Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/303

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mimicry miglit not exist amongst plants. 'Mr. R. Trimen sfiid that it

had occurred to iiim that it might be an advantage to a phuit to adopt the habit of one which was poisonous, and so be passed over by herbivorous animals. The instances which hatl been adduced related to the vegetative organs alone. He remembered a case mentioned by Harvey,* where two South African plants growing intermingled coidd only be distinguished by

careful inspection. Professor Lawson thought that it was notwholly true minuekiug plants were separated in their habitats. He had been struck with this in seeeing Villarsia uymphoideH and Nymphaa nlha growing to- gether. Dr. Lankester considered that in Darwin's theory of natural se- lection would be found the ultimate solution of these strange resemblances. The iuHuence of the mineral food of plants was a very impoitant considera- tion in their growth. Professor Thiselton Dyer in reply said that though

he had not pretended to do more than indicate the direction in which he thought a solution of'these problems might eventually be obtained, yet he considered that the tone of the discussion su|)ported him in his views. He was quite prepared to allow that real protective resemblance might occur amongst plants. Plants certainly grew together which resembled one another very closely in their foliage. The excessively rare Menziesia Cfjeridm had been protected, at any rate, from the rapaciousness of botanists by the more plentifid EmpeLrran nigrum on the Sow of Athol being mis- taken for it. Dr. Murie, " On the Development of Fungi within the

Thorax of Living Birds." The low forms of vegetable life described did not present any characters in the drawings by means of which it could be determined with any certainty as to whether they were an imperfect condition of a Mucediue or an Alga. They consisted of slender filaments, mixed with small elliptical spore-like bodies; the whole collected together

into a pale greenish spot. Mr. Cooke and Professor Perceval Wright

were of opinion that they were rather of an algoid than a fungal character.

Dr. Bastian made some observations on the development of organisms

in closed cavities as conclusive arguments for the truth of the so-called spontaneous generation theory.

AiKjmt 5. — There was no meeting, but an excursion was made, under Professor Balfour to Linlithgow. The party followed the banks of the Avon. The woods contain a good many naturalized plants, such as Geranium phceitui, Sijm phi/ tarn tnU'rosum., Dianlhits barbatns. Lynimachia tkijrsijlora was met with near the canal. Campanula Intifolia, Mi/rrhis odorata, Neotli'i Nidus-avis, and Epipaclin latifolia were collected.

August 7. — Professor Wyville Thomson, F.ll.S., presitled. Mr. A. G. More, F.L.S., called the attention of the meeting to some fine living spe- cimens of Spirauthes gcmmipara, Lindl., or S. liovianzoviana, Cham., as it had lately been renamed. The plant had been collected by himself during an excursion lately made to Bereliaven, the only European locality where this Orchid is known to occur, and the specimens, though obtained now three weeks ago, still exhaled the delicious and delicate perfume

which is characteristic of the L'ish Ladies'-tresses. Mr. A. G. More,

F'.L.S., also made some remarks on Eriophorum alpinnm, L., observing that his frieiul and colleague Dr. Moore, had, he believed, been iirt posed upon when he aimounced it as an Irish plant (see Journ. of Bot. V.

  • Sarcoci/phula G'errardi and Sitrcosfciiima vimi'ialr, both asclepiads, which grow

intertwined, and can only be told by examination of their tlowcrs (see ' Thestiuriis Caponsis,' ii. p. 58).

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