The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - the Vegetable Kingdom
Chapter: Chapter 6: Plant Physiology

Morphology or the gradual transmutation of leaves

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1082. Morphology or the gradual transmutation of leaves into the various organs of a plant, is a subject which has lately engaged the attention of botanists. The first ideas of this metamorphosis appear to have originated with Linnï¾µus; and the first attempt to reduce it to a system with the poet Goethe, in the year 1790. According to this doctrine, the bracteï¾µ are leaves affected by the vicinity of the fructification ; the calyx and the corolla are formed by the adhesion and verticillation of leaves; the filament is a form of a petiole, the anthers of laminï¾µ, and the ovarium itself a convolute leaf. The elementary organs used by nature in the construction of plants being essentially the same, and the plan upon which they are combined being every where uniform, it follows that the functions of plants are equally regular, and that every thing which takes place in the vegetable world is governed by a few simple laws. Whatever can be demonstrated of one branch of a tree, is not only true of all other branches of the same tree, but also of the branches of all other trees. Whatever can be shown to govern the structure of one individual will also govern that of all other individuals.