observation; but judging from the figure given of it by Sir Robert Schomburgk (see our Tab. 4278. f.6), it is a large cyathiform, truncate, fleshy, green, prickly berry, the margin even; bearing many oval, dark brown, almost black seeds.
An exceedingly reduced representation of the plant, in situ, chiefly done from Sir R. H. Schomburgk's scene in his 'Views in British Guiana'; showing the flower, unexpanded bud, and fully formed leaves and fruit.
This plate exhibits a flower of the natural size, delineated from a very perfect specimen in spirits, in the author's possession, brought by Mr. Bridges from Bolivia. A portion of the leaf is given, supposed to be a transverse section taken near the petiole, but so much fore-shortened (to allow of its being introduced at all) as to convey little idea of the magnificence of the entire foliage; drawn from a fine dried specimen in the author's possession, obtained from Bolivia.
Fig 1. Exhibits an unexpanded flower (from Bolivia) :–natural size. Fig. 2. A portion of the underside of the leaf (natural size) showing more particularly the remarkable venation. Fig. 3. A vertical section of the inferior ovary, with the stamens (sterile and fertile), and exhibiting the mode of union of the bases of the petals and stamens on the elevated rim (or torus), at the mouth of the calycine tubes. This section is through two of the many cells of the ovary, in which are seen the parietal reticulated funiculi, with the attached ovules. The lower part of the ovary contains air cavities. The upper part shows the radiated cavity of the top of the germen, with the central column or umbo, and the curious stigmas at the edge of said cavity:–natural size.
Fig. 1. Vertical section (natural size) of a portion of the torus, or elevated rim, at the inside of the tube of the calyx and which bears a portion of a calycine segment, and petals which gradually pass into stamens; within, is an inner circle or crown of sterile stamens, united at their base into an arched ring over the stigmas. Fig. 2. Stamen:–slightly magnified. Fig. 3. Transverse section of an ovary through the centre of the cells: showing the position of those cells with relation to the cavity, in which latter is seen the central umbo or column. Fig. 4. Two ovules attached to the funiculus:–much magnified. Fig. 5. Stigma (natural size) showing its stigmatic surface on the back. Fig. 6. Outline sketch of a fruit (natural size), copied from Schomburgk.
(The colouring of the above is done in part from Sir Robert Schomburgk's figures, and in part from description.)