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THE ORGANIC CREATION.

LESSON I.

element is supplied to the plant in three different forms: that

of vapor which the plant absorbs,--that of liquid water by PLANTS.

which some plants are surrounded, and that of moisture which HE term organic creation is the plant extracts, as nutriment from the earth. The developapplied to those objects which ment of plants is further dependent upon the chemical qualhave life, and are possessed of ities of the soil in which they live, whether it be composed parts, or organs. Organized of pure or mixed earths, or of soil rich in clay or vegetable bodies are either animals or mold. plants. With animals, the stom- 537. It belongs to Botany, Vegetable Physiology, and Agriach is the organ of digestion, cultural Chemistry to investigate the structure and nature of the lungs of respiration, the plants, and to examine in detail the treasures of the vegetable limbs of motion, etc. A plant kingdom. The business of the physical geographer is to notice is also composed of parts, as the disposition of the vegetable tribes, and the circumstances

the root, bark, leaves, etc., which which seem to regulate their distribution. severally perform certain functions necessary to its existence 538. Scarcely fourteen hundred species of plants appear to : and growth.

have been known by the Greeks and Romans. At the time 533. Botanical Geography, or the “Geography of Plants,” is of Linnæus (A.D. 1762) the number of known species was a branch of natural science that treats of the laws which regu- 8,800. In 1835, Lindley gave the number at 86,000. At the late the distribution of vegetable life over the surface of the present time, according to Lyell, there have been collected upearth. Plants occur over the whole globe under the most op- ward of 100,000 species; and when we reflect that the interior posite conditions. They flourish in the bosom of the ocean as of Africa, of Australia, and of the great islands of Oceanica well as on land, under the extremes of cold and heat, in polar have not been visited by the naturalist, it will not be deemed and equatorial regions, on the hardest rocks and in the most extravagant to estimate the total aggregate of species on the fertile valleys, amid the perpetual snow of lofty mountains and earth at 133,000. in springs at the temperature of boiling water, and in deep 539. “A species embraces all such individuals as may have originated caverns where the sun has never sent a cheering ray.

from a common stock. Such individuals bear an essential resemblance to 534. The life and healthy growth of plants depend upon light,

each other, as well as to their common parent, in all their parts. Thus the

white clover is a species, embracing thousands of cotemporary individuals, heat, and moisture. It is light that gives to plants that beau

scattered over our hills and plains, all of a common descent, and producing tiful green color, the intensity of which increases with the other individuals of their own kind from their seed." brilliancy of the light. “Plants always turn toward the light; 540. The vegetable kingdom consists of two great natural the guiding power we know not, but the evidence of some im- divisions, namely, Phænogamia, or Flowering Plants, and Cryppulsive or attracting force is strong, and the purpose for which togamia, or Flowerless Plants. The PHÆNOGAMIA possess a they are constituted to obey it is proved to be the dependence woody structure, have leafy appendages, develop flowers, and of vegetable existence upon luminous power.

produce seeds. They have two subdivisions, depending upon 535. Heat is another essential which determines the condi- their manner of growth, called Exogens and Endogens. tion of plants, by the amount of it which prevails during the 541. The Exogens (from exo, outside, and genesis, increase) season of vegetation. In the cold regions of very high latitudes are a class of flowering plants whose stems have bark, wood, vegetation scarcely exists, and even in the temperate zones its and pith. The bark is increased by layers deposited within luxuriance is materially diminished by the severe climate of the previously formed layers, and the wood by layers or rings winter. The influence of heat on vegetable life is most placed outside of those of the previous year. This class emstrikingly exhibited on high mountains in the torrid zone, braces the forest trees, as the oak, elm, pine, chestnut, poplar, where the growth and luxuriance of plants diminish in pro- hazel, willow, birch, etc., most of the flowering shrubs and portion to elevation, and consequently in proportion to the herbs, as the arbutus, sage, mint; also the dahlia, artichoke, diminution of heat.

thistle, lettuce, marigold, dandelion, daisy, etc. They are also 536. Without moisture there can be no vegetation, and this called Dycotyledons, from the seed consisting of two lobes.

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:"*

Cuestione.—532. To what is the term organic creation applied ? What are organized bodies ? Name some of the organs of animals ? of plants ? 533. What is Botanical Geog. raphy? Under what opposite conditions do plants flourish? 534. Upon what does the li'e, etc., of plants depend? What gives the green color to plants? 535. Where is the effect of heat on vegetation most strikingly exhibited ? 536 What is said of moisture, and in what three forms is it applied to plants? Upon what else is the development of plants dependent? 587. What is the business of the physical geographer ?

Questions.—588. How many species of plants were known by the Greeks and Romans ? How many at the time of Linnæus in 1762? In 1885 ? How many have been collected at the present time? Probable number on the earth? 539. What is a species ? Example. 540. Of what two great natural divisions does the vegetable kingdom consist ? Describe the Phænogamia. What two subdivisions have the Phænogamia ? 541. What are the Exogens? How are the bark and wood of this subdivision increased ? What does this class embrace? By wbat other name are they called, and why?

* “The Poetry of Science,” hy Robert Hunt.

* Wood's " C'ass-Book of Botany."

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS.

71

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342. As a new layer is formed every year, it is easy to determine the age are those which are not so especially serviceable to man, and of an exogenous tree by counting the number of layers or rings. In this

hence there is no inducement to transfer them from the counway De Candolle advances proof of the following ages :

tries in which they are naturally found. Elm..... .335 years. Oriental Plane, 720 years and upward.

548. Of the indigenous plants, it has been ascertained that Cypress, about.... .350 Cedar of Lebanon, about 800 years.

different regions are inhabited by distinct species. This fact is Cheirostemon, about. 400

Oak. .810, 1080, 1500
Ivy..

450
Lime .. . 1076, 1147

strikingly exhibited by an examination of New Holland, where Larch

576

Yew.... .1214, 1458, 2588, 2880 ys. they are found to be, almost without exception, distinct from Orange.

.630
Taxodium.. 4000 to 6000

those known in other parts of the world. Countries situated Olive..

..700
Baobab.....5150

between the same parallels of latitude differ essentially in their 543. The Endogens (from endon, within, and genesis, to in- species of vegetation. Out of 2,891 species of flowering plants

crease) are those which have their observed by a naturalist in the United States, there were only
stems increasing from within, and 385 which are found in northern or temperate Europe. Hum-
present no separate appearance of boldt and Bonpland, in all their travels in equinoctial America,
wood, pith, and bark. They compre- found only twenty-four species common to America and any
hend the numerous grasses, and the other part of the world.
most important of all vegetable tribes, 549. It is a remarkable fact, that in the more widely sep-
viz., the valuable pasture and all the arated parts of the Eastern Continent, notwithstanding the
grain-yielding plants, wheat, barley, existence of an uninterrupted land communication, the diversity
oats, Indian corn, rice, sugar-cane, etc., of species is almost as striking as between countries separated
with lilies and the palm family. They by wide oceans. Thus there is found one assemblage of species
are also called Monocotyledons, from in China, another in the countries bordering the Black Sea and
having only one seed-lobe.

the Caspian, a third in those surrounding the Mediterranean, a 544. The CRYPTOGAMIA, or flower fourth in the great platforms of Siberia and Tartary, and so forth. less plants, include mosses, lichens, 550. By the term botanical province is meant a district the fungi, ferns, sea-weeds, etc.

vegetation of which consists in great part of species confined to 545. Station indicates the peculiar the limits of that district. Twenty-five great botanical provinces nature of the locality where each spe- have been established, although many of these contain a variety

cies is accustomed to grow, and has of species which are common to several others. Professor Marreference to climate, soil, humidity, light, elevation above the tius, of Munich, has divided the vegetation of the globe into 51 sea, etc.; by habitation is meant a general indication of the provinces, namely, 5 in Europe, 11 in Africa, 13 in Asia, 3 in country where a plant grows wild. Thus the station of a New Holland, 4 in North America, and 8 in South America, plant may be a salt-marsh, a hillside, the bed of the sea, or besides the province of Central America, the Antilles, the Anta stagnant pool. Its habitation may be Europe, North Amer- arctic Lands, New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, New Guinea, ica, or New Holland, between the tropics.

and Polynesia.

551. “The first travelers were persuaded that they should find, in distant regions, the plants of their own country, and they took a pleasure in giving them the same names. It was some time before this illusion was dissipated ;

but so fully sensible did botanists at last become of the extreme smallness LESSON TI.

of the number of phænogamous plants common to different continents, that

the ancient floras fell into disrepute. All grew diffident of the pretended DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS.

identification ; and we now find that every naturalist is inclined to examine 546. In considering the distribution of the vegetable species

each supposed exception with scrupulous severity. If they admit the fact,

they begin to speculate on the mode whereby the seeds may have been it is important to observe the distinction between indigenous transported from one country to the other, or inquire on which of two conand exotic plants. The former are the native productions of tinents the plant was indigenous, assuming that a species, like an individcountry; the latter are those which have been introduced from ual, can not have two birthplaces.' abroad. The number of exotic plants is compatatively small. 552. Plants are diffused in a variety of ways. The principal They consist, for the most part, of those species which are of the inanimate agents provided by nature for scattering the eminently useful to man in furnishing him food, the materials seeds of plants over the globe are the movements of the atmofor clothing, etc., besides a variety of flowering plants and sphere and of the ocean, and the constant flow of water from shrubs.

the mountains to the sea. A great number of seeds are fur547. The indigenous class comprehends the great proportion nished with downy and feathery appendages, enabling them, of the vegetable species which adorn the surface of the globe. when ripe, to float in the air, and to be wafted easily to great It includes many useful plants which can not be successfully distances by the most gentle breeze. As winds often prevail transplanted to foreign climes; but by far the greater number for days and weeks, or even months together, in the same

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SUGAR-CANE AND RICE.

Qruestion8.542. How may the age of an exogenous tree be determined ? Ages of sev. eral species of trees ? 543. What are the Endogens ? What do they comprehend ? By what other name are they called, and why? 544. What do the Cryptogamia include? 645. What does station indicate ? Habitation ? Illustrate. 546 What are indigenous plants ? Exotic plants? Of what species do the exotics, for the most part, consist? 647. What does the indigenous class comprehend? What does it include ? 548. What has been ascertained respecting the indigenous plants ?

Questions.-What is said of the vegetation of different countries situated between the same parallels of latitude ? Illustrate. 549. What is said of the diversity of species in the Eastern Continent? Illustrate. 550. What is meant by the term botanical province? How many botanical provinces have been established ? 052. What are the principal inanimate agents employed in scattering the seeds of plants? Explain the agency of winds.

• Lyell's “Principles of Goology."

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What causes referred to in the map-questions before studied
may be assigned for the high northern range of the above
plants in western Europe? Near the mouth of what great river
in America and about midway on the west coast of what coun-
try in Europe is the northern limit of wheat ? The northern
limit of what important forest-tree nearly coincides with this, in
the Eastern Hemisphere? What valuable fruit-trees have this
limit near that of the oak, in western Europe ? [See perpendicular
over the Atlantic, marking their latitudinal range.] The northern limit
of what important grain barely exceeds the latitude of the south-
ern part of the British Isles ? That of what fruit-bearing plant
extends not far from this, in the Eastern Hemisphere?

Does the range of the cultivation of rice extend into southern
Europe? Is it mostly confined, in this grand division, to the
warm Mediterranean regions ? Does it embrace much territory
in America ? The northern limit of what rich fruits, in the Old
World, is between that of rice and the vine ? (See perpendicular
line over the Allantic, marking their latitudinal range.) Does the limit
of rice in the Southern Hemisphere extend far south of the Tropic
of Capricorn ? The cultivation of what important plants in both
the Old and New World is chiefly within the latitudinal range
of rice? Does the northern limit of palms extend mostly north
or south of that of the cultivation of rice? Which has the most
northern range, as an object of culture, palms or rice? What
country of South America lies south of the range of wheat ?

What important plants in the New World have their range
mostly within the tropics ? [See perpendicular over the Pacific, shoro-
ing their latitudinal extent.)

In what part of America is the cocoa treo cultivated? Where
do Peruvian bark trees grow? What flourish in Polynesia ? Do
they thrive in parts of Oceanica, near the Old World ?

What plant occupies a limited district in southeastern Asia,
mostly north of the Tropic of Cancer? What kinds of vegeta-
tion distinguish the islands and parts of the peninsulas on tho
northeast of the Indian Ocean? What tree has its favorite range
in the lower extremity of Arabia and the part of Africa lying to
the southward? What valuable food-plants flourish in Central
Africa? What grow on the western coast of Africa? What is
the character of the baobab ? Ans. It is a low, wide-spreading tree, the
trunk of which grows to a thickness, in some cases, nf from twenty-five to
thirty and even thirty-two feet, and which affords a valuable bark and fruit,
but is chiefly remarkable for the great age it attains (see page 71).

Do trees grow as far north as the arctic coasts of the conti-
nents ? Does their range extend north of the Arctic circle acros3
most of the Eastern Continent? Of the Western Continent ?
Are Iceland and the south point of Greenland within the range
of trees! About midway on the eastern shore of what great bay
does the northern limit of trees reach its lowest latitude ?

What is the region north of this limit termed on the map ?
What are saxifrages ? Ans. A genus of hardy herbs growing on or
among rocks. What distinguishes, in respect to man, the region
of saxifrages etc. from that farther south ? Ans. The absence
of all cultivation. What plants are found in Melville Island ?
Which of these orders includes various species that extend
to the borders of perpetual snow? Ans. Lichens.

What are
lichens ? Ans. A kind of plants including those familiarly known as
rock moss and tree moss, growing im thin flat crusts, and other humble
forms, on hard surfuces. We have noticed (page 68] that the climate
of Spitzbergen is much warmer than that of Melville Island, -
what plants mentioned on the map in connection with the former
are not named with the latter? What important food-plant is
cultivated in Iceland and the southern part of Greenland ?

What three cereal grains grow farthest north ? On the west
coast of what grand divisions does their northern limit nearly
reach that of trees? What valuable fibrous plants are culti-
vated nearly as far north? [See perpendicular line marking their
kulitudinal range in the eastern part of Europe.]

VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS.

The range of what trees in the torrid zone extends to the
height of about one mile (5,280 feet) above the sea ? Of what
tree in the middle region of the temperate zone? At nearly what
height does the oak cease to flourish in the torrid zone? What
cereal grain grows on the Andes near the equator to an altitude
of 12,000 feet? What one, from a moderate elevation, to nearly
15,000 feet? To what altitude on the Himalayas does barley
grow? What forests reach their limit on these mountains about
3.000 feet above that of barley ?

How high is the limit of trees on the Alps or in the middle
region of the temperate zone? What food-plant is cultivated a
little below that limit or at an altitude of about one mile ?

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS.

of man? By birds ? 656. What kinds of plants have been distributed by the volun'ary agency

Questions.—553. Or rivers. The Gulf Stream. 654. How distributed by animals? 658.

ment, or for building purposes. able for food and clothing, or as articles of luxury and ornasame object, with reference to those plants which are service

556. But man has been a voluntary agent in effecting the

BREAD-FRUIT TREE.

favorable. of America. life upon the surface of the globe. of their joint influence in distributing the forms of vegetable for thousands of years, we can not doubt the immense effect ers. When we reflect that these causes have acted incessantly of plants preserved in their gizzards, or attached to their feathtween different countries, and convey to and fro the seeds by migratory birds, which every year alternate in millions beinto every region whither quadrupeds may migrate.

555. The diffusion of the vegetable species is also promoted remain attached for weeks, or even months, and are borne along which they are provided, to the coats of animals, to which they Some kinds adhere, by means of prickles, hooks, and hairs, with that they might have vegetated had the climate and soil been

554. Seeds are also distributed by the agency of animals. are indigenous to America and the West Indies, in such a state western coasts of Europe the fruits and seeds of plants which shores of the Atlantic by seeds that generated in the interior

The Gulf Stream is known to convey to the there is a station fitted for them. seeds which grew in the interior of Germany, and the western them. Thus the southern shores of the Baltic are visited by down to the valleys the seeds which may accidentally fall into

553. Rivers aid in the distribution of vegetation by bringing the atmosphere, and carried to any point of the globe where no difficulty in accounting for their being dispersed throughout cles of which are scarcely visible to the naked eye, and there is mosses, fungi, and lichens, consist of a fine powder, the partiwhich prevail in some regions. The germs of many plants, as through considerable spaces by the hurricanes and whirlwinds the parent plant. Even the heavier grains may be borne direction, such seeds may be conveyed to a great distance from

73

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74

THE ORGANIC CREATION.

CREATION. 657. “The date-palm has been introduced from Africa into the south the extreme limits of culture in Lapland, to the heights imme of Spain. The grapevine, now so common in western Europe, has been

diately beneath the equator, but it is only in a narrow zone naturalized from western Asia. The coffee-bush, native to the highlands

of the northern hemisphere that it is reared as the sole bread. of Ethiopia, was taken thence to the scene of its present cultivation, the

grain; beside it appear Rye, which is the peculiar bread-grain southern part of the Arabian peninsula ; and the culture of the tea-plant, indigenous to China, has recently been attempted with success in the south in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the northern part of Russia; of France. Rice, known in the southern regions of Asia from the remotest and Oats, which are extensively cultivated throughout northern antiquity; the valuable bread-fruit tree, indigenous in the same district,

Europe. These grains are also cultivated in North America, and in the Polynesian Islands ; and the more important cereals, wheat,

though chiefly confined to British America and the northern barley, oats, and rye, have all been transferred from the Old World to the New since the discovery of the latter by Europeans.”

part of the United States. 558. “In return, the Old World has received from the New, maize or In

562. Wheat is the prevailing cultivated plant in Great Britain, dian corn, and the potato, the cultivation of which extends from Lapland Germany, France, and a wide range toward the east, including to the extremity of Africa. Our principal fruit trees appear to have the whole of the region of the Caspian; in the basin of the traveled into Europe and Great Britain from Syria ; the damson plum, Mediterranean, and throughout North America, it is associated with the damask rose, as their names import, from the neighborhood of Damascus; the cherry from Pontus ; the walnut and the peach from

with maize. Its northern limit in America is unknown, the Persia ; the apricot from Armenia ; the citron, lemon, and orange from

country being uninhabited; but at Cumberland House, in the the warmer parts of Asia."

very middle of the continent, one of the stations of the Hudson

Bay Company, in 54° north latitude, there are fields of wheat, NOTE.The map-questions on page 73 should receive at- barley, and Indian corn. Wheat thrives luxuriantly in Chile tention before proceeding with the following lesson.

and Rio de la Plata, and at elevations of 8,500 and 10,000 feet above the sea. It even produces grain on the banks of Lake Titicaca in the Peru-Bolivian Andes, at the absolute height

of 12,795 feet, in sheltered situations. Buckwheat is a plant LESSON III.

of tolerably extensive culture in the northern temperate zone.

It is a native of Asia, from whence it was brought into Europe FOOD PLANTS.

in the fifteenth century. 559. Man, in almost every country, has selected annual plants 563. Maize or Indian Corn is much cultivated in Europe for food ; that is, such plants as complete their whole vegeta

and America south of the 47th parallel tive processes within the course of a few months. These, for

of latitude. In the United States great the most part, possess a subterraneous and usually tuberous

attention is paid to the culture of this stem, which nds up shoots above the soil; after some time

grain, of which there were produced, flowers appear, and afterward fruit. During the remainder

in 1860, over 830 million bushels. Rice of the year the plants sleep, as it were, beneath a protecting

has been cultivated in the southern recoverlet of earth, and are thus beyond the influence of ex

gions of Asia from the earliest ages. It cessive heat or cold. By the cultivation of these plants, man

constitutes the staple food of the inhablas rendered himself independent of the destroying action of

itants of the Indian peninsulas, China, the dry season in semi-tropical regions, and of the killing influ

Japan, and the East Indian Islands. ence of the winter cold in higher latitudes. It is reinarkable

Rice is the food of a greater number that there are only three arborescent vegetables in the whole

of human beings than any other grain. world which can be included among the chief food-plants,

It requires excessive moisture, and a namely, the bread-fruit, the cocoa-nut, and the date, and these

temperature of 73° at least; consehave become objects of culture, and furnish in certain regions

quently its cultivation is limited to the principal food of large bodies of men.

countries between the equator and the 560. The most common food-plants are as follows: In the

45th parallel. Old World the species which prevail are the grains, or cereal

564. The Olive in the Old World grasses, namely, barley, oats, rye, wheat, rice, millet, sorghum,

embraces two zones or bands, north and the olive. The trees are the date-palm, banana, cocoa-nut, and south of the equator, about go in width, from latitude 35° to bread-fruit, and the pandanus. In the New World the species latitude 44o. The climate of the New World, which is subject which have their origin are maize, potato, manioc, and arrow- to the extremes of heat and cold, is not favorable to the cultiroot. The food-plants cultivated to a certain extent in both vation of this plant. The Date-Palm yields one of the most continents are sugar, coffee, tea, the vine, cocoa, pepper, cinna- nourishing fruits in existence. It grows spontaneously on the mon, cloves, nutmegs, and cassia.

southern slopes of the Atlas chain, on the banks of the Nile, 561. The regions over which these plants are distributed may and in the Canary Islands; its range extends to Palestine and be seen by inspection of Map 4. They range from the poles Hindoostan, and it has been introduced into the south of Spain. toward the equator in the following order. Barley, which has It is said that each tree yields annually from 150 to 260 pounds the widest distribution of all the cerealia, is cultivated from of fruit.

Quent lona.- 559. What plants has man selected for his food? What is said of these Qu stions.-What species have their origin in the New World ? What food-plants are plants? Which are the only three arhorescent vegetables inchided among the chief food- cultivated to a certain extent in both continents? 561, What is the region or barley? plants ? 660. What species of food-plants prevail in the Old World ? The trees ?

Rye? Oats ? 662. Wheat? Its northern limit in America ? At what elevation does it

grow in South America ? Buckwheat? 563. Maize or Indian corn ? Rice? What does * Rev. Thomas Milner,

ito enltiv. tion require?.564 The olive ? Date-palm

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