The Baldwin Libran
II"" --r 1 -~
Cc / & oL p
1. HAREBELL. 2. PIMPERNEL. 2. HEATHER. 4. BROOM.
AFTER WILD FLOWERS
T. NELSON AND SONS
London, Edinburgh, and New York
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS, this is our fourth series of
"Rambles," and must be taken over whatever of
common, heath, or moorland lies within our reach.
Some of the flowers may be seen growing on dry
banks, but a little bit of heath or common will supply
them all. Hedgerows, woods, and damp marshes
have all of them their wild flowers which love such
places best, and so have sandy heaths; and in the
warm midsummer days we must hunt over such
spots for heather and broom, and such other wild
flowers as we have not met with up to now. Of
course, if you have read and used our first three
Rambles," you will have learned a little how to use
your eyes, and how much depends sometimes upon
a very little thing. You must never forget how so
much depends upon your own powers of seeing.
You must have sharp eyes, and be quick to use
them, believing that every spot and every hair has
its use, and everything its proper place. The most
successful plant-hunter will be the one who can ob-
serve best all the differences between one kind of
plant and another. M. c. COOKE.
HAREBELL, ..... ..... 9
SCARLET PIMPERNEL, .. .... .... .... 19
HEATHER, .... .... .... .... .... 26
YELLOW BROOM, .... ... .... .... 38
SILVER-WEED, ........ .... .... 47
EYE-BRIGHT, .... ........ 61
THISTLES, .... .... .... .... .... 72
THE SUNDEW, .... ...... .. .... 81
T HE "bluebell of Scotland" is
the pretty little blue flower,
so common on heaths and commons,
which is known also as the "hare-
bell ;" but children often call those
flowers bluebells which are found in
* Cagnpanula rotundifolia.
woods at spring-time, and should be called wild
hyacinth." The latter have a string of blue
bell-flowers on one side of a flower-stalk, whilst
the former has only one flower at the top of a
very thin wiry flower-stalk.
"With drooping bells of clearest blue
Thou didst attract my childish view,
The azure butterfly that flew
Where on the heath thy blossoms grew
So lightly trembling."
They are called bell-flowers because they are
shaped like a hand-bell, and hang upon a foot-
stalk so thin that they are always trembling
with the least puff of wind. A much larger
kind grows in gardens, and is known as Canter-
bury bells; but they are all known by the Latin
name of Campanula, which means "a little bell."
The harebell is shaped like a small thimble
hanging with the mouth downwards, and is
usually blue, but sometimes white. One of its
common names is "ladies' thimble;" only that
name is sometimes given to a stitchwort which
grows in hedges and has a pretty white flower
that is never blue. The best name for it is
"bluebell" or harebelll," and by that it is
Bluebell! how gaily art thou drest,
How neat and trim art thou, sweet flower;
How silky is thy azure vest,
How fresh to flaunt at morning's hour !"
The harebelll" is sometimes written hairbell,"
because the flowers hang upon a thread so slender
that they seem to be hanging from a hair. Cissy
was not long in picking a handful, and seated
herself on a grassy slope to take her lesson.
Now, uncle, tell me about these two kinds
of leaves. Those at the bottom of the stem,
which spread out and lie upon the ground, are
roundish, notched at the edge, and have long
stalks; but the others are different."
SThey are the root-leaves, and are often
different in other plants from the stem-leaves.
That is one reason why we should always look
at the root-leaves as well as the stem-leaves."
Well, the stem-leaves are long and narrow,
almost like little grass-leaves, and the edges are
"So far as it goes that is all right, but you
should always notice how the stem-leaves are
placed on the stem. In some plants the leaves
are in pairs, opposite to each other; and in some
they are placed apart, or alternate-one leaf on
one side of the stem, and one on the other side,
but higher up."
These are alternate, then, for they are not
in pairs, opposite to each other. And now for
"Sometimes growing singly, and sometimes
two or three on a stem. There are special
names for the different ways in which flowers
are seated upon the stem, but we need not to
trouble ourselves to-day."
More names to learn, uncle; but never mind,
let us pull the flower in pieces."
"Before you do so, Cissy, you must notice
that these are bell-flowers, and all in one piece.
It is a one-petalled corolla."
I see that; and the little green sepals outside
are all joined in one piece, with five teeth-I
forget what to call it."
The calyx! "
Oh yes, that is the calyx; and the inside blue
flower like a thimble is the corolla, with five
notches at the mouth, and something inside,
which we must cut it to see. That will do I
have torn it down the middle, and there are five
stamens, with an ovary at the bottom. Isn't it
strange that flowers seem so fond of the number
fve ? "
"A great many plants have the parts of the
flower in fives, but you will learn one day that
there are also many plants which have the parts
of the flower in threes: such plants as snow-
drops, tulips, crocuses, lilies, and many more."
The wild hyacinth, too. And now I can see
how much it is different from the harebell."
"Have you noticed how the bees have been
buzzing around these flowers since we sat down ?
Those bells on the bank have been kept swing-
ing by the bees."
"I saw the bees; but I am afraid of them, so
I did not look at them very much. They cannot
know one flower from another."
Indeed they do, Cissy; they know more than
you think. I can tell you that bees know the
colour of flowers, and that humble-bees are very
fond of blue flowers, as well as of red ones, and
that more humble-bees visit red and blue flowers
than those of all other colours together. Honey-
bees are fond of blue flowers, but they like red
ones better, and yellow ones hardly at all."
"Why do they go to flowers and hover about
0 Cissy, what a strange question! Do you
not remember what it is that
'Gathers honey all the day
From every opening flower' ?
Bees go to the flowers to gather honey from
them. You can taste the sweet nectar in cow-
slip and primrose and honeysuckle flowers; and
do you think that bees are more foolish than
you ? "
"But do they go for anything else ? "
"Perhaps not on purpose, but they do some-
thing else without knowing it."
And what may that be ?"
"When you look at the stamens to count
them, do you never notice that the top, which
is called the anther, is often burst open, and
covered with a yellow powder which we call
pollen ? This pollen or fine dust must find its
way from the stamen on to the top of the pistil
or ovary. If no pollen falls on the top of the
ovary, the seeds never ripen."
"I have read that, but I never thought much
Suppose that a bee puts its head into one
of the bell-flowers, and tries to suck the nectar
from the bottom. In doing so the head of the
insect brushes against the stamens, and the
anthers will burst and sprinkle the pollen dust
over the head of the bee. Then the bee flies
away and goes to another flower of the same
kind, and thrusts its head deeply into the bell.
In this case some of the pollen dust is rubbed
off from the head of the bee, and falls upon the
top of the ovary, just where it is wanted, and
then the ovules become seeds."
"Why does it go to the ovary rather than
anywhere else ?"
"Because at the top of the ovary there are
always one, two, three, or more sticky places,
called the stigma, to which the pollen sticks
firmly; and the other parts are not sticky. The
bee cannot reach the bottom of the corolla with-
out brushing its head against the little sticky
stigma on the top of the ovary, and a large bee
cannot thrust its head into a bell-flower without
brushing the pollen out of the anthers on to its
And so the bee helps the flower."
And the flower helps the bee. There is still
another way in which a bee may help a flower.
I have told you before that there are some plants
which have flowers bearing stamens and no
ovary; and that there are other plants, or other
flowers on the same plant, which enclose an ovary
and no stamens. The pollen has to travel from
the flowers which bear stamens into the flowers
which only bear ovaries; but how is this to be
done ? The wind may help a little by blowing
the pollen from one to another, but insects can
do it much better in passing from one flower to
another. So you see that even an insect may
be doing good without knowing it."
Yes, uncle. But if a bee flies away from my
bell-flowers with pollen on its head, and then
goes on a visit to a dandelion, the pollen of the
bell-flower will not do any good to the dan-
Certainly not. But the bee does not fly from
a bell-flower to a dandelion-it seldom visits
yellow flowers-but it prefers to go from one
bell-flower to another, or from one blue or red
flower to another. Some insects are very true
to the flowers they visit, and they go from one
flower to another of the same kind as long as
they are in blossom. Insects are able to choose
the flowers they like best, sometimes by colour
and sometimes by the smell."
"Do you think that bees or flies are able to
know a flower by its smell, and to love it as we
"Indeed I do. One blow-fly smells stinking
meat and likes it, another loves stinking fish.
One insect, or more, loves the scent of lime
flowers, and another revels in the odour of sweet-
smelling clover. Insects can detect the sweet
scent, or what is to them the pleasant scent, of
flowers, when our noses can scarcely find any
scent at all."
Some insects, I suppose, go to certain flowers
because they like their colour; and some insects
go to other flowers because of their scent. That,
I suppose, is what you wish me to know."
Yes; and I wish also to tell you that insects
go to flowers for some good purpose, and not
for pastime or mischief. It is their work, and
they do it as if they were at play."
" SE your eyes, Cissy, to find the little
scarlet pimpernel, and I suppose you
only know it by the common name of 'poor
Yes, uncle; I know the little red flower that
we call' poor man's weather-glass,' but I couldn't
tell you why it has such a funny name."
"Perhaps I can help you; and whilst you are
looking for the flower, I will explain it. There
are some plants which open and close their
flowers at certain times of the day: some open
in the morning, some open in the evening, and
some only open when the sun is shining. These
are called meteoric flowers,' and the pimpernel
is a meteoric flower. When it is a cloudy or
rainy day the flowers, are closed, and they open
in the sunlight. If the flowers are open in the
morning, it is a sign that there will be no rain;
but if they are closed, you must carry an um-
brella. This is the reason why they are called
the 'poor man's weather-glass,' because, like a
weather glass, they foretell changes in the
'Come tell me, thou coy little flower,
Converging thy petals again,
Who gave thee the magical power
Of shutting thy cup on the rain ?
While many a beautiful bower
Is drenched in nectareous dew,
Sealed up is your scarlet-tinged flower,
And the rain peals in vain upon you.' "
"Then they are almost 'sensitive plants,' I
suppose, but not those which open and shut
Yes, they are all sensitive to something; if
not to a coming shower, then to the light of the
sun. A clever man noticed this many years
ago, and wrote out a 'flower-clock,' so as to
know the hour by the opening or closing of
flowers. Thus, there is the bindweed to open at
four in the morning, the sow thistle at six, the
pimpernel at eight, the marigold at nine, the
blue passion-flower at twelve; and, in the even-
ing, the evening primrose at six, the campion at
seven, and others at eight. Some people call
the opening and shutting the waking and going
to sleep of flowers.
'Oh let us live so that flower by flower,
Shutting in turn, may leave
A lingerer still for the sunset hour,
A charm for the shaded eve.'"
"The daisy always closes and goes to bed as
the sun goes down, and then it looks so sleepy."
"Flowers are always most open in the bright
sunlight, except evening flowers and the few
that blossom in the night. You know the
garden flower called 'purple convolvulus:' it is
a very early riser, and opens its flowers at two
o'clock in the morning."
Now I have found the pimpernel, but nearly
all the little flowers are closed."
I have told you something about the families
of plants in our rambles, but you would scarcely
think that the pimpernel belongs to the family
of the primroses. There is not much family
likeness, but you see that the corolla is all in
"How thin and weak all the stems are, so
that they lie and creep along upon the ground;
and the leaves are so thin."
Opposite to each other, in pairs, along the
stem. Almost egg-shaped, ovate they are called,
and not toothed at the edge. There are no
proper leaf-stalks, for the leaves are seated, or
placed, close to the stem. In some plants, when
pairs of leaves are so close, they are joined to-
gether, so as to appear to be one leaf; but these
are not joined, or connate.'"
I should like to find some plant with connate
They are not very common, but perhaps we
shall find the teazel' some day. Now you must
look at the flowers, for you see that they have
rather long, thin stalks, and everywhere the
flower-stalk comes out from the stem, just at the
place where the leaf joins the stem. This is
called the axil, and it means 'arm-pit.' Just as
your arm joins the body, there is the arm-pit;
so, where the leaf joins the stem, there is the
axil. Pluck nearly any flower which has a stem,
and where the leaf, or the leaf-stalk, joins the
stem: that is the axil, and in the axil is a bud or
Axil-arm-pit; I shall remember."
And now for the flowers. The outside cup,
or green calyx, is in one piece, with five teeth;
but the cup is a shallow one, and not like the
long tube of the primrose. When the corolla
falls away, the cup, or calyx, remains behind.
See how easily the corolla falls off, all in one
piece, with a hole in the middle, like a cart
wheel. When a wheel goes round it is said to
'rotate,' because rota is a word for wheel. A
corolla such as this is rotate, because it is like
a little cart wheel, all hanging together, with
a hole in the middle. There are five rays, or
lobes, or teeth, whichever you please to call
them, to your bright red corolla, and within
these you will find the five stamens, with the
ovary in the middle."
"The number is all the same again: there
are five teeth to the cup, five points to the
corolla, and five stamens."
"In some of the oldest of the flowers, where
the corolla has fallen off for some days, you will
see that the ovary remains behind, and has
grown much larger; and it goes on growing into
a seed-vessel, and a very curious one, round like
a pea, until, when it is ripe, it is nearly as large
as a small pea."
Not a soft, juicy berry ?"
"No; it is a hard, dry capsule, or seed-box,
and a very strange one. I will tell you what it
is like, because they will not be ripe for some
weeks. The little capsule is round, and green
at first, but becomes dirty yellow, and when it
is ripe it splits all round, and the top falls off
like a lid, with the little seeds packed closely in
the lower half, like eggs in a nest."
"I shall have to learn the names of the
different sorts of fruits in the autumn. I have
called them all fruit, and did not notice the
"Well, Cissy, a pea-pod is a fruit, and so are
a filbert, and a plum, and a blackberry, and a
cucumber, but they are all very different."
"Are all the dry fruits capsules "
"Not properly so; neither are all the pulpy
fruits berries. A red or black currant is a berry,
but a cherry or a plum with a stone in the
middle is not a berry, but a drupe. Then the
dry fruits may split open when ripe, like a pod;
or they do not split, like a filbert. Those which
split when ripe, if they are long and narrow, are
commonly called pods; but if short, or nearly
round, capsules. Those which do not split are
nuts. Of course there are other names for fruits,
but we need not trouble about them now. We
should learn to know the things, and then their
"T HE large purple tufts of heather which
grow in a scattered manner over heaths
and commons look very pretty in autumn, but
they should be seen in all their glory on moors,
and amongst the mountains of Scotland and
Wales, where they cover acres of ground like a
carpet. There are several different plants which
are called by the name of heather-such as the
ling, or he-heather, and the Scotch, or she-
heather, and the cross-leaved heath; but all of
them are very much alike, and it is no wonder
that they are commonly known by the same
'The heather flower
Of scent delicious, and inviting still
The eye to rest upon its beauty, spread
For miles athwart the moor, where wild fowl haunt,
And where the industrious bee collects her sweets.'
We shall find at least three kinds of heather, all
growing together on the common, and we will
take them one at a time, and then we shall see
how much they are alike, and where they differ.
A pretty cluster of the cross-leaved heath, as
the flowers look the brightest, is at your feet,
and we will take it to begin with."
"What a pretty rose colour and the flowers
look like waxwork."
"The heath plants are almost like little
stunted shrubs with us, hardly a foot high,
and the flowers are small, but in such immense
numbers that they may be seen a long way
"And how tough and strong they are! I
cannot pull it up by the root, and I can scarcely
break off the branches."
I think we can call them woody little shrubs,
for they are pjerenniad, and grow from year to
year, for many years, close to the ground, and
cover it like a carpet. In this one the tiny
leaves are narrow, and growing in clusters on
Always in fours, and fringed with hairs-
four, four, four, cross leaves. And this, then, is
the 'cross-leaved heath.'"
The 'rule of five' is broken with the heather,
as you will soon find out by the flowers."
"So it is. Here is the little green cup, or
calyx, with four teeth; and the corolla, hardly
bell-shaped, but all in one piece, with four teeth
at the mouth."
"True, it is a one-petalled corolla, nearly of
an oval shape; and these grow in clusters, at the
tops of the branches, with the mouths hanging
down, and all turned to one side."
Racemes, I should say; but the flower-stalks
are short. What would you call racemes at the
end of a branch ? "
"Terminal racemes; but these are more clus-
ters than racemes. And now for the inside of
the flower; and you must be careful, for they
"Pistil in the centre, and four-four, yes,
eight stamens. All in fours this time, with
such strange-looking horns, like bristles, to the
stamens. I can just see them, but it wants a
hand-glass to see them well."
"And now, Cissy, you must find the Scotch
heather, with longer racemes of flowers, and the
leaves more pointed, but not in clusters of four.
Look carefully, and you will be certain to find
it, for I have often found them, growing closely
"I wonder whether I have got it here, with
leaves in threes instead of fours, and they are
I expect that you are right, Cissy; for you
see that the flowers are not so much in clusters
as in long racemes, and the shape is rather
different, the colour more purple, and they are
I thought at the first that they were all
alike, but suppose I shall know them now as
the four-leaved and the three-leaved heather.
But they must be brothers and sisters, uncle,
they are so much alike."
"More alike than they are to the other one
that we are looking after, which is called 'ling'
in many places, and is very common. The
flowers are smaller, more open or bell-shaped,
and of a paler colour."
Do you think that I can find it for myself?"
You should be able to see the difference in a
minute, for there is plenty of it round about us."
"Then I see which it is, with the little pink
flowers more scattered about on the branches."
Look first at those flowers, and you will find
that the calyx, or cup, of the flower is pink, like
the corolla, and looks like a double corolla, but
it is really a coloured calyx, with four teeth,
longer than the true corolla, which is nearly
hidden by them. Outside of both is a green
outer calyx, with four leaves or bracts. So you
see that there are three sets of flower-leaves-
the little four-toothed corolla inside, then comes
the larger coloured calyx, and outside all the
four green bracts. Stamens nearly as in the
other heaths, and eight. Now we will turn to
"And they are very small, and opposite."
"The young branches will show you that the
leaves are in four rows, up and down, on opposite
sides of the thin twigs. So that in all the three
kinds of heather the leaves are placed in a
different manner. The branches of ling are
gathered, and bound tightly together to make
"They are useful as well as pretty."
"Yes. It is even said that, a very long time
ago, the Danes made beer from heather; and
now the bees, you see, are very busy all around,
gathering honey from the flowers. A great
quantity of honey is gathered by bees from the
flowers of heather.
'The powdery bells, that glance in purple bloom,
Fling from their scented cups a sweet perfume;
While from their cells, still moist with morning dew,
The wandering wild bee sips the honeyed glue.'"
"I should think that the Scotch moors are
very beautiful when the heather is in flower."
Indeed they are, Cissy; and sometimes you
can see the ground purple for miles with these
little flowers, and hear the bees humming over
them, and see the wild birds hiding amongst
Is the fruit a berry ?"
"No; it is a dry capsule, with many seeds, in
the heathers, but it is a fleshy berry in some
of the little shrubs which belong to the same
family, such as the bilberry and cranberry."
"Could we not grow the heather in our
"Not readily. They will not grow anywhere
as they do on their open heaths and moors, and
only by a great deal of care will they grow in
gardens at all. The ling is the most likely to
succeed. Many very beautiful foreign kinds
may be grown in greenhouses.
"As we jog along, Cissy, I wish to explain
to you two words which are often used in books
upon flowers, as they refer to the petals or
corolla, and you may be puzzled when you see
them. These two words are 'monopetalous'
and polypetalouss.' Indeed, you might guess
that they meant 'one-petalled' and 'many-
petalled,' but you will desire to be quite sure.
We have in the heathers a monopetalous corolla,
in which the petals are joined along the sides
into a corolla, and not divided into four or five
separate petals, in which case it would have
been polypetalouss.' You do not see the join-
ing of the petals perhaps, but you know that
the corolla is all in one piece. In the heather
flowers the corolla is like a little jug, which is
narrowed at the mouth, swells in the
middle, and is rounded at the bottom.
Such an one is said to be urceolate.
But there are other kinds of mono-
petalous corolla, which are not at all EOLATE CO-
narrowed at the mouth, but form a HEATHER.
straight tube as they do in the honeysuckle
and the florets of the thistle. This is called a
tubular corolla. If we pass on to the primrose,
we find another kind of corolla which has a long
tube, and the mouth is furnished with five
spreading limbs or lobes, like petals, but joined
at the bottom into a tube. This is called salver-
shaped, or hypocrateriform-a long ugly word.
If the petals are spreading in the same man-
FIG. 3.-TUBULAR COROLLA OF FIG. 4.-SALVER-SHAPED CO-
HONEYSUCKLE. ROLL OF PRIMROSE.
ner, but the tube is very short, as it is in the
forget-me-not, then it is called rotate, or wheel-
shaped. When the corolla is shaped like a
little bell, as it is in the harebell, it is said to
be cacmpanulate. But if the mouth is wider
FIG. 5.-ROTATE COROLLA. FIG. 6.-CAMPANULATE COROLLA OF
a, Stamens attached. HAREBELL.
open, like a funnel, as in the bindweed, it is
And now that I have named all the forms
of the monopetalous corolla which have a regular,
or as we term it a symmetrical form, I must
run over the names of those which have an
irregular corolla--that is to say, the petals, or
S r r r
which woould have been the petals if they had
been divided, are not all of the same shape and
size. There are the bilabiate, or two-lipped,
monopetalous corolla of the 'eyebright' and the
mints; and the ringent, or gaping, corolla of the
yellow archangel, which is also two-lipped. Then
there is the very curious closed mouth of the
corolla in the snap-dragon, which is a personate,
monopetalous corolla. And the pouch like
corolla of the calceolaria is an example of the
calceolate corolla. Then, lastly, there is the ir-
regular form of monopetalous corolla which is
found in the strap-shaped florets of the goat's-
beard and dandelion-the lower part tubular,
PIG. 9.-CALCEOIrATE COROLLA
FIG. 10.-LIGULATE FLORET OF
and the upper with a long strap on one side:
this is a ligulate corolla.
I shall say nothing about the polypetalous
corolla, except to repeat that the petals are
separate, and not united together in any way;
and' although the greater number of them are
regular, having all the petals equal in form and
size, there is one very marked exception in the
pea flowers, such as the yellow broom, the
flowers of which have a standard, two wings,
and a keel, and are called p2apilionaceous, from a
fancied resemblance to a sitting butterfly. Let
me advise you to read this all over again, and
be sure that you remember it."
O NE day we had a chat about families, and
Cissy learned what was the family like-
ness in the Crossworts, and many a time after
she amused herself by hunting after the different
kinds to see how many she could find. There
is another large family with peculiar shaped
flowers, which are quite as easy and even more
numerous. Some of them are grown in fields,
some are found in hedgerows, others on commons
and waste places, as well as in gardens and
almost everywhere. They are the Pea-flower
family, which include the garden peas, beans,
clovers, and many others, as well as the broom
and furze. They are easily known, both by
their flowers and their pods. All that are
found in this country have what are called
,* arothlamnus scoparius,
butterfly flowers, which have five unequal petals.
The upper one stands up like a shield, and is the
largest, called the standard; one on each side
are the wings; and two at the bottom, partly
~\A~~,\)B .:f ,
FlI. 11.-PEA FLOWERS.
A, Flower; B, Section ; c, Stamens and Pistil; n, Pistil; B', Petals ; e, Standard
a--, Wings; c, Keel; E, Pod or Legume; F, Seed; u, Section.
joined together like a boat, are the keel: so that
there is one large one and two pairs of smaller
ones, and they look something like a butterfly
at rest. Inside the flower are ten stamens, and
these are also singular, because the ten filaments,
or stalks, are either joined together to form a
tube, or nine are joined together and a single
one is left outside. Then the fruit or pod con-
taining the seeds is like a pea-pod, formed of
two halves that are both alike, joined all the
way down, both back and front, but easily split-
ting at the joint and exposing a row of seeds.
A very good example is to be seen in the
common garden pea, in which the peas are the
seeds, all in a row.
A great many of this family are climbing
plants like the garden pea, the scarlet-runner,
and the vetch. Some are little creeping herbs,
like the clovers; but some are large shrubs, like
the broom and furze, or even large trees, like the
laburnum, and a very common tree called an
acacia. In foreign countries some of the trees
grow to an immense size. The very prickly
shrub which grows on heaths and commons,
with bright yellow flowers, is the gorse, furze,
or whin; but we shall choose a shrub that is not
a prickly one, with quite as pretty yellow flowers,
which we shall find in the old sand-pit. This
is the broom, or we might call it the royal
"You have read, Cissy, in your History of
England, that in olden times some of the royal
families were called Plantagenet, which is said
to mean planta genista,' because genista was the
Latin name of the 'broom,' and the broom was
the badge of the Plantagenets before they
adopted the rose. Another story is that Geof-
frey of Anjou placed a sprig of' broom' in his
helmet on the day of battle, and was called from
it Plantagenet, and that he gave the name to
his children. Now we have reached the sand-
pit, and must gather the' Plantagenet broom,
which is standing there in a thick mass of gor-
geous yellow blossom."
Isn't it lovely !" and that was all she said.
The broom it is the flower for me,
That growth on the common.
Oh the broom, the yellow broom
The ancient poet sung it;
And sweet it is on summer days
To lie at rest among it."
You find how tough the branches are, Cissy,
and ribbed, rising straight up, and so many of
them that the twigs are made into very good
brooms in many places. I wonder whether
besoms are called brooms because they were
made of broom twigs as well as of birch."
And what little trefoil leaves some of them
with no stalk at all. The plant seems to be all
twigs and flowers."
Yes; but it makes a grand show. And now
you can study the flowers. The green calyx
outside is almost bell-shaped, with two lips, and
"Ah but the flowers, the butterfly flowers;
I want to look at the flowers. That is the
standard, the biggest petal, at the top; it is
twice as large as the others. Then there are two
smaller ones at the sides-these are the wings;
and at the bottom, like a hood turned upside
down, two petals joined together in the shape
of a little boat-that is the keel.
And now I have a little boat
In shape a very crescent moon.
Some other flowers have a lower lip, but when
you compare them you will soon see how dif-
ferent they are from the 'butterfly flowers.'"
"The stamens lie in the little boat, all of a
bunch; there are ten of them, and the stalks are
all glued together around the pistil."
"No, Cissy, you should not call them stalks;
they are the filaments, or little threads, of the
stamens with the anthers at the top, and you
see that they are all curved so as to lie in the
little keel, and scarcely to be seen without
bending down the petals. Look how neatly
they fit into the hollow, just like a tiny 'Jack-
I can only just see the top of the pistil."
If you would clear away the filaments which
are closed around the pistil, you would see that
the ovary is a long and curved one, just like a
very small and young pea-pod, for such it is,
and it is the future pod in a very infant stage.
When the corolla dies and falls off, the ovary
remains, and it continues to grow until it becomes
the seed-vessel or pod, and this, in the common
pea, is the pod which contains the peas. This
is the kind of fruit which is to be found in the
Pea-flower family, and in the broom as well as
in the pea."
"We must wait for the pods until later on,
when the flowers have fallen and the ovaries
have grown into pods."
"Yes, my dear; and then we shall find the
pods nearly black, and a little hairy, shaped like
pea-pods, only smaller, each holding a row of
seeds much smaller than peas."
And are they good to eat 1"
"No; they become very hard, and it is said
that sheep are fond of eating them, which makes
them tipsy for a time; and so if children eat
them it makes their heads giddy. Laburnum
seeds are even worse, and are more poisonous.
Children should never eat wild seeds, or berries,
unless they are strawberries, or blackberries, or
filberts, which they know to be good."
"You said that there are many wild flowers
which belong to this family ; shall we find any
more of them to-day ? "
"Yes; I pointed you to the prickly gorse."
I know; but I mean, any others."
Perhaps we may; but the clovers have very
"And I shall know them always by their
curious flowers when they are in blossom, and
by the pods when the blossoms are gone, but not
by the leaves when there are no flowers or fruit."
"Not for certainty, Cissy, until you know
more about wild flowers, because leaves vary so
much. A great number of them have trefoil
leaves, like the clovers; but some other plants
have trefoil leaves, like the wood-sorrel and the
wild strawberry. Then many of them have
pinnate leaves with a number of leaflets on each
side of the foot-stalk ; but many other plants have
pinnate leaves, only not quite like those of the
pea flowers. I do not know of any which have
simple leaves-that is to say, leaves with only
one blade, like the violet and primrose, or the
oak and poplar."
46 YELLOW BROOM.
Are the leaves of any of them eaten ?"
Only by sheep and cattle; none of them
for salads or vegetables. Don't forget, if you
are ever uncertain about the shape of the flower,
to look at the stamens, which should be ten
joined together, or nine united and one free."
t, SILV ERWEE. 2. EYE* BRIG T. f S. THISTLE 4. SUNUEW.
AS we stroll along to the common, in search
of another of our wild flowers, my com-
panion and myself chat of many things that
relate to plants and their leaves. This time we
were talking most of the hairs which clothe the
cuticle, and such small objects as are scarcely
visible to the naked eye. Hairs are common
enough on leaves, stems, and flowers, and we
are often content to say that such parts are
hairy or smooth without being able to say
what is the form, which our eyes are not strong
enough to detect. By using a good pocket-glass
a little more can be seen. But it is the micro-
scope only which can reveal all the variety of
form in hairs; and as this last instrument re-
quires skill for its use, we had to be content
x Potentilla anserina.
Hairs," I said, are most often simple and
delicate tubes, tapering and closed at the end,
and either with or without cross partitions, at
certain distances apart. Some hairs are very
short, and then the appearance is velvety; some
are long, waved, and twisted together, and then
the surface is woolly. Besides simple hairs,
there are some few which are branched; and
some, although not branched, are thickened at
the top. The stinging hairs of the nettle have
a swollen top which breaks off at a touch, and
then the stinging juice escapes. Glandular hairs
are little cells containing oil or some other fluid
borne at the top of slender hairs. They are
large and pretty on the leaves of the sundews,
short and small on lavender and geranium.
Some leaves have on their under surface star-
shaped hairs, or even irregular scales, and others
are only frosted with a powdery meal."
And all these are supposed to be given for
some good purpose, or for some use."
Exactly. And now we have to gather the
silver-weed, and learn why it is silvery. It is
common enough by roadsides, in waste places,
and on such ground as this. I don't know why
it should have been called goosegrasss,' as the
plant usually called goosegrasss' is a slender
straggling herb, which climbs in hedges, and is
very rough in all parts, with hooked prickles, so
that it cleaves to the clothes, and is also called
"But the silver-weed' creeps on the ground,
and grows in large patches. We always call it
silver-weed because of the silvery leaves."
As you know it so well, you had better give
me your account of it; and there is plenty of it
close by, which may help you."
It has a creeping stem, which creeps along
the ground, and has little rootlets at all the
joints, to keep it fixed, and the leaves rise up
from the runners, about six inches long.
"There always appear to be a great many
leaves and a very few flowers; for the leaves
grow in large dense patches, and the flowers are
Of course the leaves are pinnate, and broader
above than below, so that the upper leaflets are
the largest, and about six leaflets on each side
with one at the end. Sometimes they are op-
posite, and sometimes alternate. Each leaflet
would be oblong, with the edge deeply cut into
rather large sharp-pointed teeth. The upper
side of the leaves is green, and only a little
silky; but the under side is silvery white, and
very silky, because closely covered with long
white hairs, which are pressed down close to the
"Very good, Cissy. You have given a very
nice account of the leaves, and now you must do
the same for the flowers."
"The first thing I know about them is that they
are yellow, and look very much like buttercups."
"You must begin at the beginning, and give
us some notion of the flower-stalk and the in-
The flowers grow singly, on the top of long
stalks, which come up from the creeping runners,
starting from the joints, and rising to about the
height of the leaves."
Don't you see that they are axillary ? "
"Yes-they spring from the axils of the
leaves; but I can see no bracts. The calyx is a
double one, each cut at the edge into five teeth,
and the outside ones are the smallest. Then
the yellow petals are five, quite distinct from
each other, and scarcely touching. The stamens
are in great number, and stand upon the calyx,
e- ^a A
and not on the corolla, so that when the petals
fall they leave the stamens behind."
"Must I help you with the column in the
centre, which is not a column, but a swollen or
thickened end to the flower-stalk, called the
receptacle, upon which stand a great number of
one-seeded ovaries, called also carpels, or 'little
fruits'? The receptacle enlarges a little after
the petals fall, but is never juicy."
"I suppose the calyx grows to the receptacle?"
"You know what strawberries are, and you
call them a fruit; but they are only just such a
receptacle as this, which continues to grow after
the petals fall, and becomes very large and juicy
and sweet. If you look at the outside of a
strawberry, you will see a great number of pale
dots : these are the carpels, or little fruits, each
with one small seed inside. The strawberry
flower is like a silver-weed flower, only it is
white, and the receptacle becomes fleshy."
Do the raspberry and blackberry belong to
the same family as the strawberry ? "
"Yes; and the flowers are very much alike.
If you pluck a ripe raspberry, you will gather
with it the end of the flower-stalk. When you
pull this out of the ripe raspberry, it is a little
white conical receptacle, and you will see marks
on the outside where all the fruits or carpels
were growing. This was a receptacle which
did not grow much, but became longer, and the
little berries studded over it, packed close to-
gether, were the carpels, which became juicy as
they ripened, each with a little seed buried in
the juice. Now, do you see the difference be-
tween a raspberry and a strawberry ? "
"I believe that I do. The strawberry has
j :7 -*
,, ( / "\
FIG. 13.-RASPBERRY FRUITS.
the receptacle changed into the fruit, as we call
it, and the carpels are dry, and stick on the out-
side. The raspberry has a conical, rather spongy
receptacle, and the carpels become juicy and
joined together all around the receptacle, but
can be pulled off all together, like a cap, when
the raspberry is ripe."
Of course the blackberry is just the same
sort of fruit as a raspberry, and all belong to
the Rose family. You have asked me once or
f ii .I
FIG. 14.--ECEPTAOLE, CARPELS, ETC., OF BRAMBLE.
twice before to explain to you how it is that
single flowers become double when they are
grown in gardens, or, as we say, cultivated.
The rose is a good example, because the present
FIG. 15.-DOUBLE ROSE.
'double' roses, so called, are descended, as chil-
dren, from a stock which was single. Double
flowers r a those in which the number of petals
has been largely increased, beyond the usual or
original number in the wild flower, and are there-
fore what are termed malformations' or 'mon-
strosities.' The wild rose, you know, has in the
centre of the flower a great number of stamens,
but the garden rose has none or rarely very few.
The reason for this is that the stamens, in the
garden rose, are changed into petals. Learn
from this that it is possible for stamens to be-
come 'petaloid,' or to be changed into petals.
If you examine the single dahlia, you will see
that the central florets are tubular and fertile;
but in the double dahlia they are changed into
strap-shaped florets, and are not fertile. From
this we learn that when single flowers become
double they are no longer fertile, and do not
produce seeds. That pretty white flower which
floats on ponds and lakes, and is called the
white water-lily, is sometimes seen becoming
more double by the change of stamens into
petals, so that you may see little petals carrying
a small anther at the top. If you will take the
trouble to examine double flowers, such as those
of the double hawthorn, double primrose, double
stocks, you will find that as the petals increase,
so do the stamens diminish, until they are all
changed into petals. The lesson this should
teach you is, that if you wish to find out the
true number of petals and stamens in any given
flower, you should use single flowers; and if
you find at any time a wild flower which has
more petals than other flowers of the same kind
of plant growing near it, you may expect to find
also that it is deformed in other particulars, and
has fewer stamens than it should have if it were
FIG. 16.-WILD ROSE.
T WO little plants, not very unlike each
other, are usually to be found in dry,
hilly pastures, and on commons or heaths. They
are often both of them plentiful, and can scarcely
be mistaken the one for the other. These are
the wild thyme and the eye-bright, and both
are in flower nearly at the same time. The
garden thyme is known to most persons on
account of its scent, which is similar in the wild
thyme, but is not so strong. That it is also
found on banks may be learned from the line,-
"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme grows."
Some people say that it loves to grow on an old
ant-hill; but wherever it grows the bees will
soon find it out. When plentiful it quite per-
fumes the air. The other little plant has paler
flowers, and does not grow in dense clumps, and
is without odour. The flowers in both are ir-
regular, small, and monopetalous-that is to say,
the petals are all united in one piece-but they
do not belong to exactly the same family. We
shall see them both, but it is only the eye-bright
which is our object to-day.
"I expect you to ask me at once what is the
meaning of the name, and I can give you two
reasons, either of which may be the right one.
The flowers, although small, are plainly to be
seen at some distance, when they seem to be
white, or with a faint purple tinge mixed with
yellow. Scattered over the ground the flowers
are turned upwards, and seem to be gazing at
you like hundreds of bright eyes. Hence they
may have been called bright eyes, or eye-bright.
Another reason for the name has been given
from its uses. The old plant-doctors, or herbal-
ists, thought it so good for the eyes that one of
them wrote, 'If the herb was but as much used
as it is neglected, it would half spoil the spec-
tacle-maker's trade.' One has even said that
'it hath restored sight to them that have been
blind for a long time.' From this you may
learn that it was believed to have the power
of making the dim eyes bright, and hence was
called eye-bright. I see that you have found it,
Cissy, whilst I have been talking; and now we
will sit down amongst it, and 'improve the
"I have been trying to find the longest
stems that I can, but they are all very short
and tough. You see that none of them are
longer than my hand, with one or two little
branches near the bottom."
Sometimes they are not longer than your
finger, but the root is rather long for the size
of the plant."
It is not a creeping root, but goes straight
down into the ground."
"Although there is plenty of it, it does not
grow in spreading tufts, but each plant separate."
The leaves are small, and almost egg-shaped,
or ovate, without any foot-stalks, sitting close
to the stem, and in pairs, opposite to each other.
The edge of the leaves is toothed, but the teeth
are more blunt in the lower part of the leaves
than in the upper."
"There are not more than about five teeth
on each side of the leaf."
What shall we call the inflorescence ? There
are only a few flowers, and on the upper part of
the stem, or the branches; but I should think
they are in a sort of spike, yet not a very good
: Yes; it is a loose, leafy spike."
"The separate flowers have no proper stalk,
but they have a green calyx, with four or five
pointed teeth; and within this is the corolla,
the petals of which are joined below into a short
tube. The outer lobes or divisions of the corolla
form an upper and lower lip, so that it is a two-
lipped corolla, gaping at the mouth. The upper
lip is two-lobed, and the lower lip is three-
lobed. The lobes would be the petals if they
were not joined."
This is not such a hooded two-lipped corolla
as we find in the yellow dead-nettle, or even in
the yellow rattle; but the two lips are distinct
enough to be observed at once."
There is a yellow spot in the throat; for if
we call the corolla two-lipped, we may call the
opening in the middle a throat."
FoI. 17.-FLOWER OP EYE-BRIGHT.
1, Flower; 2, Ovary and Style; 3, 4, 5, Capsule with Section; 6, Seed, magnified;
7, Section of Seed.
Oh yes; that is a well-known name for the
opening of the tube of a corolla."
Most of the flowers are nearly white, with
purple streaks and a yellow throat."
"When the plant grows in mountain pas-
tures or on high moors, it is dwarfed very
much, and is such a tiny little plant, with
smaller flowers, and they are almost wholly
"Do plants usually grow smaller as you go
to colder places, or higher and higher up a
mountain side ?"
"Yes; as a rule, plants and shrubs become
smaller and smaller as you go up a mountain,
until it gets too cold for them to grow at all."
But some plants will grow in cold countries,
and on the sides of mountains, which do not
grow in the plains, or where the weather is
Certainly. Plants depend very much upon
what is termed temperature, as well as upon the
nature of the soil; and many animals depend
upon the plants. But you have quite forgotten
"Indeed I have, for I was thinking of some-
thing else. I can only find four stamens, in two
pairs-that is, two and two; but they are very
small to find."
"I am not surprised that you should have
forgotten them; but as you find that there are
only four, it is well that you found them at last.
In this family the stamens are usually two or
four, as well as in the Mint family, to which the
wild thyme belongs."
And is the fruit a dry capsule "
"Yes; it is a small one and flattened, with
very little seeds, which are ribbed or furrowed."
Do I know any other plant which belongs
to this family and is not so small ?"
Two or three you know in gardens, but they
will not help you much with the eye-bright.
These are the snap-dragon, the foxglove, the
yellow calceolaria, and the musk plant; but
they are all very different looking plants, and
you will have to study them to see where the
family likeness comes in."
"It does not seem so easy to learn the inflo-
rescence as it does to understand the forms of
Let us try to do so by comparing together
the common forms of inflorescence. Of course
we leave out all solitary flowers, growing by
themselves. The simplest inflorescence is a
spike, in which the flowers stand one above
another upon the stem; but the single flowers
have no foot-stalk, or only a very short one.
The plantains have the flowers in a dense spike.
If the flowers are arranged in the same manner,
FIS. 1.--SPIKE. Fim. 19.-RACEME.
but all the flowers have foot-stalks of equal
length, it is called a racenze; so that a raceme
differs from a spike in having stalked flowers.
The flowers often turn over to one side, as they
do in the lily of the valley, but all the flower-
stalks are unbranched. When the inflorescence
is more spreading, and each of the flower-stalks
is branched either once or several times, then it
is called a panicle. Many of the grasses have
this kind of inflorescence, and so has the lilac.
If we suppose that a panicle has all the flower-
stalks gradually lengthened from the top one to
FIG. 20.-PANICLE. FIG. 21.-CORYMIB.
the lowest, so that all the flowers stand at the
same level or nearly so, then it is a corymb.
The flower-stalks themselves may be either
branched or unbranched. It sometimes seems
difficult to know a corymb from a cyme, but a
cyme, although it much resembles a corymb in
form, differs in growth; for the central flower
opens first, and the side branches grow usually
in pairs, in succession, so that it keeps growing
by increase of branches and flowers, as in the
campion. Or the cyme may be one-sided, andc
a succession of flower-stalks are produced on
the upper side, which when young are curled
over and said to be scorpioid. It is hardly
necessary to tell you what an umbel is, for all
the flower-stalks start from the same level.
When each of these stalks carries a smaller
umbel at the top, it is compound. The head,
or cap2itul m, of the composite flowers was ex-
plained in our chat on the dandelion, goat's-
beard, and thistle."
FIG. 23.-CoMPoumb UIBEL.
THISTLES are of many kinds, as well as
buttercups, but thistles especially, and
yet they have not many friends. Farmers do
not like thistles to grow upon their land, and
yet some thistles are very fond of ploughed
fields. Children do not like thistles, because
they have a way of pricking their fingers.
Cattle do not like thistles, and will not eat
them whilst they can get anything else.
Donkeys like thistles well enough, but then
they are asses. Goldfinches are supposed to
be fond of thistles, but only of their seeds.
Thistles are plentiful everywhere, and yet no
one has a good word for them, unless he is a
Scotsman. Why a Scot should love the thistle
may be found in its being the emblem of his
nation, as the rose is the emblem of England,
and the shamrock of Ireland. The story is,
that in the time of the Danish invasion, when,
of course, the Scots and the Danes were
opposed, and fought against each other, an
attempt was made to attack the Scots by night,
when a barefooted Dane trod upon a thistle,
which made him cry aloud with the pain, and
this aroused the Scots, who fell upon and
defeated the enemy. Which kind of thistle it
was is unknown, and so many kinds have been
supposed, by different people, to be the true
Scotch thistle. But the emblem of Scotland is
a thistle, of one kind or another. Many kinds
of these plants are found on commons, heaths,
and waste places, where we shall find the dwarf
thistle," and that will answer our purpose.
"There it stands, Cissy, growing close to the
ground, with scarcely any stem at all, and you
must dig it up with a large, strong knife, or it
will hurt your fingers."
How hard it sticks! I cannot get it out
without cutting or breaking the roots."
"They are not important, for we shall see
that it has a tough, thick root, and that will be
Of course it grows from year to year, and
lasts for several years, so that it is perennial."
And it is not easy work to kill them."
The leaves lie back flat on the ground, like
a rosette-let me see, like the daisy and the
sundew, and sometimes the dandelion. But
the shape of the leaves, I can scarcely say what
to call them."
"I think I should call them cut down, nearly
to the midrib, in a pinnate manner-that is, after
the manner of a feather-but very broadly and
coarsely cut, so as to appear like large prickly
And they are so waved, too, they will not
lie flat; and the spines are so long and sharp."
"You see that the leaves are not cut, as they
are in the dandelion, into large teeth which are
curved backwards, but into straight and nearly
"And so much thicker and firmer than are
the leaves of the dandelion; and they are quite
smooth, only not so shining as holly leaves."
They would make rather an uncomfortable
cushion to sit down upon. The in-
florescence is what we commonly call
'thistle heads,' and they grow close
down to the rosette, with scarcely
any stem. Of course they are conm-
posite flowers, and each head con-
tains a large number of florets, so THISTLE HEAD.
that we have a name for the outer green leaves
of the flower-head, which is not a calyx."
"Yes, I remember-it is an involucre; and
these thistle heads are not round, or globose,
but longer than broad, and rather egg-shaped,
and very hard and firm, almost like a prickly
ball, before they open."
Can you count how many bracts there are
in the involucre ? "
No, I cannot easily, there are so many, and
they overlap so closely, like the tiles of a house.
S I should call them nearly lance-
I shaped, but they are not very
M long; the edges are fringed with
"Now then for the florets. I have
told you, when we found the goat's-
beard, that all the florets of the thistles
are tubular, and none of them strap-
FIG. 26. "But I could not count them, there
FLORET. are so many-a great many more than
in the goat's-beard, and of a purple colour."
You will have to cut down the involucre to
get the florets out without breaking them, they
are so long and so tender."
"And I shall want a pocket-glass to count
the stamens, they seem to be so small."
Well, you will find them the same as they
were in the goat's-beard-five stamens, with the
anthers all joined together round the pistil;
but the florets are different, for you see that
they are all long tubes, and quite regular at the
"And there are more hairs at the bottom, in
place of the calyx. I cannot think of the name."
Pappus, I suppose. In the
case of thistles the pappus be-
comes the thistle-down. You have
seen the thistle-down blowing about
in the wind, with the seeds hanging
to it. This, again, is different from
the pappus of the goat's-beard; for
the threads are all smooth and FG. 27.
simple, without any feathering at DANDELTON.
the sides, and so they are not joined into the
shape of a parasol."
"And there is no long horn like the parasol
"No; but the thistle-down can float in the
air just as easily, and scatter the seeds."
Then all thistle-down is very much alike ? "
"Yes, and very soft, and may be used for
stuffing cushions. But there is a difference
which you have not noticed in the receptacle
when the seeds are blown away. In the dande-
lion it is smooth and dotted, but in the thistles
a great number of bristles are left behind, and
these passed upwards between the florets when
they were growing, and are now left standing."
The thistle we have been looking at is a very
good type or pattern of thistles in general.
They are all of them awkward plants to gather
or carry, and not very nice to examine. Some
of them are very tall, growing as much as
a yard high, and the stem much branched.
Both stem and branches are often prickly, with
very sharp, stiff bristles, and so are the leaves.
They will scratch you severely, and draw the
blood, but they do not poison like the stinging
hairs of the nettle. Thistles are to be found grow-
ing almost everywhere, for each head of flowers
bears a great number of ripe seeds, and these
are so easily drifted about, and for so long a
distance, because of the thistle-down, that hardly
any piece of ground is safe from them. It has
been calculated that one thistle seed will pro-
duce at the first crop twenty-four thousand,
and consequently at the second crop five hun-
dred and seventy-six millions of seeds. This is
a number you cannot imagine.
Although thistle leaves are usually lance-
shaped if the margin were entire, yet they are
constantly deeply cut into large, irregular-
pointed teeth, and each of these often ends in a
sharp stiff bristle. Besides which the leaves
will not lie flat, for they are puckered and
waved so as to thrust the spines in all direc-
tions. The stems are tough and woody, so that
they will not break easily, hence they will suffer
much crushing and ill treatment without any
serious injury. The roots strike a long way
into the ground, and cannot be readily killed.
In every way thistles are defiant, and well
provided with power to increase and multiply
and replenish the earth. In return for the
annoyance they cause the thistles seem to have
few virtues, for none of them are of any value
in the arts or in medicine. As far as we know,
they might have been one of the original curses
of the soil, which man had to till by the sweat
of his brow. Farmers will testify that many a
brow has sweated in the attempt to clear the
ground of thistles. Their good qualities must
be deeply hidden, for they have yet to be
revealed, at least so far as they concern the
family of man.
O UR plant-hunters are in search of a plant
so small that it needs close looking after,
and so scarce as only to be found in soft boggy
places, where the feet sink into the soil, and the
water oozes over them. They must be well
shod who would gather the sundew and not
suffer from wet feet.
There it is, Cissy; I will get it for you, for
it is growing amongst the bog-moss, and the
ground is so very soft and wet."
"What a pretty little plant, and how the
leaves sparkle It is like a rosette, and no big-
ger than a brooch."
Here are three or four more, and yet it is a
pity to gather them; but we must see if there
are any with dead flies hanging to the leaves."
"Oh yes; here are some little flies on two,
three, four leaves. They are all dead; but why
are they sticking there?"
"Because this is a fly-catching plant, and the
little flies are caught and eaten as surely as
if it were a spider's web. We shall talk of
that presently, but we must first attend to the
"Are they always small like these ?"
"Yes, Cissy, this is the usual size; perhaps a
half-dozen small leaves, spreading, and falling
back, as you said, like a rosette, with no proper
stem except the one which rises in the middle
and carries the flowers."
"I scarcely know what shape to call the
"Perhaps not; but I should say that they
are very nearly round, and not half an inch
across, tapering into the leaf-stalk. The whole
upper surface is covered with glistening purplish
hairs, which are club-shaped at the top. They
are called glands, because they contain a sticky
fluid which oozes out and makes the outside
sticky and shining. The hairs in the middle of
the leaf are shorter than the rest, and they are
gradually longer as they reach the edge."
Some of them are bent down like hooks."
If a poor little fly alights upon the leaf, the
sticky surface helps to keep it there, and then
FIG. 28.-GLANDULAR LEAF OF SUNDEW.
the long hairs slowly bend over it, so that it
could not fly away if it tried; and the more it
struggles the more closely the hairs bend over
it, until it dies."
Then it is really a fly-catcher."
Yes, and a good one too; for you will see on
those leaves which have flies sticking to them
that the hairs are bent down over them, and
hold them down until they are dead; and when
that is done the hairs slowly raise themselves,
and become straight again."
"Are any other plants fly-catchers ?"
Several; but not many of them are British.
Now we must examine the flowers of the sun-
dew. The flower-stalk is thin and upright,
curved over on one side, and the flowers are all
on one side of the stalk. They are small and
white, and something like the single flowers of
a common garden plant called 'London pride;'
but they are rarely open, and only when the sun
is shining upon them. Let us pull one of them
Five outside and five inside leaves."
"Certainly; that is to say, five green sepals
and five white petals."
And five stamens, with a pistil in the middle."
"Yes; and when you see the London pride
again, you will find that it has ten stamens in-
stead of five."
Can we take these home and plant them in
our garden to grow ?"
"You may take them home, dear, and plant
them; but you cannot make them grow, for they
will only grow in such places as the bog where
we found them."
"What a pity! I should like to see them
catch flies. But how do they eat them, because
they have no mouths ?"
They do not eat them in the way that ani-
mals eat their food, but they dissolve them. It
is not easy to explain to you how they do it;
but there is a liquid which oozes from the hairs,
and this softens and melts the fleshy parts of the
fly, and when melted into a liquid this is sucked
up or absorbed by the leaf, and only the wings
and the hard parts are left."
Won't they catch anything else except flies?"
"Oh yes; the hairs will close over almost
anything which touches them, but they soon
fall back again when such a mistake is made.
But they will dissolve little pieces of meat, just
as they would dissolve a fly. After an insect
has settled upon a leaf, it will be dead in a
quarter of an hour."
"I should like to see the hairs move."
"Perhaps you may be able to see that they
do move if we carry these plants home and
plunge the roots in water. If placed in the
sun the leaves will open fully; then you must
place a little fly upon them, and watch to see if
the glands close over it, but they will do it very
slowly. See how many of these leaves are closed
since we gathered them, on account of having
"Would the sundew live if it were covered
up so that insects could not get on the leaves?"
Oh yes, it could live and grow in the bog
if no flies settled upon the leaves, just as other
plants do, so that animal food is not a neces-
Don't you think it must be an accident when
a fly is caught and sticks to the leaf of the sun-
No, Cissy; I am no believer in accident in
such cases. The fly would not stick on the
leaf if the glands were not sticky. Then there
is some purpose in the glands being sticky.
Supposing that a fly were caught upon sticky
leaves or upon sticky glands, it could not be
accident which made the glands bend over and
clasp the insect so that it could not get away.
It could not be accident that made the glands
grow wetter, or made the sticky juice change so
that it would dissolve the fly more easily. It
is not accident that when a little bit of glass
touches the leaf the glands close only a little,
and more slowly, and then open altogether to
allow the glass to fall off, as if the glands had
found out that they could not dissolve the glass.
It is well known that the glands bend over
to catch the fly, that the juice of the glands
dissolves the flesh of the fly, and then the glands
open to allow the skeleton to fall off. And
as for accident, it is a handy word, which some
people are apt to use when they cannot explain
how a thing is done. In such cases it is only
an excuse for ignorance to say that it was an
"Is there more than one kind of sun-
dew ? "
There are three different sundews in Britain,
with different shaped leaves, but the one we
found is the most common, with the rounded
We have now come to the end of the fourth
story of our rambles, and in closing the record
I have a word or two to say about leaves which
may freshen your memory or be of service here-
after. It will be quite enough if I chat to
you only about the different forms of simple
leaves, because the leaflets of compound leaves
have the form of simple leaves. To begin
with, the narrowest leaves we shall meet with
are those in which the length is five or six
times their breadth, and sometimes more, even
to twenty or thirty times as long as broad.
These are called linear, which suggests that
they are like a line, whereas they are not like
a line, but have an evident breadth, which a
line has not; however, they are the narrowest
leaves. If they should be as thick in the middle
as they are broad, then they are said to be subu-
late, or shaped like an awl, as in the leaves of
fir trees. When a leaf is much longer than
broad, and is broadest below the middle, nar-
rowed gradually upwards to a point, it is shaped
FIG. 31.-LANCEOLATE LEAF.
like the head of a lance, and is called lanceolate.
There is a form of leaf, not so common, which
is broadest at the top and gradually narrowed
downwards, like a wedge; it is wedge-shaped,
or cuneate. If the broad part at the top is short
and rounded, and the lower part tapering and
long, something like a spoon or ladle, it is said
to be spathulate, like the leaves of a daisy. The
remaining shapes are gradually shorter and
shorter as compared with their breadth.
When a leaf is blunt, or rounded at the ends,
and is from twice to four times as long as it is
tIG. 32.-CUNEATE OR WEDGE- FIG. 33.-SPATHULATE LEAF.
broad, it is called oblong; but when scarcely twice
as long as broad, but rather broader below the
middle than above it, then it has the shape of
an egg, and is called ovate. When reversed,
and the broadest part is above the middle, it is
obovate. The remaining forms are elliptical,
oval, and orbicular, because they have the shape
of an ellipse, or an oval, or an orb. These are
all the regular forms usually met with, but there
are a few less common and more singular shapes
to which names have been given.
Leaves with a triangular form are not com-
FIG. 35.-OVATE LEAF.
FIG. 34.-OBLONG LEAF. FIG. 36.-OBOVATE LEAF.
mon, and the triangle is not perfect; but one of
them is called sagittate, because it is like an
arrow-head-that of the lords and ladies"
is something like it. If the lower corners are
more spreading, it takes the shape of an old hal-
berd head, and is said to be hastate. There are
also two far more common shapes, but in these
the corners are rounded, especially the lower
corners, in a cordate leaf, which is what is com-
monly called heart-shaped. The other is broader
FIG. 37.-SAGITTATE LEAVES. FIG. 38.-HASTATE LEAF.
than long, rounded above, and kidney-shaped,
or reniform. To these it seems only necessary
to add a form of leaf about as broad as long,
with the edge cut deeply into five lobes, like the
fingers of a spreading hand, and is therefore
called palate. This is a lobed or lobate leaf,
for the projecting parts are called lobes. These
FI. 39.-CORDATE LEAF.
sorts of leaves are best described by the number
FmG. 40.-RENIFORM LEAF.
of their lobes-as two-lobed, three-lobed, five-
lobed, and so on. It is understood that the
divisions are not cut down to the midrib; for
if they are cut quite down to the midrib, it be-
comes a compound leaf, and the parts are not
lobes, but leaflets. Therefore, if a palmate-
shaped leaf has the divisions cut down to the
midrib, it is called a digitate leaf, with five
leaflets. And so the trefoil leaf of clover and
wood-sorrel is a leaf composed of three leaflets,
and is not a three-lobed leaf.
There are such a large number of different
shapes in leaves, that a long catalogue of their
names might soon be made; but there is not
much wisdom in a multitude of names, and it will
always be best to confine ourselves to such com-
monly used names as we have given, if it can be
done, by the addition of an adverb, such as nar-
rowly lance-shaped, acutely ovate, or similar addi-
tions, whenever such accommodation is possible.
The preceding small figures of compound leaves
show a trefoil (1) leaf; two digitate leaves with
four and five leaflets (2, 3); two with a larger
number of leaflets, one a whorl of leaves (4, 5);
and a pinate leaf (7); whilst the other group
exhibits forms of compound leaves of the pinnate
96 THE SUNDEW.
kind, excepting Figure 6. It will be seen that
Figures 3, 5, and 8 have no leaflet at the end,
but in 5 and 8 the apex is furnished with ten-
drils. In Figure 8 the leaflets are alternate,
and opposite in the rest.
Alternate and opposite, 12.
Axillary flowers, 51.
Axil of leaves, 23.
Bees and flowers, 14.
Bilabiate corolla, 35, 65.
Bluebell of Scotland, 9.
Bracts, 30, 76.
Bramble fruit, 54.
Calceolate corolla, 36.
Campanulate corolla, 34.
Canterbury bells, 10.
Carnivorous plants, 85.
Compound umbel, 71.
Connate leaves, 22.
Cordate leaves, 92.
Creeping stem, 49.
Cross-leaved heath, 27.
Cuneate leaves, 89.
Digitate leaves, 94.
Double rose, 55.
Elliptical leaves, 90.
Glands of leaves, 82.
Glandular hairs, 48.
Gorse, or furze, 40.
Hairs of plants, 47.
Hastate leaves, 92.
Hypocrateriform corolla, 34.
Infundibuliform corolla, 34.
Insect fertilization, 17.
Irregular corolla, 35.
Keel, or vexillum, 39.
Ladies' thimble, 10.
Lanceolate leaves, 89.