PAPILIONACEÆ.—An order of plants (see LEGUMINOSÆ), The flowers of these plants are called papilionaceous, or butterfly-like, from the fancied resemblance of the expanded superior petals to the wings of a butterfly.
PARASITE.—An animal or plant living upon or in, and at the expense of, another organism.
PARTHENOGENESIS.—The production of living organisms from unimpregnated eggs or seeds.
PEDUNCULATED.—Supported upon a stem or stalk. The pedunculated oak has its acorns borne upon a footstool.
PELORIA or PELORISM.—The appearance of regularity of structure in the flowers of plants which normally bear irregular flowers.
PELVIS.—The bony arch to which the hind limbs of vertebrate animals are articulated.
PETALS.—The leaves of the corolla, or second circle of organs in a flower. They are usually of delicate texture and brightly coloured.
PHYLLODINEOUS.—Having flattened, leaf-like twigs or leafstalks instead of true leaves.
PIGMENT.—The colouring material produced generally in the superficial parts of animals. The cells secreting it are called pigment-cells.
PINNATE.—Bearing leaflets on each side of a central stalk.
PISTILS.—The female organs of a flower, which occupy a position in the centre of the other floral organs. The pistil is generally divisible into the ovary or germen, the style and the stigma.
PLACENTALIA, PLACENTATA or Placental Mammals—See MAMMALIA.
PLANTIGRADES.—Quadrupeds which walk upon the whole sole of the foot, like the bears.
PLASTIC.—Readily capable of change.
PLEISTOCENE PERIOD—The latest portion of the Tertiary epoch.
PLUMULE (in plants).—The minute bud between the seed-leaves of newly-germinated plants.
PLUTONIC ROCKS.—Rocks supposed to have been produced by igneous action in the depths of the earth.
POLLEN.—The male element in flowering plants; usually a fine dust produced by the anthers, which, by contact with the stigma effects the fecundation of the seeds. This impregnation is brought about by means of tubes (pollen-tubes) which issue from the pollen-grains adhering to the stigma, and penetrate through the tissues until they reach the ovary.
POLYANDROUS (flowers).—Flowers having many stamens.
POLYGAMOUS PLANTS.—Plants in which some flowers are unisexual and others hermaphrodite. The unisexual (male and female) flowers, may be on the same or on different plants.
POLYMORPHIC.—Presenting many forms.
POLYZOARY.—The common structure formed by the cells of the Polyzoa, such as the well-known seamats.
PREHENSILE.—Capable of grasping.
PREPOTENT.—Having a superiority of power.