Page:The Oak.djvu/145

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127
INFLORESCENCE AND FLOWERS—FRUIT AND SEED.

It will be interesting, in the light of the foregoing remarks, to examine one of the stronger lateral buds of the oak towards the end of April, before it unfolds. A transverse section of such a bud shows the following structures: In the center is the axis of the young shoot, represented by the small central dot in the diagram (Fig. 32, B). Surrounding this are about eight to ten green leaves in section, and folded on their midribs in such a way that the two halves of the upper surface are face to face and somewhat crumpled; some of these are turned so that their edges are directed one way, others with them directed the other.

Each of these leaves has a pair of small stipules, also cut across, and rather difficult to identify (Fig 32, 12-20). Some of the foliage leaves bear female inflorescences in their axils, as indicated by the sign in the figure. Following on these stipulate leaves are a number of pairs of larger stipules, devoid of foliage leaves and constituting the bud-scales (Fig. 32, 1-11). Some of these bear male inflorescences () between them—i.e., in the position corresponding to the axil of the leaf.

It will be understood that in this diagram the parts are all represented on a ground-plan, but that as the bud opens the inner leaves and stipules are on higher levels than the outer scales. In fact, proceeding in the order of the numerals, we pass in an ascending spiral from the outermost lower pair (1) of scales (stipules) to the innermost upper pair (21) with their leaf.

If we suppose the female inflorescences removed, the