Page:The Oak.djvu/90

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CHAPTER VI.


the seedling and young plant (continued).

The Buds and Leaves.


The buds of the oak—those in the leaf-axils as well as those at the tips of the young shoots—are characteristically short and broad ovoid bodies, consisting of numerous overlapping brown scales covered with short, silky hairs, especially at the margins (Fig. 19). These scales are really the stipules of arrested leaves, as is shown by the proper leaf-blades being developed as well under certain circumstances, such as when nutritive materials are directed to the young buds. The same morphological fact is also shown by the position of the inflorescences and young leaves higher up in the bud, for they spring from between the scales, and not from their axils proper (see Fig. 32). It is of the highest importance to understand that a bud is simply the young state of a shoot, and that it consists of the growing-point of the shoot enveloped by closely-folded leaf structures. In the oak the buds are already formed before the end of June, and on looking closely into the axils of the leaves on the young shoots—which have by