Page:History of botany (Sachs; Garnsey).djvu/403

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CHAP, i.] From Aristotle to Camcrarhis. 383

and adjust the gaseous, in order that the seed may become more oily and its principles be better fixed. Here we find ourselves on the ground of the chemistry of the day, in which sulphur, salt, and oil play the chief parts. Consequently, con- tinues Grew, the flower has usually a stronger smell than the attire, because the saline sulphur is stronger than the gaseous, which is too subtle to affect the sense. Closely adhering to Malpighi's view he goes on to compare these processes in the flower with processes in the ovary of animals, inasmuch as they qualify the sap in the ovary for the approaching formation of seed, and he says that as the young and early attire before it opens contains the superfluous part of the female organ, so after it is opened it probably performs the office of the male. But how confused his ideas still were on this point may be further seen by examination of the passage which follows in his book (page 172, section 7), where, speak- ing of the single flowers in the head of the Compositae, he regards the blade, that is the style and stigma, of the floral attire as a portion of a male organ, and the globulets (pollen- grains) and other small particles upon the blade and in the thecae (anthers) of the seed-like attire as a vegetable sperm, which subsequently when the parts are duly matured falls down upon the seed-case and so touches it with a prolific virtue.

He meets the objection, that the same plant must con- sequently be both male and female, with the fact, that snails and other animals are similarly constituted. That the pollen- grains communicate a prolific virtue to the ovary (uterus) or to its juices by simply falling upon it, he thinks is rendered probable by comparing this with the process of fertilisation in many animals, and here Grew has some curious remarks. The section closes with the observation that to expect com- plete similarity in this matter between plants and animals, is to require that the plant should not only resemble an animal, but should actually be one.