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LESSON IX.—LEGUMINOUS AND UMBELLIFEROUS PLANTS.
[EXOGENOUS or DICOTYLEDONOUS; Angiosperms ; Polypetalous.]
Leguminous Family. 1. Lupi'nus peren'nis, Wild lupine, xvi. 10, b., 18 in., My.-Jl., N. Am. 2. Erythri'na herba'cea, Herbaceous corol-tree, xvi, 10, 8., 3 f., Jn.-S., Carolina. 3. Robin'ia pseu'do (ca'cia, Locust-tree, xvi. 10, pu., 49 f., My.-Jn., N. Am. 4. Mimo'sa sensiti'va, Sensitive plant, xv.10, pk.,18 in., A.-S., Brazil. ' 5. Hæmatox'ylon Campechia'num, Logwood, x. 1, y., 20 f., J.-Jl., S. Am. 6. Indigo'fera stric'ta, Upright indigo, xvi. 10, pu., 3 f., Jl.Au., C. Good Hope. 7. Dau'cus caro'ta, Wild carrot (also cultivated), v. 2, w., 3 f., Jn.Jl., Europe. 8. Si'um latifo'lium, Water parsnip, v. 2, w., 3 f., Jl.-Au., N. Am. 9. Co'. nium macula'tum, Poison hemlock, v. 2, w., 4 f., Jn.-J., Europe. 10. 'A'pium graveo'lens, Garden celery, v. 2, w., 4 f., Jn.-Au., Europe,
1. The leguminous? or pod-bearing plants comprise a large family, highly useful to mankind, and some of whose species are familiar to all. They are characterized either by a papilionaceous? corolla or a leguminous fruit. The pea, the bean, locust, clover, and lupine are familiar examples in northern regions; and the acacias, mimosas, logwood, rosewood, sandal - wood, corol
trees, and indigo plants, in tropical 1. Legum of pea, open. Cand countries. Many of the valuable gums
3. l'apilionaceous corollas. and balsamsø of commerce, medicines,
and coloring materials are obtained from this numerous family.
2. As objects of ornament, many of these plants are possessed of unrivaled beauty, and are favorites in our green-houses ; but it is in tropical countries that they appear in their greatest splendor. There, flowers of the corol-tree, of the deepest crimson, fill the forests, and climbing plants of every hue hang in festoons from branch to branch; the acacias, with their trembling airy foliage, and often truly golden flowers, cast a charm over even the most sterile regions of the tropics; while the pastures and meadows of the same latitudes are enameled with the flowers of myriads of hedysarums, and animated by the wonderful motion of the mimosas, or sensitive plants.
3. Who has not read Shelley's beautiful little poem, beginning,
" A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And closed them beneath the kisses of night." The sensitive plants, often cultivated in gardens as objects of curiosity, shrink from the touch, and make a variety of movements under the varying influences of shade and sunlight, like beings endowed with rational life.
Weak with nice sense, the chaste mimosa stands,
And hails, with freshen'd charms, the rosy light.-DARWIN. The cause of the peculiar motions of these plants has been a subject of much investigation, but the question still continues to be asked, without any very satisfactory answer,
Whence does it happen that the plant which well
And with quick horror fly the approaching hand ?-PRIOR. 4. The umbelliferous3 plants, also a large family, mostly natives of temperate regions, and distinguished for their umbel or umbrella-shaped flowers, like those of the carrot, present some very strange contrasts of character. While in their
a Such as gum Arabic, produced by the acacia Arabica ; gum lac; gum Senegal ; gum tragacanth; gum kino; balsams of copaiva and Peru; and a hedysarum which produces manna. .
• The senna of commerce; licorice; cowitch, which consists of the stinging hairs of the pods of a plant; etc. , Brazil wood; logwood; red sandal-wrood; indigo, etc.
native ditches they are often suspicious, and perhaps poisonous weeds, under the influence of cultivation many of them lay aside their venom, and become wholesome food for man. Thus a coarse bitter wild weed becomes by cultivation the sweet and crisp garden celery; the garden parsnip is nearly allied to the poisonous cicuta; and while the seeds of the garden fennel are a pleasant spice, the juice from the roots of another species of the same plant produces the loathsome asafoetida.
5. Only slightly divergent from the umbelliferous plants, and by many botanists included among them, are the ivyworts, at the head of which stands the common ivy:
" The ungrateful ivy, seen to grow
And proudly shoot a leaf or two
And glory there to stand, the loftiest of the wood." 6. But, however ungrateful it may be, the ivy is a valuable ornamental evergreen for covering naked buildings, trees, and ruins, to which it attaches itself by short fibres. The ancients held ivy in great esteem; and Bacchus, the god of wine, is represented as crowned with it to prevent intoxication. The modern associations connected with this plant are very happily set forth in the following song to The Ivy GREEN.
Oh! a dainty plant is the ivy green,
That creepeth o'er ruins old!
In his cell so lone and cold.
To pleasure his dainty whim;
A rare old plant is the ivy green.
And a stanch old heart has he!
To his friend, the huge oak tree!
And his leaves he gently waves,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.
And nations scattered been ;
From its hale and hearty green.
Shall fatten upon the past;
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.--CHARLES DICKENS. LE-GŪ'-MI-NOUS plants are such as have for 3 UM-BEL-LIF'-ER-OUS plants are such as havo their seed vessel a legume of two halves, the mode of inflorescence, or flowering, call
such as the pods of peas, beans, etc. 1 ed an umbel, like the carrot. % PA-PIL-I-O-NA-OE-ous, resembling the butterfly.
LES. X.—THE COMPOSITE, OR SUNFLOWER FAMILY.
[EXOGENOUS or DICOTYLEDONOUS ; Angiosperms ; Monopetalous.)?
1. Cni'cus altis'simus, Tall thistle, xvii. 1., pu., 6 f., Au.-S., N. Am. 2. Cni'cus arven' sis, Canada thistle, xvii. 1, pu., 2 f., Jl., N. Am. 3. Helian'thus multiflo'rus, Many-flowered sunflower, xvii. 3, y., 6 f., Au.-0., N. Am. 4. Chrysan'themum Sinen'se, Chinese chry. santhemum, xvii. 2 (all colors but blue), 3 f., 0.-N., China. 5. Lactu'ca sagitta'ta, Arrowleaved Lettuce, xvii. 1, y., 2 f., Jl.-Au., Hungary. 6. Gnapha'lium stæ'chas, European shrubby everlasting, xvii. 2, y., 2 f., Jn.-0., Europe. 7. A s'ter Chinen'sis, China-aster, xvii. 2, various colors, 2 f., Ji.-S., China. 8. Dah'lia frustra'nea, Wild dahlia, xvii. 2, various colors, 6 f., S.-N., Mexico.' 9. Tage'tes pat'ula, French marigold, xvii., 2 y., 2 f., Jl.-0., Mexico.
1. The “Sunflower” family is the name used by that distinguished American botanist, Professor Gray, as a popular term for the great division of plants having composite or compound flowers. It is the largest family of plants, embracing nearly ten thousand species, or about one tenth of all the species of the vegetable kingdom. They are either herbaceous or shrubby plants in northern regions, but many of them become' trees in the tropics; and all of them are easily distinguished by having their single or monopetalous? flowers (called florets), which are always five-lobed, and have five stamens each, crowded into a head at the top of a flower-stalk, as in the daisy, dandelion, sunflower, and thistle.
2. These composite plants are, without exception, of easy cultivation; and as most of them flower in autumn, they are the chief ornaments of every autumnal garden. It would require a volume to point out the beauties of the various tribes of aster, sunflower, coreopsis, marigold, daisy, chrysanthemum, and kindred species, not to mention the almost innumerable and brilliant varieties of the dahlia. As to the medicinal qualities of the plants of this family, it is sufficient to state that they consist, almost without exception, of a bitter
principle and an oily secretion; and Cultivated Dahlia.
of the former, at least, we have abundant evidence in such species as wormwood, chamomile, dandelion, and tansy.
3. The dandelion was one of the flowers introduced by Linnæus into his floral clock, or dial of flowers, on account of the regularity of the opening and closing of its petals. It was deemed by him “Flora's best time-piece, seeming of herself to know the opening and the closing of the day,” inasmuch as
"With Sol's expanding beam her flowers unclose,
And rising Hespera lights them to repose ;"' and Moore has very prettily expressed the same idea in the following lines :
"She, enamored of the sun,
Sad vigils, like a cloistered nun,
Till his reviving ray appears,
Waking her beauty as he dries' her tears." 4. The marigold not only marked one of the hours in the floral clock, but she is said also, like the sunflower itself, to turn on her slender stem toward the sun, and thus follow him in his daily walk.
" When, with a serious musing, I behold
The grateful and obsequious marigold,