Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

82. Paleæ, Pales, or Chaff, are the inner bracts or scales in Composites, Gr amines, and some other plants, when of a thin yet stiff consistence, usua% narrow and of a pale colour.

83. Glumes are the bracts enclosing the flowers of Cyperacece and Graminece.

§ 8. The Flower in General.

84. A complete Flower (15) is one in which the calyx, corolla, stamens, and pistils are all present; a perfect flower, one in which all these organs, or such of them as are present, are capable of performing their several functions. Therefore, properly speaking, an incomplete flower is one in which any one or more of these organs is wanting; and an imperfect flower, one in which any one or more of these organs is so altered as to be incapable of properly performing its functions. These imperfect organs are said to be ahortive if much reduced in size or efficiency, rudimentary if so much so as to be scarcely perceptible. But, in many works, the term incomplete is specially applied to those fl^owers in which the perianth is simple or wanting, and imperfect to those in which either the stamens or pistil are imperfect or wanting.

85. A Flower is dichlamydeous, when the perianth is double, both calyx and corolla being present and distinct.

monochlamydeous, when the perianth is single, whether by the union of the cah-x and corolla, or the deficiency of either.

asepaloiis, when there is no calyx. apetalous, when there is no corolla. naked, when there is no perianth at all. hermaphrodite or bisexual, when both stamens and pistil are present and perfect. male or staminate, when there are one or more stamens, but either no pistil at all or an imperfect one. female or pistillate, when there is a pistil, but either no stamens at all, or only imperfect ones. neuter, when both stamens and pistil are imperfect or wanting. barren or sterile, when from any cause it produces no seed. fertile, when it does produce seed. In some works the terms barren, fertile, and perfect are also used respectiyely as synonyms of male, female, and hermaphrodite. . The flowers of a plant or species are said collectely to be unisexual or diclinous when the flowers are all either male or female. monoecious, when the male and female flowers are distinct, but on the same plant. dioecious, when the male and female flowers are on distinct plants. polygamous, when there are male, female, and hermaplu'odite flowers on the same or on distinct plants. . A head of flowers is heterogamov^ when male, female, hermaphrodite, and neuter flowers, or any two or three of them, are included in one head; homogamous, when all the flowers included in one head are alike in this respect. A spike or head of flowers is androgynous when male and female flowers are mixed in it. These terms are only used in the case of very few Natui-al Orders. . As the scales of buds are leaves vmdeveloped or reduced in size and altered in shape and consistence, and bracts are leaves likewise reduced in size, and occasionally altered in colour; so the parts of the flower are considered as leaves still further altered in shape, colour, and arrangement round the axis, and often more or less combined with each other. The details of this theory constitute the comparatively modern branch of botany called Vegetable Metamorphosis, or Homology, sometimes improperly termed Morphology (8). . To understand the arrangement of the floral parts, let us take a complete flower, in which moreover all the parts are free from each other, ('Ze/?^^^Ye in number, i.e. always the same in the same species, and symmetrical or isomerous, i. e. when each whorl con- sists of the same number of parts. . Such a complete symmetrical flower consists usually of either four or five whorls of altered leaves (88), placed immediately one within the other. The Calyx forms the outer whorl. Its parts are called sepals.