Page:History of botany (Sachs; Garnsey).djvu/402

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382 History of the Sexual Theory. [BOOK in.

and does not once mention the views of former writers. Mal- pighi, like Cesalpino, regarded the formation of seeds as only another kind of ordinary bud-formation, and propagation as only another kind of nutrition. He mentions (p. 52) inci- dentally that plants with unfruitful flowers are designated as male, but treats this as a popular expression merely, and ultimately propounds the theory that the stamens and the floral envelopes remove a portion of the sap from the flower, in order to purify the sap for the production of the seeds

(P- 56).

In all accounts of the theory of sexuality in plants, a botanist otherwise unknown in history, Sir Thomas Millington, is named as the person who first claimed for the stamens the character of male organs of generation. The only record of the fact, however, is contained in the following words of Grew in his 'Anatomy of Plants' (1682), ch. 5, sect. 3, p. 171 : 'In con- versation on this matter (namely the connection of the stamens, called by Grew the attire 1 , with the formation of seeds) with our learned Savilian Professor Sir Thomas Millington, he told me he was of opinion that the attire served as the male organ in the production of the seed. I replied at once, that I was of the same opinion, and gave him some reasons for it, answering at the same time some objections that might be brought against it.' Grew gives on p. 172 the following sum- mary of his ideas on the subject 2 ; it would appear, he says, that the attire serves to remove some superfluous parts of the sap, as a preparatory process to the production of seed. As the floral envelopes (foliature) serve to remove the volatile and saline sulphur-parts, so the attire serves to lessen

1 In the ' Compositae,' however, Grew called the single flowers the florid attire, see p. 37.

2 We may compare with this, pp. 38 and 39 of the first part of the work which appeared in 1671, where Grew ascribed no sexual significance to the stamens.