petiol: petals 5, roundish obovate: heads of fruit globose, achenia tumid, minutely dotted; style straight, or slightly hooked at the apex.
Ceylon, plains of Nuera Ellia in marshy and low pastures.
I am informed by Colonel Walker that he has also found it on Horton plains, at a considerably greater elevation, where the plants become smaller, the lobes of the leaves less developed, and altogether more like E. reniformis.
6. R. pinnatus (Poir). The character given of R. Wallichianus, is nearly applicable to this species, with the exception of the leaves being described as merely hairy, in place of hispidly villous; a character apparently of little value in this species, as the clothing varies in degree on both Ceylon and Continental specimens. It is readily distinguished however from the nearly allied A subpinnatis by its murciated, not smooth, achenia.
EXPLANATION OF PLATES.
1st. — RANUNCULACEAE.
1. Clematis Munroiana, branch, with leaves and flowers, natural size.—2. Receptacle, with ovaries, styles and stamens showing the different series of the latter magnified.—3. Back and front view of filament and anther magnified.—4. Receptacle cut vertically,—5. Ovary, with its attached feathery style, much magnified.
2d. — Ranunculaceae.
1. Ranunculus reniformis, natural size.—2. Receptacle, showing stamens and ovaries, the .sepals and petals removed.—3. A detached petal showing the nectarial scale at the base.—4. Back and front view of the anthers.—5. Ovary detached.—6. Carpel cut vertically. All more or less magnified.
In this order the calyx is 5 sepaled, hypogynous, and persistent ; three of the sepals exterior and two interior : the corolla 5 petaled, deciduous, the stamens numerous, usually, all distinct and free, but sometimes monadelphous or polyadelphous, placed either all round the pistils in the usual way, or confined to one side of it: filaments, when free, dilated at either the base or apex: anthers adnate 2 celled, either elongated and bursting longitudinally, or short with the cells united at the tip only, and placed transversely across the dilated point of the filament. Pistils definite in number, ovaries, usually, from 3 to 5, but sometimes numerous, rarely solitary, more or less united, and terminated each by a straight style and truncated or toothed stigma; ovules, frequently numerous, sometimes reduced to two, or even one, pendulous or erect. Fruit composed of as many one-celled carpels as there were ovaries, either altogether distinct, or more or less cohering. Seeds usually, by abortion, few or solitary, attached in a double row to the inner edge of the carpels, and surrounded by a pulpy arillus; the testa hard, embryo minute, lying at the base of a fleshy albumen.
Handsome flowering trees or shrubs, are the most prevalent forms in this order, some of the former affording excellent timber, the latter usually climbing or prostrate, a few herbaceous plants are also met with. The leaves are usually alternate, and exstipulate, coriacious, with strong veins running straight from the midrib to the margin; peduncles solitary, or several springing together from tubercles on the branches, or forming terminal racemes or panicles. Flowers often yellow.
Affinities. The affinity existing between Dilleniaceae and Ranunculaceae has been already adverted to; they are also nearly akin to Magnoliaceae, from which they are distinguished by the absence of stipules, (Wormia excepted) by their persistent calyx and stamens, and lastly, by the quinary arrangement of their parts of fructification, the petals forming a single, not several, series. They are universally distinguished by the presence of an aril to the seed, and generally by the peculiar venation of the leaves; the veins running straight from the midrib to the margin, and frequently projecting in form of a tooth. The very remarkable one-sided development of the stamens, in some of the genera, is peculiar to this order.
From Anonaceae they are separated by nearly the same characters as those which separate them from Magnoliaceae, namely, the persistent calyx and quinary arrangement of the floral envelopes ; but in both, the leaves are exstipulate.
Essential Character. Flowers polypetalous, polyandrous, ovaries wholly superior: carpels more or less distinct, or solitary: embryo minute: seeds with an aril, leaves exstipulate, except Wormia.