Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/389

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structures, but plants under cultivation sometimes throw off some of their disguises and give additional evidence of no mean importance. Just as the man under the influence of intoxicating liquor may reveal qualities of his nature that might have otherwise remained securely hidden, so the distortions seen in cultivated blossoms furnish a key which unlocks the secrets of normal structures.

The common garden lily (Lilium tigrinum) often has, instead of the six normal and similar parts to the perianth—the six stamens and a single tricarpellary ovary—first a multiplication of the petals and sepals, usually about twelve, followed (passing inward in the flower) by a number of petal-stamens or stamen-petals. The outer of these last have nearly lost their stamen characteristics, being broad, highly colored, spotted, and with only vestiges of anthers; while the inner ones are exceedingly irregular, and suggest that a severe struggle might have taken place between a hidden force that unimpeded would have made a petal, and another aiming to produce a stamen. In all such flowers there were no perfect stamens; however, some of the petal-stamens bore anther-lobes along their contorted edges, in which seemingly perfect pollen-grains were produced in quantity. The pistil in all these doubled flowers is an amalgamation of five or more carpels, but the tricarpellary type is not obliterated. In one instance a petaloid structure was observed, with ovules arranged along the mid-rib upon the upper side; while above the two widely separated edges were lines of chocolate color, characteristic of the anther-lobes. In another instance the perianth was reduced to a spathe-like structure, upon the inner veins of which were long double lines of ovules. Within this structure was a much misshapen pistil, compounded of at least six carpels, judging from the styles and sections made of the ovary.

In the ordinary case of doubling it is considered that a stamen is replaced by a petal, and the additional petals of the doubled flower are limited in number by that of the stamens. It is at once seen that this view does not hold with the lily; for, in place of the six normal stamens, there are at least twelve petals, only a few of the inner ones of which retain any marks of stamens. There is, therefore, an augmentation of the petals and transformation of the stamens. In the cultivated tulip the perianth is often increased to three or more times the normal number (six) of parts, and in one flower the modified stamens were found increased to nine. The pistil frequently shows signs of transforming into petals and becomes winged and bright-colored along one or more sutures, while the ovules are sometimes exposed to view between the separated valves.

The common garden pæonia is another large-flowered species,