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development of organs by their own innate powers, and thus he may be said to have originated a doctrine which has been adopted, and, perhaps, realised as homologous physiology, by modern science. Goëthe, before the present century, had observed that "whoever looks even casually at the growth of plants, cannot but perceive that certain outward parts often change, and sometimes assume wholly, at other times, partially, the form of parts lying next to them. The secret affinity between the different outward parts of plants, as leaves, calix, corolla, stamen, which are naturally developed out of one another, has been long known; and this process, whereby one and the same organ is seen to undergo manifold changes, has been designated Metamorphosis of Plants." The pericarp is, of course, the seed-vessel, the covering, that is, of the seed, (as the pod of leguminosa, the hairy covering of the chestnut, or the pulpy coat of fruit,) and the germinal part of seeds is by Aristotle compared to the prolific end of the egg which is attached to the oviduct, (τῇ ὕστερᾳ,) as the seed is to pods, husks, or other forms. The seed and fruit are well said to be analogous to an animal body in its state of potentiality, (which may be likened to a state of hybernation,) as ages may pass away without extinguishing that latent existence which, under favourable conditions, being resuscitated, can resume the actions of life.
- Goëthe, Einleitung zur Metamorph. der Pflangen.
- De Generat.II. 2.