. The awaking or sinking movement had already
commenced by 6.45 A.M. on both mornings.

Trifolium (Tribe 3).--The nyctitropic movements of 11 species were
observed, and were found to be closely similar. If we select a leaf of T.
repens having an upright petiole, and with the three leaflets expanded
horizontally, the two lateral leaflets will be seen in the evening to twist
and approach each other, until their upper surfaces come into contact. At
the same time they bend downwards in a plane at right angles to that of
their former position, until their midribs form an angle of about 45o with
the upper part of the petiole. This peculiar change of position requires a
considerable amount of torsion in the pulvinus. The terminal leaflet merely
rises up without any twist-

Fig. 141. Trifolium repens: A, leaf during the day; B, leaf asleep at
night.

ing and bends over until it rests on and forms a roof over the edges of the
now vertical and united lateral leaflets. Thus the terminal leaflet always
passes through an angle of at least 90o, generally of 130o or 140o, and not
rarely--as was often observed with T. subterraneum--of 180o. In this latter
case the terminal leaflet stands at night horizontally (as in Fig. 141),
with its lower surface fully exposed to the zenith. Besides the difference
in the angles, at which the terminal leaflets stand at night in the
individuals of the same species, the degree to which the lateral leaflets
approach each other often likewise differs.

We have seen that the cotyledons of some species and not of others rise up
vertically at night. The first true leaf is generally unifoliate and
orbicular; it always rises, and either stands vertically at night or more
commonly bends a little over so as to expose the lower surface obliquely to
the zenith, in the same manner as does the terminal leaflet of the mature
leaf. But it does not twist itself like the corresponding first simple leaf
of Melilotus.
[page 350]
With T. Pannonicum the first true leaf was generally unifoliate, but
sometimes trifoliate, or again partially lobed and in an intermediate
condition.

Circumnutation.--Sachs described in 1863* the spontaneous up and down
movements of the leaflets of T. incarnatum, when kept in darkness. Pfeffer
made many observations on the similar movements in T. pratense.** He states
that the terminal leaflet of this species, observed at different times,
passed through angles of from 30o to 120o in the course of from 1 ½ to 4 h.
We observed the movements of T. subterraneum, resupinatum, and repens.

Trifolium subterraneum.--A petiole was secured close to the base of the
three leaflets, and the movement of the terminal leaflet was traced during
26 ½ h., as shown in the figure on the next page.

Between 6.45 A.M. and 6 P.M. the apex moved 3 times up and 3 times down,
completing 3 ellipses in 11 h. 15 m. The ascending and descending lines
stand nearer to one another than is usual with most plants, yet there was
some lateral motion. At 6 P.M. the great nocturnal rise commenced, and on
the next morning the sinking of the leaflet was continued until 8.30 A.M.,
after which hour it circumnutated in the manner just described. In the
figure the great nocturnal rise and the morning fall are greatly
abbreviated, from the want of space, and are merely represented by a short
curved line. The leaflet stood horizontally when at a point a little
beneath the middle of the diagram; so that during the daytime it oscillated
almost equally above and beneath a horizontal position. At 8.30 A.M. it
stood 48o beneath the horizon, and by 11.30 A.M. it had risen 50o above the
horizon; so that it passed through 98o in 3 h. By the aid of the tracing we
ascertained that the distance travelled in the 3 h. by the apex of this
leaflet was 1.03 inch. If we look at the figure, and prolong upwards in our
mind's eye the short curved broken line, which represents the nocturnal
course, we see that the latter movement is merely an exaggeration or
prolongation of one of the diurnal ellipses. The same leaflet had been
observed on the previous day, and the course then pursued was almost
identically the same as that here described.

* 'Flora,' 1863, p. 497.

** 'Die Period. Bewegungen,' 1875, pp. 35, 52.
[page 351]

Fig. 142. Trifolium subterraneum: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement
of terminal leaflet (.68 inch in length), traced from 6.45 A.M. July 4th to
9.15 A.M. 5th. Apex of leaf 3 7/8 inches from the vertical glass, and
movement, as here shown, magnified 5 1/4 times, reduced to one-half of
original scale. Plant illuminated from above; temp. 16o - 17o C.

Trifolium resupinatum.--A plant left entirely free was placed before a
north-east window, in such a position that a terminal leaflet projected at
right angles to the source of the light, the sky being uniformly clouded
all day. The movements of this leaflet were traced during two days, and on
both were closely similar. Those executed on the second day are shown in
Fig. 143. The obliquity of the several lines is due partly to the manner in
which the leaflet was viewed, and partly to its having moved a little
towards the light. From 7.50 A.M. to 8.40 A.M. the leaflet fell, that is,
the awakening movement was continued. It then rose and moved a little
laterally towards the light. At 12.30 it retrograded, and at 2.30 resumed
its original course, having thus completed a small ellipse during the
middle of the day. In the evening it rose rapidly, and by 8 A.M. on the
following morning had returned to exactly the same spot as on the previous
morning. The line representing the nocturnal course ought to be extended
much higher up, and is here abbreviated into a short,
[page 352]
curved, broken line. The terminal leaflet, therefore, of this species
described during the daytime only a single additional ellipse, instead of
two additional ones, as in the case of T. subterraneum. But we should
remember that it was shown in the fourth chapter that the stem
circumnutates, as no doubt does the main petiole and the sub-petioles; so
that the movement represented in Fig. 143 is a compounded one. We tried to
observe the movements of a leaf kept during the day in darkness, but it
began to go to sleep after 2 h. 15 m., and this was well pronounced after 4
h. 30 m.

Fig 143. Trifolium resupinatum: circumnutation and nyctitropic movements of
the terminal leaflet during 24 hours.

Trifolium repens.--A stem was secured close to the base of a moderately old
leaf, and the movement of the terminal leaflet was observed during two
days. This case is interesting solely from the simplicity of the movements,
in contrast with those of the two preceding species. On the first day the
leaflet fell between 8 A.M. and 3 P.M., and on the second between 7 A.M.
and 1 P.M. On both days the descending course was somewhat zigzag, and this
evidently represents the circumnutating movement of the two previous
species during the middle of the day. After 1 P.M., Oct. 1st (Fig. 144),
the leaflet began to rise, but the movement was slow on both days, both
before and after this hour, until 4 P.M. The rapid evening and nocturnal
rise then commenced. Thus in this species the course during 24 h. consists
of a single great ellipse; in T. resupinatum of two ellipses, one of which
includes the nocturnal movement and is much elongated; and in T.
subterraneum of three ellipses, of which the nocturnal one is likewise of
great length.

Securigera coronilla (Tribe 4).--The leaflets, which stand opposite one
another and are numerous, rise up at night, come into close contact, and
bend backwards at a moderate angle towards the base of the petiole.
[page 353]

Fig. 144. Trifolium repens: circumnutation and nyctitropic movements of a
nearly full-grown terminal leaflet, traced on a vertical glass from 7 A.M.
Sept. 30th to 8 A.M. Oct. 1st. Nocturnal course, represented by curved
broken line, much abbreviated.

Lotus (Tribe 4).--The nyctitropic movements of 10 species in this genus
were observed, and found to be the same. The main petiole rises a little at
night, and the three leaflets rise till they become vertical, and at the
same time approach each other. This was conspicuous with L. Jacoboeus, in
which the leaflets are almost linear. In most of the species the leaflets
rise so much as to press against the stem, and not rarely they become
inclined a little inwards with their lower surfaces exposed obliquely to
the zenith. This was clearly the case with L. major, as its petioles are
unusually long, and the leaflets are thus enabled to bend further inwards.
The young leaves on the summits of the stems close up at night so much, as
often to resemble large buds. The stipule-like leaflets, which are often of
large size, rise up like the other leaflets, and press against the stem
(Fig. 145). All the leaflets of L. Gebelii, and probably of the other
species, are provided at their bases with distinct pulvini, of a yellowish
colour, and formed of very small cells. The circumnutation of a terminal
leaflet of L. peregrinus (with the stem secured) was traced during two
days, but the movement was so simple that it is not worth while to give the
diagram. The leaflet fell slowly from the early morning till about 1 P.M.
It then rose gradually at first, but rapidly late in the evening. It
occasionally stood still for about 20 m. during the day, and sometimes
zigzagged a little. The movement of one of the basal, stipule-like leaflets
was likewise traced in the same manner and at the same time, and its course
was closely similar to that of the terminal leaflet.

In Tribe 5 of Bentham and Hooker, the sleep-movements of species in 12
genera have been observed by ourselves and
[page 354]
others, but only in Robinia with any care. Psoralea acaulis raises its
three leaflets at night; whilst Amorpha fruticosa,* Dalea alopecuroides,
and Indigofera tinctoria depress them. Ducharte** states that Tephrosia
caribaea is the sole example of "folioles couchées le long du pétiole et
vers la base;" but a

Fig. 145. Lotus Creticus: A, stem with leaves awake during the day; B, with
leaves asleep at night. SS, stipule-like leaflets.

similar movement occurs, as we have already seen, and shall again see in
other cases. Wistaria Sinensis, according to Royer,*** "abaisse les
folioles qui par une disposition bizarre sont inclinées dans la même
feuille, les supérieures vers le

* Ducharte, 'Eléments de Botanique', 1867, p. 349.

** Ibid., p. 347.

*** 'Ann. des Sciences Nats. Bot.' (5th series), ix. 1868.
[page 355]

sommet, les inférieures vers la base du petiole commun;" but the leaflets
on a young plant observed by us in the greenhouse merely sank vertically
downwards at night. The leaflets are raised in Sphaerophysa salsola,
Colutea arborea, and Astragalus uliginosus, but are depressed, according to
Linnaeus, in Glycyrrhiza. The leaflets of Robinia pseudo-acacia likewise
sink vertically down at night, but the petioles rise a little, viz., in one
case 3o, and in another 4o. The circumnutating movements of a terminal
leaflet on a rather old leaf were traced during two days, and were simple.
The leaflet fell slowly, in a slightly zigzag line, from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.,
and then more rapidly; by 7 A.M. on the following morning it had risen to
its diurnal position. There was only one peculiarity in the movement,
namely, that on both days there was a distinct though small oscillation up
and down between 8.30 and 10 A.M., and this would probably have been more
strongly pronounced if the leaf had been younger.

Coronilla rosea (Tribe 6).--the leaves bear 9 or 10 pairs of opposite
leaflets, which during the day stand horizontally, with

Fig. 146. Coronilla rosea: leaf asleep.

their midribs at right angles to the petiole. At night they rise up so that
the opposite leaflets come nearly into contact, and those on the younger
leaves into close contact. At the same time they bend back towards the base
of the petiole, until their midribs form with it angles of from 40o to 50o
in a vertical plane, as here figured (Fig. 146). The leaflets, however,
sometimes bend so much back that their midribs become parallel to and lie
on the petiole. They thus occupy a reversed position to what they do in
several Leguminosae, for instance, in Mimosa
[page 356]
pudica; but, from standing further apart, they do not overlap one another
nearly so much as in this latter plant. The main petiole is curved slightly
downwards during the day, but straightens itself at night. In three cases
it rose from 3o above the horizon at noon, to 9o at 10 P.M.; from 11o to
33o; and from 5o to 33o--the amount of angular movement in this latter case
amounting to 28o. In several other species of Coronilla the leaflets showed
only feeble movements of a similar kind.

Hedysarum coronarium (Tribe 6).--The small lateral leaflets on plants
growing out of doors rose up vertically at night, but the large terminal
one became only moderately inclined. The petioles apparently did not rise
at all.

Smithia Pfundii (Tribe 6).--The leaflets rise up vertically, and the main
petiole also rises considerably.

Arachis hypogoea (Tribe 6).--The shape of a leaf, with its two pairs of
leaflets, is shown at A (Fig. 147); and a leaf asleep,

Fig. 147. Arachis hypogoea: A, leaf during the day, seen from vertically
above; B, leaf asleep, seen laterally, copied from a photograph. Figures
much reduced.

traced from a photograph (made by the aid of aluminium light), is given at
B. The two terminal leaflets twist round at night until their blades stand
vertically, and approach each other until they meet, at the same time
moving a little upwards and backwards. The two lateral leaflets meet each
other in this same manner, but move to a greater extent forwards, that is,
in a contrary direction to the two terminal leaflets, which they partially
embrace. Thus all four leaflets form together a single packet, with their
edges directed to the zenith, and with their lower surfaces turned
outwards. On a plant which was not growing vigorously the closed leaflets
seemed too heavy for the
[page 357]
petioles to support them in a vertical position, so that each night the
main petiole became twisted, and all the packets were extended
horizontally, with the lower surfaces of the leaflets on one side directed
to the zenith in a most anomalous manner. This fact is mentioned solely as
a caution, as it surprised us greatly, until we discovered that it was an
anomaly. The petioles are inclined upwards during the day, but sink at
night, so as to stand at about right angles with the stem. The amount of
sinking was measured only on one occasion, and found to be 39o. A petiole
was secured to a stick at the base of the two terminal leaflets, and the
circumnutating movement of one of these leaflets was traced from 6.40 A.M.
to 10.40 P.M., the plant being illuminated from above. The temperature was
17o - 17 1/2o C., and therefore rather too low. During the 16 h. the
leaflet moved thrice up and thrice down, and as the ascending and
descending lines did not coincide, three ellipses were formed.

Fig. 148. Desmodium gyrans: leaf seen from above, reduced to one-half
natural size. The minute stipules unusually large.

Desmodium gyrans (Tribe 6).--A large and full-grown leaf of this plant, so
famous for the spontaneous movements of the two little lateral leaflets, is
here represented (Fig. 148). The large terminal leaflet sleeps by sinking
vertically down, whilst the petiole rises up. The cotyledons do not sleep,
but the first-formed leaf sleeps equally well as the older ones. The
appearance presented by a sleeping branch and one in the day-time, copied
from two photographs, are shown at A and B (Fig. 149), and we see how at
night the leaves are crowded together, as if for mutual protection, by the
rising of the petioles. The petioles of the younger leaves near the summits
of the shoots rise up at night, so as to stand vertical and parallel to the
stem; whilst those on the sides were found in four cases to have risen
respectively 46 1/2o, 36o, 20o, and 19.5o above the inclined positions which
they had occupied during the day. For instance, in the first of these four
cases the petiole stood in the day at 23o, and at night at 69 1/2o above
the horizon. In the evening the rising of the petioles is almost completed
before the leaflets sink perpendicularly downwards.
[page 358]

Circumnutation.--The circumnutating movements of four young shoots were
observed during 5 h. 15 m.; and in this time each completed an oval figure
of small size. The main petiole also circumnutates rapidly, for in the
course of 31 m. (temp. 91o F.) it changed its course by as much as a
rectangle six times, describing a figure which apparently represented two
ellipses.

Fig. 149. Desmodium gyrans: A, stem during the day; B, stem with leaves
asleep. Figures reduced.

The movement of the terminal leaflet by means of its sub-petiole or
pulvinus is quite as rapid, or even more so, than that of the main petiole,
and has much greater amplitude. Pfeffer has seen* these leaflets move
through an angle of 8o in the course of from 10 to 30 seconds.

A fine, nearly full-grown leaf on a young plant, 8 inches in height, with
the stem secured to a stick at the base of the leaf, was observed from 8.30
A.M. June 22nd to 8 A.M. June 24th.

* 'Die Period. Beweg.,' p. 35.
[page 359]

In the diagram given on the next page (Fig. 150), the two curved broken
lines at the base, which represent the nocturnal courses, ought to be
prolonged far downwards. On the first day the leaflet moved thrice down and
thrice up, and to a considerable distance laterally; the course was also
remarkably crooked. The dots were generally made every hour; if they had
been made every few minutes all the lines would have been zigzag to an
extraordinary degree, with here and there a loop formed. We may infer that
this would have been the case, because five dots were made in the course of
31 m. (between 12.34 and 1.5 P.M.), and we see in the upper part of the
diagram how crooked the course here is; if only the first and last dots had
been joined we should have had a straight line. Exactly the same fact may
be seen in the lines representing the course between 2.24 P.M. and 3 P.M.,
when six intermediate dots were made; and again at 4.46 and 4.50. But the
result was widely different after 6 P.M.,--that is, after the great
nocturnal descent had commenced; for though nine dots were then made in the
course of 32 m., when these were joined (see Figure) the line thus formed
was almost straight. The leaflets, therefore, begin to descend in the
afternoon by zigzag lines, but as soon as the descent becomes rapid their
whole energy is expended in thus moving, and their course becomes
rectilinear. After the leaflets are completely asleep they move very little
or not at all.

Had the above plant been subjected to a higher temperature than 67o - 70o
F., the movements of the terminal leaflet would probably have been even
more rapid and wider in extent than those shown in the diagram; for a plant
was kept for some time in the hot-house at from 92o - 93o F., and in the
course of 35 m. the apex of a leaflet twice descended and once ascended,
travelling over a space of 1.2 inch in a vertical direction and of .82 inch
in a horizontal direction. Whilst thus moving the leaflet also rotated on
its own axis (and this was a point to which no attention had been before
paid), for the plane of the blade differed by 41o after an interval of only
a few minutes. Occasionally the leaflet stood still for a short time. There
was no jerking movement, which is so characteristic of the little lateral
leaflets. A sudden and considerable fall of temperature causes the terminal
leaflet to sink downwards; thus a cut-off leaf was immersed in water at 95o
F., which was slowly raised to 103o F., and afterwards allowed to sink to
70o F., and the sub-petiole of the terminal leaflet then curved downwards.
The water was afterwards
[page 360]

Fig. 150. Desmodium gyrans: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of leaf
(3 3/4 inches in length, petiole included) during 48 h. Filament affixed to
midrib of terminal leaflet; its apex 6 inches from the vertical glass.
Diagram reduced to one-third of original scale. Plant illuminated from
above. Temp. 19o - 20o C.
[page 361]

raised to 120o F., and the sub-petiole straightened itself. Similar
experiments with leaves in water were twice repeated, with nearly the same
result. It should be added, that water raised to even 122o F. does not soon
kill a leaf. A plant was placed in darkness at 8.37 A.M., and at 2 P.M.
(i.e. after 5 h. 23 m.), though the leaflets had sunk considerably, they
had by no means acquired their nocturnal vertically dependent position.
Pfeffer, on the other hand, says* that this occurred with him in from 3/4
h. to 2 h.; perhaps the difference in our results may be due to the plant
on which we experimented being a very young and vigorous seedling.

The Movements of the little Lateral Leaflets .--These have been so often
described, that we will endeavour to be as brief as possible in giving a
few new facts and conclusions. The leaflets sometimes quickly change their
position by as much as nearly 180o; and their sub-petioles can then be seen
to become greatly curved. They rotate on their own axes, so that their
upper surfaces are directed to all points of the compass. The figure
described by the apex is an irregular oval or ellipse. They sometimes
remain stationary for a period. In these several respects there is no
difference, except in rapidity and extent, between their movements and the
lesser ones performed by the large terminal leaflet whilst making its great
oscillations. The movements of the little leaflets are much influenced, as
is well known, by temperature. This was clearly shown by immersing leaves
with motionless leaflets in cold water, which was slowly raised to 103o F.,
and the leaflets then moved quickly, describing about a dozen little
irregular circles in 40 m. By this time the water had become much cooler,
and the movements became slower or almost ceased; it was then raised to
100o F., and the leaflets again began to move quickly. On another occasion
a tuft of fine leaves was immersed in water at 53o F., and the leaflets
were of course motionless. The water was raised to 99o, and the leaflets
soon began to move; it was raised to 105o, and the movements became much
more rapid; each little circle or oval being completed in from 1 m. 30 s.
to 1 m. 45 s. There was, however, no jerking, and this fact may perhaps be
attributed to the resistance of the water.

Sachs states that the leaflets do not move until the surrounding air is as
high as 71o - 72o F., and this agrees with our

* 'Die Period. Beweg.,' p. 39.
[page 362]

experience on full-grown, or nearly full-grown, plants. But the leaflets of
young seedlings exhibit a jerking movement at much lower temperatures. A
seedling was kept (April 16th) in a room for half the day where the
temperature was steady at 64o F., and the one leaflet which it bore was
continually jerking, but not so rapidly as in the hot-house. The pot was
taken in the evening into a bed-room where the temperature remained at 62o
during nearly the whole night; at 10 and 11 P.M. and at 1 A.M. the leaflet
was still jerking rapidly; at 3.30 A.M. it was not seen to jerk, but was
observed during only a short time. It was, however, now inclined at a much
lower angle than that occupied at 1 A.M. At 6.30 A.M. (temp. 61o F.) its
inclination was still less than before, and again less at 6.45 A.M.; by
7.40 A.M. it had risen, and at 8.30 A.M. was again seen to jerk. This
leaflet, therefore, was moving during the whole night, and the movement was
by jerks up to 1 A.M. (and possibly later) and again at 8.30 A.M., though
the temperature was only 61o to 62o F. We must therefore conclude that the
lateral leaflets produced by young plants differ somewhat in constitution
from those on older plants.

In the large genus Desmodium by far the greater number of the species are
trifoliate; but some are unifoliate, and even the same plant may bear uni-
and trifoliate leaves. In most of the species the lateral leaflets are only
a little smaller than the terminal one. Therefore the lateral leaflets of
D. gyrans (see Fig. 148) must be considered as almost rudimentary. They are
also rudimentary in function, if this expression may be used; for they
certainly do not sleep like the full-sized terminal leaflets. It is,
however, possible that the sinking down of the leaflets between 1 A.M. and
6.45 A.M., as above described, may represent sleep. It is well known that
the leaflets go on jerking during the early part of the night; but my
gardener observed (Oct. 13th) a plant in the hot-house between 5 and 5.30
A.M., the temperature having been kept up to 82o F., and found that all the
leaflets were inclined, but he saw no jerking movement until 6.55 A.M., by
which time the terminal leaflet had risen and was awake. Two days
afterwards (Oct. 15th) the same plant was observed by him at 4.47 A.M.
(temp. 77o F.), and he found that the large terminal leaflets were awake,
though not quite horizontal; and the only cause which we could assign for
this anomalous wakefulness was that the plant had been kept for
experimental purposes during
[page 363]
the previous day at an unusually high temperature; the little lateral
leaflets were also jerking at this hour, but whether there was any
connection between this latter fact and the sub-horizontal position of the
terminal leaflets we do not know. Anyhow, it is certain that the lateral
leaflets do not sleep like the terminal leaflets; and in so far they may be
said to be in a functionally rudimentary condition. They are in a similar
condition in relation to irritability; for if a plant be shaken or
syringed, the terminal leaflets sink down to about 45o beneath the horizon;
but we could never detect any effect thus produced on the lateral leaflets;
yet we are not prepared to assert positively that rubbing or pricking the
pulvinus produces no effect.

As in the case of most rudimentary organs, the leaflets are variable in
size; they often depart from their normal position and do not stand
opposite one another; and one of the two is frequently absent. This absence
appeared in some, but not in all the cases, to be due to the leaflet having
become completely confluent with the main petiole, as might be inferred
from the presence of a slight ridge along its upper margin, and from the
course of the vessels. In one instance there was a vestige of the leaflet,
in the shape of a minute point, at the further end of the ridge. The
frequent, sudden and complete disappearance of one or both of the
rudimentary leaflets is a rather singular fact; but it is a much more
surprising one that the leaves which are first developed on seedling plants
are not provided with them. Thus, on one seedling the seventh leaf above
the cotyledons was the first which bore any lateral leaflets, and then only
a single one. On another seedling, the eleventh leaf first bore a leaflet;
of the nine succeeding leaves five bore a single lateral leaflet, and four
bore none at all; at last a leaf, the twenty-first above the cotyledons,
was provided with two rudimentary lateral leaflets. From a widespread
analogy in the animal kingdom, it might have been expected that these
rudimentary leaflets would have been better developed and more regularly
present on very young than on older plants. But bearing in mind, firstly,
that long-lost characters sometimes reappear late in life, and secondly,
that the species of Desmodium are generally trifoliate, but that some are
unifoliate, the suspicion arises that D. gyrans is descended from a
unifoliate species, and that this was descended from a trifoliate one; for
in this case both the absence of the little lateral leaflets on very young
seedlings, and their sub-
[page 364]
sequent appearance, may be attributed to reversion to more or less distant
progenitors.*

No one supposes that the rapid movements of the lateral leaflets of 'D.
gyrans' are of any use to the plant; and why they should behave in this
manner is quite unknown. We imagined that their power of movement might
stand in some relation with their rudimentary condition, and therefore
observed the almost rudimentary leaflets of Mimosa albida vel sensitiva (of
which a drawing will hereafter be given, Fig. 159); but they exhibited no
extraordinary movements, and at night they went to sleep like the
full-sized leaflets. There is, however, this remarkable difference in the
two cases; in Desmodium the pulvinus of the rudimentary leaflets has not
been reduced in length, in correspondence with the reduction of the blade,
to the same extent as has occurred in the Mimosa; and it is on the length
and degree of curvature of the pulvinus that the amount of movement of the
blade depends. Thus the average length of the pulvinus in the large
terminal leaflets of Desmodium is 3 mm., whilst that of the rudimentary
leaflets is 2.86 mm.; so that they differ only a little in length. But in
diameter they differ much, that of the pulvinus of the little leaflets
being only 0.3 mm. to 0.4 mm.; whilst that of the terminal leaflets is 1.33
mm. If we now turn to the Mimosa, we find that the average length of the
pulvinus of the almost rudimentary leaflets is only 0.466 mm., or rather
more than a quarter of the length of the pulvinus of the full-sized
leaflets, namely, 1.66 mm. In this small reduction in length of the
pulvinus of the rudimentary leaflets of Desmodium, we apparently have the
proximate cause of their great and rapid circumnutating movement, in
contrast with that of the almost rudimentary leaflets of the Mimosa. The
small size and weight of the blade, and the little resistance opposed by
the air to its movement, no doubt also come into play; for we have seen
that these leaflets if immersed in water, when the resistance would be much
greater, were prevented from jerking forwards. Why, during the reduction of
the lateral leaflets of Desmodium, or during their reappearance--if they
owe their origin to reversion--the pulvinus should have been so much less
affected than the blade, whilst with the

* Desmodium vespertilionis is closely allied to D. gyrans, and it seems
only occasionally to bear rudimentary lateral leaflets. Duchartre,
'Eléments de Botanique,' 1867, p. 353.
[page 365]

Mimosa the pulvinus has been greatly reduced, we do not know. Nevertheless,
it deserves notice that the reduction of the leaflets in these two genera
has apparently been effected by a different process and for a different
end; for with the Mimosa the reduction of the inner and basal leaflets was
necessary from the want of space; but no such necessity exists with
Desmodium, and the reduction of its lateral leaflets seems to have been due
to the principle of compensation, in consequence of the great size of the
terminal leaflet.
Uraria (Tribe 6) and Centrosema (Tribe 8).--The leaflets of Uraria lagopus
and the leaves of a Centrosema from Brazil both sink vertically down at
night. In the latter plant the petiole at the same time rose 16 1/2o.

Amphicarpoea monoica (Tribe 8).--The leaflets sink down vertically at
night, and the petioles likewise fall considerably.

Fig. 151. Amphicarpoea monoica: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of
leaf during 48 h.; its apex 9 inches from the vertical glass. Figure
reduced to one-third of original scale. Plant illuminated from above; temp
17 1/2o - 18 1/2o C.

A petiole, which was carefully observed, stood during the day 25o above the
horizon and at night 32o below it; it therefore fell 57o. A filament was
fixed transversely across the terminal leaflet of a fine young leaf (2 1/4
inches in length including the
[page 366]
petiole), and the movement of the whole leaf was traced on a vertical
glass. This was a bad plan in some respects, because the rotation of the
leaflet, independently of its rising or falling, raised and depressed the
filament; but it was the best plan for our special purpose of observing
whether the leaf moved much after it had gone to sleep. The plant had
twined closely round a thin stick, so that the circumnutation of the stem
was prevented. The movement of the leaf was traced during 48 h., from 9
A.M. July 10th to 9 A.M. July 12th.  In the figure given (Fig. 151) we see
how complicated its course was on both days: during the second day it
changed its course greatly 13 times. The leaflets began to go to sleep a
little after 6 P.M., and by 7.15 P.M. hung vertically down and were
completely asleep; but on both nights they continued to move from 7.15 P.M.
to 10.40 and 10.50 P.M., quite as much as during the day; and this was the
point which we wished to ascertain. We see in the figure that the great
sinking movement late in the evening does not differ essentially from the
circumnutation during the day.

Glycine hispida (Tribe 8).--The three leaflets sink vertically down at
night.

Erythrina (Tribe 8).--Five species were observed, and the leaflets of all
sank vertically down at night; with E. caffra and with a second unnamed
species, the petioles at the same time rose slightly. The movements of the
terminal leaflet of E. crista-galli (with the main petiole secured to a
stick) were traced from 6.40 A.M. June 8th, to 8 A.M. on the 10th. In order
to observe the nyctitropic movements of this plant, it is necessary that it
should have grown in a warm greenhouse, for out of doors in our climate it
does not sleep. We see in the tracing (Fig. 152) that the leaflet
oscillated twice up and down between early morning and noon; it then fell
greatly, afterwards rising till 3 P.M. At this latter hour the great
nocturnal fall commenced. On the second day (of which the tracing is not
given) there was exactly the same double oscillation before noon, but only
a very small one in the afternoon. On the third morning the leaflet moved
laterally, which was due to its beginning to assume an oblique position, as
seems invariably to occur with the leaflets of this species as they grow
old. On both nights after the leaflets were asleep and hung vertically
down, they continued to move a little both up and down, and from side to
side.

Erythrina caffra.--A filament was fixed transversely across
[page 367]

a terminal leaflet, as we wished to observe its movements when asleep. The
plant was placed in the morning of June 10th under a skylight, where the
light was not bright; and we do not know whether it was owing to this cause
or to the plant having been disturbed, but the leaflet hung vertically down
all day; nevertheless it circumnutated in this position, describing a
figure which represented two irregular ellipses. On the next day it
circumnutated in a greater degree, describing four irregular ellipses, and
by 3 P.M. had risen into a horizontal position. By 7.15 P.M. it was asleep
and vertically dependent, but continued to circumnutate as long as
observed, until 11 P.M.

Fig. 152. Erythrina crista-galli: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement
of terminal leaflet, 3 3/4 inches in length, traced during 25 h.; apex of
leaf 3 ½ inches from the vertical glass. Figure reduced to one-half of
original scale. Plant illuminated from above; temp. 17 1/2o - 18 1/2o C.

Erythrina corallodendron.--The movements of a terminal leaflet were traced.
During the second day it oscillated four times up and four times down
between 8 A.M. and 4 P.M., after which hour the great nocturnal fall
commenced. On the third day the movement was equally great in amplitude,
but was remarkably simple, for the leaflet rose in an almost perfectly
straight line from 6.50 A.M. to 3 P.M., and then sank down in an equally
straight line until vertically dependent and asleep.
[page 368]

Apios tuberosa (Tribe 8).--The leaflets sink vertically down at night.

Phaseolus vulgaris (Tribe 8).--The leaflets likewise sink vertically down
at night. In the greenhouse the petiole of a young leaf rose 16o, and that
of an older leaf 10o at night. With plants growing out of doors the
leaflets apparently do not sleep until somewhat late in the season, for on
the nights of July 11th and 12th none of them were asleep; whereas on the
night of August 15th the same plants had most of their leaflets vertically
dependent and asleep. With Ph. caracalla and Hernandesii, the primary
unifoliate leaves and the leaflets of the secondary trifoliate leaves sink
vertically down at night. This holds good with the secondary trifoliate
leaves of Ph. Roxburghii, but it is remarkable that the primary unifoliate
leaves which are much elongated, rise at night from about 20o to about 60o
above the horizon. With older seedlings, however, having the secondary
leaves just developed, the primary leaves stand in the middle of the day
horizontally, or are deflected a little beneath the horizon. In one such
case the primary leaves rose from 26o beneath the horizon at noon, to 20o
above it at 10 P.M.; whilst at this same hour the leaflets of the secondary
leaves were vertically dependent. Here, then, we have the extraordinary
case of the primary and secondary leaves on the same plant moving at the
same time in opposite directions.

We have now seen that the leaflets in the six genera of Phaseoleae observed
by us (with the exception of the primary leaves of Phaseolus Roxburghii)
all sleep in the same manner, namely, by sinking vertically down. The
movements of the petioles were observed in only three of these genera. They
rose in Centrosema and Phaseolus, and sunk in Amphicarpaea.

Sophora chrysophylla (Tribe 10).--The leaflets rise at night, and are at
the same time directed towards the apex of the leaf, as in Mimosa pudica.

Caesalpinia, Hoematoxylon, Gleditschia, Poinciana.--The leaflets of two
species of Caesalpinia (Tribe 13) rose at night. With Haematoxylon
Campechianum (Tribe 13) the leaflets move forwards at night, so that their
midribs stand parallel to the petiole, and their now vertical lower
surfaces are turned outwards (Fig. 153). The petiole sinks a little. In
Gleditschia, if we understand correctly Duchartre's description, and in
Poin-
[page 369]
ciana Gilliesii (both belonging to Tribe 13), the leaves behave in the same
manner.

Fig. 153. Haematoxylon Campechianum: A, branch during daytime; B, branch
with leaves asleep, reduced to two-thirds of natural scale.

Cassia (Tribe 14).--The nyctitropic movements of the leaves in many species
in this genus are closely alike, and are highly complex. They were first
briefly described by Linnaeus, and since by Duchartre. Our observations
were made chiefly on C. floribunda* and corymbosa, but several other
species were casually observed. The horizontally extended leaflets sink
down vertically at night; but not simply, as in so many other genera, for
each leaflet rotates on its own axis, so that its lower surface faces
outwards. The upper surfaces of the opposite leaflets are thus brought into
contact with one another beneath the petiole, and are well protected (Fig.
154). The rotation and other movements are effected by means of a
well-developed pulvinus at the base of each leaflet, as could be plainly
seen when a straight narrow black line had been painted along it during the
day. The two terminal leaflets in the daytime include rather less than a
right angle; but their divergence increases greatly whilst they

* I am informed by Mr. Dyer that Mr. Bentham believes that C. floribunda (a
common greenhouse bush) is a hybrid raised in France, and that it comes
very near to C. laevigata. It is no doubt the same as the form described by
Lindley ('Bot. Reg.,' Tab. 1422) as C. Herbertiana.
[page 370]

sink downwards and rotate, so that they stand laterally at night, as may be
seen in the figure. Moreover, they move somewhat backwards, so as to point
towards the base of the petiole.

Fig. 154. Cassia corymbosa: A, plant during day; B, same plant at night.
Both figures copied from photographs.

In one instance we found that the midrib of a terminal leaflet formed at
night an angle of 36o, with a line dropped
[page 371]
perpendicularly from the end of the petiole. The second pair of leaflets
likewise moves a little backwards, but less than the terminal pair; and the
third pair moves vertically downwards, or even a little forwards. Thus all
the leaflets, in those species which bear only 3 or 4 pairs, tend to form a
single packet, with their upper surfaces in contact, and their lower
surfaces turned outwards. Lastly, the main petiole rises at night, but with
leaves of different ages to very different degrees, namely some rose
through an angle of only 12o, and others as much as 41o.

Cassia calliantha.--The leaves bear a large number of leaflets, which move
at night in nearly the same manner as just described; but the petioles
apparently do not rise, and one which was carefully observed certainly fell
3o.
Cassia pubescens.--The chief difference in the nyctitropic

Fig. 155. Cassia pubescens: A, upper part of plant during the day; B, same
plant at night. Figures reduced from photographs.

movements of this species, compared with those of the former species,
consists in the leaflets not rotating nearly so much;
[page 372]
therefore their lower surfaces face but little outwards at night. The
petioles, which during the day are inclined only a little above the
horizon, rise at night in a remarkable manner, and stand nearly or quite
vertically. This, together with the dependent position of the leaflets,
makes the whole plant wonderfully compact at night. In the two foregoing
figures, copied from photographs, the same plant is represented awake and
asleep (Fig. 155), and we see how different is its appearance.

Cassia mimosoides.--At night the numerous leaflets on each leaf rotate on
their axes, and their tips move towards the apex of the leaf; they thus
become imbricated with their lower surfaces directed upwards, and with
their midribs almost parallel to the petiole. Consequently, this species
differs from all the others seen by us, with the exception of the following
one, in the leaflets not sinking down at night. A petiole, the movement of
which was measured, rose 8o at night.

Cassia Barclayana.--The leaflets of this Australian species are numerous,
very narrow, and almost linear. At night they rise up a little, and also
move towards the apex of the leaf. For instance, two opposite leaflets
which diverged from one another during the day at an angle of 104o,
diverted at night only 72o; so that each had risen 16o above its diurnal
position. The petiole of a young leaf rose at night 34o, and that of an
older leaf 19o. Owing to the slight movement of the leaflets and the
considerable movement of the petiole, the bush presents a different
appearance at night to what it does by day; yet the leaves can hardly be
said to sleep.

The circumnutating movements of the leaves of C. floribunda, calliantha,
and pubescens were observed, each during three or four days; they were
essentially alike, those of the last-named species being the simplest. The
petiole of C. floribunda was secured to a stick at the base of the two
terminal leaflets, and a filament was fixed along the midrib of one of
them. Its movements were traced from 1 P.M. on August 13th to 8.30 A.M.
17th; but those during the last 2 h. are alone given in Fig. 156. From 8
A.M. on each day (by which hour the leaf had assumed its diurnal position)
to 2 or 3 P.M., it either zigzagged or circumnutated over nearly the same
small space; at between 2 and 3 P.M. the great evening fall commenced. The
lines representing this fall and the early morning rise are oblique, owing
to the peculiar manner in which the leaflets sleep, as already described.
After the leaflet was asleep at 6 P.M., and whilst the glass filament hung
[page 373]
perpendicularly down, the movement of its apex was traced until 10.30 P.M.;
and during this whole time it swayed from side to side, completing more
than one ellipse.

Fig 156. Cassia floribunda: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of a
terminal leaflet (1 5/6 inch in length) traced from 8.30 A.M. to same hour
on following morning. Apex of leaflet 5 ½ inches from the vertical glass.
Main petiole 3 3/4 inches long. Temp. 16o - 17 1/2o C. Figure reduced to
one-half of the original scale.

Bauhinia (Tribe 15).--The nyctitropic movements of four species were alike,
and were highly peculiar. A plant raised from seed sent us from South
Brazil by Fritz Müller, was more especially observed. The leaves are large
and deeply notched at their ends. At night the two halves rise up and close
completely together, like the opposite leaflets of many Leguminosae. With
very young plants the petioles rise considerably at the same time; one,
which was inclined at noon 45o above the horizon, at night stood at 75o; it
thus rose 30o; another rose 34o. Whilst the two halves of the leaf are
closing, the midrib at first sinks vertically downwards and afterwards
bends backwards, so as to pass close along one side of its own upwardly
inclined petiole; the midrib being thus directed towards the stem or axis
of the plant. The angle which the midrib formed with the horizon was
measured in one case at different hours: at noon it stood horizontally;
late in the evening it depended vertically; then rose to the opposite side,
and at 10.15 P.M. stood at only 27o beneath the horizon, being directed
towards the stem. It had thus travelled through 153o.
[page 374]
Owing to this movement--to the leaves being folded--and to the petioles
rising, the whole plant is as much more compact at night than during the
day, as a fastigiate Lombardy poplar is compared with any other species of
poplar. It is remarkable that when our plants had grown a little older,
viz., to a height of 2 or 3 feet, the petioles did not rise at night, and
the midribs of the folded leaves were no longer bent back along one side of
the petiole. We have noticed in some other genera that the petioles of very
young plants rise much more at night than do those of older plants.

Tamarindus Indica (Tribe 16).--The leaflets approach or meet each other at
night, and are all directed towards the apex of the leaf. They thus become
imbricated with their midribs parallel to the petiole. The movement is
closely similar to that of Haematoxylon (see Fig. 153), but more striking
from the greater number of the leaflets.

Adenanthera, Prosopis, and Neptunia (Tribe 20).--With Adenanthera pavonia
the leaflets turn edgeways and sink at night. In Prosopis they turn
upwards. With Neptunia oleracea the leaflets on the opposite sides of the
same pinna come into contact at night and are directed forwards. The pinnae
themselves move downwards, and at the same time backwards or towards the
stem of the plant. The main petiole rises.

Mimosa pudica (Tribe 20).--This plant has been the subject of innumerable
observations; but there are some points in relation to our subject which
have not been sufficiently attended to. At night, as is well known, the
opposite leaflets come into contact and point towards the apex of the leaf;
they thus become neatly imbricated with their upper surfaces protected. The
four pinnae also approach each other closely, and the whole leaf is thus
rendered very compact. The main petiole sinks downwards during the day till
late in the evening, and rises until very early in the morning. The stem is
continually circumnutating at a rapid rate, though not to a wide extent.
Some very young plants, kept in darkness, were observed during two days,
and although subjected to a rather low temperature of 57o - 59o F., the
stem of one described four small ellipses in the course of 12 h. We shall
immediately see that the main petiole is likewise continually
circumnutating, as is each separate pinna and each separate leaflet.
Therefore, if the movement of the apex of any one leaflet were to be
traced, the course described would be compounded of the movements of four
separate parts.
[page 375]
A filament had been fixed on the previous evening, longitudinally to the
main petiole of a nearly full-grown, highly-sensitive leaf (four inches in
length), the stem having been secured to a stick at its base; and a tracing
was made on a vertical glass in the hot-house under a high temperature. In
the figure given (Fig. 157), the first dot was made at 8.30 A.M. August
2nd, and the last at 7 P.M. on the 3rd. During 12 h. on the first day the
petiole moved thrice downwards and twice upwards. Within the same length of
time on the second day, it moved five times downwards and four times
upwards. As the ascending and descending lines do not coincide, the petiole
manifestly circumnutates; the great evening fall and nocturnal rise being
an exaggeration of one of the circumnutations. It should, however, be
observed that the petiole fell much lower down in the evenings than could
be seen on the vertical glass or is represented in the diagram. After 7
P.M. on the 3rd (when the last dot in Fig. 157 was made) the pot was
carried into a bed-room, and the petiole was found at 12.50 A.M. (i.e.
after midnight) standing almost upright, and much more highly inclined than
it was at 10.40 P.M. When observed again at 4 A.M. it had begun to fall,
and continued falling till 6.15 A.M., after which hour it zigzagged and
again circumnutated. Similar observations were made on another petiole,
with nearly the same result.

Fig. 157 Mimosa pudica: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of main
petiole, traced during 34 h. 30 m.

On two other occasions the movement of the main petiole
[page 376]
was observed every two or three minutes, the plants being kept at a rather
high temperature, viz., on the first occasion at 77o - 81o F., and the
filament then described 2 ½ ellipses in 69 m. On the second occasion, when
the temperature was 81o - 86o F., it made rather more than 3 ellipses in 67
m. therefore, Fig. 157, though now sufficiently complex, would have been
incomparably more so, if dots had been made on the glass every 2 or 3
minutes, instead of every hour or half-hour. Although the main petiole is
continually and rapidly describing small ellipses during the day, yet after
the great nocturnal rising movement has commenced, if dots are made every 2
or 3 minutes, as was done for an hour between 9.30 and 10.30 P.M. (temp.
84o F.), and the dots are then joined, an almost absolutely straight line
is the result.

To show that the movement of the petiole is in all probability due to the
varying turgescence of the pulvinus, and not to growth (in accordance with
the conclusions of Pfeffer), a very old leaf, with some of its leaflets
yellowish and hardly at all sensitive, was selected for observation, and
the plant was kept at the highly favourable temp. of 80o F. The petiole
fell from 8 A.M. till 10.15 A.M., it then rose a little in a somewhat
zigzag line, often remaining stationary, till 5 P.M., when the great
evening fall commenced, which was continued till at least 10 P.M. By 7 A.M.
on the following morning it had risen to the same level as on the previous
morning, and then descended in a zigzag line. But from 10.30 A.M. till 4.15
P.M. it remained almost motionless, all power of movement being now lost.
The petiole, therefore, of this very old leaf, which must have long ceased
growing, moved periodically; but instead of circumnutating several times
during the day, it moved only twice down and twice up in the course of 24
h., with the ascending and descending lines not coincident.

It has already been stated that the pinnae move independently of the main
petiole. The petiole of a leaf was fixed to a cork support, close to the
point whence the four pinnae diverge, with a short fine filament cemented
longitudinally to one of the two terminal pinnae, and a graduated
semicircle was placed close beneath it. By looking vertically down, its
angular or lateral movements could be measured with accuracy. Between noon
and 4.15 P.M. the pinna changed its position to one side by only 7o; but
not continuously in the same direction, as it moved four times to one side,
and three times to the opposite side,
[page 377]
in one instance to the extent of 16o. This pinna, therefore circumnutated.
Later in the evening the four pinnae approach each other, and the one which
was observed moved inwards 59o between noon and 6.45 P.M. Ten observations
were made in the course of 2 h. 20 m. (at average intervals of 14 m.),
between 4.25 and 6.45 P.M.; and there was now, when the leaf was going to
sleep, no swaying from side to side, but a steady inward movement. Here
therefore there is in the evening the same conversion of a circumnutating
into a steady movement in one direction, as in the case of the main
petiole.

It has also been stated that each separate leaflet circumnutates. A pinna
was cemented with shellac on the summit of a little stick driven firmly
into the ground, immediately beneath a pair of leaflets, to the midribs of
both of which excessively fine glass filaments were attached. This
treatment did not injure the leaflets, for they went to sleep in the usual
manner, and long retained their sensitiveness. the movements of one of them
were traced during 49 h., as shown in Fig. 158. On the first day the
leaflet sank down till 11.30 A.M., and then rose till late in the evening
in a zigzag line, indicating circumnutation. On the second day, when more
accustomed to its new state, it oscillated twice up and twice down during
the 24 h. This plant was subjected to a rather low temperature, viz., 62o -
64o F.; had it been kept warmer, no doubt the movements of the leaflet
would have been much more rapid and complicated. It may be seen in the
diagram that the ascending and descending lines do not coincide; but the
large amount of lateral movement in the evening is the result of the
leaflets bending towards the apex of the leaf when going to sleep. Another
leaflet was casually observed, and found to be continually circumnutating
during the same length of time.

The circumnutation of the leaves is not destroyed by their being subjected
to moderately long continued darkness; but the proper periodicity of their
movements is lost. Some very young seedlings were kept during two days in
the dark (temp. 57o - 59o F.) except when the circumnutation of their stems
was occasionally observed; and on the evening of the second day the
leaflets did not fully and properly go to sleep. The pot was then placed
for three days in a dark cupboard, under nearly the same temperature, and
at the close of this period the leaflets showed no signs of sleeping, and
were only slightly sensitive to a touch. On the following day the stem was
cemented to a
[page 378]
stick, and the movements of two leaves were traced on a vertical glass
during 72 h. The plants were still kept in the dark, excepting that at each
observation, which lasted 3 or 4 minutes,

Fig 158. Mimosa pudica: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of a
leaflet (with pinna secured), traced on a vertical glass, from 8 A.M. Sept.
14th to 9 A.M. 16th.

they were illuminated by two candles. On the third day the leaflets still
exhibited a vestige of sensitiveness when forcibly pressed, but in the
evening they showed no signs of sleep. Nevertheless, their petioles
continued to circumnutate distinctly,
[page 379]
although the proper order of their movements in relation to the day and
night was wholly lost. Thus, one leaf descended during the first two nights
(i.e. between 10 P.M. and 7 A.M. next morning) instead of ascending, and on
the third night it moved chiefly in a lateral direction. The second leaf
behaved in an equally abnormal manner, moving laterally during the first
night, descending greatly during the second, and ascending to an unusual
height during the third night.

With plants kept at a high temperature and exposed to the light, the most
rapid circumnutating movement of the apex of a leaf which was observed,
amounted to 1/500 of an inch in one second; and this would have equalled
1/8 of an inch in a minute, had not the leaf occasionally stood still. The
actual distance travelled by the apex (as ascertained by a measure placed
close to the leaf) was on one occasion nearly 3/4 of an inch in a vertical
direction in 15 m.; and on another occasion 5/8 of an inch in 60 m.; but
there was also some lateral movement.

Mimosa albida.*--The leaves of this plant, one of which is here figured
(Fig. 159) reduced to 2/3 of the natural size, present some

Fig. 159. Mimosa albida: leaf seen from vertically above.

interesting peculiarities. It consists of a long petiole bearing only two
pinnae (here represented as rather more divergent than is usual), each with
two pairs of leaflets. But the inner

* Mr. Thiselton Dyer informs us that this Peruvian plant (which was sent to
us from Kew) is considered by Mr. Bentham ('Trans. Linn. Soc.,' vol. xxx.
p. 390) to be "the species or variety which most commonly represents the M.
sensitiva of our gardens."
[page 380]

basal leaflets are greatly reduced in size, owing probably to the want of
space for their full development, so that they may be considered as almost
rudimentary. They vary somewhat in size, and both occasionally disappear,
or only one. Nevertheless, they are not in the least rudimentary in
function, for they are sensitive, extremely heliotropic, circumnutate at
nearly the same rate as the fully developed leaflets, and assume when
asleep exactly the same position. With M. pudica the inner leaflets at the
base and between the pinnae are likewise much shortened and obliquely
truncated; this fact was well seen in some seedlings of M. pudica, in which
the third leaf above the cotyledons bore only two pinnae, each with only 3
or 4 pairs of leaflets, of which the inner basal one was less than half as
long as its fellow; so that the whole leaf resembled pretty closely that of
M. albida. In this latter species the main petiole terminates in a little
point, and on each side of this there is a pair of minute, flattened,
lancet-shaped projections, hairy on their margins, which drop off and
disappear soon after the leaf is fully developed. There can hardly be a
doubt that these little projections are the last and fugacious
representatives of an additional pair of leaflets to each pinna; for the
outer one is twice as broad as the inner one, and a little longer, viz.
7/100 of an inch, whilst the inner one is only 5/100 - 6/100 long. Now if
the basal pair of leaflets of the existing leaves were to become
rudimentary, we should expect that the rudiments would still exhibit some
trace of their present great inequality of size. The conclusion that the
pinnae of the parent-form of M. albida possessed at least three pairs of
leaflets, instead of, as at present, only two, is supported by the
structure of the first true leaf; for this consists of a simple petiole,
often bearing three pairs of leaflets. This latter fact, as well as the
presence of the rudiments, both lead to the conclusion that M. albida is
descended from a form the leaves of which bore more than two pairs of
leaflets. The second leaf above the cotyledons resembles in all respects
the leaves on fully developed plants.

When the leaves go to sleep, each leaflet twists half round, so as to
present its edge to the zenith, and comes into close contact with its
fellow. The pinnae also approach each other closely, so that the four
terminal leaflets come together. The large basal leaflets (with the little
rudimentary ones in contact with them) move inwards and forwards, so as to
embrace the outside of the united terminal leaflets, and thus all eight
leaflets
[page 381]
(the rudimentary ones included) form together a single vertical packet. The
two pinnae at the same time that they approach each other sink downwards,
and thus instead of extending horizontally in the same line with the main
petiole, as during the day, they depend at night at about 45o, or even at a
greater angle, beneath the horizon. The movement of the main petiole seems
to be variable; we have seen it in the evening 27o lower than during the
day; but sometimes in nearly the same position. Nevertheless, a sinking
movement in the evening and a rising one during the night is probably the
normal course, for this was well-marked in the petiole of the first-formed
true leaf.

The circumnutation of the main petiole of a young leaf was traced during 2
3/4 days, and was considerable in extent, but less complex than that of M.
pudica. The movement was much more lateral than is usual with
circumnutating leaves, and this was the sole peculiarity which it
presented. The apex of one of the terminal leaflets was seen under the
microscope to travel 1/50 of an inch in 3 minutes.

Mimosa marginata.--The opposite leaflets rise up and approach each other at
night, but do not come into close contact, except in the case of very young
leaflets on vigorous shoots. Full-grown leaflets circumnutate during the
day slowly and on a small scale.

Schrankia uncinata (Tribe 20).--A leaf consists of two or three pairs of
pinnae, each bearing many small leaflets. These, when the plant is asleep,
are directed forwards and become imbricated. The angle between the two
terminal pinnae was diminished at night, in one case by 15o; and they sank
almost vertically downwards. The hinder pairs of pinnae likewise sink
downwards, but do not converge, that is, move towards the apex of the leaf.
The main petiole does not become depressed, at least during the evening. In
this latter respect, as well as in the sinking of the pinnae, there is a
marked difference between the nyctitropic movements of the present plant
and of Mimosa pudica. It should, however, be added that our specimen was
not in a very vigorous condition. The pinnae of Schrankia aculeata also
sink at night.

Acacia Farnesiana (Tribe 22).--The different appearance presented by a bush
of this plant when asleep and awake is wonderful. The same leaf in the two
states is shown in the following figure (Fig. 160). The leaflets move
towards the apex of the pinna and become imbricated, and the pinnae then
look like bits of dangling string. The following remarks and measurements
[page 382]
do not fully apply to the small leaf here figured. The pinnae move forwards
and at the same time sink downwards, whilst the main petiole rises
considerably. With respect to the degree of movement: the two terminal
pinnae of one specimen formed together an angle of 100o during the day, and
at night of only 38o, so each had moved 31o forwards. The penultimate
pinnae during the day formed together an angle of 180o, that is, they stood
in a straight line opposite one another, and at night each had moved 65o
forwards. The basal pair of pinnae were directed

Fig. 160. Acacia Farnesiana: A, leaf during the day; B, the same leaf at
night.

during the day, each about 21o backwards, and at night 38o forwards, so
each had moved 59o forwards. But the pinnae at the same time sink greatly,
and sometimes hang almost perpendicularly downwards. The main petiole, on
the other hand, rises much: by 8.30 P.M. one stood 34o higher than at noon,
and by 6.40 A.M. on the following morning it was still higher by 10o;
shortly after this hour the diurnal sinking movement commenced. The course
of a nearly full-grown leaf was traced during 14 h.; it was strongly
zigzag, and apparently
[page 383]
represented five ellipses, with their longer axes differently directed.

Albizzia lophantha (Tribe 23).--The leaflets at night come into contact
with one another, and are directed towards the apex of the pinna. The
pinnae approach one another, but remain in the same plane as during the
day; and in this respect they differ much from those of the above Schrankia
and Acacia. The main petiole rises but little. The first-formed leaf above
the cotyledons bore 11 leaflets on each side, and these slept like those on
the subsequently formed leaves; but the petiole of this first leaf was
curved downwards during the day and at night straightened itself, so that
the chord of its arc then stood 16o higher than in the day-time.

Melaleuca ericaefolia (Myrtaceae).--According to Bouché ('Bot. Zeit.,'
1874, p. 359) the leaves sleep at night, in nearly the same manner as those
of certain species of Pimelia.

Oenothera mollissima (Onagrarieae).--According to Linnaeus ('Somnus
Plantarum'), the leaves rise up vertically at night.

Passiflora gracilis (Passifloracae).--The young leaves sleep by their
blades hanging vertically downwards, and the whole length of the petiole
then becomes somewhat curved downwards. Externally no trace of a pulvinus
can be seen. The petiole of the uppermost leaf on a young shoot stood at
10.45 A.M. at 33o above the horizon; and at 10.30 P.M., when the blade was
vertically dependent, at only 15o, so the petiole had fallen 18o. That of
the next older leaf fell only 7o. From some unknown cause the leaves do not
always sleep properly. The stem of a plant, which had stood for some time
before a north-east window, was secured to a stick at the base of a young
leaf, the blade of which was inclined at 40o below the horizon. From its
position the leaf had to be viewed obliquely, consequently the vertically
ascending and descending movements appeared when traced oblique. On the
first day (Oct. 12th) the leaf descended in a zigzag line until late in the
evening; and by 8.15 A.M. on the 13th had risen to nearly the same level as
on the previous morning. A new tracing was now begun (Fig. 161). The leaf
continued to rise until 8.50 A.M., then moved a little to the right, and
afterwards descended. Between 11 A.M. and 5 P.M. it circumnutated, and
after the latter hour the great nocturnal fall commenced. At 7.15 P.M. it
depended vertically. The dotted line ought to have been prolonged much
lower down in the figure. By 6.50 A.M. on the following morning (14th) the
[page 384]
leaf had risen greatly, and continued to rise till 7.50 A.M., after which
hour it redescended. It should be observed that the lines traced on this
second morning would have coincided with and confused those previously
traced, had not the pot been slided a very little to the left. In the
evening (14th) a mark was placed behind the filament attached to the apex
of the leaf, and its movement was carefully traced from 5 P.M. to 10.15
P.M.

Fig. 161. Passiflora gracilis: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of
leaf, traced on vertical glass, from 8.20 A.M. Oct. 13th to 10 A.M. 14th.
Figure reduced to two-thirds of original scale.

Between 5 and 7.15 P.M. the leaf descended in a straight line, and at the
latter hour it appeared vertically dependent. But between 7.15 and 10.15
P.M. the line consisted of a succession of steps, the cause of which we
could not understand; it was, however, manifest that the movement was no
longer a simple descending one.

Siegesbeckia orientalis (Compositae).--Some seedlings were raised in the
middle of winter and kept in the hot-house; they flowered, but did not grow
well, and their leaves never showed any signs of sleep. The leaves on other
seedlings raised in May were horizontal at noon (June 22nd), and depended
at a consi-
[page 385]
derable angle beneath the horizon at 10 P.M. In the case of four youngish
leaves which were from 2 to 2 ½ inches in length, these angles were found
to be 50o, 56o, 60o, and 65o. At the end of August when the plants had grown
to a height of 10 to 11 inches, the younger leaves were so much curved
downwards at night that they might truly be said to be asleep. This is one

Fig. 162. Nicotiana glauca: shoots with leaves expanded during the day, and
asleep at night. Figures copied from photographs, and reduced.

of the species which must be well illuminated during the day in order to
sleep, for on two occasions when plants were kept all day in a room with
north-east windows, the leaves did not sleep at night. The same cause
probably accounts for the leaves on our seedlings raised in the dead of the
winter not sleeping. Professor Pfeffer informs us that the leaves of
another species (S. Jorullensis ?) hang vertically down at night.
[page 386]

Ipomoea caerulea and purpurea (Convolvulaceae).--The leaves on very young
plants, a foot or two in height, are depressed at night to between 68o and
80o beneath the horizon; and some hang quite vertically downwards. On the
following morning they again rise into a horizontal position. The petioles
become at night downwardly curved, either through their entire length or in
the upper part alone; and this apparently causes the depression of the
blade. It seems necessary that the leaves should be well illuminated during
the day in order to sleep, for those which stood on the back of a plant
before a north-east window did not sleep.

Nicotiana tabacum (var. Virginian) and glauca (Solaneae).--The young leaves
of both these species sleep by bending vertically upwards. Figures of two
shoots of N. glauca, awake and asleep (Fig. 162), are given on p. 385: one
of the shoots, from which the photographs were taken, was accidentally bent
to one side.

Fig. 163. Nicotiana tabacum: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of a
leaf (5 inches in length), traced on a vertical glass, from 3 P.M. July
10th to 8.10 A.M. 13th. Apex of leaf 4 inches from glass. Temp. 17 1/2o -
18 1/2o C. Figure reduced to one-half original scale.

At the base of the petiole of N. tabacum, on the outside, there is a mass
of cells, which are rather smaller than elsewhere, and
[page 387]
have their longer axes differently directed from the cells of the
parenchyma, and may therefore be considered as forming a sort of pulvinus.
A young plant of N. tabacum was selected, and the circumnutation of the
fifth leaf above the cotyledons was observed during three days. On the
first morning (July 10th) the leaf fell from 9 to 10 A.M., which is its
normal course, but rose during the remainder of the day; and this no doubt
was due to its being illuminated exclusively from above; for properly the
evening rise does not commence until 3 or 4 P.M. In the figure as given on
p. 386 (Fig. 163) the first dot was made at 3 P.M.; and the tracing was
continued for the following 65 h. When the leaf pointed to the dot next
above that marked 3 P.M. it stood horizontally. The tracing is remarkable
only from its simplicity and the straightness of the lines. The leaf each
day described a single great ellipse; for it should be observed that the
ascending and descending lines do not coincide. On the evening of the 11th
the leaf did not descend quite so low as usual, and it now zigzagged a
little. The diurnal sinking movement had already commenced each morning by
7 A.M. The broken lines at the top of the figure, representing the
nocturnal vertical position of the leaf, ought to be prolonged much higher
up.

Mirabilis longiflora and jalapa (Nyctagineae).--The first pair of leaves
above the cotyledons, produced by seedlings of both these species, were
considerably divergent during the day, and at night stood up vertically in
close contact with one another. The two upper leaves on an older seedling
were almost horizontal by day, and at night stood up vertically, but were
not in close contact, owing to the resistance offered by the central bud.

Polygonum aviculare (Polygoneae).--Professor Batalin informs us that the
young leaves rise up vertically at night. This is likewise the case,
according to Linnaeus, with several species of Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae);
and we observed a sleep movement of this kind in one member of the genus.
Again, with Chenopodium album (Chenopodieae), the upper young leaves of
some seedlings, about 4 inches in height, were horizontal or sub-horizontal
during the day, and at 10 P.M. on March 7th were quite, or almost quite,
vertical. Other seedlings raised in the greenhouse during the winter (Jan.
28th) were observed day and night, and no difference could be perceived in
the position of their leaves. According to Bouché ('Bot. Zeitung,' 1874, p.
359) the leaves of Pimelia linoides and spectabilis (Thymeleae) sleep at
night.
[page 388]

Euphorbia jacquiniaeflora (Euphorbiaceae).--Mr. Lynch called our attention
to the fact that the young leaves of this plant sleep by depending
vertically. The third leaf from the summit (March 11th) was inclined during
the day 30o beneath the horizon, and at night hung vertically down, as did
some of the still younger leaves. It rose up to its former level on the
following morning. The fourth and fifth leaves from the summit stood
horizontally during the day, and sank down at night only 38o. The sixth
leaf did not sensibly alter its position. The sinking movement is due to
the downward curvature of the petiole, no part of which exhibits any
structure like that of a pulvinus. Early on the morning of June 7th a
filament was fixed longitudinally to a young leaf (the third from the
summit, and 2 5/8 inches in length), and its movements were traced on a
vertical glass during 72 h., the plant being illuminated from above through
a skylight. Each day the leaf fell in a nearly straight line from 7 A.M. to
5 P.M., after which hour it was so much inclined downwards that the
movement could no longer be traced; and during the latter part of each
night, or early in the morning, the leaf rose. It therefore circumnutated
in a very simple manner, making a single large ellipse every 24 h., for the
ascending and descending lines did not coincide. On each successive morning
it stood at a less height than on the previous one, and this was probably
due partly to the increasing age of the leaf, and partly to the
illumination being insufficient; for although the leaves are very slightly
heliotropic, yet, according to Mr. Lynch's and our own observations, their
inclination during the day is determined by the intensity of the light. On
the third day, by which time the extent of the descending movement had much
decreased, the line traced was plainly much more zigzag than on any
previous day, and it appeared as if some of its powers of movement were
thus expended. At 10 P.M. on June 7th, when the leaf depended vertically,
its movements were observed by a mark being placed behind it, and the end
of the attached filament was seen to oscillate slowly and slightly from
side to side, as well as upwards and downwards.

Phyllanthus Niruri (Euphorbiaceae).--The leaflets of this plant sleep, as
described by Pfeffer,* in a remarkable manner, apparently like those of
Cassia, for they sink downwards at night and twist round, so that their
lower surfaces are turned

* 'Die Period. Beweg.,' p. 159.
[page 389]

outwards. They are furnished as might have been expected from this complex
kind of movement, with a pulvinus.

GYMNOSPERMS.

Pinus Nordmanniana (Coniferae).--M. Chatin states* that the leaves, which
are horizontal during the day, rise up at night, so as to assume a position
almost perpendicular to the branch from which they arise; we presume that
he here refers to a horizontal branch. He adds: "En même temps, ce
mouvement d'érection est accompangé d'un mouvement de torsion imprimé à la
partie basilaire de la feuille, et pouvant souvent parcourir un arc de 90
degrés." As the lower surfaces of the leaves are white, whilst the upper
are dark green, the tree presents a widely different appearance by day and
night. The leaves on a small tree in a pot did not exhibit with us any
nyctitropic movements. We have seen in a former chapter that the leaves of
Pinus pinaster and Austriaca are continually circumnutating.

MONOCOTYLEDONS.

Thalia dealbata (Cannaceae).--the leaves of this plant sleep by turning
vertically upwards; they are furnished with a well-developed pulvinus. It
is the only instance known to us of a very large leaf sleeping. The blade
of a young leaf, which was as yet only 13 1/4 inches in length and 6 ½ in
breadth, formed at noon an angle with its tall petiole of 121o, and at
night stood vertically in a line with it, and so had risen 59o. The actual
distance travelled by the apex (as measured by an orthogonic tracing) of
another large leaf, between 7.30 A.M. and 10 P.M., was 10 ½ inches. The
circumnutation of two young and dwarfed leaves, arising amongst the taller
leaves at the base of the plant, was traced on a vertical glass during two
days. On the first day the apex of one, and on the second day the apex of
the other leaf, described between 6.40 A.M. and 4 P.M. two ellipses, the
longer axes of which were extended in very different directions from the
lines representing the great diurnal sinking and nocturnal rising movement.

Maranta arundinacea (Cannaceae).--The blades of the leaves, which are
furnished with a pulvinus, stand horizontally during

* 'Comptes Rendus,' Jan. 1876, p. 171.
[page 390]

the day or between 10o and 20o above the horizon, and at night vertically
upwards. They therefore rise between 70o and 90o at night. The plant was
placed at noon in the dark in the hot-house, and on the following day the
movements of the leaves were traced. Between 8.40 and 10.30 A.M. they rose,
and then fell greatly till 1.37 P.M. But by 3 P.M. they had again risen a
little, and continued to rise during the rest of the afternoon and night;
on the following morning they stood at the same level as on the previous
day. Darkness, therefore, during a day and a half does not interfere with
the periodicity of their movements. On a warm but stormy evening, the plant
whilst being brought into the house, had its leaves violently shaken, and
at night not one went to sleep. On the next morning the plant was taken
back to the hot-house, and again at night the leaves did not sleep; but on
the ensuing night they rose in the usual manner between 70o and 80o. This
fact is analogous with what we have observed with climbing plants, namely,
that much agitation checks for a time their power of circumnutation; but
the effect in this instance was much more strongly marked and prolonged.

Colocasia antiquorum (Caladium esculentum, Hort.) (Aroideae).--The leaves
of this plant sleep by their blades sinking in the evening, so as to stand
highly inclined, or even quite vertically with their tips pointing to the
ground. They are not provided with a pulvinus. The blade of one stood at
noon 1 degree beneath the horizon; at 4.20 P.M., 20o; at 6 P.M. 43o; at
7.20 P.M., 69o; and at 8.30 P.M., 68o; so it had now begun to rise; at
10.15 P.M. it stood at 65o, and on the following early morning at 11o
beneath the horizon. The circumnutation of another young leaf (with its
petiole only 3 1/4 inches, and the blade 4 inches in length), was traced on
a vertical glass during 48 h.; it was dimly illuminated through a skylight,
and this seemed to disturb the proper periodicity of its movements.
Nevertheless, the leaf fell greatly during both afternoons, till either
7.10 P.M. or 9 P.M., when it rose a little and moved laterally. By an early
hour on both mornings, it had assumed its diurnal position. The well-marked
lateral movement for a short time in the early part of the night, was the
only interesting fact which it presented, as this caused the ascending and
descending lines not to coincide, in accordance with the general rule with
circumnutating organs. The movements of the leaves of this plant are thus
of the most simple kind; and the tracing is not worth giving. We have seen
that in another genus of the Aroideae, namely, Pistia, the leaves
[page 391]
rise so much at night that they may almost be said to sleep.

Strephium floribundum* (Gramineae).--The oval leaves are provided with a
pulvinus, and are extended horizontally or declined a little beneath the
horizon during the day. Those on the upright culms simply rise up
vertically at night, so that their tips are directed towards the zenith.
(Fig. 164.)

Fig. 164. Strephium floribundum: culms with leaves during the day, and when
asleep at night. Figures reduced.

Horizontally extended leaves arising from much inclined or almost
horizontal culms, move at night so that their tips point towards the apex
of the culm, with one lateral margin directed towards the zenith; and in
order to assume this position the leaves have to twist on their own axes
through an angle of nearly 90o. Thus the surface of the blade always stands
vertically, whatever may be the position of the midrib or of the leaf as a
whole.

The circumnutation of a young leaf (2.3 inches in length) was traced during
48 h. (Fig. 165). The movement was remarkably simple; the leaf descended
from before 6.40 A.M. until 2 or 2.50 P.M., and then rose so as to stand
vertically at about 6 P.M., descending again late in the night or in the
very early morning.

* A. Brongniart first observed that the leaves of this plant and of
Marsilea sleep: see 'Bull. de la Soc. Bot. de France,' tom. vii. 1860, p.
470.
[page 392]

On the second day the descending line zigzagged slightly. As usual, the
ascending and descending lines did not coincide. On another occasion, when
the temperature was a little higher, viz., 24o - 26 1/2o C., a leaf was
observed 17 times between 8.50 A.M. and 12.16 P.M.; it changed its course
by as much as a rectangle six times in this interval of 3 h. 26 m., and
described two irregular triangles and a half. The leaf, therefore, on this
occasion circumnutated rapidly and in a complex manner.

Fig. 165. Strephium floribundum: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement of
a leaf, traced from 9 A.M. June 26th to 8.45 A.M. 27th; filament fixed
along the midrib. Apex of leaf 8 1/4 inches from the vertical glass; plant
illuminated from above. Temp. 23 1/2o - 24 1/2o C.

ACOTYLEDONS.

Marsilea quadrifoliata (Marsileaceae).--The shape of a leaf, expanded
horizontally during the day, is shown at A (Fig. 166). Each leaflet is
provided with a well-developed pulvinus. When the leaves sleep, the two
terminal leaflets rise up, twist half round and come into contact with one
another (B), and are afterwards embraced by the two lower leaflets (C); so
that the four leaflets with their lower surfaces turned outwards form a
vertical packet. The curvature of the summit of the petiole of the leaf
figured asleep, is merely accidental. The plant was brought into a room,
where the temperature was only a little above 60o F., and the movement of
one of the leaflets (the petiole having been secured) was traced
[page 393]
during 24 h. (Fig. 167). The leaf fell from the early morning till 1.50
P.M., and then rose till 6 P.M., when it was asleep. A

Fig. 166. Marsilea quadrifoliata: A, leaf during the day, seen from
vertically above; B, leaf beginning to go to sleep, seen laterally; C, the
same asleep. Figures reduced to one-half of natural scale.

vertically dependent glass filament was now fixed to one of the terminal
and inner leaflets; and part of the tracing in Fig. 167, after 6 P.M.,
shows that it continued to sink, making one zigzag, until 10.40 P.M. At
6.45 A.M. on the following morning, the leaf was awaking, and the filament
pointed above the vertical glass,

Fig. 167. Marsilea quadrifoliata: circumnutation and nyctitropic movement
of leaflet traced on vertical glass, during nearly 24 h. Figure reduced to
two-thirds of original scale. Plant kept at rather too low a temperature.

but by 8.25 A.M. it occupied the position shown in the figure. The diagram
differs greatly in appearance from most of those previously given; and this
is due to the leaflet twisting and moving laterally as it approaches and
comes into contact with
[page 394]
its fellow. The movement of another leaflet, when asleep, was traced
between 6 P.M. and 10.35 P.M., and it clearly circumnutated, for it
continued for two hours to sink, then rose, and then sank still lower than
it was at 6 P.M. It may be seen in the preceding figure (167) that the
leaflet, when the plant was subjected to a rather low temperature in the
house, descended and ascended during the middle of the day in a somewhat
zigzag line; but when kept in the hot-house from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. at a high
but varying temperature (viz., between 72o and 83o F.) a leaflet (with the
petiole secured) circumnutated rapidly, for it made three large vertical
ellipses in the course of the six hours. According to Brongniart, Marsilea
pubescens sleeps like the present species. These plants are the sole
cryptogamic ones known to sleep.]

Summary and Concluding Remarks on the Nyctitropic or Sleep-movements of
Leaves.--That these movements are in some manner of high importance to the
plants which exhibit them, few will dispute who have observed how complex
they sometimes are. Thus with Cassia, the leaflets which are horizontal
during the day not only bend at night vertically downwards with the
terminal pair directed considerably backwards, but they also rotate on
their own axes, so that their lower surfaces are turned outwards. The
terminal leaflet of Melilotus likewise rotates, by which movement one of
its lateral edges is directed upwards, and at the same time it moves either
to the left or to the right, until its upper surface comes into contact
with that of the lateral leaflet on the same side, which has likewise
rotated on its own axis. With Arachis, all four leaflets form together
during the night a single vertical packet; and to the effect this the two
anterior leaflets have to move upwards and the two posterior ones forwards,
besides all twisting on their own axes. In the genus Sida the leaves of
some species move at night through an angle of 90o upwards, and of others
[page 395]
through the same angle downwards. We have seen a similar difference in the
nyctitropic movements of the cotyledons in the genus Oxalis. In Lupinus,
again, the leaflets move either upwards or downwards; and in some species,
for instance L. luteus, those on one side of the star-shaped leaf move up,
and those on the opposite side move down; the intermediate ones rotating on
their axes; and by these varied movements, the whole leaf forms at night a
vertical star instead of a horizontal one, as during the day. Some leaves
and leaflets, besides moving either upwards or downwards, become more or
less folded at night, as in Bauhinia and in some species of Oxalis. The
positions, indeed, which leaves occupy when asleep are almost infinitely
diversified; they may point either vertically upwards or downwards, or, in
the case of leaflets, towards the apex or towards the base of the leaf, or
in any intermediate position. They often rotate at least as much as 90o on
their own axes. The leaves which arise from upright and from horizontal or
much inclined branches on the same plant, move in some few cases in a
different manner, as with Porlieria and Strephium. The whole appearance of
many plants is wonderfully changed at night, as may be seen with Oxalis,
and still more plainly with Mimosa. A bush of Acacia Farnesiana appears at
night as if covered with little dangling bits of string instead of leaves.
Excluding a few genera not seen by ourselves, about which we are in doubt,
and excluding a few others the leaflets of which rotate at night, and do
not rise or sink much, there are 37 genera in which the leaves or leaflets
rise, often moving at the same time towards the apex or towards the base of
the leaf, and 32 genera in which they sink at night.

The nyctitropic movements of leaves, leaflets, and
[page 396]
petioles are effected in two different ways; firstly, by alternately
increased growth on their opposite sides, preceded by increased turgescence
of the cells; and secondly by means of a pulvinus or aggregate of small
cells, generally destitute of chlorophyll, which become alternately more
turgescent on nearly opposite sides; and this turgescence is not followed
by growth except during the early age of the plant. A pulvinus seems to be
formed (as formerly shown) by a group of cells ceasing to grow at a very
early age, and therefore does not differ essentially from the surrounding
tissues. The cotyledons of some species of Trifolium are provided with a
pulvinus, and others are destitute of one, and so it is with the leaves in
the genus Sida. We see also in this same genus gradations in the state of
the development of the pulvinus; and in Nicotiana we have what may probably
be considered as the commencing development of one. The nature of the
movement is closely similar, whether a pulvinus is absent or present, as is
evident from many of the diagrams given in this chapter. It deserves notice
that when a pulvinus is present, the ascending and descending lines hardly
ever coincide, so that ellipses are habitually described by the leaves thus
provided, whether they are young or so old as to have quite ceased growing.
This fact of ellipses being described, shows that the alternately increased
turgescence of the cells does not occur on exactly opposite sides of the
pulvinus, any more than the increased growth which causes the movements of
leaves not furnished with pulvini. When a pulvinus is present, the
nyctitropic movements are continued for a very much longer period than when
such do not exist. This has been amply proved in the case of cotyledons,
and Pfeffer has given observations to the same effect with respect
[page 379[97]]
to leaves. We have seen that a leaf of Mimosa pudica continued to move in
the ordinary manner, though somewhat more simply, until it withered and
died. It may be added that some leaflets of Trifolium pratense were pinned
open during 10 days, and on the first evening after being released they
rose up and slept in the usual manner. Besides the long continuance of the
movements when effected by the aid of a pulvinus (and this appears to be
the final cause of its development), a twisting movement at night, as
Pfeffer has remarked, is almost confined to leaves thus provided.

It is a very general rule that the first true leaf, though it may differ
somewhat in shape from the leaves on the mature plant, yet sleeps like
them; and this occurs quite independently of the fact whether or not the
cotyledons themselves sleep, or whether they sleep in the same manner. But
with Phaseolus Roxburghii the first unifoliate leaves rise at night almost
sufficiently to be said to sleep, whilst the leaflets of the secondary
trifoliate leaves sink vertically at night. On young plants of Sida
rhombaefolia, only a few inches in height, the leaves did not sleep, though
on rather older plants they rose up vertically at night. On the other hand,
the leaves on very young plants of Cytisus fragrans slept in a conspicuous
manner, whilst on old and vigorous bushes kept in the greenhouse, the
leaves did not exhibit any plain nyctitropic movement. In the genus Lotus
the basal stipule-like leaflets rise up vertically at night, and are
provided with pulvini.

As already remarked, when leaves or leaflets change their position greatly
at night and by complicated movements, it can hardly be doubted that these
must be in some manner beneficial to the plant. If so, we
[page 398]
must extend the same conclusion to a large number of sleeping plants; for
the most complicated and the simplest nyctitropic movements are connected
together by the finest gradations. But owing to the causes specified in the
beginning of this chapter, it is impossible in some few cases to determine
whether or not certain movements should be called nyctitropic. Generally,
the position which the leaves occupy at night indicates with sufficient
clearness, that the benefit thus derived, is the protection of their upper
surfaces from radiation into the open sky, and in many cases the mutual
protection of all the parts from cold by their being brought into close
approximation. It should be remembered that it was proved in the last
chapter, that leaves compelled to remain extended horizontally at night,
suffered much more from radiation than those which were allowed to assume
their normal vertical position.

The fact of the leaves of several plants not sleeping unless they have been
well illuminated during the day, made us for a time doubt whether the
protection of their upper surfaces from radiation was in all cases the
final cause of their well-pronounced nyctitropic movements. But we have no
reason to suppose that the illumination from the open sky, during even the
most clouded day, is insufficient for this purpose; and we should bear in
mind that leaves which are shaded from being seated low down on the plant,
and which sometimes do not sleep, are likewise protected at night from full
radiation. Nevertheless, we do not wish to deny that there may exist cases
in which leaves change their position considerably at night, without their
deriving any benefit from such movements.

Although with sleeping plants the blades almost
[page 399]
always assume at night a vertical, or nearly vertical position, it is a
point of complete indifference whether the apex, or the base, or one of the
lateral edges, is directed to the zenith. It is a rule of wide generality,
that whenever there is any difference in the degree of exposure to
radiation between the upper and the lower surfaces of leaves and leaflets,
it is the upper which is the least exposed, as may be seen in Lotus,
Cytisus, Trifolium, and other genera. In several species of Lupinus the
leaflets do not, and apparently from their structure cannot, place
themselves vertically at night, and consequently their upper surfaces,
though highly inclined, are more exposed than the lower; and here we have
an exception to our rule. But in other species of this genus the leaflets
succeed in placing themselves vertically; this, however, is effected by a
very unusual movement, namely, by the leaflets on the opposite sides of the
same leaf moving in opposite directions.

It is again a very common rule that when leaflets come into close contact
with one another, they do so by their upper surfaces, which are thus best
protected. In some cases this may be the direct result of their rising
vertically; but it is obviously for the protection of the upper surfaces
that the leaflets of Cassia rotate in so wonderful a manner whilst sinking
downwards; and that the terminal leaflet of Melilotus rotates and moves to
one side until it meets the lateral leaflet on the same side. When opposite
leaves or leaflets sink vertically down without any twisting, their lower
surfaces approach each other and sometimes come into contact; but this is
the direct and inevitable result of their position. With many species of
Oxalis the lower surfaces of the adjoining leaflets are pressed together,
and are thus better protected
[page 400]
than the upper surfaces; but this depends merely on each leaflet becoming
folded at night so as to be able to sink vertically downwards. The torsion
or rotation of leaves and leaflets, which occurs in so many cases,
apparently always serves to bring their upper surfaces into close
approximation with one another, or with other parts of the plant, for their
mutual protection. We see this best in such cases as those of Arachis,
Mimosa albida, and Marsilea, in which all the leaflets form together at
night a single vertical packet. If with Mimosa pudica the opposite leaflets
had merely moved upwards, their upper surfaces would have come into contact
and been well protected; but as it is, they all successively move towards
the apex of the leaf; and thus not only their upper surfaces are protected,
but the successive pairs become imbricated and mutually protect one another
as well as the petioles. This imbrication of the leaflets of sleeping
plants is a common phenomenon.

The nyctitropic movement of the blade is generally effected by the
curvature of the uppermost part of the petiole, which has often been
modified into a pulvinus; or the whole petiole, when short, may be thus
modified. But the blade itself sometimes curves or moves, of which fact
Bauhinia offers a striking instance, as the two halves rise up and come
into close contact at night. Or the blade and the upper part of the petiole
may both move. Moreover, the petiole as a whole commonly either rises or
sinks at night. This movement is sometimes large: thus the petioles of
Cassia pubescens stand only a little above the horizon during the day, and
at night rise up almost, or quite, perpendicularly. The petioles of the
younger leaves of Desmodium gyrans also rise up vertically at night. On the
other hand, with Amphi-
[page 401]
carpaea, the petioles of some leaves sank down as much as 57o at night;
with Arachis they sank 39o, and then stood at right angles to the stem.
Generally, when the rising or sinking of several petioles on the same plant
was measured, the amount differed greatly. This is largely determined by
the age of the leaf: for instance, the petiole of a moderately old leaf of
Desmodium gyrans rose only 46o, whilst the young ones rose up vertically;
that of a young leaf of Cassia floribunda rose 41o, whilst that of an older
leaf rose only 12o. It is a more singular fact that the age of the plant
sometimes influences greatly the amount of movement; thus with some young
seedlings of a Bauhinia the petioles rose at night 30o and 34o, whereas
those on these same plants, when grown to a height of 2 or 3 feet, hardly
moved at all. The position of the leaves on the plant as determined by the
light, seems also to influence the amount of movement of the petiole; for
no other cause was apparent why the petioles of some leaves of Melilotus
officinalis rose as much as 59o, and others only 7o and 9o at night.

In the case of many plants, the petioles move at night in one direction and
the leaflets in a directly opposite one. Thus, in three genera of
Phaseoleae the leaflets moved vertically downwards at night, and the
petioles rose in two of them, whilst in the third they sank. Species in the
same genus often differ widely in the movements of their petioles. Even on
the same plant of Lupinus pubescens some of the petioles rose 30o, others
only 6o, and others sank 4o at night. The leaflets of Cassia Barclayana
moved so little at night that they could not be said to sleep, yet the
petioles of some young leaves rose as much as 34o. These several facts
apparently indicate that the movements
[page 402]
of the petioles are not performed for any special purpose; though a
conclusion of this kind is generally rash. When the leaflets sink
vertically down at night and the petioles rise, as often occurs, it is
certain that the upward movement of the latter does not aid the leaflets in
placing themselves in their proper position at night, for they have to move
through a greater angular space than would otherwise have been necessary.

Notwithstanding what has just been said, it may be strongly suspected that
in some cases the rising of the petioles, when considerable, does
beneficially serve the plant by greatly reducing the surface exposed to
radiation at night. If the reader will compare the two drawings (Fig. 155,
p. 371) of Cassia pubescens, copied from photographs, he will see that the
diameter of the plant at night is about one-third of what it is by day, and
therefore the surface exposed to radiation is nearly nine times less. A
similar conclusion may be deduced from the drawings (Fig. 149, p. 358) of a
branch awake and asleep of Desmodium gyrans. So it was in a very striking
manner with young plants of Bauhinia, and with Oxalis Ortegesii.

We are led to an analogous conclusion with respect to the movements of the
secondary petioles of certain pinnate leaves. The pinnae of Mimosa pudica
converge at night; and thus the imbricated and closed leaflets on each
separate pinna are all brought close together into a single bundle, and
mutually protect one another, with a somewhat smaller surface exposed to
radiation. With Albizzia lophantha the pinnae close together in the same
manner. Although the pinnae of Acacia Farnesiana do not converge much, they
sink downwards. Those of Neptunia oleracea likewise
[page 403]
move downwards, as well as backwards, towards the base of the leaf, whilst
the main petiole rises. With Schrankia, again, the pinnae are depressed at
night. Now in these three latter cases, though the pinnae do not mutually
protect one another at night, yet after having sunk down they expose, as
does a dependent sleeping leaf, much less surface to the zenith and to
radiation than if they had remained horizontal.

Any one who had never observed continuously a sleeping plant, would
naturally suppose that the leaves moved only in the evening when going to
sleep, and in the morning when awaking; but he would be quite mistaken, for
we have found no exception to the rule that leaves which sleep continue to
move during the whole twenty-four hours; they move, however, more quickly
when going to sleep and when awaking than at other times. That they are not
stationary during the day is shown by all the diagrams given, and by the
many more which were traced. It is troublesome to observe the movements of
leaves in the middle of the night, but this was done in a few cases; and
tracings were made during the early part of the night of the movements in
the case of Oxalis, Amphicarpaea, two species of Erythrina, a Cassia,
Passiflora, Euphorbia and Marsilea; and the leaves after they had gone to
sleep, were found to be in constant movement. When, however, opposite
leaflets come into close contact with one another or with the stem at
night, they are, as we believe, mechanically prevented from moving, but
this point was not sufficiently investigated.

When the movements of sleeping leaves are traced during twenty-four hours,
the ascending and descending lines do not coincide, except occasionally and
by accident for a short space; so that with many plants a
[page 404]
single large ellipse is described during each twenty-four hours. Such
ellipses are generally narrow and vertically directed, for the amount of
lateral movement is small. That there is some lateral movement is shown by
the ascending and descending lines not coinciding, and occasionally, as
with Desmodium gyrans and Thalia dealbata, it was strongly marked. In the
case of Melilotus the ellipses described by the terminal leaflet during the
day are laterally extended, instead of vertically, as is usual; and this
fact evidently stands in relation with the terminal leaflet moving
laterally when it goes to sleep. With the majority of sleeping plants the
leaves oscillate more than once up and down in the twenty-four hours; so
that frequently two ellipses, one of moderate size, and one of very large
size which includes the nocturnal movement, are described within the
twenty-four hours. For instance, a leaf which stands vertically up during
the night will sink in the morning, then rise considerably, again sink in
the afternoon, and in the evening reascend and assume its vertical
nocturnal position. It will thus describe, in the course of the twenty-four
hours, two ellipses of unequal sizes. Other plants describe within the same
time, three, four, or five ellipses. Occasionally the longer axes of the
several ellipses extend in different directions, of which Acacia Farnesiana
offered a good instance. The following cases will give an idea of the rate
of movement: Oxalis acetosella completed two ellipses at the rate of 1 h.
25 m. for each; Marsilea quadrifoliata, at the rate of 2 h.; Trifolium
subterraneum, one in 3 h. 30 m.; and Arachis hypogaea, in 4 h. 50 m. But
the number of ellipses described within a given time depends largely on the
state of the plant and on the conditions to which it is exposed. It often
happens that a single ellipse may be described during one
[page 405]
day, and two on the next. Erythrina corallodendron made four ellipses on
the first day of observation and only a single one on the third, apparently
owing to having been kept not sufficiently illuminated and perhaps not warm
enough. But there seems likewise to be an innate tendency in different
species of the same genus to make a different number of ellipses in the
twenty-four hours: the leaflets of Trifolium repens made only one; those of
T. resupinatum two, and those of T. subterraneum three in this time. Again,
the leaflets of Oxalis Plumierii made a single ellipse; those of O.
bupleurifolia, two; those of O. Valdiviana, two or three; and those of O.
acetosella, at least five in the twenty-four hours.

The line followed by the apex of a leaf or leaflet, whilst describing one
or more ellipses during the day, is often zigzag, either throughout its
whole course or only during the morning or evening: Robinia offered an
instance of zigzagging confined to the morning, and a similar movement in
the evening is shown in the diagram (Fig. 126) given under Sida. The amount
of the zigzag movement depends largely on the plant being placed under
highly favourable conditions. But even under such favourable conditions, if
the dots which mark the position of the apex are made at considerable
intervals of time, and the dots are then joined, the course pursued will
still appear comparatively simple, although the number of the ellipses will
be increased; but if dots are made every two or three minutes and these are
joined, the result often is that all the lines are strongly zigzag, many
small loops, triangles, and other figures being also formed. This fact is
shown in two parts of the diagram (Fig. 150) of the movements of Desmodium
gyrans. Strephium floribundum, observed under a high temperature,
[page 406]
made several little triangles at the rate of 43 m. for each. Mimosa pudica,
similarly observed, described three little ellipses in 67 m.; and the apex
of a leaflet crossed 1/500 of an inch in a second, or 0.12 inch in a
minute. The leaflets of Averrhoa made a countless number of little
oscillations when the temperature was high and the sun shining. The zigzag
movement may in all cases be considered as an attempt to form small loops,
which are drawn out by a prevailing movement in some one direction. The
rapid gyrations of the little lateral leaflets of Desmodium belong to the
same class of movements, somewhat exaggerated in rapidity and amplitude.
The jerking movements, with a small advance and still smaller retreat,
apparently not exactly in the same line, of the hypocotyl of the cabbage
and of the leaves of Dionaea, as seen under the microscope, all probably
come under this same head. We may suspect that we here see the energy which
is freed during the incessant chemical changes in progress in the tissues,
converted into motion. Finally, it should be noted that leaflets and
probably some leaves, whilst describing their ellipses, often rotate
slightly on their axes; so that the plane of the leaf is directed first to
one and then to another side. This was plainly seen to be the case with the
large terminal leaflets of Desmodium, Erythrina and Amphicarpaea, and is
probably common to all leaflets provided with a pulvinus.

With respect to the periodicity of the movements of sleeping leaves,
Pfeffer* has so clearly shown that this depends on the daily alternations
of light and darkness, that nothing farther need be said on this

* 'Die Periodischen Bewegungen der Blattorgane,' 1875, p. 30, et passim.
[page 407]

head. But we may recall the behaviour of Mimosa in the North, where the sun
does not set, and the complete inversion of the daily movements by
artificial light and darkness. It has also been shown by us, that although
leaves subjected to darkness for a moderately long time continue to
circumnutate, yet the periodicity of their movements is soon greatly
disturbed, or quite annulled. The presence of light or its absence cannot
be supposed to be the direct cause of the movements, for these are
wonderfully diversified even with the leaflets of the same leaf, although
all have of course been similarly exposed. The movements depend on innate
causes, and are of an adaptive nature. The alternations of light and
darkness merely give notice to the leaves that the period has arrived for
them to move in a certain manner. We may infer from the fact of several
plants (Tropaeolum, Lupinus, etc.) not sleeping unless they have been well
illuminated during the day, that it is not the actual decrease of light in
the evening, but the contrast between the amount at this hour and during
the early part of the day, which excites the leaves to modify their
ordinary mode of circumnutation.

As the leaves of most plants assume their proper diurnal position in the
morning, although light be excluded, and as the leaves of some plants
continue to move in the normal manner in darkness during at least a whole
day, we may conclude that the periodicity of their movements is to a
certain extent inherited.* The strength of such inheritance differs

* Pfeffer denies such inheritance; he attributes ('Die Period. Bewegungen,'
pp. 30-56) the periodicity when prolonged for a day or two in darkness, to
"Nachwirkung," or the after-effects of light and darkness. But we are
unable to follow his train of reasoning. There does not seem to be any more
reason for
[[page 408]]
attributing such movements to this cause than, for instance, the inherited
habit of winter and summer wheat to grow best at different seasons; for
this habit is lost after a few years, like the movements of leaves in
darkness after a few days. No doubt some effect must be produced on the
seeds by the long-continued cultivation of the parent-plants under
different climates, but no one probably would call this the "Nachwirkung"
of the climates.
[page 408]
much in different species, and seems never to be rigid; for plants have
been introduced from all parts of the world into our gardens and
greenhouses; and if their movements had been at all strictly fixed in
relation to the alternations of day and night, they would have slept in
this country at very different hours, which is not the case. Moreover, it
has been observed that sleeping plants in their native homes change their
times of sleep with the changing seasons.*

We may now turn to the systematic list. This contains the names of all the
sleeping plants known to us, though the list undoubtedly is very imperfect.
It may be premised that, as a general rule, all the species in the same
genus sleep in nearly the same manner. But there are some exceptions; in
several large genera including many sleeping species (for instance,
Oxalis), some do not sleep. One species of Melilotus sleeps like a
Trifolium, and therefore very differently from its congeners; so does one
species of Cassia. In the genus Sida, the leaves either rise or fall at
night; and with Lupinus they sleep in three different methods. Returning to
the list, the first point which strikes us, is that there are many more
genera amongst the Leguminosae (and in almost every one of the Leguminous
tribes) than in all the other families put together; and we are tempted to
connect this fact with the great

* Pfeffer, ibid., p. 46.
[page 409]

mobility of the stems and leaves in this family, as shown by the large
number of climbing species which it contains. Next to the Leguminosae come
the Malvaceae, together with some closely allied families. But by far the
most important point in the list, is that we meet with sleeping plants in
28 families, in all the great divisions of the Phanerogamic series, and in
one Cryptogam. Now, although it is probable that with the Leguminosae the
tendency to sleep may have been inherited from one or a few progenitors,
and possibly so in the cohorts of the Malvales and Chenopodiales, yet it is
manifest that the tendency must have been acquired by the several genera in
the other families, quite independently of one another. Hence the question
naturally arises, how has this been possible? and the answer, we cannot
doubt is that leaves owe their nyctitropic movements to their habit of
circumnutating,--a habit common to all plants, and everywhere ready for any
beneficial development or modification.

It has been shown in the previous chapters that the leaves and cotyledons
of all plants are continually moving up and down, generally to a slight but
sometimes to a considerable extent, and that they describe either one or
several ellipses in the course of twenty-four hours; they are also so far
affected by the alternations of day and night that they generally, or at
least often, move periodically to a small extent; and here we have a basis
for the development of the greater nyctitropic movements. That the
movements of leaves and cotyledons which do not sleep come within the class
of circumnutating movements cannot be doubted, for they are closely similar
to those of hypocotyls, epicotyls, the stems of mature plants, and of
various other organs. Now, if we take the simplest
[page 410]
case of a sleeping leaf, we see that it makes a single ellipse in the
twenty-four hours, which resembles one described by a non-sleeping leaf in
every respect, except that it is much larger. In both cases the course
pursued is often zigzag. As all non-sleeping leaves are incessantly
circumnutating, we must conclude that a part at least of the upward and
downward movement of one that sleeps, is due to ordinary circumnutation;
and it seems altogether gratuitous to rank the remainder of the movement
under a wholly different head. With a multitude of climbing plants the
ellipses which they describe have been greatly increased for another
purpose, namely, catching hold of a support. With these climbing plants,
the various circumnutating organs have been so far modified in relation to
light that, differently from all ordinary plants, they do not bend towards
it. with sleeping plants the rate and amplitude of the movements of the
leaves have been so far modified in relation to light, that they move in a
certain direction with the waning light of the evening and with the
increasing light of the morning more rapidly, and to a greater extent, than
at other hours.

But the leaves and cotyledons of many non-sleeping plants move in a much
more complex manner than in the cases just alluded to, for they describe
two, three, or more ellipses in the course of a day. Now, if a plant of
this kind were converted into one that slept, one side of one of the
several ellipses which each leaf daily describes, would have to be greatly
increased in length in the evening, until the leaf stood vertically, when
it would go on circumnutating about the same spot. On the following
morning, the side of another ellipse would have to be similarly increased
in length so as to bring the leaf back again into its diurnal position,
when it would again circumnutate
[page 411]
until the evening. If the reader will look, for instance, at the diagram
(Fig. 142, p. 351), representing the nyctitropic movements of the terminal
leaflet of Trifolium subterraneum, remembering that the curved broken lines
at the top ought to be prolonged much higher up, he will see that the great
rise in the evening and the great fall in the morning together form a large
ellipse like one of those described during the daytime, differing only in
size. Or, he may look at the diagram (Fig. 103, p. 236) of the 3 ½ ellipses
described in the course of 6 h. 35 m. by a leaf of Lupinus speciosus, which
is one of the species in this genus that does not sleep; and he will see
that by merely prolonging upwards the line which was already rising late in
the evening, and bringing it down again next morning, the diagram would
represent the movements of a sleeping plant.

With those sleeping plants which describe several ellipses in the daytime,
and which travel in a strongly zigzag line, often making in their course
minute loops, triangles, etc., if as soon as one of the ellipses begins in
the evening to be greatly increased in size, dots are made every 2 or 3
minutes and these are joined, the line then described is almost strictly
rectilinear, in strong contrast with the lines made during the daytime.
This was observed with Desmodium gyrans and Mimosa pudica. With this latter
plant, moreover, the pinnae converge in the evening by a steady movement,
whereas during the day they are continually converging and diverging to a
slight extent. In all such cases it was scarcely possible to observe the
difference in the movement during the day and evening, without being
convinced that in the evening the plant saves the expenditure of force by
not moving laterally, and that its whole energy is now expended
[page 412]
in gaining quickly its proper nocturnal position by a direct course. In
several other cases, for instance, when a leaf after describing during the
day one or more fairly regular ellipses, zigzags much in the evening, it
appears as if energy was being expended, so that the great evening rise or
fall might coincide with the period of the day proper for this movement.

The most complex of all the movements performed by sleeping plants, is that
when leaves or leaflets, after describing in the daytime several vertically
directed ellipses, rotate greatly on their axes in the evening, by which
twisting movement they occupy a wholly different position at night to what
they do during the day. For instance, the terminal leaflets of Cassia not
only move vertically downwards in the evening, but twist round, so that
their lower surfaces face outwards. Such movements are wholly, or almost
wholly, confined to leaflets provided with a pulvinus. But this torsion is
not a new kind of movement introduced solely for the purpose of sleep; for
it has been shown that some leaflets whilst describing their ordinary
ellipses during the daytime rotate slightly, causing their blades to face
first to one side and then to another. Although we can see how the slight
periodical movements of leaves in a vertical plane could be easily
converted into the greater yet simple nyctitropic movements, we do not at
present know by what graduated steps the more complex movements, effected
by the torsion of the pulvini, have been acquired. A probable explanation
could be given in each case only after a close investigation of the
movements in all the allied forms.

From the facts and considerations now advanced we may conclude that
nyctitropism, or the sleep of leaves
[page 413]
and cotyledons, is merely a modification of their ordinary circumnutating
movement, regulated in its period and amplitude by the alternations of
light and darkness. The object gained is the protection of the upper
surfaces of the leaves from radiation at night, often combined with the
mutual protection of the several parts by their close approximation. In
such cases as those of the leaflets of Cassia--of the terminal leaflets of
Melilotus--of all the leaflets of Arachis, Marsilea, etc.--we have ordinary
circumnutation modified to the extreme extent known to us in any of the
several great classes of modified circumnutation. On this view of the
origin of nyctitropism we can understand how it is that a few plants,
widely distributed throughout the Vascular series, have been able to
acquire the habit of placing the blades of their leaves vertically at
night, that is, of sleeping,--a fact otherwise inexplicable.

The leaves of some plants move during the day in a manner, which has
improperly been called diurnal sleep; for when the sun shines brightly on
them, they direct their edges towards it. To such cases we shall recur in
the following chapter on Heliotropism. It has been shown that the leaflets
of one form of Porlieria hygrometrica keep closed during the day, as long
as the plant is scantily supplied with water, in the same manner as when
asleep; and this apparently serves to check evaporation. There is only one
other analogous case known to us, namely, that of certain Gramineae, which
fold inwards the sides of their narrow leaves, when these are exposed to
the sun and to a dry atmosphere, as described by Duval-Jouve.* We have also
observed the same phenomenon in Elymus arenareus.

* 'Annal. des Sc. Nat. (Bot.),' 1875, tom. i. pp. 326-329.
[page 414]

There is another movement, which since the time of Linnaeus has generally
been called sleep, namely, that of the petals of the many flowers which
close at night. These movements have been ably investigated by Pfeffer, who
has shown (as was first observed by Hofmeister) that they are caused or
regulated more by temperature than by the alternations of light and
darkness. Although they cannot fail to protect the organs of reproduction
from radiation at night, this does not seem to be their chief function, but
rather the protection of the organs from cold winds, and especially from
rain, during the day. the latter seems probable, as Kerner* has shown that
a widely different kind of movement, namely, the bending down of the upper
part of the peduncle, serves in many cases the same end. The closure of the
flowers will also exclude nocturnal insects which may be ill-adapted for
their fertilisation, and the well-adapted kinds at periods when the
temperature is not favourable for fertilisation. Whether these movements of
the petals consist, as is probable, of modified circumnutation we do not
know.

Embryology of Leaves.--A few facts have been incidentally given in this
chapter on what may be called the embryology of leaves. With most plants
the first leaf which is developed after the cotyledons, resembles closely
the leaves produced by the mature plant, but this is not always the case.
the first leaves produced by some species of Drosera, for instance by D.
Capensis, differ widely in shape from those borne by the mature plant, and
resemble closely the leaves of D. rotundifolia, as was shown to us by Prof.
Williamson of Manchester. The first true leaf of

* 'Die Schutzmittel des Pollens,' 1873, pp. 30-39.
[page 415]

the gorse, or Ulex, is not narrow and spinose like the older leaves. On the
other hand, with many Leguminous plants, for instance, Cassia, Acacia
lophantha, etc., the first leaf has essentially the same character as the
older leaves, excepting that it bears fewer leaflets. In Trifolium the
first leaf generally bears only a single leaflet instead of three, and this
differs somewhat in shape from the corresponding leaflet on the older
leaves. Now, with Trifolium Pannonicum the first true leaf on some
seedlings was unifoliate, and on others completely trifoliate; and between
these two extreme states there were all sorts of gradations, some seedlings
bearing a single leaflet more or less deeply notched on one or both sides,
and some bearing a single additional and perfect lateral leaflet. Here,
then, we have the rare opportunity of seeing a structure proper to a more
advanced age, in the act of gradually encroaching on and replacing an
earlier or embryological condition.

The genus Melilotus is closely allied to Trifolium, and the first leaf
bears only a single leaflet, which at night rotates on its axis so as to
present one lateral edge to the zenith. Hence it sleeps like the terminal
leaflet of a mature plant, as was observed in 15 species, and wholly unlike
the corresponding leaflet of Trifolium, which simply bends upwards. It is
therefore a curious fact that in one of these 15 species, viz., M. Taurica
(and in a lesser degree in two others), leaves arising from young shoots,
produced on plants which had been cut down and kept in pots during the
winter in the green-house, slept like the leaves of a Trifolium, whilst the
leaves on the fully-grown branches on these same plants afterwards slept
normally like those of a Melilotus. If young shoots rising from the ground
may be considered as new individuals, partaking to a certain extent of the
nature of seedlings, then the peculiar manner in which their leaves slept
may be considered
[page 416]
as an embryological habit, probably the result of Melilotus being descended
from some form which slept like a Trifolium. This view is partially
supported by the leaves on old and young branches of another species, M.
Messanensis (not included in the above 15 species), always sleeping like
those of a Trifolium.

The first true leaf of Mimosa albida consists of a simple petiole, often
bearing three pairs of leaflets, all of which are of nearly equal size and
of the same shape: the second leaf differs widely from the first, and
resembles that on a mature plant (see Fig. 159, p. 379), for it consists of
two pinnae, each of which bears two pairs of leaflets, of which the inner
basal one is very small. But at the base of each pinna there is a pair of
minute points, evidently rudiments of leaflets, for they are of unequal
sizes, like the two succeeding leaflets. These rudiments are in one sense
embryological, for they exist only during the youth of the leaf, falling
off and disappearing as soon as it is fully grown.

With Desmodium gyrans the two lateral leaflets are very much smaller than
the corresponding leaflets in most of the species in this large genus; they
vary also in position and size; one or both are sometimes absent; and they
do not sleep like the fully-developed leaflets. They may therefore be
considered as almost rudimentary; and in accordance with the general
principles of embryology, they ought to be more constantly and fully
developed on very young than on old plants. But this is not the case, for
they were quite absent on some young seedlings, and did not appear until
from 10 to 20 leaves had been formed. This fact leads to the suspicion that
D. gyrans is descended through a unifoliate form (of which some exist) from
a trifoliate species; and that the little lateral leaflets reappear through
reversion. However this may be,
[page 417]
the interesting fact of the pulvini or organs of movement of these little
leaflets, not having been reduced nearly so much as their blades--taking
the large terminal leaflet as the standard of comparison--gives us probably
the proximate cause of their extraordinary power of gyration.
[page 418]


CHAPTER VIII.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: MOVEMENTS EXCITED BY LIGHT.

Distinction between heliotropism and the effects of light on the
periodicity of the movements of leaves--Heliotropic movements of Beta,
Solanum, Zea, and Avena--Heliotropic movements towards an obscure light in
Apios, Brassica, Phalaris, Tropaeolum, and Cassia--Apheliotropic movements
of tendrils of Bignonia--Of flower-peduncles of Cyclamen--Burying of the
pods--Heliotropism and apheliotropism modified forms of circumnutation--
Steps by which one movement is converted into the other--
Transversal-heliotropismus or diaheliotropism influenced by epinasty, the
weight of the part and apogeotropism--Apogeotropism overcome during the
middle of the day by diaheliotropism--Effects of the weight of the blades
of cotyledons--So called diurnal sleep--Chlorophyll injured by intense
light--Movements to avoid intense light

SACHS first clearly pointed out the important difference between the action
of light in modifying the periodic movements of leaves, and in causing them
to bend towards its source.* The latter, or heliotropic movements are
determined by the direction of the light, whilst periodic movements are
affected by changes in its intensity and not by its direction. The
periodicity of the circumnutating movement often continues for some time in
darkness, as we have seen in the last chapter; whilst heliotropic bending
ceases very quickly when the light fails. Nevertheless, plants which have
ceased through long-continued darkness to move periodically, if re-exposed
to the light are still, according to Sachs, heliotropic.

Apheliotropism, or, as usually designated, negative

* 'Physiologie Veg.' (French Translation), 1868, pp. 42, 517, etc.
[page 419]

heliotropism, implies that a plant, when unequally illuminated on the two
sides, bends from the light, instead of, as in the last sub-class of cases,
towards it; but apheliotropism is comparatively rare, at least in a
well-marked degree. There is a third and large sub-class of cases, namely,
those of "transversal-Heliotropismus" of Frank, which we will here call
diaheliotropism. Parts of plants, under this influence, place themselves
more or less transversely to the direction whence the light proceeds, and
are thus fully illuminated. There is a fourth sub-class, as far as the
final cause of the movement is concerned; for the leaves of some plants
when exposed to an intense and injurious amount of light direct themselves,
by rising or sinking or twisting, so as to be less intensely illuminated.
Such movements have sometimes been called diurnal sleep. If thought
advisable, they might be called paraheliotropic, and this term would
correspond with our other terms.

It will be shown in the present chapter that all the movements included in
these four sub-classes, consist of modified circumnutation. We do not
pretend to say that if a part of a plant, whilst still growing, did not
circumnutate--though such a supposition is most improbable--it could not
bend towards the light; but, as a matter of fact, heliotropism seems always
to consist of modified circumnutation. Any kind of movement in relation to
light will obviously be much facilitated by each part circumnutating or
bending successively in all directions, so that an already existing
movement has only to be increased in some one direction, and to be lessened
or stopped in the other directions, in order that it should become
heliotropic, apheliotropic, etc., as the case may be. In the next chapter
some observations on the sensitiveness of plants to light, their
[page 420]
rate of bending towards it, and the accuracy with which they point towards
its source, etc., will be given. Afterwards it will be shown--and this
seems to us a point of much interest--that sensitiveness to light is
sometimes confined to a small part of the plant; and that this part when
stimulated by light, transmits an influence to distant parts, exciting them
to bend.

Heliotropism.--When a plant which is strongly heliotropic (and species
differ much in this respect) is exposed to a bright lateral light, it bends
quickly towards it, and the course pursued by the stem is quite or nearly
straight. But if the light is much dimmed, or occasionally interrupted, or
admitted in only a slightly oblique direction, the course pursued is more
or less zigzag; and as we have seen and shall again see, such zigzag
movement results from the elongation or drawing out of the ellipses, loops,
etc., which the plant would have described, if it had been illuminated from
above. On several occasions we were much struck with this fact, whilst
observing the circumnutation of highly sensitive seedlings, which were
unintentionally illuminated rather obliquely, or only at successive
intervals of time.

Fig. 168. Beta vulgaris: circumnutation of hypocotyl, deflected by the
light being slightly lateral, traced on a horizontal glass from 8.30 A.M.
to 5.30 P.M. Direction of the lighted taper by which it was illuminated
shown by a line joining the first and penultimate dots. Figure reduced to
one-third of the original scale.

[For instance two young seedlings of Beta vulgaris were placed in the
middle of a room with north-east windows, and were kept covered up, except
during each observation which lasted for only a minute or two; but the
result was that their hypocotyls bowed themselves to the side, whence some
light occasionally entered, in lines which were
[page 421]
only slightly zigzag. Although not a single ellipse was even approximately
formed, we inferred from the zigzag lines - and, as it proved, correctly--
that their hypocotyls were circumnutating, for on the following day these
same seedlings were placed in a completely darkened room, and were observed
each time by the aid of a small wax taper held almost directly above them,
and their movements were traced on a horizontal glass above; and now their
hypocotyls clearly circumnutated (Fig. 168, and Fig. 39, formerly given, p.
52); yet they moved a short distance towards the side where the taper was
held up. If we look at these diagrams, and suppose that the taper had been
held more on one side, and that the hypocotyls, still circumnutating, had
bent themselves within the same time much more towards the light, long
zigzag lines would obviously have been the result.

Fig. 169. Avena sativa: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of
sheath-like cotyledon (1 ½ inch in height) traced on horizontal glass from
8 A.M. to 10.25 P.M. Oct. 16th.

Again, two seedlings of Solanum lycopersicum were illuminated from above,
but accidentally a little more light entered on one than on any other side,
and their hypocotyls became slightly bowed towards the brighter side; they
moved in a zigzag line and described in their course two little triangles,
as seen in Fig. 37 (p. 50), and in another tracing not given. The
sheath-like cotyledons of Zea mays behaved, under nearly similar
circumstances, in a nearly similar manner as described in our first chapter
(p. 64), for they bowed themselves during the whole day towards one side,
making, however, in their course some conspicuous flexures. Before we knew
how greatly ordinary circumnutation was modified by a lateral light, some
seedling oats, with rather old and therefore not highly sensitive
cotyledons, were placed in front of a north-east window, towards which they
bent all day in a strongly zigzag course. On the following day they
continued to bend in the same direction (Fig. 169), but zigzagged much
less. The sky, however, became between 12.40 and 2.35 P.M.
[page 422]
overcast with extraordinarily dark thunder-clouds, and it was interesting
to note how plainly the cotyledons circumnutated during this interval.

The foregoing observations are of some value, from having been made when we
were not attending to heliotropism; and they led us to experiment on
several kinds of seedlings, by exposing them to a dim lateral light, so as
to observe the gradations between ordinary circumnutation and heliotropism.
Seedlings in pots were placed in front of, and about a yard from, a
north-east window; on each side and over the pots black boards were placed;
in the rear the pots were open to the diffused light of the room, which had
a second north-east and a north-west window. By hanging up one or more
blinds before the window where the seedlings stood, it was easy to dim the
light, so that very little more entered on this side than on the opposite
one, which received the diffused light of the room. Late in the evening the
blinds were successively removed, and as the plants had been subjected
during the day to a very obscure light, they continued to bend towards the
window later in the evening than would otherwise have occurred. Most of the
seedlings were selected because they were known to be highly sensitive to
light, and some because they were but little sensitive, or had become so
from having grown old. The movements were traced in the usual manner on a
horizontal glass cover; a fine glass filament with little triangles of
paper having been cemented in an upright position to the hypocotyls.
Whenever the stem or hypocotyl became much bowed towards the light, the
latter part of its course had to be traced on a vertical glass, parallel to
the window, and at right angles to the horizontal glass cover.
Fig. 170. Apios graveolens: heliotropic movement of hypocotyl (.45 of inch
in height) towards a moderately bright lateral light, traced on a
horizontal glass from 8.30 A.M. to 11.30 A.M. Sept. 18th. Figure reduced to
one-third of original scale.

Apios graveolens.--The hypocotyl bends in a few hours rectan-
[page 423]
gularly towards a bright lateral light. In order to ascertain how straight
a course it would pursue when fairly well illuminated on one side,
seedlings were first placed before a south-west window on a cloudy and
rainy morning; and the movement of two hypocotyls were traced for 3 h.,
during which time they became greatly bowed towards the light. One of these
tracings is given on p. 422 (Fig. 170), and the course may be seen to be
almost straight. But the amount of light on this occasion was superfluous,
for two seedlings were placed before a north-east window, protected by an
ordinary linen and two muslin blinds, yet their hypocotyls moved towards
this rather dim light in only slightly zigzag lines; but after 4 P.M., as
the light waned, the lines became distinctly zigzag. One of these
seedlings, moreover, described in the afternoon an ellipse of considerable
size, with its longer axis directed towards the window.

We now determined that the light should be made dim enough, so we began by
exposing several seedlings before a north-east window, protected by one
linen blind, three muslin blinds, and a towel. But so little light entered
that a pencil cast no perceptible shadow on a white card, and the
hypocotyls did not bend at all towards the window. During this time, from
8.15 to 10.50 A.M., the hypocotyls zigzagged or circumnutated near the same
spot, as may be seen at A, in Fig. 171. The towel, therefore, was removed
at 10.50 A.M., and replaced by two muslin blinds, and now the light passed
through one ordinary linen and four muslin blinds. When a pencil was held
upright on a card close to the seedlings, it cast a shadow (pointing from
the window) which could only just be distinguished. Yet this very slight
excess of light on one side sufficed to cause the hypocotyls of all the
seedlings immediately to begin bending in zigzag lines towards the window.
The course of one is shown at A (Fig. 171): after moving towards the window
from 10.50 A.M. to 12.48 P.M. it bent from the window, and then returned in
a nearly parallel line; that is, it almost completed between 12.48 and 2
P.M. a narrow ellipse. Late in the evening, as the light waned, the
hypocotyl ceased to bend towards the window, and circumnutated on a small
scale round the same spot; during the night it moved considerably
backwards, that is, became more upright, through the action of
apogeotropism. At B, we have a tracing of the movements of another seedling
from the hour (10.50 A.M.) when the towel was removed; and it is in all
essential respects
[page 424]
similar to the previous one. In these two cases there could be no doubt
that the ordinary circumnutating movement of the hypocotyl was modified and
rendered heliotropic.

Fig. 171. Apios graveolens: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of the
hypocotyls of two seedlings towards a dim lateral light, traced on a
horizontal glass during the day. The broken lines show their return
nocturnal courses. Height of hypocotyl of A .5, and of B .55 inch. Figure
reduced to one-half of original scale.

Brassica oleracea.--The hypocotyl of the cabbage, when not disturbed by a
lateral light, circumnutates in a complicated
[page 425]
manner over nearly the same space, and a figure formerly given is here
reproduced (Fig. 172). If the hypocotyl is exposed to a moderately strong
lateral light it moves quickly towards this side, travelling in a straight,
or nearly straight, line. But when the lateral light is very dim its course
is extremely tortuous, and evidently consists of modified circumnutation.
Seedlings were placed before a north-east window, protected by a linen and
muslin blind and by a towel. The sky was cloudy, and whenever the clouds
grew a little lighter an additional muslin blind was temporarily suspended.
The light from the window was

Fig. 172. Brassica oleracea: ordinary circumnutating movement of the
hypocotyl of a seedling plant.

thus so much obscured that, judging by the unassisted eye, the seedlings
appeared to receive more light from the interior of the room than from the
window; but this was not really the case, as was shown by a very faint
shadow cast by a pencil on a card. Nevertheless, this extremely small
excess of light on one side caused the hypocotyls, which in the morning had
stood upright, to bend at right angles towards the window, so that in the
evening (after 4.23 P.M.) their course had to be traced on a vertical glass
parallel to the window. It should be stated that at 3.30 P.M., by which
time the sky had become darker, the towel was removed and replaced by an
additional muslin blind, which itself was removed at 4 P.M., the other two
[page 426]
blinds being left suspended. In Fig. 173 the course pursued, between 8.9
A.M. and 7.10 P.M., by one of the hypocotyls thus

Fig. 173. Brassica oleracea: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of a
hypocotyl towards a very dim lateral light, traced during 11 hours, on a
horizontal glass in the morning, and on a vertical glass in the evening.
Figure reduced to one-third of the original scale.

exposed is shown. It may be observed that during the first 16 m. the
hypocotyl moved obliquely from the light, and this,
[page 427]
no doubt, was due to its then circumnutating in this direction. Similar
cases were repeatedly observed, and a dim light rarely or never produced
any effect until from a quarter to three-quarters of an hour had elapsed.
After 5.15 P.M., by which time the light had become obscure, the hypocotyl
began to circumnutate about the same spot. The contrast between the two
figures (172 and 173) would have been more striking, if they had been
originally drawn on the same scale, and had been equally reduced. But the
movements shown in Fig. 172 were at first more magnified, and have been
reduced to only one-half of the original scale; whereas those in Fig. 173
were at first less magnified, and have been reduced to a one-third scale. A
tracing made at the same time with the last of the movements of a second
hypocotyl, presented a closely analogous appearance; but it did not bend
quite so much towards the light, and it circumnutated rather more plainly.

Fig. 174. Phalaris Canariensis: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of
a rather old cotyledon, towards a dull lateral light, traced on a
horizontal glass from 8.15 A.M. Sept. 16th to 7.45 A.M. 17th. Figure
reduced to one-third of original scale.

Phalaris Canariensis.--The sheath-like cotyledons of this monocotyledonous
plant were selected for trial, because they are very sensitive to light and
circumnutate well, as formerly shown (see Fig. 49, p. 63). Although we felt
no doubt about the result, some seedlings were first placed before a
south-west window on a moderately bright morning, and the movements of one
were traced. As is so common, it moved
[page 428]
for the first 45 m. in a zigzag line; it then felt the full influence of
the light, and travelled towards it for the next 2 h. 30 m. in an almost
straight line. The tracing has not been given, as it was almost identical
with that of Apios under similar circumstances (Fig. 170). By noon it had
bowed itself to its full extent; it then circumnutated about the same spot
and described two ellipses; by 5 P.M. it had retreated considerably from
the light, through the action of apogeotropism. After some preliminary
trials for ascertaining the right degree of obscurity, some seedlings were
placed (Sept. 16th) before a north-east window, and light was admitted
through an ordinary linen and three muslin blinds. A pencil held close by
the pot now cast a very faint shadow on a white card, pointing from the
window. In the evening, at 4.30 and again at 6 P.M., some of the blinds
were removed. In Fig. 174 we see the course pursued under these
circumstances by a rather old and not very sensitive cotyledon, 1.9 inch in
height, which became much bowed, but was never rectangularly bent towards
the light. From 11 A.M., when the sky became rather duller, until 6.30
P.M., the zigzagging was conspicuous, and evidently consisted of drawn-out
ellipses. After 6.30 P.M. and during the night, it retreated in a crooked
line from the window. Another and younger seedling moved during the same
time much more quickly and to a much greater distance, in an only slightly
zigzag line towards the light; by 11 A.M. it was bent almost rectangularly
in this direction, and now circumnutated about the same place.

Tropaeolum majus.--Some very young seedlings, bearing only two leaves, and
therefore not as yet arrived at the climbing stage of growth, were first
tried before a north-east window without any blind. The epicotyls bowed
themselves towards the light so rapidly that in little more than 3 h. their
tips pointed rectangularly towards it. The lines traced were either nearly
straight or slightly zigzag; and in this latter case we see that a trace of
circumnutation was retained even under the influence of a moderately bright
light. Twice whilst these epicotyls were bending towards the window, dots
were made every 5 or 6 minutes, in order to detect any trace of lateral
movement, but there was hardly any; and the lines formed by their junction
were nearly straight, or only very slightly zigzag, as in the other parts
of the figures. After the epicotyls had bowed themselves to the full extent
towards the light, ellipses of considerable size were described in the
usual manner.
[page 429]

After having seen how the epicotyls moved towards a moderately bright
light, seedlings were placed at 7.48 A.M. (Sept. 7th) before a north-east
window, covered by a towel, and shortly afterwards by an ordinary linen
blind, but the epicotyls still moved towards the window. At 9.13 A.M. two
additional muslin blinds were suspended, so that the seedlings received
very little more light from the window than from the interior of the room.
The sky varied in brightness, and the seedlings occasionally

Fig. 175. Tropaeolum majus: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of the
epicotyl of a young seedling towards a dull lateral light, traced on a
horizontal glass from 7.48 A.M. to 10.40 P.M. Figure reduced to one-half of
the original scale.

received for a short time less light from the window than from the opposite
side (as ascertained by the shadow cast), and then one of the blinds was
temporarily removed. In the evening the blinds were taken away, one by one.
the course pursued by an epicotyl under these circumstances is shown in
Fig. 175. During the whole day, until 6.45 P.M., it plainly bowed itself
towards the light; and the tip moved over a considerable space. After 6.45
P.M. it moved backwards, or from the window, till
[page 430]
10.40 P.M., when the last dot was made. Here, then, we have a distinct
heliotropic movement, effected by means of six elongated figures (which if
dots had been made every few minutes would have been more or less elliptic)
directed towards the light, with the apex of each successive ellipse nearer
to the window than the previous one. Now, if the light had been only a
little brighter, the epicotyl would have bowed itself more to the light, as
we may safely conclude from the previous trials; there would also have been
less lateral movement, and the ellipses or other figures would have been
drawn out into a strongly marked zigzag line, with probably one or two
small loops still formed. If the light had been much brighter, we should
have had a slightly zigzag line, or one quite straight, for there would
have been more movement in the direction of the light, and much less from
side to side.

Fig. 176. Tropaeolum majus: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of an
old internode towards a lateral light, traced on a horizontal glass from 8
A.M. Nov. 2nd to 10.20 A.M. Nov. 4th. Broken lines show the nocturnal
course.

Sachs states that the older internodes of this Tropaeolum are
apheliotropic; we therefore placed a plant, 11 3/4 inches high, in a box,
blackened within, but open on one side in front of a north-east window
without any blind. A filament was fixed to the third internode from the
summit on one plant, and to the fourth internode of another. These
internodes were either not old enough, or the light was not sufficiently
bright, to induce apheliotropism, for both plants bent slowly towards,
instead of from the window during four days. The course, during two days of
the first-mentioned internode, is given in Fig. 176; and we see that it
either circumnutated on a small scale, or travelled in a zigzag line
towards the light. We have thought this case of feeble heliotropism in one
of the older internodes of a plant,
[page 431]
which, whilst young, is so extremely sensitive to light, worth giving.

Fig. 177. Cassia tora: heliotropic movement and circumnutation of a
hypocotyl (1 ½ inch in height) traced on a horizontal glass from 8 A.M. to
10.10 P.M. Oct. 7th. Also its circumnutation in darkness from 7 A.M. Oct.
8th to 7.45 A.M. Oct. 9th.

Cassia tora.--The cotyledons of this plant are extremely sensitive to
light, whilst the hypocotyls are much less sensitive than those of most
other seedlings, as we had often observed with surprise. It seemed
therefore worth while to trace their movements. They were exposed to a
lateral light before a north-east window, which was at first covered merely
by a muslin blind, but as the sky grew brighter about 11 A.M., an
additional linen blind was suspended. After 4 P.M. one blind and then the
other was removed. The seedlings were protected on each side and above, but
were open to the diffused light of the room in the rear. Upright filaments
were fixed to the hypocotyls of two seedlings, which stood vertically in
the morning. The accompanying figure (Fig. 177) shows the course pursued by
one of them during two days; but it should be particularly noticed that
during the second day the seedlings were kept in darkness, and they then
circumnutated round nearly the same small space. On the first day (Oct.
7th) the hypocotyl moved from 8 A.M. to 12.23 P.M., toward the light in a
zigzag line, then turned abruptly to the left and afterwards described a
small ellipse. Another irregular
[page 432]
ellipse was completed between 3 P.M. and about 5.30 P.M., the hypocotyl
still bending towards the light. The hypocotyl was straight and upright in
the morning, but by 6 P.M. its upper half was bowed towards the light, so
that the chord of the arc thus formed stood at an angle of 20o with the
perpendicular. After 6 P.M. its course was reversed through the action of
apogeotropism, and it continued to bend from the window during the night,
as shown by the broken line. On the next day it was kept in the dark
(excepting when each observation was made by the aid of a taper), and the
course followed from 7 A.M. on the 8th to 7.45 A.M. on the 9th is here
likewise shown. The difference between the two parts of the figure (177),
namely that described during the daytime on the 7th, when exposed to a
rather dim lateral light, and that on the 8th in darkness, is striking. The
difference consists in the lines during the first day having been drawn out
in the direction of the light. The movements of the other seedling, traced
under the same circumstances, were closely similar.

Apheliotropism.--We succeeded in observing only two cases of
apheliotropism, for these are somewhat rare; and the movements are
generally so slow that they would have been very troublesome to trace.

Fig. 178. Bignonia capreolata: apheliotropic movement of a tendril, traced
on a horizontal glass from 6.45 A.M. July 19th to 10 A.M. 20th. Movements
as originally traced, little magnified, here reduced to two-thirds of the
original scale.

Bignonia capreolata.--No organ of any plant, as far as we have seen, bends
away so quickly from the light as do the tendrils of this Bignonia. They
are also remarkable from circumnutating much less regularly than most other
tendrils, often remaining stationary; they depend on apheliotropism for
coming into
[page 433]
contact with the trunks of trees.* The stem of a young plant was tied to a
stick at the base of a pair of fine tendrils, which projected almost
vertically upwards; and it was placed in front of a north-east window,
being protected on all other sides from the light. The first dot was made
at 6.45 A.M., and by 7.35 A.M. both tendrils felt the full influence of the
light, for they moved straight away from it until 9.20 A.M., when they
circumnutated for a time, still moving, but only a little, from the light
(see Fig. 178 of the left-hand tendril). After 3 P.M. they again moved
rapidly away from the light in zigzag lines. By a late hour in the evening
both had moved so far, that they pointed in a direct line from the light.
During the night they returned a little in a nearly opposite direction. On
the following morning they again moved from the light and converged, so
that by the evening they had become interlocked, still pointing from the
light. The right-hand tendril, whilst converging, zigzagged much more than
the one figured. Both tracings showed that the apheliotropic movement was a
modified form of circumnutation.

Cyclamen Persicum.--Whilst this plant is in flower the peduncles stand
upright, but their uppermost part is hooked so that the flower itself hangs
downwards. As soon as the pods begin to swell, the peduncles increase much
in length and slowly curve downwards, but the short, upper, hooked part
straightens itself. Ultimately the pods reach the ground, and if this is
covered with moss or dead leaves, they bury themselves. We have often seen
saucer-like depressions formed by the pods in damp sand or sawdust; and one
pod (.3 of inch in diameter) buried itself in sawdust for three-quarters of
its length.** We shall have occasion hereafter to consider the object
gained by this burying process. The peduncles can change the direction of
their curvature, for if a pot, with plants having their peduncles already
bowed downwards, be placed horizontally, they slowly bend at right angles
to their former direction towards the centre of the earth. We therefore at
first attributed the movement to geotropism; but a pot which had lain
horizontally with the pods

* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 1875, p. 97.

** The peduncles of several other species of Cyclamen twist themselves into
a spire, and according to Erasmus Darwin ('Botanic Garden,' Canto., iii. p.
126), the pods forcibly penetrate the earth. See also Grenier and Godron,
'Flore de France,' tom. ii. p. 459.
[page 434]

all pointing to the ground, was reversed, being still kept horizontal, so
that the pods now pointed directly upwards; it was then placed in a dark
cupboard, but the pods still pointed upwards after four days and nights.
The pot, in the same position, was next brought back into the light, and
after two days there was some bending downwards of the peduncles, and on
the fourth day two of them pointed to the centre of the earth, as did the
others after an additional day or two. Another plant, in a pot which had
always stood upright, was left in the dark cupboard for six days; it bore 3
peduncles, and only one became within this

Fig. 179. Cyclamen Persicum: downward apheliotropic movement of a
flower-peduncle, greatly magnified (about 47 times?), traced on a
horizontal glass from 1 P.M. Feb. 18th to 8 A.M. 21st.

time at all bowed downwards, and that doubtfully. The weight, therefore, of
the pods is not the cause of the bending down. This pot was then brought
back into the light, and after three days the peduncles were considerably
bowed downwards. We are thus led to infer that the downward curvature is
due to apheliotropism; though more trials ought to have been made.

In order to observe the nature of this movement, a peduncle bearing a large
pod which had reached and rested on the ground, was lifted a little up and
secured to a stick. A filament was fixed across the pod with a mark
beneath, and its move-
[page 435]
ment, greatly magnified, was traced on a horizontal glass during 67 h. The
plant was illuminated during the day from above. A copy of the tracing is
given on p. 434 (Fig. 179); and there can be no doubt that the descending
movement is one of modified circumnutation, but on an extremely small
scale. The observation was repeated on another pod, which had partially
buried itself in sawdust, and which was lifted up a quarter of an inch
above the surface; it described three very small circles in 24 h.
Considering the great length and thinness of the peduncles and the
lightness of the pods, we may conclude that they would not be able to
excavate saucer-like depressions in sand or sawdust, or bury themselves in
moss, etc., unless they were aided by their continued rocking or
circumnutating movement.]

Relation between Circumnutation and Heliotropism.--Any one who will look at
the foregoing diagrams, showing the movements of the stems of various
plants towards a lateral and more or less dimmed light, will be forced to
admit that ordinary circumnutation and heliotropism graduate into one
another. When a plant is exposed to a dim lateral light and continues
during the whole day bending towards it, receding late in the evening, the
movement unquestionably is one of heliotropism. Now, in the case of
Tropaeolum (Fig. 175) the stem or epicotyl obviously circumnutated during
the whole day, and yet it continued at the same time to move
heliotropically; this latter movement being effected by the apex of each
successive elongated figure or ellipse standing nearer to the light than
the previous one. In the case of Cassia (Fig. 177) the comparison of the
movement of the hypocotyl, when exposed to a dim lateral light and to
darkness, is very instructive; as is that between the ordinary
circumnutating movement of a seedling Brassica (Figs. 172, 173), or that of
Phalaris (Figs. 49, 174), and their heliotropic movement towards a window
protected by blinds. In both these cases,
[page 436]
and in many others, it was interesting to notice how gradually the stems
began to circumnutate as the light waned in the evening. We have therefore
many kinds of gradations from a movement towards the light, which must be
considered as one of circumnutation very slightly modified and still
consisting of ellipses or circles,--though a movement more or less strongly
zigzag, with loops or ellipses occasionally formed,--to a nearly straight,
or even quite straight, heliotropic course.

A plant, when exposed to a lateral light, though this may be bright,
commonly moves at first in a zigzag line, or even directly from the light;
and this no doubt is due to its circumnutating at the time in a direction
either opposite to the source of the light, or more or less transversely to
it. As soon, however, as the direction of the circumnutating movement
nearly coincides with that of the entering light, the plant bends in a
straight course towards the light, if this is bright. The course appears to
be rendered more and more rapid and rectilinear, in accordance with the
degree of brightness of the light--firstly, by the longer axes of the
elliptical figures, which the plant continues to describe as long as the
light remains very dim, being directed more or less accurately towards its
source, and by each successive ellipse being described nearer to the light.
Secondly, if the light is only somewhat dimmed, by the acceleration and
increase of the movement towards it, and by the retardation or arrestment
of that from the light, some lateral movement being still retained, for the
light will interfere less with a movement at right angles to its direction,
than with one in its own direction.*

* In his paper, 'Ueber orthotrope und plagiotrope Pflanzentheile'
('Arbeiten des Bot. Inst. in Würzburg,' Band ii. Heft ii.
[[page 437]]
1879), Sachs has discussed the manner in which geotropism and heliotropism
are affected by differences in the angles at which the organs of plants
stand with respect to the direction of the incident force.
[page 437]

The result is that the course is rendered more or less zigzag and unequal
in rate. Lastly, when the light is very bright all lateral movement is
lost; and the whole energy of the plant is expended in rendering the
circumnutating movement rectilinear and rapid in one direction alone,
namely, towards the light.

The common view seems to be that heliotropism is a quite distinct kind of
movement from circumnutation; and it may be urged that in the foregoing
diagrams we see heliotropism merely combined with, or superimposed on,
circumnutation. But if so, it must be assumed that a bright lateral light
completely stops circumnutation, for a plant thus exposed moves in a
straight line towards it, without describing any ellipses or circles. If
the light be somewhat obscured, though amply sufficient to cause the plant
to bend towards it, we have more or less plain evidence of still-continued
circumnutation. It must further be assumed that it is only a lateral light
which has this extraordinary power of stopping circumnutation, for we know
that the several plants above experimented on, and all the others which
were observed by us whilst growing, continue to circumnutate, however
bright the light may be, if it comes from above. Nor should it be forgotten
that in the life of each plant, circumnutation precedes heliotropism, for
hypocotyls, epicotyls, and petioles circumnutate before they have broken
through the ground and have ever felt the influence of light.

We are therefore fully justified, as it seems to us, in believing that
whenever light enters laterally, it is the
[page 438]
movement of circumnutation which gives rise to, or is converted into,
heliotropism and apheliotropism. On this view we need not assume against
all analogy that a lateral light entirely stops circumnutation; it merely
excites the plant to modify its movement for a time in a beneficial manner.
The existence of every possible gradation, between a straight course
towards a lateral light and a course consisting of a series of loops or
ellipses, becomes perfectly intelligible. Finally, the conversion of
circumnutation into heliotropism or apheliotropism, is closely analogous to
what takes place with sleeping plants, which during the daytime describe
one or more ellipses, often moving in zigzag lines and making little loops;
for when they begin in the evening to go to sleep, they likewise expend all
their energy in rendering their course rectilinear and rapid. In the case
of sleep-movements, the exciting or regulating cause is a difference in the
intensity of the light, coming from above, at different periods of the
twenty-four hours; whilst with heliotropic and apheliotropic movements, it
is a difference in the intensity of the light on the two sides of the
plant.

Transversal-heliotropismus (of Frank*) or Diaheliotropism.--The cause of
leaves placing themselves more or less transversely to the light, with
their upper surfaces directed towards it, has been of late the subject of
much controversy. We do not here refer to the object of the movement, which
no doubt is that their upper surfaces may be fully illuminated, but the
means by which this position is gained. Hardly a better or more simple
instance can be given

* 'Die natürliche Wagerechte Richtung von Pflanzentheilen,' 1870. See also
some interesting articles by the same author, "Zur Frage über
Transversal-Geo-und Heliotropismus," 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1873, p. 17 et seq.
[page 439]

of diaheliotropism than that offered by many seedlings, the cotyledons of
which are extended horizontally. When they first burst from their
seed-coats they are in contact and stand in various positions, often
vertically upwards; they soon diverge, and this is effected by epinasty,
which, as we have seen, is a modified form of circumnutation. After they
have diverged to their full extent, they retain nearly the same position,
though brightly illuminated all day long from above, with their lower
surfaces close to the ground and thus much shaded. There is therefore a
great contrast in the degree of illumination of their upper and lower
surfaces, and if they were heliotropic they would bend quickly upwards. It
must not, however, be supposed that such cotyledons are immovably fixed in
a horizontal position. When seedlings are exposed before a window, their
hypocotyls, which are highly heliotropic, bend quickly towards it, and the
upper surfaces of their cotyledons still remain exposed at right angles to
the light; but if the hypocotyl is secured so that it cannot bend, the
cotyledons themselves change their position. If the two are placed in the
line of the entering light, the one furthest from it rises up and that
nearest to it often sinks down; if placed transversely to the light, they
twist a little laterally; so that in every case they endeavour to place
their upper surfaces at right angles to the light. So it notoriously is
with the leaves on plants nailed against a wall, or grown in front of a
window. A moderate amount of light suffices to induce such movements; all
that is necessary is that the light should steadily strike the plants in an
oblique direction. With respect to the above twisting movement of
cotyledons, Frank has given many and much more striking instances in the
case of the leaves on
[page 440]
branches which had been fastened in various positions or turned upside
down.

In our observations on the cotyledons of seedling plants, we often felt
surprise at their persistent horizontal position during the day, and were
convinced before we had read Frank's essay, that some special explanation
was necessary. De Vries has shown* that the more or less horizontal
position of leaves is in most cases influenced by epinasty, by their own
weight, and by apogeotropism. A young cotyledon or leaf after bursting free
is brought down into its proper position, as already remarked, by epinasty,
which, according to De Vries, long continues to act on the midribs and
petioles. Weight can hardly be influential in the case of cotyledons,
except in a few cases presently to be mentioned, but must be so with large
and thick leaves. With respect to apogeotropism, De Vries maintains that it
generally comes into play, and of this fact we shall presently advance some
indirect evidence. But over these and other constant forces we believe that
there is in many cases, but we do not say in all, a preponderant tendency
in leaves and cotyledons to place themselves more or less transversely with
respect to the light.

In the cases above alluded to of seedlings exposed to a lateral light with
their hypocotyls secured, it is impossible that epinasty, weight and
apogeotropism, either in opposition or combined, can be the cause of the
rising of one cotyledon, and of the sinking of the other, since the forces
in question act equally on both; and since epinasty, weight and
apogeotropism all act in a vertical plane, they cannot cause the twisting
of the petioles, which occurs in seedlings under the

* 'Arbeiten des Bot. Instituts in Würzburg,' Heft. ii. 1872, pp. 223-277.
[page 441]

above conditions of illumination. All these movements evidently depend in
some manner on the obliquity of the light, but cannot be called
heliotropic, as this implies bending towards the light; whereas the
cotyledon nearest to the light bends in an opposed direction or downwards,
and both place themselves as nearly as possible at right angles to the
light. The movement, therefore, deserves a distinct name. As cotyledons and
leaves are continually oscillating up and down, and yet retain all day long
their proper position with their upper surfaces directed transversely to
the light, and if displaced reassume this position, diaheliotropism must be
considered as a modified form of circumnutation. This was often evident
when the movements of cotyledons standing in front of a window were traced.
We see something analogous in the case of sleeping leaves or cotyledons,
which after oscillating up and down during the whole day, rise into a
vertical position late in the evening, and on the following morning sink
down again into their horizontal or diaheliotropic position, in direct
opposition to heliotropism. This return into their diurnal position, which
often requires an angular movement of 90o, is analogous to the movement of
leaves on displaced branches, which recover their former positions. It
deserves notice that any force such as apogeotropism, will act with
different degrees of power* in the different positions of those leaves or
cotyledons which oscillate largely up and down during the day; and yet they
recover their horizontal or diaheliotropic position.

We may therefore conclude that diaheliotropic movements cannot be fully
explained by the direct action of light, gravitation, weight, etc., any
more

* See former note, in reference to Sachs' remarks on this subject.
[page 442]

than can the nyctitropic movements of cotyledons and leaves. In the latter
case they place themselves so that their upper surfaces may radiate at
night as little as possible into open space, with the upper surfaces of the
opposite leaflets often in contact. These movements, which are sometimes
extremely complex, are regulated, though not directly caused, by the
alternations of light and darkness. In the case of diaheliotropism,
cotyledons and leaves place themselves so that their upper surfaces may be
exposed to the light, and this movement is regulated, though not directly
caused, by the direction whence the light proceeds. In both cases the
movement consists of circumnutation modified by innate or constitutional
causes, in the same manner as with climbing plants, the circumnutation of
which is increased in amplitude and rendered more circular, or again with
very young cotyledons and leaves which are thus brought down into a
horizontal position by epinasty.

We have hitherto referred only to those leaves and cotyledons which occupy
a permanently horizontal position; but many stand more or less obliquely,
and some few upright. the cause of these differences of position is not
known; but in accordance with Wiesner's views, hereafter to be given, it is
probable that some leaves and cotyledons would suffer, if they were fully
illuminated by standing at right angles to the light.

We have seen in the second and fourth chapters that those cotyledons and
leaves which do not alter their positions at night sufficiently to be said
to sleep, commonly rise a little in the evening and fall again on the next
morning, so that they stand during the night at a rather higher inclination
than during the middle of the day. It is incredible that a rising movement
of 2o or 3o, or even of 10o or 20o, can be of
[page 443]
any service to the plant, so as to have been specially acquired. It must be
the result of some periodical change in the conditions to which they are
subjected, and there can hardly be a doubt that this is the daily
alternations of light and darkness. De Vries states in the paper before
referred to, that most petioles and midribs are apogeotropic;* and
apogeotropism would account for the above rising movement, which is common
to so many widely distinct species, if we suppose it to be conquered by
diaheliotropism during the middle of the day, as long as it is of
importance to the plant that its cotyledons and leaves should be fully
exposed to the light. The exact hour in the afternoon at which they begin
to bend slightly upwards, and the extent of the movement, will depend on
their degree of sensitiveness to gravitation and on their power of
resisting its action during the middle of the day, as well as on the
amplitude of their ordinary circumnutating movements; and as these
qualities differ much in different species, we might expect that the hour
in the afternoon at which they begin to rise would differ much in different
species, as is the case. Some other agency, however, besides apogeotropism,
must come into play, either directly or indirectly, in this upward
movement. Thus a young bean (Vicia faba), growing in a small pot, was
placed in front of a window in a klinostat; and at night the leaves rose a
little, although

* According to Frank ('Die nat. Wagerechte Richtung von Pflanzentheilen,'
1870, p. 46) the root-leaves of many plants, kept in darkness, rise up and
even become vertical; and so it is in some cases with shoots. (See
Rauwenhoff, 'Archives Néerlandaises,' tom. xii. p. 32.) These movements
indicate apogeotropism; but when organs have been long kept in the dark,
the amount of water and of mineral matter which they contain is so much
altered, and their regular growth is so much disturbed, that it is perhaps
rash to infer from their movements what would occur under normal
conditions. (See Godlewski, 'Bot. Zeitung,' Feb. 14th, 1879.)
[page 444]

the action of apogeotropism was quite eliminated. Nevertheless, they did
not rise nearly so much at night, as when subjected to apogeotropism. Is it
not possible, or even probable, that leaves and cotyledons, which have
moved upwards in the evening through the action of apogeotropism during
countless generations, may inherit a tendency to this movement? We have
seen that the hypocotyls of several Leguminous plants have from a remote
period inherited a tendency to arch themselves; and we know that the
sleep-movements of leaves are to a certain extent inherited, independently
of the alternations of light and darkness.

In our observations on the circumnutation of those cotyledons and leaves
which do not sleep at night, we met with hardly any distinct cases of their
sinking a little in the evening, and rising again in the morning,--that is,
of movements the reverse of those just discussed. We have no doubt that
such cases occur, inasmuch as the leaves of many plants sleep by sinking
vertically downwards. How to account for the few cases which were observed
must be left doubtful. The young leaves of Cannabis sativa sink at night
between 30o and 40o beneath the horizon; and Kraus attributes this to
epinasty in conjunction with the absorption of water. Whenever epinastic
growth is vigorous, it might conquer diaheliotropism in the evening, at
which time it would be of no importance to the plant to keep its leaves
horizontal. The cotyledons of Anoda Wrightii, of one variety of Gossypium,
and of several species of Ipomoea, remain horizontal in the evening whilst
they are very young; as they grow a little older they curve a little
downwards, and when large and heavy sink so much that they come under our
definition of sleep. In the case of
[page 445]
the Anoda and of some species of Ipomoea, it was proved that the downward
movement did not depend on the weight of the cotyledons; but from the fact
of the movement being so much more strongly pronounced after the cotyledons
have grown large and heavy, we may suspect that their weight aboriginally
played some part in determining that the modification of the circumnutating
movement should be in a downward direction.

The so-called Diurnal Sleep of Leaves, Or Paraheliotropism.--This is
another class of movements, dependent on the action of light, which
supports to some extent the belief that the movements above described are
only indirectly due to its action. We refer to the movements of leaves and
cotyledons which when moderately illuminated are diaheliotropic; but which
change their positions and present their edges to the light, when the sun
shines brightly on them. These movements have sometimes been called diurnal
sleep, but they differ wholly with respect to the object gained from those
properly called nyctitropic; and in some cases the position occupied during
the day is the reverse of that during the night.

[It has long been known* that when the sun shines brightly on the leaflets
of Robinia, they rise up and present their edges to the light; whilst their
position at night is vertically downwards. We have observed the same
movement, when the sun shone brightly on the leaflets of an Australian
Acacia. Those of Amphicarpaea monoica turned their edges to the sun; and an
analogous movement of the little almost rudimentary basal leaflets of
Mimosa albida was on one occasion so rapid that it could be distinctly seen
through a lens. the elongated, unifoliate, first leaves of Phaseolus
Roxburghii stood at 7 A.M. at 20o above the horizon, and no doubt they
afterwards sank a little lower. At noon, after having been exposed for
about 2 h. to

* Pfeffer gives the names and dates of several ancient writers in his 'Die
Periodischen Bewegungen,' 1875, p. 62.
[page 446]

a bright sun, they stood at 56o above the horizon; they were then protected
from the rays of the sun, but were left well illuminated from above, and
after 30 m. they had fallen 40o, for they now stood at only 16o above the
horizon. Some young plants of Phaseolus Hernandesii had been exposed to the
same bright sunlight, and their broad, unifoliate, first leaves now stood
up almost or quite vertically, as did many of the leaflets on the
trifoliate secondary leaves; but some of the leaflets had twisted round on
their own axes by as much as 90o without rising, so as to present their
edges to the sun. The leaflets on the same leaf sometimes behaved in these
two different manners, but always with the result of being less intensely
illuminated. These plants were then protected from the sun, and were looked
at after 1 ½ h.; and now all the leaves and leaflets had reassumed their
ordinary sub-horizontal positions. The copper-coloured cotyledons of some
seedlings of Cassia mimosoides were horizontal in the morning, but after
the sun had shone on them, each had risen 45 1/2o above the horizon. the
movement in these several cases must not be confounded with the sudden
closing of the leaflets of Mimosa pudica, which may sometimes be noticed
when a plant which has been kept in an obscure place is suddenly exposed to
the sun; for in this case the light seems to act, as if it were a touch.

From Prof. Wiesner's interesting observations, it is probable that the
above movements have been acquired for a special purpose. the chlorophyll
in leaves is often injured by too intense a light, and Prof. Wiesner*
believes that it is protected by the most diversified means, such as the
presence of hairs, colouring matter, etc., and amongst other means by the
leaves presenting their edges to the sun, so that the blades then receive
much less light. He experimented on the young leaflets of Robinia, by
fixing them in such a position that they could not escape being intensely
illuminated, whilst others were allowed to place themselves obliquely; and
the former began to suffer from the light in the course of two days.

In the cases above given, the leaflets move either upwards

* 'Die Näturlichen Einrichtungen zum Schutze des Chlorophylls,' etc., 1876.
Pringsheim has recently observed under the microscope the destruction of
chlorophyll in a few minutes by the action of concentrated light from the
sun, in the presence of oxygen. See, also, Stahl on the protection of
chlorophyll from intense light, in 'Bot. Zeitung,' 1880.
[page 447]

or twist laterally, so as to place their edges in the direction of the
sun's light; but Cohn long ago observed that the leaflets of Oxalis bend
downwards when fully exposed to the sun. We witnessed a striking instance
of this movement in the very large leaflets of O. Ortegesii. A similar
movement may frequently be observed with the leaflets of Averrhoa bilimbi
(a member of the Oxalidae); and a leaf is here represented (Fig. 180) on
which the sun had shone. A diagram (Fig. 134) was given in the last
chapter, representing the oscillations by which a leaflet rapidly descended
under these circumstances; and the movement may be seen closely to resemble
that (Fig. 133) by

Fig. 180. Averrhoa bilimbi: leaf with leaflets depressed after exposure to
sunshine; but the leaflets are sometimes more depressed than is here shown.
Figure much reduced.

which it assumed its nocturnal position. It is an interesting fact in
relation to our present subject that, as Prof. Batalin informs us in a
letter, dated February, 1879, the leaflets of Oxalis acetosella may be
daily exposed to the sun during many weeks, and they do not suffer if they
are allowed to depress themselves; but if this be prevented, they lose
their colour and wither in two or three days. Yet the duration of a leaf is
about two months, when subjected only to diffused light; and in this case
the leaflets never sink downwards during the day.]

As the upward movements of the leaflets of Robinia, and the downward
movements of those of Oxalis, have been proved to be highly beneficial to
these plants when subjected to bright sunshine, it seems probable that they
have been acquired for the special purpose of avoiding too intense an
illumination. As it would have been very troublesome in all the above cases
to
[page 448]
have watched for a fitting opportunity and to have traced the movement of
the leaves whilst they were fully exposed to the sunshine, we did not
ascertain whether paraheliotropism always consisted of modified
circumnutation; but this certainly was the case with the Averrhoa, and
probably with the other species, as their leaves were continually
circumnutating.
[page 449]


CHAPTER IX.

SENSITIVENESS OF PLANTS TO LIGHT: ITS TRANSMITTED EFFECTS.

Uses of heliotropism--Insectivorous and climbing plants not heliotropic--
Same organ heliotropic at one age and not at another--Extraordinary
sensitiveness of some plants to light--The effects of light do not
correspond with its intensity--Effects of previous illumination--Time
required for the action of light--After-effects of light--Apogeotropism
acts as soon as light fails--Accuracy with which plants bend to the light--
This dependent on the illumination of one whole side of the part--Localised
sensitiveness to light and its transmitted effects--Cotyledons of Phalaris,
manner of bending--Results of the exclusion of light from their tips--
Effects transmitted beneath the surface of the ground--Lateral illumination
of the tip determines the direction of the curvature of the base--
Cotyledons of Avena, curvature of basal part due to the illumination of
upper part--Similar results with the hypocotyls of Brassica and Beta--
Radicles of Sinapis apheliotropic, due to the sensitiveness of their tips--
Concluding remarks and summary of chapter--Means by which circumnutation
has been converted into heliotropism or apheliotropism.

NO one can look at the plants growing on a bank or on the borders of a
thick wood, and doubt that the young stems and leaves place themselves so
that the leaves may be well illuminated. They are thus enabled to decompose
carbonic acid. But the sheath-like cotyledons of some Gramineae, for
instance, those of Phalaris, are not green and contain very little starch;
from which fact we may infer that they decompose little or no carbonic
acid. Nevertheless, they are extremely heliotropic; and this probably
serves them in another way, namely, as a guide from the buried seeds
through fissures in the ground or through overlying masses of vegetation,
into the light and air. This view
[page 450]
is strengthened by the fact that with Phalaris and Avena the first true
leaf, which is bright green and no doubt decomposes carbonic acid, exhibits
hardly a trace of heliotropism. The heliotropic movements of many other
seedlings probably aid them in like manner in emerging from the ground; for
apogeotropism by itself would blindly guide them upwards, against any
overlying obstacle.

Heliotropism prevails so extensively among the higher plants, that there
are extremely few, of which some part, either the stem, flower-peduncle,
petiole, or leaf, does not bend towards a lateral light. Drosera
rotundifolia is one of the few plants the leaves of which exhibit no trace
of heliotropism. Nor could we see any in Dionaea, though the plants were
not so carefully observed. Sir J. Hooker exposed the pitchers of Sarracenia
for some time to a lateral light, but they did not bend towards it.* We can
understand the reason why these insectivorous plants should not be
heliotropic, as they do not live chiefly by decomposing carbonic acid; and
it is much more important to them that their leaves should occupy the best
position for capturing insects, than that they should be fully exposed to
the light.

Tendrils, which consist of leaves or of other organs modified, and the
stems of twining plants, are, as Mohl long ago remarked, rarely
heliotropic; and here again we can see the reason why, for if they had
moved towards a lateral light they would have been drawn away from their
supports. But some tendrils are apheliotropic, for instance those of
Bignonia capreolata

* According to F. Kurtz ('Verhandl. des Bot. Vereins der Provinz
Brandenburg,' Bd. xx. 1878) the leaves or pitchers of Darlingtonia
Californica are strongly apheliotropic. We failed to detect this movement
in a plant which we possessed for a short time.
[page 451]

and of Smilax aspera; and the stems of some plants which climb by rootlets,
as those of the Ivy and Tecoma radicans, are likewise apheliotropic, and
they thus find a support. The leaves, on the other hand, of most climbing
plants are heliotropic; but we could detect no signs of any such movement
in those of Mutisia clematis.

As heliotropism is so widely prevalent, and as twining plants are
distributed throughout the whole vascular series, the apparent absence of
any tendency in their stems to bend towards the light, seemed to us so
remarkable a fact as to deserve further investigation, for it implies that
heliotropism can be readily eliminated. When twining plants are exposed to
a lateral light, their stems go on revolving or circumnutating about the
same spot, without any evident deflection towards the light; but we thought
that we might detect some trace of heliotropism by comparing the average
rate at which the stems moved to and from the light during their successive
revolutions.* Three young plants (about a foot in height) of Ipomoea
caerulea and four of I. purpurea, growing in separate pots, were placed on
a bright day before a north-east window in a room otherwise darkened, with
the tips of their revolving stems fronting the window. When the tip of each
plant pointed directly from the window, and when again towards it, the
times were recorded. This was continued from 6.45 A.M. till a little after
2 P.M. on June 17th. After a few observations we concluded that we could
safely estimate the time

* Some erroneous statements are unfortunately given on this subject, in
'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 1875, pp. 28, 32, 40, and
53. Conclusions were drawn from an insufficient number of observations, for
we did not then know at how unequal a rate the stems and tendrils of
climbing plants sometimes travel in different parts of the same revolution.
[page 452]

taken by each semicircle, within a limit of error of at most 5 minutes.
Although the rate of movement in different parts of the same revolution
varied greatly, yet 22 semicircles to the light were completed, each on an
average in 73.95 minutes; and 22 semicircles from the light each in 73.5
minutes. It may, therefore, be said that they travelled to and from the
light at exactly the same average rate; though probably the accuracy of the
result was in part accidental. In the evening the stems were not in the
least deflected towards the window. Nevertheless, there appears to exist a
vestige of heliotropism, for with 6 out of the 7 plants, the first
semicircle from the light, described in the early morning after they had
been subjected to darkness during the night and thus probably rendered more
sensitive, required rather more time, and the first semicircle to the light
considerably less time, than the average. Thus with all 7 plants, taken
together, the mean time of the first semicircle in the morning from the
light, was 76.8 minutes, instead of 73.5 minutes, which is the mean of all
the semicircles during the day from the light; and the mean of the first
semicircle to the light was only 63.1, instead of 73.95 minutes, which was
the mean of all the semicircles during the day to the light.

Similar observations were made on Wistaria Sinensis, and the mean of 9
semicircles from the light was 117 minutes, and of 7 semicircles to the
light 122 minutes, and this difference does not exceed the probable limit
of error. During the three days of exposure, the shoot did not become at
all bent towards the window before which it stood. In this case the first
semicircle from the light in the early morning of each day, required rather
less time for its performance than did the first semicircle to the light;
and this result,
[page 453]
if not accidental, appears to indicate that the shoots retain a trace of an
original apheliotropic tendency. With Lonicera brachypoda the semicircles
from and to the light differed considerably in time; for 5 semicircles from
the light required on a mean 202.4 minutes, and 4 to the light, 229.5
minutes; but the shoot moved very irregularly, and under these
circumstances the observations were much too few.

It is remarkable that the same part on the same plant may be affected by
light in a widely different manner at different ages, and as it appears at
different seasons. The hypocotyledonous stems of Ipomoea caerulea and
purpurea are extremely heliotropic, whilst the stems of older plants, only
about a foot in height, are, as we have just seen, almost wholly insensible
to light. Sachs states (and we have observed the same fact) that the
hypocotyls of the Ivy (Hedera helix) are slightly heliotropic; whereas the
stems of plants grown to a few inches in height become so strongly
apheliotropic, that they bend at right angles away from the light.
Nevertheless, some young plants which had behaved in this manner early in
the summer again became distinctly heliotropic in the beginning of
September; and the zigzag courses of their stems, as they slowly curved
towards a north-east window, were traced during 10 days. The stems of very
young plants of Tropaeolum majus are highly heliotropic, whilst those of
older plants, according to Sachs, are slightly apheliotropic. In all these
cases the heliotropism of the very young stems serves to expose the
cotyledons, or when the cotyledons are hypogean the first true leaves,
fully to the light; and the loss of this power by the older stems, or their
becoming apheliotropic, is connected with their habit of climbing.

Most seedling plants are strongly heliotropic, and
[page 454]
it is no doubt a great advantage to them in their struggle for life to
expose their cotyledons to the light as quickly and as fully as possible,
for the sake of obtaining carbon. It has been shown in the first chapter
that the greater number of seedlings circumnutate largely and rapidly; and
as heliotropism consists of modified circumnutation, we are tempted to look
at the high development of these two powers in seedlings as intimately
connected. Whether there are any plants which circumnutate slowly and to a
small extent, and yet are highly heliotropic, we do not know; but there are
several, and there is nothing surprising in this fact, which circumnutate
largely and are not at all, or only slightly, heliotropic. Of such cases
Drosera rotundifolia offers an excellent instance. The stolons of the
strawberry circumnutate almost like the stems of climbing plants, and they
are not at all affected by a moderate light; but when exposed late in the
summer to a somewhat brighter light they were slightly heliotropic; in
sunlight, according to De Vries, they are apheliotropic. Climbing plants
circumnutate much more widely than any other plants, yet they are not at
all heliotropic.

Although the stems of most seedling plants are strongly heliotropic, some
few are but slightly heliotropic, without our being able to assign any
reason. This is the case with the hypocotyl of Cassia tora, and we were
struck with the same fact with some other seedlings, for instance, those of
Reseda odorata. With respect to the degree of sensitiveness of the more
sensitive kinds, it was shown in the last chapter that seedlings of several
species, placed before a north-east window protected by several blinds, and
exposed in the rear to the diffused light of the room, moved with unerring
certainty towards the window, although
[page 455]
it was impossible to judge, excepting by the shadow cast by an upright
pencil on a white card, on which side most light entered, so that the
excess on one side must have been extremely small.

A pot with seedlings of Phalaris Canariensis, which had been raised in
darkness, was placed in a completely darkened room, at 12 feet from a very
small lamp. After 3 h. the cotyledons were doubtfully curved towards the
light, and after 7 h. 40 m. from the first exposure, they were all plainly,
though slightly, curved towards the lamp. Now, at this distance of 12 feet,
the light was so obscure that we could not see the seedlings themselves,
nor read the large Roman figures on the white face of a watch, nor see a
pencil line on paper, but could just distinguish a line made with Indian
ink. It is a more surprising fact that no visible shadow was cast by a
pencil held upright on a white card; the seedlings, therefore, were acted
on by a difference in the illumination of their two sides, which the human
eye could not distinguish. On another occasion even a less degree of light
acted, for some cotyledons of Phalaris became slightly curved towards the
same lamp at a distance of 20 feet; at this distance we could not see a
circular dot 2.29 mm. (.09 inch) in diameter made with Indian ink on white
paper, though we could just see a dot 3.56 mm. (.14 inch) in diameter; yet
a dot of the former size appears large when seen in the light.*

We next tried how small a beam of light would act; as this bears on light
serving as a guide to seedlings whilst they emerge through fissured or
encumbered ground. A pot with seedlings of Phalaris was covered

* Strasburger says ('Wirkung des Lichtes auf Schwärmsporen,' 1878, p. 52),
that the spores of Haematococcus moved to a light which only just sufficed
to allow middle-sized type to be read.
[page 456]

by a tin-vessel, having on one side a circular hole 1.23 mm. in diameter
(i.e. a little less than the 1/20th of an inch); and the box was placed in
front of a paraffin lamp and on another occasion in front of a window; and
both times the seedlings were manifestly bent after a few hours towards the
little hole.

A more severe trial was now made; little tubes of very thin glass, closed
at their upper ends and coated with black varnish, were slipped over the
cotyledons of Phalaris (which had germinated in darkness) and just fitted
them. Narrow stripes of the varnish had been previously scraped off one
side, through which alone light could enter; and their dimensions were
afterwards measured under the microscope. As a control experiment, similar
unvarnished and transparent tubes were tried, and they did not prevent the
cotyledons bending towards the light. Two cotyledons were placed before a
south-west window, one of which was illuminated by a stripe in the varnish,
only .004 inch (0.1 mm.) in breadth and .016 inch (0.4 mm.) in length; and
the other by a stripe .008 inch in breadth and .06 inch in length. The
seedlings were examined after an exposure of 7 h. 40 m., and were found to
be manifestly bowed towards the light. Some other cotyledons were at the
same time treated similarly, excepting that the little stripes were
directed not to the sky, but in such a manner that they received only the
diffused light from the room; and these cotyledons did not become at all
bowed. Seven other cotyledons were illuminated through narrow, but
comparatively long, cleared stripes in the varnish--namely, in breadth
between .01 and .026 inch, and in length between .15 and .3 inch; and these
all became bowed to the side, by which light entered through the stripes,
whether these were directed towards the sky or to one side of
[page 457]
the room. That light passing through a hole only .004 inch in breadth by
.016 in length, should induce curvature, seems to us a surprising fact.

Before we knew how extremely sensitive the cotyledons of Phalaris were to
light, we endeavoured to trace their circumnutation in darkness by the aid
of a small wax taper, held for a minute or two at each observation in
nearly the same position, a little on the left side in front of the
vertical glass on which the tracing was made. The seedlings were thus
observed seventeen times in the course of the day, at intervals of from
half to three-quarters of an hour; and late in the evening we were
surprised to find that all the 29 cotyledons were greatly curved and
pointed towards the vertical glass, a little to the left where the taper
had been held. The tracings showed that they had travelled in zigzag lines.
Thus, an exposure to a feeble light for a very short time at the above
specified intervals, sufficed to induce well-marked heliotropism. An
analogous case was observed with the hypocotyls of Solanum lycopersicum. We
at first attributed this result to the after-effects of the light on each
occasion; but since reading Wiesner's observations,* which will be referred
to in the last chapter, we cannot doubt that an intermittent light is more
efficacious than a continuous one, as plants are especially sensitive to
any contrast in its amount.

The cotyledons of Phalaris bend much more slowly towards a very obscure
light than towards a bright one. Thus, in the experiments with seedlings
placed in a dark room at 12 feet from a very small lamp, they were just
perceptibly and doubtfully curved towards it after 3 h., and only slightly,
yet certainly, after 4 h.

* 'Sitz. der k. Akad. der Wissensch.' (Vienna), Jan. 1880, p. 12.
[page 458]

After 8 h. 40 m. the chords of their arcs were deflected from the
perpendicular by an average angle of only 16o. Had the light been bright,
they would have become much more curved in between 1 and 2 h. Several
trials were made with seedlings placed at various distances from a small
lamp in a dark room; but we will give only one trial. Six pots were placed
at distances of 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 feet from the lamp, before which
they were left for 4 h. As light decreases in a geometrical ratio, the
seedlings in the 2nd pot received 1/4th, those in the 3rd pot 1/16th, those
in the 4th 1/36th, those in the 5th 1/64th, and those in the 6th 1/100th of
the light received by the seedlings in the first or nearest pot. Therefore
it might have been expected that there would have been an immense
difference in the degree of their heliotropic curvature in the several
pots; and there was a well-marked difference between those which stood
nearest and furthest from the lamp, but the difference in each successive
pair of pots was extremely small. In order to avoid prejudice, we asked
three persons, who knew nothing about the experiment, to arrange the pots
in order according to the degree of curvature of the cotyledons. The first
person arranged them in proper order, but doubted long between the 12 feet
and 16 feet pots; yet these two received light in the proportion of 36 to
64. The second person also arranged them properly, but doubted between the
8 feet and 12 feet pots, which received light in the proportion of 16 to
36. The third person arranged them in wrong order, and doubted about four
of the pots. This evidence shows conclusively how little the curvature of
the seedlings differed in the successive pots, in comparison with the great
difference in the amount of light which they received; and it should be
noted that there was no
[page 459]
excess of superfluous light, for the cotyledons became but little and
slowly curved even in the nearest pot. Close to the 6th pot, at the
distance of 20 feet from the lamp, the light allowed us just to distinguish
a dot 3.56 mm. (.14 inch) in diameter, made with Indian ink on white paper,
but not a dot 2.29 mm. (.09 inch) in diameter.

The degree of curvature of the cotyledons of Phalaris within a given time,
depends not merely on the amount of lateral light which they may then
receive, but on that which they have previously received from above and on
all sides. Analogous facts have been given with respect to the nyctitropic
and periodic movements of plants. Of two pots containing seedlings of
Phalaris which had germinated in darkness, one was still kept in the dark,
and the other was exposed (Sept. 26th) to the light in a greenhouse during
a cloudy day and on the following bright morning. On this morning (27th),
at 10.30 A.M., both pots were placed in a box, blackened within and open in
front, before a north-east window, protected by a linen and muslin blind
and by a towel, so that but little light was admitted, though the sky was
bright. Whenever the pots were looked at, this was done as quickly as
possible, and the cotyledons were then held transversely with respect to
the light, so that their curvature could not have been thus increased or
diminished. After 50 m. the seedlings which had previously been kept in
darkness, were perhaps, and after 70 m. were certainly, curved, though very
slightly, towards the window. After 85 m. some of the seedlings, which had
previously been illuminated, were perhaps a little affected, and after 100
m. some of the younger ones were certainly a little curved towards the
light. At this time (i.e. after 100 m.) there was a plain difference
[page 460]
in the curvature of the seedlings in the two pots. After 2 h. 12 m. the
chords of the arcs of four of the most strongly curved seedlings in each
pot were measured, and the mean angle from the perpendicular of those which
had previously been kept in darkness was 19o, and of those which had
previously been illuminated only 7o. Nor did this difference diminish
during two additional hours. As a check, the seedlings in both pots were
then placed in complete darkness for two hours, in order that apogeotropism
should act on them; and those in the one pot which were little curved
became in this time almost completely upright, whilst the more curved ones
in the other pot still remained plainly curved.

Two days afterwards the experiment was repeated, with the sole difference
that even less light was admitted through the window, as it was protected
by a linen and muslin blind and by two towels; the sky, moreover, was
somewhat less bright. The result was the same as before, excepting that
everything occurred rather slower. The seedlings which had been previously
kept in darkness were not in the least curved after 54 m., but were so
after 70 m. Those which had previously been illuminated were not at all
affected until 130 m. had elapsed, and then only slightly. After 145 m.
some of the seedlings in this latter pot were certainly curved towards the
light; and there was now a plain difference between the two pots. After 3
h. 45 m. the chords of the arcs of 3 seedlings in each pot were measured,
and the mean angle from the perpendicular was 16o for those in the pot
which had previously been kept in darkness, and only 5o for those which had
previously been illuminated.

The curvature of the cotyledons of Phalaris towards a lateral light is
therefore certainly influenced by the
[page 461]
degree to which they have been previously illuminated. We shall presently
see that the influence of light on their bending continues for a short time
after the light has been extinguished. These facts, as well as that of the
curvature not increasing or decreasing in nearly the same ratio with that
of the amount of light which they receive, as shown in the trials with the
plants before the lamp, all indicate that light acts on them as a stimulus,
in somewhat the same manner as on the nervous system of animals, and not in
a direct manner on the cells or cell-walls which by their contraction or
expansion cause the curvature.

It has already been incidentally shown how slowly the cotyledons of
Phalaris bend towards a very dim light; but when they were placed before a
bright paraffin lamp their tips were all curved rectangularly towards it in
2 h. 20 m. The hypocotyls of Solanum lycopersicum had bent in the morning
at right angles towards a north-east window. At 1 P.M. (Oct. 21st) the pot
was turned round, so that the seedlings now pointed from the light, but by
5 P.M. they had reversed their curvature and again pointed to the light.
They had thus passed through 180o in 4 h., having in the morning previously
passed through about 90o. But the reversal of the first half of the
curvature will have been aided by apogeotropism. Similar cases were
observed with other seedlings, for instance, with those of Sinapis alba.

We attempted to ascertain in how short a time light acted on the cotyledons
of Phalaris, but this was difficult on account of their rapid
circumnutating movement; moreover, they differ much in sensibility,
according to age; nevertheless, some of our observations are worth giving.
Pots with seedlings were
[page 462]
placed under a microscope provided with an eye-piece micrometer, of which
each division equalled 1/500th of an inch (0.051 mm.); and they were at
first illuminated by light from a paraffin lamp passing through a solution
of bichromate of potassium, which does not induce heliotropism. Thus the
direction in which the cotyledons were circumnutating could be observed
independently of any action from the light; and they could be made, by
turning round the pots, to circumnutate transversely to the line in which
the light would strike them, as soon as the solution was removed. The fact
that the direction of the circumnutating movement might change at any
moment, and thus the plant might bend either towards or from the lamp
independently of the action of the light, gave an element of uncertainty to
the results. After the solution had been removed, five seedlings which were
circumnutating transversely to the line of light, began to move towards it,
in 6, 4, 7 1/2, 6, and 9 minutes. In one of these cases, the apex of the
cotyledon crossed five of the divisions of the micrometer (i.e. 1/100th of
an inch, or 0.254 mm.) towards the light in 3 m. Of two seedlings which
were moving directly from the light at the time when the solution was
removed, one began to move towards it in 13 m., and the other in 15 m. This
latter seedling was observed for more than an hour and continued to move
towards the light; it crossed at one time 5 divisions of the micrometer
(0.254 mm.) in 2 m. 30 s. In all these cases, the movement towards the
light was extremely unequal in rate, and the cotyledons often remained
almost stationary for some minutes, and two of them retrograded a little.
Another seedling which was circumnutating transversely to the line of
light, moved towards it in 4 m. after the solution was removed; it then
remained
[page 463]
almost stationary for 10 m.; then crossed 5 divisions of the micrometer in
6 m.; and then 8 divisions in 11m. This unequal rate of movement,
interrupted by pauses, and at first with occasional retrogressions, accords
well with our conclusion that heliotropism consists of modified
circumnutation.

In order to observe how long the after-effects of light lasted, a pot with
seedlings of Phalaris, which had germinated in darkness, was placed at
10.40 A.M. before a north-east window, being protected on all other sides
from the light; and the movement of a cotyledon was traced on a horizontal
glass. It circumnutated about the same space for the first 24 m., and
during the next 1 h. 33 m. moved rapidly towards the light. The light was
now (i.e. after 1 h. 57 m.) completely excluded, but the cotyledon
continued bending in the same direction as before, certainly for more than
15 m., probably for about 27 m. The doubt arose from the necessity of not
looking at the seedlings often, and thus exposing them, though momentarily,
to the light. This same seedling was now kept in the dark, until 2.18 P.M.,
by which time it had reacquired through apogeotropism its original upright
position, when it was again exposed to the light from a clouded sky. By 3
P.M. it had moved a very short distance towards the light, but during the
next 45 m. travelled quickly towards it. After this exposure of 1 h. 27 m.
to a rather dull sky, the light was again completely excluded, but the
cotyledon continued to bend in the same direction as before for 14 m.
within a very small limit of error. It was then placed in the dark, and it
now moved backwards, so that after 1 h. 7 m. it stood close to where it had
started from at 2.18 P.M. These observations show that the cotyledons of
Phalaris, after being exposed to a lateral
[page 464]
light, continue to bend in the same direction for between a quarter and
half an hour.

In the two experiments just given, the cotyledons moved backwards or from
the window shortly after being subjected to darkness; and whilst tracing
the circumnutation of various kinds of seedlings exposed to a lateral
light, we repeatedly observed that late in the evening, as the light waned,
they moved from it. This fact is shown in some of the diagrams given in the
last chapter. We wished therefore to learn whether this was wholly due to
apogeotropism, or whether an organ after bending towards the light tended
from any other cause to bend from it, as soon as the light failed.
Accordingly, two pots of seedling Phalaris and one pot of seedling Brassica
were exposed for 8 h. before a paraffin lamp, by which time the cotyledons
of the former and the hypocotyls of the latter were bent rectangularly
towards the light. The pots were now quickly laid horizontally, so that the
upper parts of the cotyledons and of the hypocotyls of 9 seedlings
projected vertically upwards, as proved by a plumb-line. In this position
they could not be acted on by apogeotropism, and if they possessed any
tendency to straighten themselves or to bend in opposition to their former
heliotropic curvature, this would be exhibited, for it would be opposed at
first very slightly by apogeotropism. They were kept in the dark for 4 h.,
during which time they were twice looked at; but no uniform bending in
opposition to their former heliotropic curvature could be detected. We have
said uniform bending, because they circumnutated in their new position, and
after 2 h. were inclined in different directions (between 4o and 11o) from
the perpendicular. Their directions were also changed after two additional
hours, and again on the following morning. We may
[page 465]
therefore conclude that the bending back of plants from a light, when this
becomes obscure or is extinguished, is wholly due to apogeotropism.*

In our various experiments we were often struck with the accuracy with
which seedlings pointed to a light although of small size. To test this,
many seedlings of Phalaris, which had germinated in darkness in a very
narrow box several feet in length, were placed in a darkened room near to
and in front of a lamp having a small cylindrical wick. The cotyledons at
the two ends and in the central part of the box, would therefore have to
bend in widely different directions in order to point to the light. After
they had become rectangularly bent, a long white thread was stretched by
two persons, close over and parallel, first to one and then to another
cotyledon; and the thread was found in almost every case actually to
intersect the small circular wick of the now extinguished lamp. The
deviation from accuracy never exceeded, as far as we could judge, a degree
or two. This extreme accuracy seems at first surprising, but is not really
so, for an upright cylindrical stem, whatever its position may be with
respect to the light, would have exactly half its circumference illuminated
and half in shadow; and as the difference in illumination of the two sides
is the exciting cause of heliotropism, a cylinder would naturally bend with
much accuracy towards the light. The cotyledons, however, of Phalaris are
not cylindrical, but oval in section; and the longer axis was to the
shorter axis (in the one which was measured) as 100 to 70. Nevertheless, no
difference could be

* It appears from a reference in Wiesner ('Die Undulirende Nutation der
Internodien,' p. 7), that H. Müller of Thurgau found that a stem which is
bending heliotropically is at the same time striving, through
apogeotropism, to raise itself into a vertical position.
[page 466]

detected in the accuracy of their bending, whether they stood with their
broad or narrow sides facing the light, or in any intermediate position;
and so it was with the cotyledons of Avena sativa, which are likewise oval
in section. Now, a little reflection will show that in whatever position
the cotyledons may stand, there will be a line of greatest illumination,
exactly fronting the light, and on each side of this line an equal amount
of light will be received; but if the oval stands obliquely with respect to
the light, this will be diffused over a wider surface on one side of the
central line than on the other. We may therefore infer that the same amount
of light, whether diffused over a wider surface or concentrated on a
smaller surface, produces exactly the same effect; for the cotyledons in
the long narrow box stood in all sorts of positions with reference to the
light, yet all pointed truly towards it.

That the bending of the cotyledons to the light depends on the illumination
of one whole side or on the obscuration of the whole opposite side, and not
on a narrow longitudinal zone in the line of the light being affected, was
shown by the effects of painting longitudinally with Indian ink one side of
five cotyledons of Phalaris. These were then placed on a table near to a
south-west window, and the painted half was directed either to the right or
left. The result was that instead of bending in a direct line towards the
window, they were deflected from the window and towards the unpainted side,
by the following angles, 35o, 83o, 31o, 43o, and 39o. It should be remarked
that it was hardly possible to paint one-half accurately, or to place all
the seedlings which are oval in section in quite the same position
relatively to the light; and this will account for the differences in the
angles. Five coty-
[page 467]
ledons of Avena were also painted in the same manner, but with greater
care; and they were laterally deflected from the line of the window,
towards the unpainted side, by the following angles, 44o, 44o, 55o, 51o, and
57o. This deflection of the cotyledons from the window is intelligible, for
the whole unpainted side must have received some light, whereas the
opposite and painted side received none; but a narrow zone on the unpainted
side directly in front of the window will have received most light, and all
the hinder parts (half an oval in section) less and less light in varying
degrees; and we may conclude that the angle of deflection is the resultant
of the action of the light over the whole of the unpainted side.

It should have been premised that painting with Indian ink does not injure
plants, at least within several hours; and it could injure them only by
stopping respiration. To ascertain whether injury was thus soon caused, the
upper halves of 8 cotyledons of Avena were thickly coated with transparent
matter,--4 with gum, and 4 with gelatine; they were placed in the morning
before a window, and by the evening they were normally bowed towards the
light, although the coatings now consisted of dry crusts of gum and
gelatine. Moreover, if the seedlings which were painted longitudinally with
Indian ink had been injured on the painted side, the opposite side would
have gone on growing, and they would consequently have become bowed towards
the painted side; whereas the curvature was always, as we have seen, in the
opposite direction, or towards the unpainted side which was exposed to the
light. We witnessed the effects of injuring longitudinally one side of the
cotyledons of Avena and Phalaris; for before we knew that grease was highly
injurious to them, several were painted down one side
[page 468]
with a mixture of oil and lamp-black, and were then exposed before a
window; others similarly treated were afterwards tried in darkness. These
cotyledons soon became plainly bowed towards the blackened side, evidently
owing to the grease on this side having checked their growth, whilst growth
continued on the opposite side. But it deserves notice that the curvature
differed from that caused by light, which ultimately becomes abrupt near
the ground. These seedlings did not afterwards die, but were much injured
and grew badly.

LOCALISED SENSITIVENESS TO LIGHT, AND ITS TRANSMITTED EFFECTS.

Phalaris Canariensis.--Whilst observing the accuracy with which the
cotyledons of this plant became bent towards the light of a small lamp, we
were impressed with the idea that the uppermost part determined the
direction of the curvature of the lower part. When the cotyledons are
exposed to a lateral light, the upper part bends first, and afterwards the
bending gradually extends down to the base, and, as we shall presently see,
even a little beneath the ground. This holds good with cotyledons from less
than .1 inch (one was observed to act in this manner which was only .03 in
height) to about .5 of an inch in height; but when they have grown to
nearly an inch in height, the basal part, for a length of .15 to .2 of an
inch above the ground, ceases to bend. As with young cotyledons the lower
part goes on bending, after the upper part has become well arched towards a
lateral light, the apex would ultimately point to the ground instead of to
the light, did not the upper part reverse its curvature and straighten
itself, as
[page 469]
soon as the upper convex surface of the bowed-down portion received more
light than the lower concave surface. The position ultimately assumed by
young and upright cotyledons, exposed to light entering obliquely from
above through a window, is shown in the accompanying figure (Fig. 181); and
here it may be seen that the whole upper part has become very nearly
straight. When the cotyledons were exposed before a bright lamp, standing
on the same level with them, the upper part, which was at first

Fig. 181. Phalaris Canariensis: cotyledons after exposure in a box open on
one side in front of a south-west window during 8 h. Curvature towards the
light accurately traced. The short horizontal lines show the level of the
ground.

greatly arched towards the light, became straight and strictly parallel
with the surface of the soil in the pots; the basal part being now
rectangularly bent. All this great amount of curvature, together with the
subsequent straightening of the upper part, was often effected in a few
hours.

[After the uppermost part has become bowed a little to the light, its
overhanging weight must tend to increase the curvature of the lower part;
but any such effect was shown in several ways to be quite insignificant.
When little caps of tin-foil (hereafter to be described) were placed on the
summits of the cotyledons, though this must have added considerably to
their weight, the rate or amount of bending was not thus increased. But the
best evidence was afforded by placing pots with seedlings of Phalaris
before a lamp in such a position, that the cotyledons were horizontally
extended and projected at right angles to the line of light. In the course
of 5 ½ h. they were directed towards the light with their bases bent at
right angles; and this abrupt
[page 470]
curvature could not have been aided in the least by the weight of the upper
part, which acted at right angles to the plane of curvature.

It will be shown that when the upper halves of the cotyledons of Phalaris
and Avena were enclosed in little pipes of tin-foil or of blackened glass,
in which case the upper part was mechanically prevented from bending, the
lower and unenclosed part did not bend when exposed to a lateral light; and
it occurred to us that this fact might be due, not to the exclusion of the
light from the upper part, but to some necessity of the bending gradually
travelling down the cotyledons, so that unless the upper part first became
bent, the lower could not bend, however much it might be stimulated. It was
necessary for our purpose to ascertain whether this notion was true, and it
was proved false; for the lower halves of several cotyledons became bowed
to the light, although their upper halves were enclosed in little glass
tubes (not blackened), which prevented, as far as we could judge, their
bending. Nevertheless, as the part within the tube might possibly bend a
very little, fine rigid rods or flat splinters of thin glass were cemented
with shellac to one side of the upper part of 15 cotyledons; and in six
cases they were in addition tied on with threads. They were thus forced to
remain quite straight. The result was that the lower halves of all became
bowed to the light, but generally not in so great a degree as the
corresponding part of the free seedlings in the same pots; and this may
perhaps be accounted for by some slight degree of injury having been caused
by a considerable surface having been smeared with shellac. It may be
added, that when the cotyledons of Phalaris and Avena are acted on by
apogeotropism, it is the upper part which begins first to bend; and when
this part was rendered rigid in the manner just described, the upward
curvature of the basal part was not thus prevented.

To test our belief that the upper part of the cotyledons of Phalaris, when
exposed to a lateral light, regulates the bending of the lower part, many
experiments were tried; but most of our first attempts proved useless from
various causes not worth specifying. Seven cotyledons had their tips cut
off for lengths varying between .1 and .16 of an inch, and these, when left
exposed all day to a lateral light, remained upright. In another set of 7
cotyledons, the tips were cut off for a length of only about .05 of an inch
(1.27 mm.) and these became bowed towards
[page 471]
a lateral light, but not nearly so much as the many other seedlings in the
same pots. This latter case shows that cutting off the tips does not by
itself injure the plants so seriously as to prevent heliotropism; but we
thought at the time, that such injury might follow when a greater length
was cut off, as in the first set of experiments. Therefore, no more trials
of this kind were made, which we now regret; as we afterwards found that
when the tips of three cotyledons were cut off for a length of .2 inch, and
of four others for lengths of .14, .12, .1, and .07 inch, and they were
extended horizontally, the amputation did not interfere in the least with
their bending vertically upwards, through the action of apogeotropism, like
unmutilated specimens. It is therefore extremely improbable that the
amputation of the tips for lengths of from .1 to .14 inch, could from the
injury thus caused have prevented the lower part from bending towards the
light.

We next tried the effects of covering the upper part of the cotyledons of
Phalaris with little caps which were impermeable to light; the whole lower
part being left fully exposed before a south-west window or a bright
paraffin lamp. Some of the caps were made of extremely thin tin-foil
blackened within; these had the disadvantage of occasionally, though
rarely, being too heavy, especially when twice folded. The basal edges
could be pressed into close contact with the cotyledons; though this again
required care to prevent injuring them. Nevertheless, any injury thus
caused could be detected by removing the caps, and trying whether the
cotyledons were then sensitive to light. Other caps were made of tubes of
the thinnest glass, which when painted black served well, with the one
great disadvantage that the lower ends could not be closed. But tubes were
used which fitted the cotyledons almost closely, and black paper was placed
on the soil round each, to check the upward reflection of light from the
soil. Such tubes were in one respect far better than caps of tin-foil, as
it was possible to cover at the same time some cotyledons with transparent
and others with opaque tubes; and thus our experiments could be controlled.
It should be kept in mind that young cotyledons were selected for trial,
and that these when not interfered with become bowed down to the ground
towards the light.

We will begin with the glass-tubes. The summits of nine cotyledons,
differing somewhat in height, were enclosed for rather less than half their
lengths in uncoloured or transparent
[page 472]
tubes; and these were then exposed before a south-west window on a bright
day for 8 h. All of them became strongly curved towards the light, in the
same degree as the many other free seedlings in the same pots; so that the
glass-tubes certainly did not prevent the cotyledons from bending towards
the light. Nineteen other cotyledons were, at the same time, similarly
enclosed in tubes thickly painted with Indian ink. On five of them, the
paint, to our surprise, contracted after exposure to the sunlight, and very
narrow cracks were formed, through which a little light entered; and these
five cases were rejected. Of the remaining 14 cotyledons, the lower halves
of which had been fully exposed to the light for the whole time, 7
continued quite straight and upright; 1 was considerably bowed to the
light, and 6 were slightly bowed, but with the exposed bases of most of
them almost or quite straight. It is possible that some light may have been
reflected upwards from the soil and entered the bases of these 7 tubes, as
the sun shone brightly, though bits of blackened paper had been placed on
the soil round them. Nevertheless, the 7 cotyledons which were slightly
bowed, together with the 7 upright ones, presented a most remarkable
contrast in appearance with the many other seedlings in the same pots to
which nothing had been done. The blackened tubes were then removed from 10
of these seedlings, and they were now exposed before a lamp for 8 h.; 9 of
them became greatly, and 1 moderately, curved towards the light, proving
that the previous absence of any curvature in the basal part, or the
presence of only a slight degree of curvature there, was due to the
exclusion of light from the upper part.

Similar observations were made on 12 younger cotyledons with their upper
halves enclosed within glass-tubes coated with black varnish, and with
their lower halves fully exposed to bright sunshine. In these younger
seedlings the sensitive zone seems to extend rather lower down, as was
observed on some other occasions, for two became almost as much curved
towards the light as the free seedlings; and the remaining ten were
slightly curved, although the basal part of several of them, which normally
becomes more curved than any other part, exhibited hardly a trace of
curvature. These 12 seedlings taken together differed greatly in their
degree of curvature from all the many other seedlings in the same pots.

Better evidence of the efficiency of the blackened tubes was incidentally
afforded by some experiments hereafter to be given,
[page 473]
in which the upper halves of 14 cotyledons were enclosed in tubes from
which an extremely narrow stripe of the black varnish had been scraped off.
These cleared stripes were not directed towards the window, but obliquely
to one side of the room, so that only a very little light could act on the
upper halves of the cotyledons. These 14 seedlings remained during eight
hours of exposure before a south-west window on a hazy day quite upright;
whereas all the other many free seedlings in the same pots became greatly
bowed towards the light.

We will now turn to the trials with caps made of very thin tin-foil. These
were placed at different times on the summits of 24 cotyledons, and they
extended down for a length of between .15 and .2 of an inch. The seedlings
were exposed to a lateral light for periods varying between 6 h. 30 m. and
7 h. 45 m., which sufficed to cause all the other seedlings in the same
pots to become almost rectangularly bent towards the light. They varied in
height from only .04 to 1.15 inch, but the greater number were about .75
inch. Of the 24 cotyledons with their summits thus protected, 3 became much
bent, but not in the direction of the light, and as they did not straighten
themselves through apogeotropism during the following night, either the
caps were too heavy or the plants themselves were in a weak condition; and
these three cases may be excluded. There are left for consideration 21
cotyledons; of these 17 remained all the time quite upright; the other 4
became slightly inclined to the light, but not in a degree comparable with
that of the many free seedlings in the same pots. As the glass-tubes, when
unpainted, did not prevent the cotyledons from becoming greatly bowed, it
cannot be supposed that the caps of very thin tin-foil did so, except
through the exclusion of the light. To prove that the plants had not been
injured, the caps were removed from 6 of the upright seedlings, and these
were exposed before a paraffin lamp for the same length of time as before,
and they now all became greatly curved towards the light.

As caps between .15 and .2 of an inch in depth were thus proved to be
highly efficient in preventing the cotyledons from bending towards the
light, 8 other cotyledons were protected with caps between only .06 and .12
in depth. Of these, two remained vertical, one was considerably and five
slightly curved towards the light, but far less so than the free seedlings
in the same pots.
[page 474]

Another trial was made in a different manner, namely, by bandaging with
strips of tin-foil, about .2 in breadth, the upper part, but not the actual
summit, of eight moderately young seedlings a little over half an inch in
height. The summits and the basal parts were thus left fully exposed to a
lateral light during 8 h.; an upper intermediate zone being protected. With
four of these seedlings the summits were exposed for a length of .05 inch,
and in two of them this part became curved towards the light, but the whole
lower part remained quite upright; whereas the entire length of the other
two seedlings became slightly curved towards the light. The summits of the
four other seedlings were exposed for a length of .04 inch, and of these
one remained almost upright, whilst the other three became considerably
curved towards the light. The many free seedlings in the same pots were all
greatly curved towards the light.

From these several sets of experiments, including those with the
glass-tubes, and those when the tips were cut off, we may infer that the
exclusion of light from the upper part of the cotyledons of Phalaris
prevents the lower part, though fully exposed to a lateral light, from
becoming curved. The summit for a length of .04 or .05 of an inch, though
it is itself sensitive and curves towards the light, has only a slight
power of causing the lower part to bend. Nor has the exclusion of light
from the summit for a length of .1 of an inch a strong influence on the
curvature of the lower part. On the other hand, an exclusion for a length
of between .15 and .2 of an inch, or of the whole upper half, plainly
prevents the lower and fully illuminated part from becoming curved in the
manner (see Fig. 181) which invariably occurs when a free cotyledon is
exposed to a lateral light. With very young seedlings the sensitive zone
seems to extend rather lower down relatively to their height than in older
seedlings. We must therefore conclude that when seedlings are freely
exposed to a lateral light some influence is transmitted from the upper to
the lower part, causing the latter to bend.

This conclusion is supported by what may be seen to occur on a small scale,
especially with young cotyledons, without any artificial exclusion of the
light; for they bend beneath the earth where no light can enter. Seeds of
Phalaris were covered with a layer one-fourth of an inch in thickness of
very fine sand, consisting of extremely minute grains of silex coated with
[page 475]
oxide of iron. A layer of this sand, moistened to the same degree as that
over the seeds, was spread over a glass-plate; and when the layer was .05
of an inch in thickness (carefully measured) no light from a bright sky
could be seen to pass through it, unless it was viewed through a long
blackened tube, and then a trace of light could be detected, but probably
much too little to affect any plant. A layer .1 of an inch in thickness was
quite impermeable to light, as judged by the eye aided by the tube. It may
be worth adding that the layer, when dried, remained equally impermeable to
light. This sand yielded to very slight pressure whilst kept moist, and in
this state did not contract or crack in the least. In a first trial,
cotyledons which had grown to a moderate height were exposed for 8 h.
before a paraffin lamp, and they became greatly bowed. At their bases on
the shaded side opposite to the light, well-defined, crescentic, open
furrows were formed, which (measured under a microscope with a micrometer)
were from .02 to .03 of an inch in breadth, and these had evidently been
left by the bending of the buried bases of the cotyledons towards the
light. On the side of the light the cotyledons were in close contact with
the sand, which was a very little heaped up. By removing with a sharp knife
the sand on one side of the cotyledons in the line of the light, the bent
portion and the open furrows were found to extend down to a depth of about
.1 of an inch, where no light could enter. The chords of the short buried
arcs formed in four cases angles of 11o, 13o, 15o, and 18o, with the
perpendicular. By the following morning these short bowed portions had
straightened themselves through apogeotropism.

In the next trial much younger cotyledons were similarly treated, but were
exposed to a rather obscure lateral light. After some hours, a bowed
cotyledon, .3 inch in height, had an open furrow on the shaded side .04
inch in breadth; another cotyledon, only .13 inch in height, had left a
furrow .02 inch in breadth. But the most curious case was that of a
cotyledon which had just protruded above the ground and was only .03 inch
in height, and this was found to be bowed in the direction of the light to
a depth of .2 of an inch beneath the surface. From what we know of the
impermeability of this sand to light, the upper illuminated part in these
several cases must have determined the curvature of the lower buried
portions. But an apparent cause of doubt may be suggested: as the
cotyledons are continually circumnutating, they tend to form a minute
[page 476]
crack or furrow all round their bases, which would admit a little light on
all sides; but this would not happen when they were illuminated laterally,
for we know that they quickly bend towards a lateral light, and they then
press so firmly against the sand on the illuminated side as to furrow it,
and this would effectually exclude light on this side. Any light admitted
on the opposite and shaded side, where an open furrow is formed, would tend
to counteract the curvature towards the lamp or other source of the light.
It may be added, that the use of fine moist sand, which yields easily to
pressure, was indispensable in the above experiments; for seedlings raised
in common soil, not kept especially damp, and exposed for 9 h. 30 m. to a
strong lateral light, did not form an open furrow at their bases on the
shaded side, and were not bowed beneath the surface.
Perhaps the most striking proof of the action of the upper on the lower
part of the cotyledons of Phalaris, when laterally illuminated, was
afforded by the blackened glass-tubes (before alluded to) with very narrow
stripes of the varnish scraped off on one side, through which a little
light was admitted. The breadth of these stripes or slits varied between
.01 and .02 inch (.25 and .51 mm.). Cotyledons with their upper halves
enclosed in such tubes were placed before a south-west window, in such a
position, that the scraped stripes did not directly face the window, but
obliquely to one side. The seedlings were left exposed for 8 h., before the
close of which time the many free seedlings in the same pots had become
greatly bowed towards the window. Under these circumstances, the whole
lower halves of the cotyledons, which had their summits enclosed in the
tubes, were fully exposed to the light of the sky, whilst their upper
halves received exclusively or chiefly diffused light from the room, and
this only through a very narrow slit on one side. Now, if the curvature of
the lower part had been determined by the illumination of this part, all
the cotyledons assuredly would have become curved towards the window; but
this was far from being the case. Tubes of the kind just described were
placed on several occasions over the upper halves of 27 cotyledons; 14 of
them remained all the time quite vertical; so that sufficient diffused
light did not enter through the narrow slits to produce any effect
whatever; and they behaved in the same manner as if their upper halves had
been enclosed in completely blackened tubes. The lower halves of the 13
other cotyledons became bowed
[page 477]
not directly in the line of the window, but obliquely towards it; one
pointed at an angle of only 18o, but the remaining 12 at angles varying
between 45o and 62o from the line of the window. At the commencement of the
experiment, pins had been laid on the earth in the direction towards which
the slits in the varnish faced; and in this direction alone a small amount
of diffused light entered. At the close of the experiment, 7 of the bowed
cotyledons pointed exactly in the line of the pins, and 6 of them in a line
between that of the pins and that of the window. This intermediate position
is intelligible, for any light from the sky which entered obliquely through
the slits would be much more efficient than the diffused light which
entered directly through them. After the 8 h. exposure, the contrast in
appearance between these 13 cotyledons and the many other seedlings in the
same pots, which were all (excepting the above 14 vertical ones) greatly
bowed in straight and parallel lines towards the window, was extremely
remarkable. It is therefore certain that a little weak light striking the
upper halves of the cotyledons of Phalaris, is far more potent in
determining the direction of the curvature of the lower halves, than the
full illumination of the latter during the whole time of exposure.

In confirmation of the above results, the effect of thickly painting with
Indian ink one side of the upper part of three cotyledons of Phalaris, for
a length of .2 inch from their tips, may be worth giving. These were placed
so that the unpainted surface was directed not towards the window, but a
little to one side; and they all became bent towards the unpainted side,
and from the line of the window by angles amounting to 31o, 35o, and 83o.
The curvature in this direction extended down to their bases, although the
whole lower part was fully exposed to the light from the window.

Finally, although there can be no doubt that the illumination of the upper
part of the cotyledons of Phalaris greatly affects the power and manner of
bending of the lower part, yet some observations seemed to render it
probable that the simultaneous stimulation of the lower part by light
greatly favours, or is almost necessary, for its well-marked curvature; but
our experiments were not conclusive, owing to the difficulty of excluding
light from the lower halves without mechanically preventing their
curvature.

Avena sativa.--The cotyledons of this plant become quickly bowed towards a
lateral light, exactly like those of Phalaris.
[page 478]
Experiments similar to the foregoing ones were tried, and we will give the
results as briefly as possible. They are somewhat less conclusive than in
the case of Phalaris, and this may possibly be accounted for by the
sensitive zone varying in extension, in a species so long cultivated and
variable as the common Oat. Cotyledons a little under three-quarters of an
inch in height were selected for trial: six had their summits protected
from light by tin-foil caps, .25 inch in depth, and two others by caps .3
inch in depth. Of these 8 cotyledons, five remained upright during 8 hours
of exposure, although their lower parts were fully exposed to the light all
the time; two were very slightly, and one considerably, bowed towards it.
Caps only .2 or .22 inch in depth were placed over 4 other cotyledons, and
now only one remained upright, one was slightly, and two considerably bowed
to the light. In this and the following cases all the free seedlings in the
same pots became greatly bowed to the light.

Our next trial was made with short lengths of thin and fairly transparent
quills; for glass-tubes of sufficient diameter to go over the cotyledons
would have been too heavy. Firstly, the summits of 13 cotyledons were
enclosed in unpainted quills, and of these 11 became greatly and 2 slightly
bowed to the light; so that the mere act of enclosure did not prevent the
lower part from becoming bowed. Secondly, the summits of 11 cotyledons were
enclosed in quills .3 inch in length, painted so as to be impermeable to
light; of these, 7 did not become at all inclined towards the light, but 3
of them were slightly bent more or less transversely with respect to the
line of light, and these might perhaps have been altogether excluded; one
alone was slightly bowed towards the light. Painted quills, .25 inch in
length, were placed over the summits of 4 other cotyledons; of these, one
alone remained upright, a second was slightly bowed, and the two others as
much bowed to the light as the free seedlings in the same pots. These two
latter cases, considering that the caps were .25 in length, are
inexplicable.

Lastly, the summits of 8 cotyledons were coated with flexible and highly
transparent gold-beaters' skin, and all became as much bowed to the light
as the free seedlings. The summits of 9 other cotyledons were similarly
coated with gold-beaters' skin, which was then painted to a depth of
between .25 and .3 inch, so as to be impermeable to light; of these 5
remained upright, and 4 were well bowed to the light, almost or quite as
well as
[page 479]
the free seedlings. These latter four cases, as well as the two in the last
paragraph, offer a strong exception to the rule that the illumination of
the upper part determines the curvature of the lower part. Nevertheless, 5
of these 8 cotyledons remained quite upright, although their lower halves
were fully illuminated all the time; and it would almost be a prodigy to
find five free seedlings standing vertically after an exposure for several
hours to a lateral light.

The cotyledons of Avena, like those of Phalaris, when growing in soft,
damp, fine sand, leave an open crescentric furrow on the shaded side, after
bending to a lateral light; and they become bowed beneath the surface at a
depth to which, as we know, light cannot penetrate. The arcs of the chords
of the buried bowed portions formed in two cases angles of 20o and 21o with
the perpendicular. The open furrows on the shaded side were, in four cases,
.008, .016, .024, and .024 of an inch in breadth.
Brassica oleracea (Common Red).--It will here be shown that the upper half
of the hypocotyl of the cabbage, when illuminated by a lateral light,
determines the curvature of the lower half. It is necessary to
experimentise on young seedlings about half an inch or rather less in
height, for when grown to an inch and upwards the basal part ceases to
bend. We first tried painting the hypocotyls with Indian ink, or cutting
off their summits for various lengths; but these experiments are not worth
giving, though they confirm, as far as they can be trusted, the results of
the following ones. These were made by folding gold-beaters' skin once
round the upper halves of young hypocotyls, and painting it thickly with
Indian ink or with black grease. As a control experiment, the same
transparent skin, left unpainted, was folded round the upper halves of 12
hypocotyls; and these all became greatly curved to the light, excepting
one, which was only moderately curved. Twenty other young hypocotyls had
the skin round their upper halves painted, whilst their lower halves were
left quite uncovered. These seedlings were then exposed, generally for
between 7 and 8 h., in a box blackened within and open in front, either
before a south-west window or a paraffin lamp. This exposure was amply
sufficient, as was shown by the strongly-marked heliotropism of all the
free seedlings in the same pots; nevertheless, some were left exposed to
the light for a much longer time. Of the 20 hypocotyls thus treated, 14
remained quite upright, and 6 became slightly bowed to the light; but 2 of
these latter cases were not really
[page 480]
exceptions, for on removing the skin the paint was found imperfect and was
penetrated by many small transparent spaces on the side which faced the
light. Moreover, in two other cases the painted skin did not extend quite
halfway down the hypocotyl. Although there was a wonderful contrast in the
several pots between these 20 hypocotyls and the other many free seedlings,
which were all greatly bowed down to their bases in the direction of the
light, some being almost prostrate on the ground.

The most successful trial on any one day (included in the above results) is
worth describing in detail. Six young seedlings were selected, the
hypocotyls of which were nearly .45 inch, excepting one, which was .6 inch
in height, measured from the bases of their petioles to the ground. Their
upper halves, judged as accurately as could be done by the eye, were folded
once round with gold-beaters' skin, and this was painted thickly with
Indian ink. They were exposed in an otherwise darkened room before a bright
paraffin lamp, which stood on a level with the two pots containing the
seedlings. They were first looked at after an interval of 5 h. 10 m., and
five of the protected hypocotyls were found quite erect, the sixth being
very slightly inclined to the light; whereas all the many free seedlings in
the same two pots were greatly bowed to the light. They were again examined
after a continuous exposure to the light of 20 h. 35m.; and now the
contrast between the two sets was wonderfully great; for the free seedlings
had their hypocotyls extended almost horizontally in the direction of the
light, and were curved down to the ground; whilst those with the upper
halves protected by the painted skin, but with their lower halves fully
exposed to the light, still remained quite upright, with the exception of
the one which retained the same slight inclination to the light which it
had before. This latter seedling was found to have been rather badly
painted, for on the side facing the light the red colour of the hypocotyl
could be distinguished through the paint.

We next tried nine older seedlings, the hypocotyls of which varied between
1 and 1.6 inch in height. the gold-beaters' skin round their upper parts
was painted with black grease to a depth of only .3 inch, that is, from
less than a third to a fourth or fifth of their total heights. They were
exposed to the light for 7 h. 15 m.; and the result showed that the whole
of the sensitive zone, which determines the curvature of the lower
[page 481]
part, was not protected from the action of the light; for all 9 became
curved towards it, 4 of them very slightly, 3 moderately, and 2 almost as
much as the unprotected seedlings. Nevertheless, the whole 9 taken together
differed plainly in their degree of curvature from the many free seedlings,
and from some which were wrapped in unpainted skin, growing in the same two
pots.

Seeds were covered with about a quarter of an inch of the fine sand
described under Phalaris; and when the hypocotyls had grown to a height of
between .4 and .55 inch, they were exposed during 9 h. before a paraffin
lamp, their bases being at first closely surrounded by the damp sand. They
all became bowed down to the ground, so that their upper parts lay near to
and almost parallel to the surface of the soil. On the side of the light
their bases were in close contact with the sand, which was here a very
little heaped up; on the opposite or shaded side there were open,
crescentic cracks or furrows, rather above .01 of an inch in width; but
they were not so sharp and regular as those made by Phalaris and Avena, and
therefore could not be so easily measured under the microscope. The
hypocotyls were found, when the sand was removed on one side, to be curved
to a depth beneath the surface in three cases of at least .1 inch, in a
fourth case of .11, and in a fifth of .15 inch. The chords of the arcs of
the short, buried, bowed portions formed angles of between 11o and 15o with
the perpendicular. From what we have seen of the impermeability of this
sand to light, the curvature of the hypocotyls certainly extended down to a
depth where no light could enter; and the curvature must have been caused
by an influence transmitted from the upper illuminated part.

The lower halves of five young hypocotyls were surrounded by unpainted
gold-beaters' skin, and these, after an exposure of 8 h. before a paraffin
lamp, all became as much bowed to the light as the free seedlings. The
lower halves of 10 other young hypocotyls, similarly surrounded with the
skin, were thickly painted with Indian ink; their upper and unprotected
halves became well curved to the light, but their lower and protected
halves remained vertical in all the cases excepting one, and on this the
layer of paint was imperfect. This result seems to prove that the influence
transmitted from the upper part is not sufficient to cause the lower part
to bend, unless it be at the same time illuminated; but there remains the
doubt, as in
[page 482]
the case of Phalaris, whether the skin covered with a rather thick crust of
dry Indian ink did not mechanically prevent their curvature.

Beta vulgaris.--A few analogous experiments were tried on this plant, which
is not very well adapted for the purpose, as the basal part of the
hypocotyl, after it has grown to above half an inch in height, does not
bend much on exposure to a lateral light. Four hypocotyls were surrounded
close beneath their petioles with strips of thin tin-foil, .2 inch in
breadth, and they remained upright all day before a paraffin lamp; two
others were surrounded with strips .15 inch in breadth, and one of these
remained upright, the other becoming bowed; the bandages in two other cases
were only .1 inch in breadth, and both of these hypocotyls became bowed,
though one only slightly, towards the light. The free seedlings in the same
pots were all fairly well curved towards the light; and during the
following night became nearly upright. The pots were now turned round and
placed before a window, so that the opposite sides of the seedlings were
exposed to the light, towards which all the unprotected hypocotyls became
bent in the course of 7 h. Seven out of the 8 seedlings with bandages of
tin-foil remained upright, but one which had a bandage only .1 inch in
breadth, became curved to the light. On another occasion, the upper halves
of 7 hypocotyls were surrounded with painted gold-beaters' skin; of these 4
remained upright, and 3 became a little curved to the light: at the same
time 4 other seedlings surrounded with unpainted skin, as well as the free
ones in the same pots, all became bowed towards the lamp, before which they
had been exposed during 22 hours.

Radicles of Sinapis alba.--The radicles of some plants are indifferent, as
far as curvature is concerned, to the action of light; whilst others bend
towards and others from it.* Whether these movements are of any service to
the plant is very doubtful, at least in the case of subterranean roots;
they probably result from the radicles being sensitive to contact,
moisture, and gravitation, and as a consequence to other irritants which
are never naturally encountered. The radicles of Sinapis alba, when
immersed in water and exposed to a lateral light, bend from it, or are
apheliotropic. They become bent for a length of about 4 mm. from their
tips. To ascertain whether this movement

* Sachs, 'Physiologie Végétale,' 1868, p. 44.
[page 483]

generally occurred, 41 radicles, which had germinated in damp sawdust, were
immersed in water and exposed to a lateral light; and they all, with two
doubtful exceptions, became curved from the light. At the same time the
tips of 54 other radicles, similarly exposed, were just touched with
nitrate of silver. They were blackened for a length of from .05 to .07 mm.,
and probably killed; but it should be observed that this did not check
materially, if at all, the growth of the upper part; for several, which
were measured, increased in the course of only 8 -9 h. by 5 to 7 mm. in
length. Of the 54 cauterised radicles one case was doubtful, 25 curved
themselves from the light in the normal manner, and 28, or more than half,
were not in the least apheliotropic. There was a considerable difference,
which we cannot account for, in the results of the experiments tried
towards the end of April and in the middle of September. Fifteen radicles
(part of the above 54) were cauterised at the former period and were
exposed to sunshine, of which 12 failed to be apheliotropic, 2 were still
apheliotropic, and 1 was doubtful. In September, 39 cauterised radicles
were exposed to a northern light, being kept at a proper temperature; and
now 23 continued to be apheliotropic in the normal manner, and only 16
failed to bend from the light. Looking at the aggregate results at both
periods, there can be no doubt that the destruction of the tip for less
than a millimeter in length destroyed in more than half the cases their
power of moving from the light. It is probable that if the tips had been
cauterised for the length of a whole millimeter, all signs of
apheliotropism would have disappeared. It may be suggested that although
the application of caustic does not stop growth, yet enough may be absorbed
to destroy the power of movement in the upper part; but this suggestion
must be rejected, for we have seen and shall again see, that cauterising
one side of the tip of various kinds of radicles actually excites movement.
The conclusion seems inevitable that sensitiveness to light resides in the
tip of the radicle of Sinapis alba; and that the tip when thus stimulated
transmits some influence to the upper part, causing it to bend. The case in
this respect is parallel with that of the radicles of several plants, the
tips of which are sensitive to contact and to other irritants, and, as will
be shown in the eleventh chapter, to gravitation.
[page 484]

CONCLUDING REMARKS AND SUMMARY OF CHAPTER.

We do not know whether it is a general rule with seedling plants that the
illumination of the upper part determines the curvature of the lower part.
But as this occurred in the four species examined by us, belonging to such
distinct families as the Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Chenopodeae, it is
probably of common occurrence. It can hardly fail to be of service to
seedlings, by aiding them to find the shortest path from the buried seed to
the light, on nearly the same principle that the eyes of most of the lower
crawling animals are seated at the anterior ends of their bodies. It is
extremely doubtful whether with fully developed plants the illumination of
one part ever affects the curvature of another part. The summits of 5 young
plants of Asparagus officinalis (varying in height between 1.1 and 2.7
inches, and consisting of several short internodes) were covered with caps
of tin-foil from 0.3 to 0.35 inch in depth; and the lower uncovered parts
became as much curved towards a lateral light, as were the free seedlings
in the same pots. Other seedlings of the same plant had their summits
painted with Indian ink with the same negative result. Pieces of blackened
paper were gummed to the edges and over the blades of some leaves on young
plants of Tropaeolum majus and Ranunculus ficaria; these were then placed
in a box before a window, and the petioles of the protected leaves became
curved towards the light, as much as those of the unprotected leaves.

The foregoing cases with respect to seedling plants have been fully
described, not only because the transmission of any effect from light is a
new physiological fact, but because we think it tends to modify somewhat
the current views on heliotropic movements. Until
[page 485]
lately such movements were believed to result simply from increased growth
on the shaded side. At present it is commonly admitted* that diminished
light increases the turgescence of the cells, or the extensibility of the
cell-walls, or of both together, on the shaded side, and that this is
followed by increased growth. But Pfeffer has shown that a difference in
the turgescence on the two sides of a pulvinus,--that is, an aggregate of
small cells which have ceased to grow at an early age,--is excited by a
difference in the amount of light received by the two sides; and that
movement is thus caused without being followed by increased growth on the
more turgescent side.** All observers apparently believe that light acts
directly on the part which bends, but we have seen with the above described
seedlings that this is not the case. Their lower halves were brightly
illuminated for hours, and yet did not bend in the least towards the light,
though this is the part which under ordinary circumstances bends the most.
It is a still more striking fact, that the faint illumination of a narrow
stripe on one side of the upper part of the cotyledons of Phalaris
determined the direction of the curvature of the lower part; so that this
latter part did not bend towards the bright light by which it had been
fully illuminated,

* Emil Godlewski has given ('Bot. Zeitung,' 1879, Nos. 6-9) an excellent
account (p. 120) of the present state of the question. See also Vines in
'Arbeiten des Bot. Inst. in Würzburg,' 1878, B. ii. pp. 114-147. Hugo de
Vries has recently published a still more important article on this
subject: 'Bot Zeitung,' Dec. 19th and 26th, 1879.

** 'Die Periodischen Bewegungen der Blattorgane,' 1875, pp. 7, 63, 123,
etc. Frank has also insisted ('Die Naturliche wägerechte Richtung von
Pflanzentheilen,' 1870, p. 53) on the important part which the pulvini of
the leaflets of compound leaves play in placing the leaflets in a proper
position with respect to the light. This holds good, especially with the
leaves of climbing plants, which are carried into all sorts of positions,
ill-adapted for the action of the light.
[page 486]

but obliquely towards one side where only a little light entered. These
results seem to imply the presence of some matter in the upper part which
is acted on by light, and which transmits its effects to the lower part. It
has been shown that this transmission is independent of the bending of the
upper sensitive part. We have an analogous case of transmission in Drosera,
for when a gland is irritated, the basal and not the upper or intermediate
part of the tentacle bends. The flexible and sensitive filament of Dionaea
likewise transmits a stimulus, without itself bending; as does the stem of
Mimosa.

Light exerts a powerful influence on most vegetable tissues, and there can
be no doubt that it generally tends to check their growth. But when the two
sides of a plant are illuminated in a slightly different degree, it does
not necessarily follow that the bending towards the illuminated side is
caused by changes in the tissues of the same nature as those which lead to
increased growth in darkness. We know at least that a part may bend from
the light, and yet its growth may not be favoured by light. This is the
case with the radicles of Sinapis alba, which are plainly apheliotropic;
nevertheless, they grow quicker in darkness than in light.* So it is with
many aërial roots, according to Wiesner;** but there are other opposed
cases. It appears, therefore, that light does not determine the growth of
apheliotropic parts in any uniform manner.

We should bear in mind that the power of bending to the light is highly
beneficial to most plants. There

* Francis Darwin, 'Über das Wachsthum negativ heliotropischer Wurzeln':
'Arbeiten des Bot. Inst. in Würzburg,' B. ii., Heft iii., 1880, p. 521.

** 'Sitzb. der k. Akad. der Wissensch' (Vienna), 1880, p. 12.
[page 487]

is therefore no improbability in this power having been specially acquired.
In several respects light seems to act on plants in nearly the same manner
as it does on animals by means of the nervous system.* With seedlings the
effect, as we have just seen, is transmitted from one part to another. An
animal may be excited to move by a very small amount of light; and it has
been shown that a difference in the illumination of the two sides of the
cotyledons of Phalaris, which could not be distinguished by the human eye,
sufficed to cause them to bend. It has also been shown that there is no
close parallelism between the amount of light which acts on a plant and its
degree of curvature; it was indeed hardly possible to perceive any
difference in the curvature of some seedlings of Phalaris exposed to a
light, which, though dim, was very much brighter than that to which others
had been exposed. The retina, after being stimulated by a bright light,
feels the effect for some time; and Phalaris continued to bend for nearly
half an hour towards the side which had been illuminated. The retina cannot
perceive a dim light after it has been exposed to a bright one; and plants
which had been kept in the daylight during the previous day and morning,
did not move so soon towards an obscure lateral light as did others which
had been kept in complete darkness.

Even if light does act in such a manner on the growing parts of plants as
always to excite in them a tendency to bend towards the more illuminated
side--a supposition contradicted by the foregoing experiments on seedlings
and by all apheliotropic
* Sachs has made some striking remarks to the same effect with respect to
the various stimuli which excite movement in plants. See his paper 'Ueber
orthotrope und plagiotrope Pflanzentheile,' 'Arb. des Bot. Inst. in
Würzburg,' 1879, B. ii. p. 282.
[page 488]

organs--yet the tendency differs greatly in different species, and is
variable in degree in the individuals of the same species, as may be seen
in almost any pot of seedlings of a long cultivated plant.* There is
therefore a basis for the modification of this tendency to almost any
beneficial extent. That it has been modified, we see in many cases: thus,
it is of more importance for insectivorous plants to place their leaves in
the best position for catching insects than to turn their leaves to the
light, and they have no such power. If the stems of twining plants were to
bend towards the light, they would often be drawn away from their supports;
and as we have seen they do not thus bend. As the stems of most other
plants are heliotropic, we may feel almost sure that twining plants, which
are distributed throughout the whole vascular series, have lost a power
that their non-climbing progenitors possessed. Moreover, with Ipomoea, and
probably all other twiners, the stem of the young plant, before it begins
to twine, is highly heliotropic, evidently in order to expose the
cotyledons or the first true leaves fully to the light. With the Ivy the
stems of seedlings are moderately heliotropic, whilst those of the same
plants when grown a little older

* Strasburger has shown in his interesting work ('Wirkung des Lichtes...auf
Schwärmsporen,' 1878), that the movement of the swarm-spores of various
lowly organised plants to a lateral light is influenced by their stage of
development, by the temperature to which they are subjected, by the degree
of illumination under which they have been raised, and by other unknown
causes; so that the swarm-spores of the same species may move across the
field of the microscope either to or from the light. Some individuals,
moreover, appear to be indifferent to the light; and those of different
species behave very differently. The brighter the light, the straighter is
their course. They exhibit also for a short time the after-effects of
light. In all these respects they resemble the higher plants. See, also,
Stahl, 'Ueber den einfluss der Lichts auf die Bewegungs-erscheinungen der
Schwärmsporen' Verh. d. phys.-med. Geselsshalft in Würzburg, B. xii. 1878.
[page 489]

are apheliotropic. Some tendrils which consist of modified leaves--organs
in all ordinary cases strongly diaheliotropic--have been rendered
apheliotropic, and their tips crawl into any dark crevice.

Even in the case of ordinary heliotropic movements, it is hardly credible
that they result directly from the action of the light, without any special
adaptation. We may illustrate what we mean by the hygroscopic movements of
plants: if the tissues on one side of an organ permit of rapid evaporation,
they will dry quickly and contract, causing the part to bend to this side.
Now the wonderfully complex movements of the pollinia of Orchis
pyramidalis, by which they clasp the proboscis of a moth and afterwards
change their position for the sake of depositing the pollen-masses on the
double stigma--or again the twisting movements, by which certain seeds bury
themselves in the ground*--follow from the manner of drying of the parts in
question; yet no one will suppose that these results have been gained
without special adaptation. Similarly, we are led to believe in adaptation
when we see the hypocotyl of a seedling, which contains chlorophyll,
bending to the light; for although it thus receives less light, being now
shaded by its own cotyledons, it places them--the more important organs--in
the best position to be fully illuminated. The hypocotyl may therefore be
said to sacrifice itself for the good of the cotyledons, or rather of the
whole plant. But if it be prevented from bending, as must sometimes occur
with seedlings springing up in an entangled mass of vegetation, the
cotyledons themselves bend so as to face the light; the one farthest off
rising

* Francis Darwin, 'On the Hygroscopic Mechanism,' etc., 'Transactions Linn.
Soc.,' series ii. vol. i. p. 149, 1876.
[page 490]

up, and that nearest to the light sinking down, or both twisting
laterally.* We may, also, suspect that the extreme sensitiveness to light
of the upper part of the sheath-like cotyledons of the Gramineae, and their
power of transmitting its effects to the lower part, are specialised
arrangements for finding the shortest path to the light. With plants
growing on a bank, or thrown prostrate by the wind, the manner in which the
leaves move, even rotating on their own axes, so that their upper surfaces
may be again directed to the light, is a striking phenomenon. Such facts
are rendered more striking when we remember that too intense a light
injures the chlorophyll, and that the leaflets of several Leguminosae when
thus exposed bend upwards and present their edges to the sun, thus escaping
injury. On the other hand, the leaflets of Averrhoa and Oxalis, when
similarly exposed, bend downwards.

It was shown in the last chapter that heliotropism is a modified form of
circumnutation; and as every growing part of every plant circumnutates more
or less, we can understand how it is that the power of bending to the light
has been acquired by such a multitude of plants throughout the vegetable
kingdom. The manner in which a circumnutating movement--that is, one
consisting of a succession of irregular ellipses or loops--is gradually
converted into a rectilinear course towards the light, has been already
explained. First, we have a succession of ellipses with their longer axes
directed towards the light, each of which

* Wiesner has made remarks to nearly the same effect with respect to
leaves: 'Die undulirende Nutation der Internodien,' p. 6, extracted from B.
lxxvii. (1878). Sitb. der k. Akad. der Wissensch. Wien.
[page 491]

is described nearer and nearer to its source; then the loops are drawn out
into a strongly pronounced zigzag line, with here and there a small loop
still formed. At the same time that the movement towards the light is
increased in extent and accelerated, that in the opposite direction is
lessened and retarded, and at last stopped. The zigzag movement to either
side is likewise gradually lessened, so that finally the course becomes
rectilinear. Thus under the stimulus of a fairly bright light there is no
useless expenditure of force.

As with plants every character is more or less variable, there seems to be
no great difficulty in believing that their circumnutating movements may
have been increased or modified in any beneficial manner by the
preservation of varying individuals. The inheritance of habitual movements
is a necessary contingent for this process of selection, or the survival of
the fittest; and we have seen good reason to believe that habitual
movements are inherited by plants. In the case of twining species the
circumnutating movements have been increased in amplitude and rendered more
circular; the stimulus being here an internal or innate one. With sleeping
plants the movements have been increased in amplitude and often changed in
direction; and here the stimulus is the alternation of light and darkness,
aided, however, by inheritance. In the case of heliotropism, the stimulus
is the unequal illumination of the two sides of the plant, and this
determines, as in the foregoing cases, the modification of the
circumnutating movement in such a manner that the organ bends to the light.
A plant which has been rendered heliotropic by the above means, might
readily lose this tendency, judging from the cases already given, as soon
as it became useless or
[page 492]
injurious. A species which has ceased to be heliotropic might also be
rendered apheliotropic by the preservation of the individuals which tended
to circumnutate (though the cause of this and most other variations is
unknown) in a direction more or less opposed to that whence the light
proceeded. In like manner a plant might be rendered diaheliotropic.
[page 493]


CHAPTER X.

MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: MOVEMENTS EXCITED BY GRAVITATION.

Means of observation - Apogeotropism--Cytisus--Verbena--Beta--Gradual
conversion of the movement of circumnutation into apogeotropism in Rubus,
Lilium, Phalaris, Avena, and Brassica--Apogeotropism retarded by
heliotropism--Effected by the aid of joints or pulvini--Movements of
flower-peduncles of Oxalis--General remarks on apogeotropism--Geotropism--
Movements of radicles--Burying of seed-capsules--Use of process--Trifolium
subterraneum--Arachis--Amphicarpaea--Diageotropism--Conclusion

OUR object in the present chapter is to show that geotropism,
apogeotropism, and diageotropism are modified forms of circumnutation.
Extremely fine filaments of glass, bearing two minute triangles of paper,
were fixed to the summits of young stems, frequently to the hypocotyls of
seedlings, to flower-peduncles, radicles, etc., and the movements of the
parts were then traced in the manner already described on vertical and
horizontal glass-plates. It should be remembered that as the stems or other
parts become more and more oblique with respect to the glasses, the figures
traced on them necessarily become more and more magnified. The plants were
protected from light, excepting whilst each observation was being made, and
then the light, which was always a dim one, was allowed to enter so as to
interfere as little as possible with the movement in progress; and we did
not detect any evidence of such interference.

When observing the gradations between circumnu-
[page 494]
tation and heliotropism, we had the great advantage of being able to lessen
the light; but with geotropism analogous experiments were of course
impossible. We could, however, observe the movements of stems placed at
first only a little from the perpendicular, in which case geotropism did
not act with nearly so much power, as when the stems were horizontal and at
right angles to the force. Plants, also, were selected which were but
feebly geotropic or apogeotropic, or had become so from having grown rather
old. Another plan was to place the stems at first so that they pointed 30
or 40o beneath the horizon, and then apogeotropism had a great amount of
work to do before the stem was rendered upright; and in this case ordinary
circumnutation was often not wholly obliterated. Another plan was to
observe in the evening plants which during the day had become greatly
curved heliotropically; for their stems under the gradually waning light
very slowly became upright through the action of apogeotropism; and in this
case modified circumnutation was sometimes well displayed.

[Apogeotropism.--Plants were selected for observation almost by chance,
excepting that they were taken from widely different families. If the stem
of a plant which is even moderately sensitive to apogeotropism be placed
horizontally, the upper growing part bends quickly upwards, so as to become
perpendicular; and the line traced by joining the dots successively made on
a glass-plate, is generally almost straight. For instance, a young Cytisus
fragrans, 12 inches in height, was placed so that the stem projected 10o
beneath the horizon, and its course was traced during 72 h. At first it
bent a very little downwards (Fig. 182), owing no doubt to the weight of
the stem, as this occurred with most of the other plants observed, though,
as they were of course circumnutating, the short downward lines were often
oblique. After three-quarters of an hour the stem began to curve upwards,
quickly during the first two hours, but much more slowly during the
afternoon and night,
[page 495]
and on the following day. During the second night it fell a little, and
circumnutated during the following day; but it also moved a short distance
to the right, which was caused by a little light having been accidentally
admitted on this side. The stem was now inclined 60o above the horizon, and
had therefore risen 70o. With time allowed it would probably have become
upright, and no doubt would have continued circumnutating. The sole
remarkable feature in the figure here given is the straightness of the
course pursued. The stem, however, did not move upwards at an equable rate,
and it sometimes stood almost or quite still. Such periods probably
represent attempts to circumnutate in a direction opposite to
apogeotropism.

Fig. 182. Cytisus fragrans: apogeotropic movement of stem from 10o beneath
to 60o above horizon, traced on vertical glass, from 8.30 A.M. March 12th
to 10.30 P.M. 13th. The subsequent circumnutating movement is likewise
shown up to 6.45 A.M. on the 15th. Nocturnal course represented, as usual,
by a broken line. Movement not greatly magnified, and tracing reduced to
two-thirds of original scale.

 The herbaceous stem of a Verbena melindres (?) laid horizontally, rose in
7 h. so much that it could no longer be observed on the vertical glass
which stood in front of the plant. The long line which was traced was
almost absolutely straight. After the 7 h. it still continued to rise, but
now circumnutated slightly. On the following day it stood upright, and
circumnutated regularly, as shown in Fig. 82, given in the fourth chapter.
The stems of several other plants which were highly sensitive to
apogeotropism rose up in almost straight lines, and
[page 496]
then suddenly began to circumnutate. A partially etiolated and somewhat old
hypocotyl of a seedling cabbage (2 3/4 inches in height) was so sensitive
that when placed at an angle of only 23o from the perpendicular, it became
vertical in 33 minutes. As it could not have been strongly acted upon by
apogeotropism in the above slightly inclined position, we expected that it
would have circumnutated, or at least have moved in a zigzag course.
Accordingly, dots were made every 3 minutes; but, when these were joined,
the line was nearly straight. After this hypocotyl had become upright it
still moved onwards for half an hour in the same general direction, but in
a zigzag manner. During the succeeding 9 h. it circumnutated regularly, and
described 3 large ellipses. In this case apogeotropism, although acting at
a very unfavourable angle, quite overcame the ordinary circumnutating
movement.

Fig. 183. Beta vulgaris: apogeotropic movement of hypocotyl from 19o
beneath horizon to a vertical position, with subsequent circumnutation,
traced on a vertical and on a horizontal glass-plate, from 8.28 A.M. Sept.
28th to 8.40 A.M. 29th. Figure reduced to one-third of original scale.

The hypocotyls of Beta vulgaris are highly sensitive to apogeotropism. One
was placed so as to project 19o beneath the horizon; it fell at first a
very little (see Fig. 183), no doubt owing to its weight; but as it was
circumnutating the line was
[page 497]
oblique. During the next 3 h. 8 m. it rose in a nearly straight line,
passing through an angle of 109o, and then (at 12.3 P.M.) stood upright. It
continued for 55 m. to move in the same general direction beyond the
perpendicular, but in a zigzag course. It returned also in a zigzag line,
and then circumnutated regularly, describing three large ellipses during
the remainder of the day. It should be observed that the ellipses in this
figure are exaggerated in size, relatively to the length of the upward
straight line, owing to the position of the vertical and horizontal
glass-plates. Another and somewhat old hypocotyl was placed so as to stand
at only 31o from the perpendicular, in which position apogeotropism acted
on it with little force, and its course accordingly was slightly zigzag.

The sheath-like cotyledons of Phalaris Canariensis are extremely sensitive
to apogeotropism. One was placed so as to project 40o beneath the horizon.
Although it was rather old and 1.3 inch in height, it became vertical in 4
h. 30 m., having passed through an angle of 130o in a nearly straight line.
It then suddenly began to circumnutate in the ordinary manner. The
cotyledons of this plant, after the first leaf has begun to protrude, are
but slightly apogeotropic, though they still continue to circumnutate. One
at this stage of development was placed horizontally, and did not become
upright even after 13 h., and its course was slightly zigzag. So, again, a
rather old hypocotyl of Cassia tora (1 1/4 inch in height) required 28 h.
to become upright, and its course was distinctly zigzag; whilst younger
hypocotyls moved much more quickly and in a nearly straight line.

When a horizontally placed stem or other organ rises in a zigzag line, we
may infer from the many cases given in our previous chapters, that we have
a modified form of circumnutation; but when the course is straight, there
is no evidence of circumnutation, and any one might maintain that this
latter movement had been replaced by one of a wholly distinct kind. This
view seems the more probable when (as sometimes occurred with the
hypocotyls of Brassica and Beta, the stems of Cucurbita, and the cotyledons
of Phalaris) the part in question, after bending up in a straight course,
suddenly begins to circumnutate to the full extent and in the usual manner.
A fairly good instance of a sudden change of this kind--that is, from a
nearly straight upward movement to one of circumnutation--is shown in Fig.
183; but more striking instances were occasionally observed with Beta,
Brassica, and Phalaris.

We will now describe a few cases in which it may be
[page 498]
seen how gradually circumnutation becomes changed into apogeotropism, under
circumstances to be specified in each instance.

Rubus idaeus (hybrid).--A young plant, 11 inches in height, growing in a
pot, was placed horizontally; and the upward movement was traced during
nearly 70 h.; but the plant, though growing vigorously, was not highly
sensitive to apogeotropism, or it was not capable of quick movement, for
during the above time it rose only 67o. We may see in the diagram (Fig.
184) that during the first day of 12 h. it rose in a nearly straight line.
When placed horizontally, it was evidently circumnutating, for it rose at
first a little, notwithstanding the weight of the stem, and then sank down;
so that it did not start on its permanently upward course until 1 h. 25 m.
had elapsed. On the second day, by which time it had risen considerably,
and when apogeotropism acted on it with somewhat less power, its course
during 15 ½ h. was clearly zigzag, and the rate of the upward movement was
not equable. During the third day, also of 15 ½ h., when apogeotropism
acted on it with still less power, the stem plainly circumnutated, for it
moved during this day 3 times up and 3 times down, 4 times to the left and
4 to the right. But the course was so complex that it could hardly be
traced on the glass. We can, however, see that the successively formed
irregular ellipses rose higher and higher. Apogeotropism continued to act
on the fourth morning, as the stem was still rising, though it now stood
only 23o from the perpendicular. In this diagram the several stages may be
followed by which an almost rectilinear, upward, apogeotropic course first
becomes zigzag, and then changes into a circumnutating movement, with most
of the successively formed, irregular ellipses directed upwards.

Fig 184: Rubus idaeus (hybrid): apogeotropic movement of stem, traced on a
vertical glass during 3 days and 3 nights, from 10.40 A.M. March 18th to 8
A.M. 21st. Figure reduced to one-half of the original scale.

Lilium auratum.--A plant 23 inches in height was placed
[page 499]
horizontally, and the upper part of the stem rose 58o in 46 h., in the
manner shown in the accompanying diagram (Fig. 185). We here see that
during the whole of the second day of 15 ½ h., the stem plainly
circumnutated whilst bending upwards through apogeotropism. It had still to
rise considerably, for when the last dot in the figure was made, it stood
32o from an upright position.

Fig. 185. Lilium auratum: apogeotropic movement of stem, traced on a
vertical glass during 2 days and 2 nights, from 10.40 A.M. March 18th to 8
A.M. 20th. Figure reduced to one-half of the original scale.

Phalaris Canariensis.--A cotyledon of this plant (1.3 inch in height) has
already been described as rising in 4 h. 30 m. from 40o beneath the horizon
into a vertical position, passing through an angle of 130o in a nearly
straight line, and then abruptly beginning to circumnutate. Another
somewhat old cotyledon of the same height (but from which a true leaf had
not yet protruded), was similarly placed at 40o beneath the horizon. For
the first 4 h. it rose in a nearly straight course (Fig. 186), so that by
1.10 P.M. it was highly inclined, and now apogeotropism acted on it with
much less power than before, and it began to zigzag. At 4.15 P.M. (i.e. in
7 h. from the commencement) it stood vertically, and afterwards continued
to circumnutate in the usual manner about the same spot. Here then we have
a graduated change from a straight upward apogeotropic course into
circumnutation, instead of an abrupt change, as in the former case.

Avena sativa.--The sheath-like cotyledons, whilst young, are strongly
apogeotropic; and some which were placed at 45o beneath the horizon rose
90o in 7 or 8 h. in lines almost absolutely straight. An oldish cotyledon,
from which the first leaf began to
[page 500]
protrude whilst the following observations were being made, was placed at
10o beneath the horizon, and it rose only 59o in 24h. It behaved rather
differently from any other plant, observed by us, for during the first 4 ½
h. it rose in a line not far from straight; during the next 6 ½ h. it
circumnutated, that is, it descended and again ascended in a strongly
marked zigzag course; it then resumed its upward movement in a moderately
straight line, and, with time allowed, no doubt would have become upright.
In this case, after the first 4 ½ h., ordinary circumnutation almost
completely conquered for a time apogeotropism.

Fig 186. Phalaris Canariensis: apogeotropic movement of cotyledon, traced
on a vertical and horizontal glass, from 9.10 A.M. Sept. 19th to 9 A.M.
20th. Figure here reduced to one-fifth of original scale.

Brassica oleracea.--The hypocotyls of several young seedlings placed
horizontally, rose up vertically in the course of 6 or 7 h. in nearly
straight lines. A seedling which had grown in darkness to a height of 2 1/4
inches, and was therefore rather old and not highly sensitive, was placed
so that the hypocotyl projected at between 30o and 40o beneath the horizon.
The upper part alone became curved
[page 501]
upwards, and rose during the first 3 h. 10 m. in a nearly straight line
(Fig. 187); but it was not possible to trace the upward movement on the
vertical glass for the first 1 h. 10 m., so that the nearly straight line
in the diagram ought to have been much longer. During the next 11 h. the
hypocotyl circumnutated, describing irregular figures, each of which rose a
little above the one previously formed. During the night and following
early morning it continued to rise in a zigzag course, so that
apogeotropism was still acting. At the close of our observations, after 23
h. (represented by the highest dot in the diagram) the hypocotyl was still
32o from the perpendicular. There can be little doubt that it would
ultimately have become upright by describing an additional number of
irregular ellipses, one above the other.

Fig 187. Brassica oleracea: apogeotropic movement of hypocotyl, traced on
vertical glass, from 9.20 A.M., Sept. 12th to 8.30 A.M. 13th. The upper
part of the figure is more magnified than the lower part. If the whole
course had been traced, the straight upright line would have been much
longer. Figure here reduced to one-third of the original scale.

Apogeotropism retarded by Heliotropism.--When the stem of any plant bends
during the day towards a lateral light, the movement is opposed by
apogeotropism; but as the light gradually wanes in the evening the latter
power slowly gains the upper hand, and draws the stem back into a vertical
position. Here then we have a good opportunity for observing how
apogeotropism acts when very nearly balanced by an opposing force. For
instance, the plumule of Tropaeolum majus (see former Fig. 175) moved
towards the dim evening light in a slightly zigzag line until 6.45 P.M., it
then returned on its course until
[page 502]
10.40 P.M., during which time it zigzagged and described an ellipse of
considerable size. The hypocotyl of Brassica oleracea (see former Fig. 173)
moved in a straight line to the light until 5.15 P.M., and then from the
light, making in its backward course a great rectangular bend, and then
returned for a short distance towards the former source of the light; no
observations were made after 7.10 P.M., but during the night it recovered
its vertical position. A hypocotyl of Cassia tora moved in the evening in a
somewhat zigzag line towards the failing light until 6 P.M., and was now
bowed 20o from the perpendicular; it then returned on its course, making
before 10.30 P.M. four great, nearly rectangular bends and almost
completing an ellipse. Several other analogous cases were casually
observed, and in all of them the apogeotropic movement could be seen to
consist of modified circumnutation.

Apogeotropic Movements effected by the aid of joints or pulvini.--Movements
of this kind are well known to occur in the Gramineae, and are effected by
means of the thickened bases of their sheathing leaves; the stem within
being in this part thinner than elsewhere.* According to the analogy of all
other pulvini, such joints ought to continue circumnutating for a long
period, after the adjoining parts have ceased to grow. We therefore wished
to ascertain whether this was the case with the Gramineae; for if so, the
upward curvature of their stems, when extended horizontally or laid
prostrate, would be explained in accordance with our view--namely, that
apogeotropism results from modified circumnutation. After these joints have
curved upwards, they are fixed in their new position by increased growth
along their lower sides.

Lolium perenne.--A young stem, 7 inches in height, consisting of 3
internodes, with the flower-head not yet protruded, was selected for
observation. A long and very thin glass filament was cemented horizontally
to the stem close above the second joint, 3 inches above the ground. This
joint was subsequently proved to be in an active condition, as its lower
side swelled much through the action of apogeotropism (in the manner
described by De Vries) after the haulm had been fastened down for 24 h. in
a horizontal position. The pot was

* This structure has been recently described by De Vries in an interesting
article, 'Ueber die Aufrichtung des gelagerten Getreides,' in
'Landwirthschaftliche Jahrbücher,' 1880, p. 473.
[page 503]

so placed that the end of the filament stood beneath the 2-inch object
glass of a microscope with an eye-piece micrometer, each division of which
equalled 1/500 of an inch. The end of the filament was repeatedly observed
during 6 h., and was seen to be in constant movement; and it crossed 5
divisions of the micrometer (1/100 inch) in 2 h. Occasionally it moved
forwards by jerks, some of which were 1/1000 inch in length, and then
slowly retreated a little, afterwards again jerking forwards. These
oscillations were exactly like those described under Brassica and Dionaea,
but they occurred only occasionally. We may therefore conclude that this
moderately old joint was continually circumnutating on a small scale.

Alopecurus pratensis.--A young plant, 11 inches in height, with the
flower-head protruded, but with the florets not yet expanded, had a glass
filament fixed close above the second joint, at a height of only 2 inches
above the ground. The basal internode, 2 inches in length, was cemented to
a stick to prevent any possibility of its circumnutating. The extremity of
the filament, which projected about 50o above the horizon, was often
observed during 24 h. in the same manner as in the last case. Whenever
looked at, it was always in movement, and it crossed 30 divisions of the
micrometer (3/50 inch) in 3 ½ h.; but it sometimes moved at a quicker rate,
for at one time it crossed 5 divisions in 1 ½ h. The pot had to be moved
occasionally, as the end of the filament travelled beyond the field of
vision; but as far as we could judge it followed during the daytime a
semicircular course; and it certainly travelled in two different directions
at right angles to one another. It sometimes oscillated in the same manner
as in the last species, some of the jerks forwards being as much as 1/1000
of an inch. We may therefore conclude that the joints in this and the last
species of grass long continue to circumnutate; so that this movement would
be ready to be converted into an apogeotropic movement, whenever the stem
was placed in an inclined or horizontal position.

Movements of the Flower-peduncles of Oxalis carnosa, due to apogeotropism
and other forces.--The movements of the main peduncle, and of the three or
four sub-peduncles which each main peduncle of this plant bears, are
extremely complex, and are determined by several distinct causes. Whilst
the flowers are expanded, both kinds of peduncles circumnutate about the
same spot, as we have seen (Fig. 91) in the fourth chapter. But soon after
the flowers have begun to wither the sub-
[page 504]
peduncles bend downwards, and this is due to epinasty; for on two occasions
when pots were laid horizontally, the sub-peduncles assumed the same
position relatively to the main peduncle, as would have been the case if
they had remained upright; that is, each of them formed with it an angle of
about 40o. If they had been acted on by geotropism or apheliotropism (for
the plant was illuminated from above), they would have directed themselves
to the centre of the earth. A main peduncle was secured to a stick in an
upright position, and one of the upright sub-peduncles which had been
observed circumnutating whilst the flower was expanded, continued to do so
for at least 24 h. after it had withered. It then began to bend downwards,
and after 36 h. pointed a little beneath the horizon. A new figure was now
begun (A, Fig. 188), and the sub-peduncle was traced descending in a zigzag
line from 7.20 P.M. on the 19th to 9 A.M. on the 22nd. It now pointed
almost perpendicularly downwards, and the glass filament had to be removed
and fastened transversely across the base of the young capsule. We expected
that the sub-peduncle would have been motionless in its new position; but
it continued slowly to swing, like a pendulum, from side to side, that is,
in a plane at right angles to that in which it had descended. This
circumnutating movement was observed from 9 A.M. on 22nd to 9 A.M. 24th, as
shown at B in the diagram. We were not able to observe this particular
sub-peduncle any longer; but it would certainly have gone on circumnutating
until the capsule was nearly ripe (which requires only a short time), and
it would then have moved upwards.

The upward movement (C, Fig. 188) is effected in part by the whole
sub-peduncle rising in the same manner as it had previously descended
through epinasty--namely, at the joint where united to the main peduncle.
As this upward movement occurred with plants kept in the dark and in
whatever position the main peduncle was fastened, it could not have been
caused by heliotropism or apogeotropism, but by hyponasty. Besides this
movement at the joint, there is another of a very different kind, for the
sub-peduncle becomes upwardly bent in the middle part. If the sub-peduncle
happens at the time to be inclined much downwards, the upward curvature is
so great that the whole forms a hook. The upper end bearing the capsule,
thus always places itself upright, and as this occurs in darkness, and in
whatever position the main peduncle may have been secured,
[page 505]
the upward curvature cannot be due to heliotropism or hyponasty, but to
apogeotropism.

Fig. 188. Oxalis carnosa: movements of flower-peduncle, traced on a
vertical glass: A, epinastic downward movement; B, circumnutation whilst
depending vertically; C, subsequent upward movement, due to apogeotropism
and hyponasty combined.
[page 506]

In order to trace this upward movement, a filament was fixed to a
sub-peduncle bearing a capsule nearly ripe, which was beginning to bend
upwards by the two means just described. Its course was traced (see C, Fig
188) during 53 h., by which time it had become nearly upright. The course
is seen to be strongly zigzag, together with some little loops. We may
therefore conclude that the movement consists of modified circumnutation.

The several species of Oxalis probably profit in the following manner by
their sub-peduncles first bending downwards and then upwards. They are
known to scatter their seeds by the bursting of the capsule; the walls of
which are so extremely thin, like silver paper, that they would easily be
permeated by rain. But as soon as the petals wither, the sepals rise up and
enclose the young capsule, forming a perfect roof over it as soon as the
sub-peduncle has bent itself downwards. By its subsequent upward movement,
the capsule stands when ripe at a greater height above the ground by twice
the length of the sub-peduncle, than it did when dependent, and is thus
able to scatter its seeds to a greater distance. The sepals, which enclose
the ovarium whilst it is young, present an additional adaptation by
expanding widely when the seeds are ripe, so as not to interfere with their
dispersal. In the case of Oxalis acetosella, the capsules are said
sometimes to bury themselves under loose leaves or moss on the ground, but
this cannot occur with those of O. carnosa, as the woody stem is too high.

Oxalis acetosella.--The peduncles are furnished with a joint in

Fig. 189. Oxalis acetosella: course pursued by the upper part of a
peduncle, whilst rising, traced from 11 A.M. June 1st to 9 A.M. 3rd. Figure
here reduced to one-half of the original scale.

the middle, so that the lower part answers to the main peduncle,
[page 507]
and the upper part to one of the sub-peduncles of O. carnosa. The upper
part bends downwards, after the flower has begun to wither, and the whole
peduncle then forms a hook; that this bending is due to epinasty we may
infer from the case of O. carnosa. When the pod is nearly ripe, the upper
part straightens itself and becomes erect; and this is due to hyponasty or
apogeotropism, or both combined, and not to heliotropism, for it occurred
in darkness. The short, hooked part of the peduncle of a cleistogamic
flower, bearing a pod nearly ripe, was observed in the dark during three
days. The apex of the pod at first pointed perpendicularly down, but in the
course of three days rose 90o, so that it now projected horizontally. The
course during the two latter days is shown in Fig. 189; and it may be seen
how greatly the peduncle, whilst rising, circumnutated. The lines of chief
movement were at right angles to the plane of the originally hooked part.
The tracing was not continued any longer; but after two additional days,
the peduncle with its capsule had become straight and stood upright.]

Concluding Remarks on Apogeotropism.--When apogeotropism is rendered by any
means feeble, it acts, as shown in the several foregoing cases, by
increasing the always present circumnutating movement in a direction
opposed to gravity, and by diminishing that in the direction of gravity, as
well as that to either side. The upward movement thus becomes unequal in
rate, and is sometimes interrupted by stationary periods. Whenever
irregular ellipses or loops are still formed, their longer axes are almost
always directed in the line of gravity, in an analogous manner as occurred
with heliotropic movements in reference to the light. As apogeotropism acts
more and more energetically, ellipses or loops cease to be formed, and the
course becomes at first strongly, and then less and less zigzag, and
finally rectilinear. From this gradation in the nature of the movement, and
more especially from all growing parts, which alone (except when pulvini
are present) are acted on by apogeotropism, con-
[page 508]
tinually circumnutating, we may conclude that even a rectilinear course is
merely an extremely modified form of circumnutation. It is remarkable that
a stem or other organ which is highly sensitive to apogeotropism, and which
has bowed itself rapidly upwards in a straight line, is often carried
beyond the vertical, as if by momentum. It then bends a little backwards to
a point round which it finally circumnutates. Two instances of this were
observed with the hypocotyls of Beta vulgaris, one of which is shown in
Fig. 183, and two other instances with the hypocotyls of Brassica. This
momentum-like movement probably results from the accumulated effects of
apogeotropism. For the sake of observing how long such after-effects
lasted, a pot with seedlings of Beta was laid on its side in the dark, and
the hypocotyls in 3 h. 15 m. became highly inclined. The pot, still in the
dark, was then placed upright, and the movements of the two hypocotyls were
traced; one continued to bend in its former direction, now in opposition to
apogeotropism, for about 37 m., perhaps for 48 m.; but after 61 m. it moved
in an opposite direction. The other hypocotyl continued to move in its
former course, after being placed upright, for at least 37 m.

Different species and different parts of the same species are acted on by
apogeotropism in very different degrees. Young seedlings, most of which
circumnutate quickly and largely, bend upwards and become vertical in much
less time than do any older plants observed by us; but whether this is due
to their greater sensitiveness to apogeotropism, or merely to their greater
flexibility we do not know. A hypocotyl of Beta traversed an angle of 109o
in 3 h. 8 m., and a cotyledon of Phalaris an angle of 130o in 4 h. 30 m. On
the other hand, the stem of a herbaceous
[page 509]
Verbena rose 90o in about 24 h.; that of Rubus 67o, in 70 h.; that of
Cytisus 70o, in 72 h.; that of a young American Oak only 37o, in 72 h. The
stem of a young Cyperus alternifolius rose only 11o in 96 h.; the bending
being confined to near its base. Though the sheath-like cotyledons of
Phalaris are so extremely sensitive to apogeotropism, the first true leaves
which protrude from them exhibited only a trace of this action. Two fronds
of a fern, Nephrodium molle, both of them young and one with the tip still
inwardly curled, were kept in a horizontal position for 46 h., and during
this time they rose so little that it was doubtful whether there was any
true apogeotropic movement.

The most curious case known to us of a difference in sensitiveness to
gravitation, and consequently of movement, in different parts of the same
organ, is that offered by the petioles of the cotyledons of Ipomoea
leptophylla. The basal part for a short length where united to the
undeveloped hypocotyl and radicle is strongly geotropic, whilst the whole
upper part is strongly apogeotropic. But a portion near the blades of the
cotyledons is after a time acted on by epinasty and curves downwards, for
the sake of emerging in the form of an arch from the ground; it
subsequently straightens itself, and is then again acted on by
apogeotropism.

A branch of Cucurbita ovifera, placed horizontally, moved upwards during 7
h. in a straight line, until it stood at 40o above the horizon; it then
began to circumnutate, as if owing to its trailing nature it had no
tendency to rise any higher. Another upright branch was secured to a stick,
close to the base of a tendril, and the pot was then laid horizontally in
the dark. In this position the tendril circumnutated and made
[page 510]
several large ellipses during 14 h., as it likewise did on the following
day; but during this whole time it was not in the least affected by
apogeotropism. On the other hand, when branches of another Cucurbitaceous
plant, Echinocytis lobata, were fixed in the dark so that the tendrils
depended beneath the horizon, these began immediately to bend upwards, and
whilst thus moving they ceased to circumnutate in any plain manner; but as
soon as they had become horizontal they recommenced to revolve
conspicuously.* The tendrils of Passiflora gracilis are likewise
apogeotropic. Two branches were tied down so that their tendrils pointed
many degrees beneath the horizon. One was observed for 8 h., during which
time it rose, describing two circles, one above the other. The other
tendril rose in a moderately straight line during the first 4 h., making
however one small loop in its course; it then stood at about 45o above the
horizon, where it circumnutated during the remaining 8 h. of observation.

A part or organ which whilst young is extremely sensitive to apogeotropism
ceases to be so as it grows old; and it is remarkable, as showing the
independence of this sensitiveness and of the circumnutating movement, that
the latter sometimes continues for a time after all power of bending from
the centre of the earth has been lost. Thus a seedling Orange bearing only
3 young leaves, with a rather stiff stem, did not curve in the least
upwards during 24 h. whilst extended horizontally; yet it circumnutated all
the time over a small space. The hypocotyl of a young seedling of Cassia
tora, similarly placed, became vertical in 12 h.; that of an older
seedling, 1 1/4 inch in height,

* For details see 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 1875, p.
131.
[page 511]

became so in 28 h.; and that of another still older one, 1 ½ inch in
height, remained horizontal during two days, but distinctly circumnutated
during this whole time.

When the cotyledons of Phalaris or Avena are laid horizontally, the
uppermost part first bends upwards, and then the lower part; consequently,
after the lower part has become much curved upwards, the upper part is
compelled to curve backwards in an opposite direction, in order to
straighten itself and to stand vertically; and this subsequent
straightening process is likewise due to apogeotropism. The upper part of 8
young cotyledons of Phalaris were made rigid by being cemented to thin
glass rods, so that this part could not bend in the least; nevertheless,
the basal part was not prevented from curving upward. A stem or other organ
which bends upwards through apogeotropism exerts considerable force; its
own weight, which has of course to be lifted, was sufficient in almost
every instance to cause the part at first to bend a little downwards; but
the downward course was often rendered oblique by the simultaneous
circumnutating movement. The cotyledons of Avena placed horizontally,
besides lifting their own weight, were able to furrow the soft sand above
them, so as to leave little crescentic open spaces on the lower sides of
their bases; and this is a remarkable proof of the force exerted.

As the tips of the cotyledons of Phalaris and Avena bend upwards through
the action of apogeotropism before the basal part, and as these same tips
when excited by a lateral light transmit some influence to the lower part,
causing it to bend, we thought that the same rule might hold good with
apogeotropism. Consequently, the tips of 7 cotyledons of Phalaris were
[page 512]
cut off for a length in three cases of .2 inch and in the four other cases
of .14, .12, .1, and .07 inch. But these cotyledons, after being extended
horizontally, bowed themselves upwards as effectually as the unmutilated
specimens in the same pots, showing that sensitiveness to gravitation is
not confined to their tips.

GEOTROPISM.

This movement is directly the reverse of apogeotropism. Many organs bend
downwards through epinasty or apheliotropism or from their own weight; but
we have met with very few cases of a downward movement in sub-aërial organs
due to geotropism. We shall however, give one good instance in the
following section, in the case of Trifolium subterraneum, and probably in
that of Arachis hypogaea.

On the other hand, all roots which penetrate the ground (including the
modified root-like petioles of Megarrhiza and Ipomoea leptophylla) are
guided in their downward course by geotropism; and so are many aërial
roots, whilst others, as those of the Ivy, appear to be indifferent to its
action. In our first chapter the movements of the radicles of several
seedlings were described. We may there see (Fig. 1) how a radicle of the
cabbage, when pointing vertically upwards so as to be very little acted on
by geotropism, circumnutated; and how another (Fig. 2) which was at first
placed in an inclined position bowed itself downwards in a zigzag line,
sometimes remaining stationary for a time. Two other radicles of the
cabbage travelled downwards in almost rectilinear courses. A radicle of the
bean placed upright (Fig. 20) made a great sweep and zigzagged; but as it
sank downwards and was more strongly acted on by geotropism, it moved in an
[page 513]
almost straight course. A radicle of Cucurbita, directed upwards (Fig. 26),
also zigzagged at first, and described small loops; it then moved in a
straight line. Nearly the same result was observed with the radicles of Zea
mays. But the best evidence of the intimate connection between
circumnutation and geotropism was afforded by the radicles of Phaseolus,
Vicia, and Quercus, and in a less degree by those of Zea and Aesculus (see
Figs. 18, 19, 21, 41, and 52); for when these were compelled to grow and
slide down highly inclined surfaces of smoked glass, they left distinctly
serpentine tracks.

[The Burying of Seed-capsules: Trifolium subterraneum.--The flower-heads of
this plant are remarkable from producing only 3 or 4 perfect flowers, which
are situated exteriorly. All the other many flowers abort, and are modified
into rigid points, with a bundle of vessels running up their centres. After
a time 5 long, elastic, claw-like projections, which represent the
divisions of the calyx, are developed on their summits. As soon as the
perfect flowers wither they bend downwards, supposing the peduncle to stand
upright, and they then closely surround its upper part. This movement is
due to epinasty, as is likewise the case with the flowers of T. repens. The
imperfect central flowers ultimately follow, one after the other, the same
course. Whilst the perfect flowers are thus bending down, the whole
peduncle curves downwards and increases much in length, until the
flower-head reaches the ground. Vaucher* says that when the plant is so
placed that the heads cannot soon reach the ground, the peduncles grow to
the extraordinary length of from 6 to 9 inches. In whatever position the
branches may be placed, the upper part of the peduncle at first bends
vertically upwards through heliotropism; but as soon as the flowers begin
to wither the downward curvature of the whole peduncle commences. As this
latter movement occurred in complete darkness, and with peduncles arising
from upright and from dependent branches, it cannot be due to
apheliotropism or to epinasty, but must be attributed to geotropism.
Nineteen

* 'Hist. Phys. des Plantes d'Europe,' tom. ii. 1841, p. 106.
[page 514]

upright flower-heads, arising from branches in all sorts of positions, on
plants growing in a warm greenhouse, were marked with thread, and after 24
h. six of them were vertically dependent; these therefore had travelled
through 180o in this time. Ten were extended sub-horizontally, and these
had moved through about 90o. Three very young peduncles had as yet moved
only a little downwards, but after an additional 24 h. were greatly
inclined.

At the time when the flower-heads reach the ground, the younger imperfect
flowers in the centre are still pressed closely together, and form a
conical projection; whereas the perfect and imperfect flowers on the
outside are upturned and closely surround the peduncle. They are thus
adapted to offer as little resistance, as the case admits of, in
penetrating the ground, though the diameter of the flower-head is still
considerable. The means by which this penetration is effected will
presently be described. The flower-heads are able to bury themselves in
common garden mould, and easily in sand or in fine sifted cinders packed
rather closely. The depth to which they penetrated, measured from the
surface to the base of the head, was between 1/4 and ½ inch, but in one
case rather above 0.6 inch. With a plant kept in the house, a head partly
buried itself in sand in 6 h.: after 3 days only the tips of the reflexed
calyces were visible, and after 6 days the whole had disappeared. But with
plants growing out of doors we believe, from casual observations, that they
bury themselves in a much shorter time.

After the heads have buried themselves, the central aborted flowers
increase considerably in length and rigidity, and become bleached. They
gradually curve, one after the other, upwards or towards the peduncle, in
the same manner as did the perfect flowers at first. In thus moving, the
long claws on their summits carry with them some earth. Hence a flower-head
which has been buried for a sufficient time, forms a rather large ball,
consisting of the aborted flowers, separated from one another by earth, and
surrounding the little pods (the product of the perfect flowers) which lie
close round the upper part of the peduncle. The calyces of the perfect and
imperfect flowers are clothed with simple and multicellular hairs, which
have the power of absorption; for when placed in a weak solution of
carbonate of ammonia (2 gr. to 1 oz. of water) their protoplasmic contents
immediately became aggregated and afterwards displayed the usual slow
movements. This clover generally
[page 515]
grows in dry soil, but whether the power of absorption by the hairs on the
buried flower-heads is of any importance to them we do not know. Only a few
of the flower-heads, which from their position are not able to reach the
ground and bury themselves, yield seeds; whereas the buried ones never
failed, as far as we observed, to produce as many seeds as there had been
perfect flowers.

We will now consider the movements of the peduncle whilst

Fig. 190. Trifolium subterraneum: downward movement of peduncle from 19o
beneath the horizon to a nearly vertically dependent position, traced from
11 A.M. July 22nd to the morning of 25th. Glass filament fixed transversely
across peduncle, at base of flower-head.

curving down to the ground. We have seen in Chap. IV., Fig. 92, p. 225,
that an upright young flower-head circumnutated conspicuously; and that
this movement continued after the peduncle had begun to bend downwards. The
same peduncle was observed when inclined at an angle of 19o above the
horizon, and it circumnutated during two days. Another
[page 516]
which was already curved 36o beneath the horizon, was observed from 11 A.M.
July 22nd to the 27th, by which latter date it had become vertically
dependent. Its course during the first 12 h. is shown in Fig. 190, and its
position on the three succeeding mornings until the 25th, when it was
nearly vertical. During the first day the peduncle clearly circumnutated,
for it moved 4 times down and 3 times up; and on each succeeding day, as it
sank downwards, the same movement continued, but was only occasionally
observed and was less strongly marked. It should be stated that these
peduncles were observed under a double skylight in the house, and that they
generally moved downwards very much more slowly than those on plants
growing out of doors or in the greenhouse.

Fig. 191. Trifolium subterraneum: circumnutating movement of peduncle,
whilst the flower-head was burying itself in sand, with the reflexed tips
of the calyx still visible; traced from 8 A.M. July 26th to 9 A.M. on 27th.
Glass filament fixed transversely across peduncle, near flower-head.

Fig. 192. Trifolium subterraneum: movement of same peduncle, with
flower-head completely buried beneath the sand; traced from 8 A.M. to 7.15
P.M. on July 29th.

The movement of another vertically dependent peduncle with the flower-head
standing half an inch above the ground, was traced, and again when it first
touched the ground; in both cases irregular ellipses were described every 4
or 5 h. A peduncle on a plant which had been brought into the house, moved
from an upright into a vertically dependent position in a single day; and
here the course during the first 12 h. was nearly straight, but with a few
well-marked zigzags which betrayed the essential nature of the movement.
Lastly the circumnutation of a peduncle was traced during 51 h. whilst in
the act of burying itself obliquely in a little heap of sand. After it had
buried itself to such a depth that the tips of the sepals were alone
visible, the above figure (Fig 191) was traced during 25 h. When the
flower-head had completely disappeared beneath the sand, another tracing
was made during 11 h. 45 m. (Fig. 192); and here again we see that the
peduncle was circumnutating.
[page 517]

Any one who will observe a flower-head burying itself, will be convinced
that the rocking movement, due to the continued circumnutation of the
peduncle, plays an important part in the act. Considering that the
flower-heads are very light, that the peduncles are long, thin, and
flexible, and that they arise from flexible branches, it is incredible that
an object as blunt as one of these flower-heads could penetrate the ground
by means of the growing force of the peduncle, unless it were aided by the
rocking movement. After a flower-head has penetrated the ground to a small
depth, another and efficient agency comes into play; the central rigid
aborted flowers, each terminating in five long claws, curve up towards the
peduncle; and in doing so can hardly fail to drag the head down to a
greater depth, aided as this action is by the circumnutating movement,
which continues after the flower-head has completely buried itself. The
aborted flowers thus act something like the hands of the mole, which force
the earth backwards and the body forwards.

It is well known that the seed-capsules of various widely distinct plants
either bury themselves in the ground, or are produced from imperfect
flowers developed beneath the surface. Besides the present case, two other
well-marked instances will be immediately given. It is probable that one
chief good thus gained is the protection of the seeds from animals which
prey on them. In the case of T. subterraneum, the seeds are not only
concealed by being buried, but are likewise protected by being closely
surrounded by the rigid, aborted flowers. We may the more confidently infer
that protection is here aimed at, because the seeds of several species in
this same genus are protected in other ways;* namely, by the swelling and
closure of the calyx, or by the persistence and bending down of the
standard-petal, etc. But the most curious instance is that of T. globosum,
in which the upper flowers are sterile, as in T. subterraneum, but are here
developed into large brushes of hairs which envelop and protect the
seed-bearing flowers. Nevertheless, in all these cases the capsules, with
their seeds, may profit, as Mr. T. Thiselton Dyer has remarked,** by their
being kept somewhat damp; and the advantage of such dampness perhaps throws
light on the presence of the absorbent hairs on the buried flower-heads of
T. subterraneum. According to Mr. Bentham, as quoted by Mr. Dyer,

* Vaucher, 'Hist. Phys. des Plantes d'Europe,' tom. ii. p. 110.

** See his interesting article in 'Nature,' April 4th, 1878, p. 446.
[page 518]

the prostrate habit of Helianthemum prostratum "brings the capsules in
contact with the surface of the ground, postpones their maturity, and so
favours the seeds attaining a larger size." The capsules of Cyclamen and of
Oxalis acetosella are only occasionally buried, and this only beneath dead
leaves or moss. If it be an advantage to a plant that its capsules should
be kept damp and cool by being laid on the ground, we have in these latter
cases the first step, from which the power of penetrating the ground, with
the aid of the always present movement of circumnutation, might afterwards
have been gained.

Arachis hypogoea.--The flowers which bury themselves, rise from stiff
branches a few inches above the ground, and stand upright. After they have
fallen off, the gynophore, that is the part which supports the ovarium,
grows to a great length, even to 3 or 4 inches, and bends perpendicularly
downwards. It resembles closely a peduncle, but has a smooth and pointed
apex, which contains the ovules, and is at first not in the least enlarged.
The apex after reaching the ground penetrates it, in one case observed by
us to a depth of 1 inch, and in another to 0.7 inch. It there becomes
developed into a large pod. Flowers which are seated too high on the plant
for the gynophore to reach the ground are said* never to produce pods.

The movement of a young gynophore, rather under an inch in length and
vertically dependent, was traced during 46 H. by means of a glass filament
(with sights) fixed transversely a little above the apex. It plainly
circumnutated (Fig. 193) whilst increasing in length and growing downwards.
It was then raised up, so as to be extended almost horizontally, and the
terminal part curved itself downwards, following a nearly straight course
during 12 h., but with one attempt to circumnutate, as shown in Fig. 194.
After 24 h. it had become nearly vertical. Whether the exciting cause of
the downward movement is geotropism or apheliotropism was not ascertained;
but probably it is not apheliotropism, as all the gynophores grew straight
down towards the ground, whilst the light in the hot-house entered from one
side as well as from above. Another and older gynophore, the apex of which
had nearly reached the ground, was observed during 3 days in the same
manner as the first-mentioned short one; and it was found to be always
circumnutating. During the first 34 h. it described a figure which

* 'Gard. Chronicle,' 1857, p. 566.
[page 519]

represented four ellipses. Lastly, a long gynophore, the apex of which had
buried itself to the depth of about half an inch, was

Fig. 193 Arachis hypogoea: circumnutation of vertically dependent young
gynophore, traced on a vertical glass from 10 A.M. July 31st to 8 A.M. Aug.
2nd.

Fig. 194. Arachis hypogoea: downward movement of same young gynophore,
after being extended horizontally; traced on a vertical glass from 8.30
A.M. to 8.30 P.M. Aug. 2nd.

pulled up and extended horizontally: it quickly began to curve downwards in
a zigzag line; but on the following day the ter-
[page 520]
minal bleached portion was a little shrivelled. As the gynophores are rigid
and arise from stiff branches, and as they terminate in sharp smooth
points, it is probable that they could penetrate the ground by the mere
force of growth. But this action must be aided by the circumnutating
movement, for fine sand, kept moist, was pressed close round the apex of a
gynophore which had reached the ground, and after a few hours it was
surrounded by a narrow open crack. After three weeks this gynophore was
uncovered, and the apex was found at a depth of rather above half an inch
developed into a small, white, oval pod.

Amphicarpoea monoica.--This plant produces long thin shoots, which twine
round a support and of course circumnutate. Early in the summer shorter
shoots are produced from the lower parts of the plant, which grow
perpendicularly downwards and penetrate the ground. One of these,
terminating in a minute bud, was observed to bury itself in sand to a depth
of 0.2 inch in 24 h. It was lifted up and fixed in an inclined position
about 25o beneath the horizon, being feebly illuminated from above. In this
position it described two vertical ellipses in 24 h.; but on the following
day, when brought into the house, it circumnutated only a very little round
the same spot. Other branches were seen to penetrate the ground, and were
afterwards found running like roots beneath the surface for a length of
nearly two inches, and they had grown thick. One of these, after thus
running, had emerged into the air. How far circumnutation aids these
delicate branches in entering the ground we do not know; but the reflexed
hairs with which they are clothed will assist in the work. This plant
produces pods in the air, and others beneath the ground; which differ
greatly in appearance. Asa Gray says* that it is the imperfect flowers on
the creeping branches near the base of the plant which produce the
subterranean pods; these flowers, therefore, must bury themselves like
those of Arachis. But it may be suspected that the branches which were seen
by us to penetrate the ground also produce subterranean flowers and pods.]

DIAGEOTROPISM.

Besides geotropism and apogeotropism, there is, according to Frank, an
allied form of movement,

* 'Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States,' 1856, p. 106.
[page 521]

namely, "transverse-geotropism," or diageotropism, as we may call it for
the sake of matching our other terms. Under the influence of gravitation
certain parts are excited to place themselves more or less transversely to
the line of its action.* We made no observations on this subject, and will
here only remark that the position of the secondary radicles of various
plants, which extend horizontally or are a little inclined downwards, would
probably be considered by Frank as due to transverse-geotropism. As it has
been shown in Chap. I. that the secondary radicles of Cucurbita made
serpentine tracks on a smoked glass-plate, they clearly circumnutated, and
there can hardly be a doubt that this holds good with other secondary
radicles. It seems therefore highly probable that they place themselves in
their diageotropic position by means of modified circumnutation.

Finally, we may conclude that the three kinds of movement which have now
been described and which are excited by gravitation, consist of modified
circumnutation. Different parts or organs on the same plant, and the same
part in different species, are thus excited to act in a widely different
manner. We can see no reason why the attraction of gravity should directly
modify the state of turgescence and subsequent growth of one part on the
upper side and of another part on the lower side. We are therefore led to
infer that both geotropic, apogeotropic, and diageotropic movements, the
purpose of which we can generally understand,

* Elfving has lately described ('Arbeiten des Bot. Instituts in Würzburg,'
B. ii. 1880, p. 489) an excellent instance of such movements in the
rhizomes of certain plants.
[page 522]

have been acquired for the advantage of the plant by the modification of
the ever-present movement of circumnutation. This, however, implies that
gravitation produces some effect on the young tissues sufficient to serve
as a guide to the plant.
[page 523]

CHAPTER XI.

LOCALISED SENSITIVENESS TO GRAVITATION, AND ITS TRANSMITTED EFFECTS.

General considerations--Vicia faba, effects of amputating the tips of the
radicles--Regeneration of the tips--Effects of a short exposure of the tips
to geotropic action and their subsequent amputation--Effects of amputating
the tips obliquely--Effects of cauterising the tips--Effects of grease on
the tips--Pisum sativum, tips of radicles cauterised transversely, and on
their upper and lower sides--Phaseolus, cauterisation and grease on the
tips--Gossypium--Cucurbita, tips cauterised transversely, and on their
upper and lower sides--Zea, tips cauterised--Concluding remarks and summary
of chapter--Advantages of the sensibility to geotropism being localised in
the tips of the radicles.

CIESIELSKI states* that when the roots of Pisum, Lens and Vicia were
extended horizontally with their tips cut off, they were not acted on by
geotropism; but some days afterwards, when a new root-cap and vegetative
point had been formed, they bent themselves perpendicularly downwards. He
further states that if the tips are cut off, after the roots have been left
extended horizontally for some little time, but before they have begun to
bend downwards, they may be placed in any position, and yet will bend as if
still acted on by geotropism; and this shows that some influence had been
already transmitted to the bending part from the tip before it was
amputated. Sachs repeated these experiments; he cut off a length of between
.05 and 1 mm. (measured from the apex of the

* 'Abwartskrümmung der Wurzel,' Inaug. Dissert. Breslau, 1871, p. 29.
[page 524]

vegetative point) of the tips of the radicles of the bean (Vicia faba), and
placed them horizontally or vertically in damp air, earth, and water, with
the result that they became bowed in all sorts of directions.* He therefore
disbelieved in Ciesielski's conclusions. But as we have seen with several
plants that the tip of the radicle is sensitive to contact and to other
irritants, and that it transmits some influence to the upper growing part
causing it to bend, there seemed to us to be no a priori improbability in
Ciesielski's statements. We therefore determined to repeat his experiments,
and to try others on several species by different methods.

Vicia faba.--Radicles of this plant were extended horizontally either over
water or with their lower surfaces just touching it. Their tips had
previously been cut off, in a direction as accurately transverse as could
be done, to different lengths, measured from the apex of the root-cap, and
which will be specified in each case. Light was always excluded. We had
previously tried hundreds of unmutilated radicles under similar
circumstances, and found that every one that was healthy became plainly
geotropic in under 12 h. In the case of four radicles which had their tips
cut off for a length of 1.5 mm., new root caps and new vegetative points
were re-formed after an interval of 3 days 20 h.; and these when placed
horizontally were acted on by geotropism. On some other occasions this
regeneration of the tips and reacquired sensitiveness occurred within a
somewhat shorter time. Therefore, radicles having their tips amputated
should be observed in from 12 to 48 h. after the operation.

Four radicles were extended horizontally with their lower surfaces touching
the water, and with their tips cut off for a length of only 0.5 mm.: after
23 h. three of them were still horizontal; after 47 h. one of the three
became fairly geotropic; and after 70 h. the other two showed a trace of
this action. The fourth radicle was vertically geotropic after 23 h.; but
by an

* 'Arbeiten des Bot. Instituts in Würzburg,' Heft. iii. 1873, p. 432.
[page 525]

accident the root-cap alone and not the vegetative point was found to have
been amputated; so that this case formed no real exception and might have
been excluded.

Five radicles were extended horizontally like the last, and had their tips
cut off for a length of 1 mm.; after 22-23 h., four of them were still
horizontal, and one was slightly geotropic; after 48 h. the latter had
become vertical; a second was also somewhat geotropic; two remained
approximately horizontal; and the last or fifth had grown in a disordered
manner, for it was inclined upwards at an angle of 65o above the horizon.

Fourteen radicles were extended horizontally at a little height over the
water with their tips cut off for a length of 1.5 mm.; after 12 h. all were
horizontal, whilst five control or standard specimens in the same jar were
all bent greatly downwards. After 24 h. several of the amputated radicles
remained horizontal, but some showed a trace of geotropism, and one was
plainly geotropic, for it was inclined at 40o beneath the horizon.

Seven horizontally extended radicles from which the tips had been cut off
for the unusual length of 2 mm. unfortunately were not looked at until 35
h. had elapsed; three were still horizontal, but to our surprise, four were
more or less plainly geotropic.

The radicles in the foregoing cases were measured before their tips were
amputated, and in the course of 24 h. they had all increased greatly in
length; but the measurements are not worth giving. It is of more importance
that Sachs found that the rate of growth of the different parts of radicles
with amputated tips was the same as with unmutilated ones. Altogether
twenty-nine radicles were operated on in the manner above described, and of
these only a few showed any geotropic curvature within 24 h.; whereas
radicles with unmutilated tips always became, as already stated, much bent
down in less than half of this time. The part of the radicle which bends
most lies at the distance of from 3 to 6 mm. from the tip, and as the
bending part continues to grow after the operation, there does not seem any
reason why it should not have been acted on by geotropism, unless its
curvature depended on some influence transmitted from the tip. And we have
clear evidence of such transmission in Ciesielski's experiments, which we
repeated and extended in the following manner.

Beans were embedded in friable peat with the hilum downwards, and after
their radicles had grown perpendicularly down for a length of from ½ to 1
inch, sixteen were selected which
[page 526]
were perfectly straight, and these were placed horizontally on the peat,
being covered by a thin layer of it. They were thus left for an average
period of 1 h. 37 m. The tips were then cut off transversely for a length
of 1.5 mm., and immediately afterwards they were embedded vertically in the
peat. In this position geotropism would not tend to induce any curvature,
but if some influence had already been transmitted from the tip to the part
which bends most, we might expect that this part would become curved in the
direction in which geotropism had previously acted; for it should be noted
that these radicles being now destitute of their sensitive tips, would not
be prevented by geotropism from curving in any direction. The result was
that of the sixteen vertically embedded radicles, four continued for
several days to grow straight downwards, whilst twelve became more or less
bowed laterally. In two of the twelve, a trace of curvature was perceptible
in 3 h. 30 m., counting from the time when they had first been laid
horizontally; and all twelve were plainly bowed in 6 h., and still more
plainly in 9 h. In every one of them the curvature was directed towards the
side which had been downwards whilst the radicles remained horizontal. The
curvature extended for a length of from 5 to, in one instance, 8 mm.,
measured from the cut-off end. Of the twelve bowed radicles five became
permanently bent into a right angle; the other seven were at first much
less bent, and their curvature generally decreased after 24 h., but did not
wholly disappear. This decrease of curvature would naturally follow, if an
exposure of only 1 h. 37 m. to geotropism, served to modify the turgescence
of the cells, but not their subsequent growth to the full extent. The five
radicles which were rectangularly bent became fixed in this position, and
they continued to grow out horizontally in the peat for a length of about 1
inch during from 4 to 6 days. By this time new tips had been formed; and it
should be remarked that this regeneration occurred slower in the peat than
in water, owing perhaps to the radicles being often looked at and thus
disturbed. After the tips had been regenerated, geotropism was able to act
on them, so that they now became bowed vertically downwards. An accurate
drawing (Fig. 195) is given on the opposite page of one of these five
radicles, reduced to half the natural size.

We next tried whether a shorter exposure to geotropism would suffice to
produce an after-effect. Seven radicles were extended horizontally for an
hour, instead of 1 h. 37 m. as in the
[page 527]
former trial; and after their tips (1.5 mm. in length) had been amputated,
they were placed vertically in damp peat. Of these, three were not in the
least affected and continued for days to grow straight downwards. Four
showed after 8 h. 30 m. a mere trace of curvature in the direction in which
they had been acted on by geotropism; and in this respect they differed
much from those which had been exposed for 1 h. 37 m., for many of the
latter were plainly curved in 6 h. The curvature of one of these four
radicles almost disappeared after 24 h. In the second, the curvature
increased during two days and then decreased. the third radicle became
permanently bent, so that its terminal part made an angle of about 45o with
its original vertical direction. The fourth radicle became horizontal.
These two, latter radicles continued during two more days to grow in the
peat in the same directions, that is, at an angle of 45o beneath the
horizon and horizontally. By the fourth morning new tips had been
re-formed, and now geotropism was able to act on them again, and they
became bent perpendicularly downwards, exactly as in the case of the five
radicles described in the last paragraph and as is shown in (Fig. 195) here
given.

Fig. 195. Vicia faba: radicle, rectangularly bent at A, after the
amputation of the tip, due to the previous influence of geotropism. L, side
of bean which lay on the peat, whilst geotropism acted on the radicle. A,
point of chief curvature of the radicle, whilst standing vertically
downwards. B, point of chief curvature after the regeneration of the tip,
when geotropism again acted. C, regenerated tip.

Lastly, five other radicles were similarly treated, but were exposed to
geotropism during only 45 m. After 8 h. 30 m. only one was doubtfully
affected; after 24 h. two were just perceptibly curved towards the side
which had been acted on by geotropism; after 48 h. the one first mentioned
had a radius of curvature of 60 mm. That this curvature was due to the
action of geotropism during the horizontal position of the radicle, was
shown after 4 days, when a new tip had been re-formed, for it then grew
perpendicularly downwards. We learn from this
[page 528]
case that when the tips are amputated after an exposure to geotropism of
only 45 m., though a slight influence is sometimes transmitted to the
adjoining part of the radicle, yet this seldom suffices, and then only
slowly, to induce even moderately well-pronounced curvature.

In the previously given experiments on 29 horizontally extended radicles
with their tips amputated, only one grew irregularly in any marked manner,
and this became bowed upwards at an angle of 65o. In Ciesielski's
experiments the radicles could not have grown very irregularly, for if they
had done so, he could not have spoken confidently of the obliteration of
all geotropic action. It is therefore remarkable that Sachs, who
experimented on many radicles with their tips amputated, found extremely
disordered growth to be the usual result. As horizontally extended radicles
with amputated tips are sometimes acted on slightly by geotropism within a
short time, and are often acted on plainly after one or two days, we
thought that this influence might possibly prevent disordered growth,
though it was not able to induce immediate curvature. Therefore 13
radicles, of which 6 had their tips amputated transversely for a length of
1.5 mm., and the other 7 for a length of only 0.5 mm., were suspended
vertically in damp air, in which position they would not be affected by
geotropism; but they exhibited no great irregularity of growth, whilst
observed during 4 to 6 days. We next thought that if care were not taken in
cutting off the tips transversely, one side of the stump might be irritated
more than the other, either at first or subsequently during the
regeneration of the tip, and that this might cause the radicle to bend to
one side. It has also been shown in Chapter III. that if a thin slice be
cut off one side of the tip of the radicle, this causes the radicle to bend
from the sliced side. Accordingly, 30 radicles, with tips amputated for a
length of 1.5 mm., were allowed to grow perpendicularly downwards into
water. Twenty of them were amputated at an angle of 20o with a line
transverse to their longitudinal axes; and such stumps appeared only
moderately oblique. The remaining ten radicles were amputated at an angle
of about 45o. Under these circumstances no less than 19 out of the 30
became much distorted in the course of 2 or 3 days. Eleven other radicles
were similarly treated, excepting that only 1 mm. (including in this and
all other cases the root-cap) was amputated; and of these only one grew
much, and two others slightly
[page 529]
distorted; so that this amount of oblique amputation was not sufficient.
Out of the above 30 radicles, only one or two showed in the first 24 h. any
distortion, but this became plain in the 19 cases on the second day, and
still more conspicuous at the close of the third day, by which time new
tips had been partially or completely regenerated. When therefore a new tip
is reformed on an oblique stump, it probably is developed sooner on one
side than on the other: and this in some manner excites the adjoining part
to bend to one side. Hence it seems probable that Sachs unintentionally
amputated the radicles on which he experimented, not strictly in a
transverse direction.

This explanation of the occasional irregular growth of radicles with
amputated tips, is supported by the results of cauterising their tips; for
often a greater length on one side than on the other was unavoidably
injured or killed. It should be remarked that in the following trials the
tips were first dried with blotting-paper, and then slightly rubbed with a
dry stick of nitrate of silver or lunar caustic. A few touches with the
caustic suffice to kill the root-cap and some of the upper layers of cells
of the vegetative point. Twenty-seven radicles, some young and very short,
others of moderate length, were suspended vertically over water, after
being thus cauterised. Of these some entered the water immediately, and
others on the second day. The same number of uncauterised radicles of the
same age were observed as controls. After an interval of three or four days
the contrast in appearance between the cauterised and control specimens was
wonderfully great. The controls had grown straight downwards, with the
exception of the normal curvature, which we have called Sachs' curvature.
Of the 27 cauterised radicles, 15 had become extremely distorted; 6 of them
grew upwards and formed hoops, so that their tips sometimes came into
contact with the bean above; 5 grew out rectangularly to one side; only a
few of the remaining 12 were quite straight, and some of these towards the
close of our observations became hooked at their extreme lower ends.
Radicles, extended horizontally instead of vertically, with their tips
cauterised, also sometimes grew distorted, but not so commonly, as far as
we could judge, as those suspended vertically; for this occurred with only
5 out of 19 radicles thus treated.

Instead of cutting off the tips, as in the first set of experiments, we
next tried the effects of touching horizontally extended radicles with
caustic in the manner just described. But
[page 530]
some preliminary remarks must first be made. It may be objected that the
caustic would injure the radicles and prevent them from bending; but ample
evidence was given in Chapter III. that touching the tips of vertically
suspended radicles with caustic on one side, does not stop their bending;
on the contrary, it causes them to bend from the touched side. We also
tried touching both the upper and the lower sides of the tips of some
radicles of the bean, extended horizontally in damp friable earth. The tips
of three were touched with caustic on their upper sides, and this would aid
their geotropic bending; the tips of three were touched on their lower
sides, which would tend to counteract the bending downwards; and three were
left as controls. After 24 h. an independent observer was asked to pick out
of the nine radicles, the two which were most and the two which were least
bent; he selected as the latter, two of those which had been touched on
their lower sides, and as the most bent, two of those which had been
touched on the upper side. Hereafter analogous and more striking
experiments with Pisum sativum and Cucurbita ovifera will be given. We may
therefore safely conclude that the mere application of caustic to the tip
does not prevent the radicles from bending.

In the following experiments, the tips of young horizontally extended
radicles were just touched with a stick of dry caustic; and this was held
transversely, so that the tip might be cauterised all round as
symmetrically as possible. The radicles were then suspended in a closed
vessel over water, kept rather cool, viz., 55o - 59o F. This was done
because we had found that the tips were more sensitive to contact under a
low than under a high temperature; and we thought that the same rule might
apply to geotropism. In one exceptional trial, nine radicles (which were
rather too old, for they had grown to a length of from 3 to 5 cm.), were
extended horizontally in damp friable earth, after their tips had been
cauterised and were kept at too high a temperature, viz., of 68o F., or 20o
C. The result in consequence was not so striking as in the subsequent cases
for although when after 9 h. 40 m. six of them were examined, these did not
exhibit any geotropic bending, yet after 24 h., when all nine were
examined, only two remained horizontal, two exhibited a trace of
geotropism, and five were slightly or moderately geotropic, yet not
comparable in degree with the control specimens. Marks had been made on
seven of these cauterised radicles at 10 mm. from the tips, which includes
[page 531]
the whole growing portion; and after the 24 h. this part had a mean length
of 37 mm., so that it had increased to more than 3 ½ times its original
length; but it should be remembered that these beans had been exposed to a
rather high temperature.

Nineteen young radicles with cauterised tips were extended at different
times horizontally over water. In every trial an equal number of control
specimens were observed. In the first trial, the tips of three radicles
were lightly touched with the caustic for 6 or 7 seconds, which was a
longer application than usual. After 23 h. 30 m. (temp. 55o - 56o F.) these
three radicles,

Fig. 196. Vicia faba: state of radicles which had been extended
horizontally for 23 h. 30 m.; A, B, C, tips touched with caustic; D, E, F,
tips uncauterised. Lengths of radicles reduced to one-half scale, but by an
accident the beans themselves not reduced in the same degree.

A, B, C (Fig. 196), were still horizontal, whilst the three control
specimens had become within 8 h. slightly geotropic, and strongly so (D, E,
F) in 23 h. 30 m. A dot had been made on all six radicles at 10 mm. from
their tips, when first placed horizontally. After the 23 h. 30 m. this
terminal part, originally 10 mm. in length, had increased in the cauterised
specimens to a mean length of 17.3 mm., and to 15.7 mm. in the control
radicles, as shown in the figures by the unbroken transverse line; the
dotted line being at 10 mm. from the apex. The control or uncauterised
radicles, therefore, had actually grown less
[page 532]
than the cauterised; but this no doubt was accidental, for radicles of
different ages grow at different rates, and the growth of different
individuals is likewise affected by unknown causes. The state of the tips
of these three radicles, which had been cauterised for a rather longer time
than usual, was as follows: the blackened apex, or the part which had been
actually touched by the caustic, was succeeded by a yellowish zone, due
probably to the absorption of some of the caustic; in A, both zones
together were 1.1 mm. in length, and 1.4 mm. in diameter at the base of the
yellowish zone; in B, the length of both was only 0.7 mm., and the diameter
0.7 mm.; in C, the length was 0.8 mm., and the diameter 1.2 mm.

Three other radicles, the tips of which had been touched with caustic
curing 2 or 3 seconds, remained (temp. 58o - 59o F.) horizontal for 23 h.;
the control radicles having, of course, become geotropic within this time.
The terminal growing part, 10 mm. in length, of the cauterised radicles had
increased in this interval to a mean length of 24.5 mm., and of the
controls to a mean of 26 mm. A section of one of the cauterised tips showed
that the blackened part was 0.5 mm. in length, of which 0.2 mm. extended
into the vegetative point; and a faint discoloration could be detected even
to 1.6 mm. from the apex of the root-cap.

In another lot of six radicles (temp. 55o - 57o F.) the three control
specimens were plainly geotropic in 8 ½ h.; and after 24 h. the mean length
of their terminal part had increased from 10 mm. to 21 mm. When the caustic
was applied to the three cauterised specimens, it was held quite motionless
during 5 seconds, and the result was that the black marks were extremely
minute. Therefore, caustic was again applied, after 8 ½ h., during which
time no geotropic action had occurred. When the specimens were re-examined
after an additional interval of 15 ½ h., one was horizontal and the other
two showed, to our surprise, a trace of geotropism which in one of them
soon afterwards became strongly marked; but in this latter specimen the
discoloured tip was only 2/3 mm. in length. The growing part of these three
radicles increased in 24 h. from 10 mm. to an average of 16.5 mm.

It would be superfluous to describe in detail the behaviour of the 10
remaining cauterised radicles. The corresponding control specimens all
became geotropic in 8 h. Of the cauterised, 6 were first looked at after 8
h., and one alone showed a trace
[page 533]
of geotropism; 4 were first looked at after 14 h., and one alone of these
was slightly geotropic. After 23 - 24h., 5 of the 10 were still horizontal,
4 slightly, and 1 decidedly, geotropic. After 48 h. some of them became
strongly geotropic. The cauterised radicles increased greatly in length,
but the measurements are not worth giving.

As five of the last-mentioned cauterised radicles had become in 24 h.
somewhat geotropic, these (together with three which were still horizontal)
had their positions reversed, so that their tips were now a little
upturned, and they were again touched with caustic. After 24 h. they showed
no trace of geotropism; whereas the eight corresponding control specimens,
which had likewise been reversed, in which position the tips of several
pointed to the zenith, all became geotropic; some having passed in the 24
h. through an angle of 180o, others through about 135o, and others through
only 90o. The eight radicles, which had been twice cauterised, were
observed for an additional day (i.e. for 48 h. after being reversed), and
they still showed no signs of geotropism. Nevertheless, they continued to
grow rapidly; four were measured 24 h. after being reversed, and they had
in this time increased in length between 8 and 11 mm.; the other four were
measured 48 h. after being reversed, and these had increased by 20, 18, 23,
and 28 mm.

In coming to a conclusion with respect to the effects of cauterising the
tips of these radicles, we should bear in mind, firstly, that horizontally
extended control radicles were always acted on by geotropism, and became
somewhat bowed downwards in 8 or 9 h.; secondly, that the chief seat of the
curvature lies at a distance of from 3 to 6 mm. from the tip; thirdly, that
the tip was discoloured by the caustic rarely for more than 1 mm. in
length; fourthly, that the greater number of the cauterised radicles,
although subjected to the full influence of geotropism during the whole
time, remained horizontal for 24 h., and some for twice as long; and that
those which did become bowed were so only in a slight degree; fifthly, that
the cauterised radicles continued to grow almost, and sometimes quite, as
well as the uninjured ones along the part which bends most. And lastly,
that a touch on the tip with caustic, if on one side, far from preventing
curvature, actually induces it. Bearing all these facts in mind, we must
infer that under normal conditions the geotropic curvature of the root is
due to an influence transmitted from the apex to the adjoining part where
the bending
[page 534]
takes place; and that when the tip of the root is cauterised it is unable
to originate the stimulus necessary to produce geotropic curvature.

As we had observed that grease was highly injurious to some plants, we
determined to try its effects on radicles. When the cotyledons of Phalaris
and Avena were covered with grease along one side, the growth of this side
was quite stopped or greatly checked, and as the opposite side continued to
grow, the cotyledons thus treated became bowed towards the greased side.
This same matter quickly killed the delicate hypocotyls and young leaves of
certain plants. The grease which we employed was made by mixing lamp-black
and olive oil to such a consistence that it could be laid on in a thick
layer. The tips of five radicles of the bean were coated with it for a
length of 3 mm., and to our surprise this part increased in length in 23 h.
to 7.1 mm.; the thick layer of grease being curiously drawn out. It thus
could not have checked much, if at all, the growth of the terminal part of
the radicle. With respect to geotropism, the tips of seven horizontally
extended radicles were coated for a length of 2 mm., and after 24 h. no
clear difference could be perceived between their downward curvature and
that of an equal number of control specimens. The tips of 33 other radicles
were coated on different occasions for a length of 3 mm.; and they were
compared with the controls after 8 h., 24 h., and 48 h. On one occasion,
after 24 h., there was very little difference in curvature between the
greased and control specimens; but generally the difference was
unmistakable, those with greased tips being considerably less curved
downwards. The whole growing part (the greased tips included) of six of
these radicles was measured and was found to have increased in 23 h. from
10 mm. to a mean length of 17.7 mm.; whilst the corresponding part of the
controls had increased to 20.8 mm. It appears therefore, that although the
tip itself, when greased, continues to grow, yet the growth of the whole
radicle is somewhat checked, and that the geotropic curvature of the upper
part, which was free from grease, was in most cases considerably lessened.

Pisum sativum.--Five radicles, extended horizontally over water, had their
tips lightly touched two or three times with dry caustic. These tips were
measured in two cases, and found to be blackened for a length of only half
a millimeter. Five other radicles were left as controls. The part which is
most bowed through geotropism lies at a distance of several millimeters
from
[page 535]
the apex. After 24 h., and again after 32 h. from the commencement, four of
the cauterised radicles were still horizontal, but one was plainly
geotropic, being inclined at 45o beneath the horizon. The five controls
were somewhat geotropic after 7 h. 20 m., and after 24 h. were all strongly
geotropic; being inclined at the following angles beneath the horizon,
viz., 59o, 60o, 65o, 57o, and 43o. The length of the radicles was not
measured in either set, but it was manifest that the cauterised radicles
had grown greatly.

The following case proves that the action of the caustic by itself does not
prevent the curvature of the radicle. Ten radicles were extended
horizontally on and beneath a layer of damp friable peat-earth; and before
being extended their tips were touched with dry caustic on the upper side.
Ten other radicles similarly placed were touched on the lower side; and
this would tend to make them bend from the cauterised side; and therefore,
as now placed, upwards, or in opposition to geotropism. Lastly, ten
uncauterised radicles were extended horizontally as controls. After 24 h.
all the latter were geotropic; and the ten with their tips cauterised on
the upper side were equally geotropic; and we believe that they became
curved downwards before the controls. The ten which had been cauterised on
the lower side presented a widely different appearance: No. 1, however, was
perpendicularly geotropic, but this was no real exception, for on
examination under the microscope, there was no vestige of a coloured mark
on the tip, and it was evident that by a mistake it had not been touched
with the caustic. No. 2 was plainly geotropic, being inclined at about 45o
beneath the horizon; No. 3 was slightly, and No. 4 only just perceptibly
geotropic; Nos. 5 and 6 were strictly horizontal; and the four remaining
ones were bowed upwards, in opposition to geotropism. In these four cases
the radius of the upward curvatures (according to Sachs' cyclometer) was 5
mm., 10 mm., 30 mm., and 70 mm. This curvature was distinct long before the
24 h. had elapsed, namely, after 8 h. 45 m. from the time when the lower
sides of the tips were touched with the caustic.

Phaseolus multiflorus.--Eight radicles, serving as controls, were extended
horizontally, some in damp friable peat and some in damp air. They all
became (temp 20o - 21o C.) plainly geotropic in 8 h. 30 m., for they then
stood at an average angle of 63o beneath the horizon. A rather greater
length of the radicle is bowed downwards by geotropism than in the case of
Vicia faba,
[page 536]
that is to say, rather more than 6 mm. as measured from the apex of the
root-cap. Nine other radicles were similarly extended, three in damp peat
and six in damp air, and dry caustic was held transversely to their tips
during 4 or 5 seconds. Three of their tips were afterwards examined: in (1)
a length of 0.68 mm. was discoloured, of which the basal 0.136 mm. was
yellow, the apical part being black; in (2) the discoloration was 0.65 mm.
in length, of which the basal 0.04 mm. was yellow; in (3) the discoloration
was 0.6 mm. in length, of which the basal 0.13 mm. was yellow. Therefore
less than 1 mm. was affected by the caustic, but this sufficed almost
wholly to prevent geotropic action; for after 24 h. one alone of the nine
cauterised radicles became slightly geotropic, being now inclined at 10o
beneath the horizon; the eight others remained horizontal, though one was
curved a little laterally.

The terminal part (10 mm. in length) of the six cauterised radicles in the
damp air, had more than doubled in length in the 24 h., for this part was
now on an average 20.7 mm. long. The increase in length within the same
time was greater in the control specimens, for the terminal part had grown
on an average from 10 mm. to 26.6 mm. But as the cauterised radicles had
more than doubled their length in the 24 h., it is manifest that they had
not been seriously injured by the caustic. We may here add that when
experimenting on the effects of touching one side of the tip with caustic,
too much was applied at first, and the whole tip (but we believe not more
than 1 mm. in length) of six horizontally extended radicles was killed, and
these continued for two or three days to grow out horizontally.

Many trials were made, by coating the tips of horizontally extended
radicles with the before described thick grease. The geotropic curvature of
12 radicles, which were thus coated for a length of 2 mm., was delayed
during the first 8 or 9 h., but after 24 h. was nearly as great as that of
the control specimens. The tips of nine radicles were coated for a length
of 3 mm., and after 7 h. 10 m. these stood at an average angle of 30o
beneath the horizon, whilst the controls stood at an average of 54o. After
24 h. the two lots differed but little in their degree of curvature. In
some other trials, however, there was a fairly well-marked difference after
24 h. between those with greased tips and the controls. The terminal part
of eight control specimens increased in 24 h. from 10 mm. to a mean length
of
[page 537]
24.3 mm., whilst the mean increase of those with greased tips was 20.7 mm.
The grease, therefore, slightly checked the growth of the terminal part,
but this part was not much injured; for several radicles which had been
greased for a length of 2 mm. continued to grow during seven days, and were
then only a little shorter than the controls. The appearance presented by
these radicles after the seven days was very curious, for the black grease
had been drawn out into the finest longitudinal striae, with dots and
reticulations, which covered their surfaces for a length of from 26 to 44
mm., or of 1 to 1.7 inch. We may therefore conclude that grease on the tips
of the radicles of this Phaseolus somewhat delays and lessens the geotropic
curvature of the part which ought to bend most.

Gossypium herbaceum.--The radicles of this plant bend, through the action
of geotropism, for a length of about 6 mm. Five radicles, placed
horizontally in damp air, had their tips touched with caustic, and the
discoloration extended for a length of from 2/3 to 1 mm. They showed, after
7 h. 45 m. and again after 23 h., not a trace of geotropism; yet the
terminal portion, 9 mm. in length, had increased on an average to 15.9 mm.
Six control radicles, after 7 h. 45 m., were all plainly geotropic, two of
them being vertically dependent, and after 23 h. all were vertical, or
nearly so.

Cucurbita ovifera.--A large number of trials proved almost useless, from
the three following causes: Firstly, the tips of radicles which have grown
somewhat old are only feebly geotropic if kept in damp air; nor did we
succeed well in our experiments, until the germinating seeds were placed in
peat and kept at a rather high temperature. Secondly, the hypocotyls of the
seeds which were pinned to the lids of the jars gradually became arched;
and, as the cotyledons were fixed, the movement of the hypocotyl affected
the position of the radicle, and caused confusion. Thirdly, the point of
the radicle is so fine that it is difficult not to cauterise it either too
much or too little. But we managed generally to overcome this latter
difficulty, as the following experiments show, which are given to prove
that a touch with caustic on one side of the tip does not prevent the upper
part of the radicle from bending. Ten radicles were laid horizontally
beneath and on damp friable peat, and their tips were touched with caustic
on the upper side. After 8 h. all were plainly geotropic, three of them
rectangularly; after 19 h.
[page 538]
all were strongly geotropic, most of them pointing perpendicularly
downwards. Ten other radicles, similarly placed, had their tips touched
with caustic on the lower side; after 8 h. three were slightly geotropic,
but not nearly so much so as the least geotropic of the foregoing
specimens; four remained horizontal; and three were curved upwards in
opposition to geotropism. After 19 h. the three which were slightly
geotropic had become strongly so. Of the four horizontal radicles, one
alone showed a trace of geotropism; of the three up-curved radicles, one
retained this curvature, and the other two had become horizontal.

The radicles of this plant, as already remarked, do not succeed well in
damp air, but the result of one trial may be briefly given. Nine young
radicles between .3 and .5 inch in length, with their tips cauterised and
blackened for a length never exceeding ½ mm., together with eight control
specimens, were extended horizontally in damp air. After an interval of
only 4 h. 10 m. all the controls were slightly geotropic, whilst not one of
the cauterised specimens exhibited a trace of this action. After 8 h. 35
m., there was the same difference between the two sets, but rather more
strongly marked. By this time both sets had increased greatly in length.
The controls, however, never became much more curved downwards; and after
24 h. there was no great difference between the two sets in their degree of
curvature.

Eight young radicles of nearly equal length (average .36 inch) were placed
beneath and on peat-earth, and were exposed to a temp. of 75o - 76o F.
Their tips had been touched transversely with caustic, and five of them
were blackened for a length of about 0.5 mm., whilst the other three were
only just visibly discoloured. In the same box there were 15 control
radicles, mostly about .36 inch in length, but some rather longer and
older, and therefore less sensitive. After 5 h., the 15 control radicles
were all more or less geotropic: after 9 h., eight of them were bent down
beneath the horizon at various angles between 45o and 90o, the remaining
seven being only slightly geotropic: after 25 h. all were rectangularly
geotropic. The state of the eight cauterised radicles after the same
intervals of time was as follows: after 5 h. one alone was slightly
geotropic, and this was one with the tip only a very little discoloured:
after 9 h. the one just mentioned was rectangularly geotropic, and two
others were slightly so, and these were the three which had been scarcely
[page 539]
affected by the caustic; the other five were still strictly horizontal.
After 24 h. 40 m. the three with only slightly discoloured tips were bent
down rectangularly; the other five were not in the least affected, but
several of them had grown rather tortuously, though still in a horizontal
plane. The eight cauterised radicles which had at first a mean length of
.36 inch, after 9 h. had increased to a mean length of .79 inch; and after
24 h. 40 m. to the extraordinary mean length of 2 inches. There was no
plain difference in length between the five well cauterised radicles which
remained horizontal, and the three with slightly cauterised tips which had
become abruptly bent down. A few of the control radicles were measured
after 25 h., and they were on an average only a little longer than the
cauterised, viz., 2.19 inches. We thus see that killing the extreme tip of
the radicle of this plant for a length of about 0.5 mm., though it stops
the geotropic bending of the upper part, hardly interferes with the growth
of the whole radicle.

In the same box with the 15 control specimens, the rapid geotropic bending
and growth of which have just been described, there were six radicles,
about .6 inch in length, extended horizontally, from which the tips had
been cut off in a transverse direction for a length of barely 1 mm. These
radicles were examined after 9 h. and again after 24 h. 40 m., and they all
remained horizontal. They had not become nearly so tortuous as those above
described which had been cauterised. The radicles with their tips cut off
had grown in the 24 h. 40 m. as much, judging by the eye, as the cauterised
specimens.

Zea mays.--The tips of several radicles, extended horizontally in damp air,
were dried with blotting-paper and then touched in the first trial during 2
or 3 seconds with dry caustic; but this was too long a contact, for the
tips were blackened for a length of rather above 1 mm. They showed no signs
of geotropism after an interval of 9 h., and were then thrown away. In a
second trial the tips of three radicles were touched for a shorter time,
and were blackened for a length of from 0.5 to 0.75 mm.: they all remained
horizontal for 4 h., but after 8 h. 30 m. one of them, in which the
blackened tip was only 0.5 mm. in length, was inclined at 21o beneath the
horizon. Six control radicles all became slightly geotropic in 4 h., and
strongly so after 8 h. 30 m., with the chief seat of curvature generally
between 6 or 7 mm. from the apex. In the cauterised specimens, the terminal
growing part, 10 mm. in length, increased during
[page 540]
the 8 h. 30 m. to a mean length of 13 mm.; and in the controls to 14.3 mm.

In a third trial the tips of five radicles (exposed to a temp. of 70o -
71o) were touched with the caustic only once and very slightly; they were
afterwards examined under the microscope, and the part which was in any way
discoloured was on an average .76 mm. in length. After 4 h. 10 m. none were
bent; after 5 h. 45 m., and again after 23 h. 30 m., they still remained
horizontal, excepting one which was now inclined 20o beneath the horizon.
The terminal part, 10 mm. in length, had increased greatly in length during
the 23 h. 30 m., viz., to an average of 26 mm. Four control radicles became
slightly geotropic after the 4 h. 10 m., and plainly so after the 5 h. 45
m. Their mean length after the 23 h. 30 m. had increased from 10 mm. to 31
mm. Therefore a slight cauterisation of the tip checks slightly the growth
of the whole radicle, and manifestly stops the bending of that part which
ought to bend most under the influence of geotropism, and which still
continues to increase greatly in length.]

Concluding Remarks.--Abundant evidence has now been given, showing that
with various plants the tip of the radicle is alone sensitive to
geotropism; and that when thus excited, it causes the adjoining parts to
bend. The exact length of the sensitive part seems to be somewhat variable,
depending in part on the age of the radicle; but the destruction of a
length of from less than 1 to 1.5 mm. (about 1/20th of an inch), in the
several species observed, generally sufficed to prevent any part of the
radicle from bending within 24 h., or even for a longer period. The fact of
the tip alone being sensitive is so remarkable a fact, that we will here
give a brief summary of the foregoing experiments. The tips were cut off 29
horizontally extended radicles of Vicia faba, and with a few exceptions
they did not become geotropic in 22 or 23 h., whilst unmutilated radicles
were always bowed downwards in 8 or 9 h. It should be borne in mind that
the mere act of cutting
[page 541]
off the tip of a horizontally extended radicle does not prevent the
adjoining parts from bending, if the tip has been previously exposed for an
hour or two to the influence of geotropism. The tip after amputation is
sometimes completely regenerated in three days; and it is possible that it
may be able to transmit an impulse to the adjoining parts before its
complete regeneration. The tips of six radicles of Cucurbita ovifera were
amputated like those of Vicia faba; and these radicles showed no signs of
geotropism in 24 h.; whereas the control specimens were slightly affected
in 5 h., and strongly in 9 h.

With plants belonging to six genera, the tips of the radicles were touched
transversely with dry caustic; and the injury thus caused rarely extended
for a greater length than 1 mm., and sometimes to a less distance, as
judged by even the faintest discoloration. We thought that this would be a
better method of destroying the vegetative point than cutting it off; for
we knew, from many previous experiments and from some given in the present
chapter, that a touch with caustic on one side of the apex, far from
preventing the adjoining part from bending, caused it to bend. In all the
following cases, radicles with uncauterised tips were observed at the same
time and under similar circumstances, and they became, in almost every
instance, plainly bowed downwards in one-half or one-third of the time
during which the cauterised specimens were observed. With Vicia faba 19
radicles were cauterised; 12 remained horizontal during 23-24 h.; 6 became
slightly and 1 strongly geotropic. Eight of these radicles were afterwards
reversed, and again touched with caustic, and none of them became geotropic
in 24 h., whilst the reversed control specimens became strongly bowed
downwards within this time.
[page 542]
With Pisum sativum, five radicles had their tips touched with caustic, and
after 32 h. four were still horizontal. The control specimens were slightly
geotropic in 7 h. 20 m., and strongly so in 24 h. The tips of 9 other
radicles of this plant were touched only on the lower side, and 6 of them
remained horizontal for 24 h., or were upturned in opposition to
geotropism; 2 were slightly, and 1 plainly geotropic. With Phaseolus
multiflorus, 15 radicles were cauterised, and 8 remained horizontal for 24
h.; whereas all the controls were plainly geotropic in 8 h. 30 m. Of 5
cauterised radicles of Gossypium herbaceum, 4 remained horizontal for 23 h.
and 1 became slightly geotropic; 6 control radicles were distinctly
geotropic in 7 h. 45 m. Five radicles of Cucurbita ovifera remained
horizontal in peat-earth during 25 h., and 9 remained so in damp air during
8 ½ h.; whilst the controls became slightly geotropic in 4 h. 10 m. The
tips of 10 radicals of this plant were touched on their lower sides, and 6
of them remained horizontal or were upturned after 19 h., 1 being slightly
and 3 strongly geotropic.

Lastly, the tips of several radicles of Vicia faba and Phaseolus
multiflorus were thickly coated with grease for a length of 3 mm. This
matter, which is highly injurious to most plants, did not kill or stop the
growth of the tips, and only slightly lessened the rate of growth of the
whole radicle; but it generally delayed a little the geotropic bending of
the upper part.

The several foregoing cases would tell us nothing, if the tip itself was
the part which became most bent; but we know that it is a part distant from
the tip by some millimeters which grows quickest, and which, under the
influence of geotropism, bends most. We have no reason to suppose that this
part is injured by the death or injury of the tip; and it is certain
[page 543]
that after the tip has been destroyed this part goes on growing at such a
rate, that its length was often doubled in a day. We have also seen that
the destruction of the tip does not prevent the adjoining part from
bending, if this part has already received some influence from the tip. As
with horizontally extended radicles, of which the tip has been cut off or
destroyed, the part which ought to bend most remains motionless for many
hours or days, although exposed at right angles to the full influence of
geotropism, we must conclude that the tip alone is sensitive to this power,
and transmits some influence or stimulus to the adjoining parts, causing
them to bend. We have direct evidence of such transmission; for when a
radicle was left extended horizontally for an hour or an hour and a half,
by which time the supposed influence will have travelled a little distance
from the tip, and the tip was then cut off, the radicle afterwards became
bent, although placed perpendicularly. The terminal portions of several
radicles thus treated continued for some time to grow in the direction of
their newly-acquired curvature; for as they were destitute of tips, they
were no longer acted on by geotropism. But after three or four days when
new vegetative points were formed, the radicles were again acted on by
geotropism, and now they curved themselves perpendicularly downwards. To
see anything of the above kind in the animal kingdom, we should have to
suppose than an animal whilst lying down determined to rise up in some
particular direction; and that after its head had been cut off, an impulse
continued to travel very slowly along the nerves to the proper muscles; so
that after several hours the headless animal rose up in the predetermined
direction.

As the tip of the radicle has been found to be the
[page 544]
part which is sensitive to geotropism in the members of such distinct
families as the Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Gramineae, we may
infer that this character is common to the roots of most seedling plants.
Whilst a root is penetrating the ground, the tip must travel first; and we
can see the advantage of its being sensitive to geotropism, as it has to
determine the course of the whole root. Whenever the tip is deflected by
any subterranean obstacle, it will also be an advantage that a considerable
length of the root should be able to bend, more especially as the tip
itself grows slowly and bends but little, so that the proper downward
course may be soon recovered. But it appears at first sight immaterial
whether this were effected by the whole growing part being sensitive to
geotropism, or by an influence transmitted exclusively from the tip. We
should, however, remember that it is the tip which is sensitive to the
contact of hard objects, causing the radicle to bend away from them, thus
guiding it along the lines of least resistance in the soil. It is again the
tip which is alone sensitive, at least in some cases, to moisture, causing
the radicle to bend towards its source. These two kinds of sensitiveness
conquer for a time the sensitiveness to geotropism, which, however,
ultimately prevails. Therefore, the three kinds of sensitiveness must often
come into antagonism; first one prevailing, and then another; and it would
be an advantage, perhaps a necessity, for the interweighing and reconciling
of these three kinds of sensitiveness, that they should be all localised in
the same group of cells which have to transmit the command to the adjoining
parts of the radicle, causing it to bend to or from the source of
irritation.

Finally, the fact of the tip alone being sensitive to
[page 545]
the attraction of gravity has an important bearing on the theory of
geotropism. Authors seem generally to look at the bending of a radicle
towards the centre of the earth, as the direct result of gravitation, which
is believed to modify the growth of the upper or lower surfaces, in such a
manner as to induce curvature in the proper direction. But we now know that
it is the tip alone which is acted on, and that this part transmits some
influence to the adjoining parts, causing them to curve downwards. Gravity
does not appear to act in a more direct manner on a radicle, than it does
on any lowly organised animal, which moves away when it feels some weight
or pressure.
[page 546]


CHAPTER XII.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS.

Nature of the circumnutating movement--History of a germinating seed--The
radicle first protrudes and circumnutates--Its tip highly sensitive--
Emergence of the hypocotyl or of the epicotyl from the ground under the
form of an arch - Its circumnutation and that of the cotyledons--The
seedling throws up a leaf-be