Page:Miscellaneousbot02brow.djvu/679

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PLANTiE JAVANICiE RARIORES. 663

The generic characters of Bennettia are clear and im- portant, but the affinities of the genus, or its place in a natural arrangement, though determinable, are not equally obvious. Many important points of agreement will readily present themselves between Eiqi7iorbiacetf and Bennettia^ but the general resemblance it bears to Antidesmece is still more striking. In their simple entire alternate leaves with lateral deciduous stipules and in their inconspicuous uni- sexual flowers they entirely agree, very nearly also in in- florescence, in the structure of ovarium, in their monosper- mous drupaceous pericarpium, and lastly, in the presence and texture of albumen, and in the degree of development of embryo. The principal distinctions would therefore be reduced to the existence of petals in Bennettia, to its stamina being equal in number to the divisions or parts of both floral envelopes, to a remarkable and obvious differ- ence in the structure and aestivation of antherse, and to the singular character of its transverse embryo. The pre- sence of petals may even be regarded as of more than ordi- nary importance, their usual form in the male flower being necessarily connected with the aestivation of stamina. According to this view, therefore, Bennettia may be said to bear the same relation to Antidesma (for Antidesmece contains at present no other well-established genus) that the polypetalous bear to the apetalous genera of Bup/ior- biacece. But according to a principle which I proposed for adoption in 1810, Bennettia ought not only to deter- mine the place, but also give the name {Bennettiacece) to the family. The principle referred to is stated in the ' Prodromus Florae Novae-Hollancliae/ p. 351, in a note relative to Combretacece (an order then first proposed and characterised), in the following terms: — "Hunc ordinem inter polypetalos posui, non solum propter petal orum in pluribus existentiam, sed quia vera natura partium affini- tatesque ordinum, ex contemplatione generum in quibus structura magis evoluta quam ex iis in quibus aliqua pars suppressa, tutius erui queant." In 1814, in conformity with the same principle, 1 placed among polypetalae Euphor- hiaccce > a family to which the same reasoning is still more

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