Page:Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Volume 73 (1847).djvu/22

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


single-flowered. Flower of the same gigantic dimensions in proportion with the leaf; in bud pear-shaped (Tab. 4277. f. 1); when expanded our specimen here figured (Tab. 4276) measured rather more than a foot in diameter, (giving a circumference of thirty nine inches); but specimens in their native rivers, have been ascertained to be fifteen inches in diameter (forty-five in circumference), fragrant. The calyx is deeply quadrifid; the tube turbinate, tawny-coloured, very prickly, adnate with the ovary; the segments or sepals large, oval, purple-brown, concave, deciduous, a little prickly on the outside towards the base, rather shorter than the petals. From within, the mouth of the tube of the calyx (at the very base of the segments) extends itself into an annular torus, which bears the petals and stamens. Petals very numerous, the outer ones spreading and longer than the calyx, oblong, concave, obtuse, white, the inner ones gradually becoming narrower, much acuminated and insensibly passing into the filaments and becoming deeply coloured with purple or full rose. Stamens (perfect ones) in about two series, large, subulate, fleshy, gracefully incurved below, the rest erect; anther-cells double, linear, introrse, occupying the inner face of the filament, below the apex. Within these fertile stamens is another annular circle bearing a double series of abortive filaments only; these, with their lower portion, form an arch over the stigmas, the upper half being erect.

Ovary adnate with the whole length of the prickly tube of the calyx, and therefore turbinate like it, with a deep radiated depression or cavity at the top, and in the centre an elevated umbo or short pyramidal column: it may be therefore termed cup-shaped, with a thick fleshy base, having air-cells or cavities extending downwards into the peduncle; in the upper part of this substance, forming, as it were, the rim of the cup, there stand in a circle, placed with the greatest regularity, about twenty-six to thirty compressed cells, their parietes bearing several ovules attached to reticulated funiculi. From the inner edge of the cavity, just beneath the inner crown of sterile stamens, and articulated, as it were, at their base (or the base of the torus) rises a circle of stigmas, as many as there are cells in the ovary, large, fleshy, ovate, acuminated, laterally compressed, but geniculated, so to speak, in the middle; that is, the lower half of them is erect, and the upper half bent at an angle so as to lie horizontally over the cavity at the top of the ovary, and parallel or on the same plane with the base of the sterile stamens: the back of these stigmas is slightly grooved and is the stigmatic surface.

I much regret I can say nothing of the fruit from my own