Page:Miscellaneousbot01brow.djvu/518

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500
ON THE ORGANS AND MODE OF FECUNDATION

processes or appendages of the column are so remarkably developed; and I afterwards, in searching for additional confirmations of the hypothesis, believed I had found such in the more minute lateral auriculæ of the column present in most Ophrydeæ.

These auriculæ, however, though they might serve to confirm, would hardly have suggested the hypothesis, at the period especially of which I speak. They had indeed until then been altogether overlooked, except by Malpighi,[1] by Curtis in his Flora Londinensis, perhaps in Walcott's Flora Britannica, and by Mr. Bauer, whom they were not likely to escape.

In my recent observations on Apostasia, referred to, I noticed a singular monstrosity of Habenaria bifolia, which, if such deviations from ordinary structure are always to be trusted, would throw great doubt on the hypothesis being applicable to these auriculæ of Ophrydeæ. For in this case, in which three antheræ are formed, auriculæ not only exist on the middle or ordinary stamen, but one is also found on the upper side of each of the lateral antheræ, which are here opposite to two divisions of the outer series of the perianthium. I have lately met with another instance of a similar monstrosity equally unfavourable; and I may add that this doubt is still further strengthened by my not being able to find vascular cords connected with these auriculæ in the only plants of Ophrydeæ in which I have carefully examined, with this object, the structure of the column, namely, Orchis Moria, mascula, and latifolia.

I do not indeed regard the absence of vessels as a complete proof of these auriculæ not being rudimentary stamina. But I may remark, that in the other tribes of Orchideæ, in 698] many of whose genera analogous processes are found, and in which tribes alone cases of their complete development have hitherto been observed, vessels not only generally exist in these processes, but may be traced to their expected origins, namely, into those cords which also supply the inner lateral divisions of the perianthium.

Although not necessarily connected with my subject, I

  1. Op. Om. tab. 25, fig. 142.