Search      Hot    Newest Novel
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
   Circumnutation of stems: concluding remarks on—Circumnutation of stolons:   aid thus afforded in winding amongst the stems of surrounding plants—
  Circumnutation of flower-stems—Circumnutation of Dicotyledonous leaves—
  Singular oscillatory movement of leaves of Dionaea—Leaves of Cannabis sink
  at night—Leaves of Gymnosperms—Of Monocotyledons—Cryptogams—Concluding
  remarks on the circumnutation of leaves; generally rise in the evening and
  sink in the morning.
WE have seen in the first chapter that the stems of all seedlings, whether hypocotyls or epicotyls, as well as the cotyledons and the radicles, are continually circumnutating—that is they grow first on one side and then on another, such growth being probably preceded by increased turgescence of the cells. As it was unlikely that plants should change their manner of growth with advancing age, it seemed probable that the various organs of all plants at all ages, as long as they continued to grow, would be found to circumnutate, though perhaps to an extremely small extent. As it was important for us to discover whether this was the case, we determined to observe carefully a certain number of plants which were growing vigorously, and which were not known to move in any manner. We commenced with stems. Observations of this kind are tedious, and it appeared to us that it would be sufficient to observe the stems in about a score of genera, belonging to widely distinct families and inhabitants of various countries. Several plants [page 202] were selected which, from being woody, or for other reasons, seemed the least likely to circumnutate. The observations and the diagrams were made in the manner described in the Introduction. Plants in pots were subjected to a proper temperature, and whilst being observed, were kept either in darkness or were feebly illuminated from above. They are arranged in the order adopted by Hooker in Le Maout and Decaisne's 'System of Botany.' The number of the family to which each genus belongs is appended, as this serves to show the place of each in the series.
[(1.) Iberis umbellata (Cruciferae, Fam. 14).—The movement of the stem of a young plant, 4 inches in height, consisting of four internodes (the hypocotyl included) besides a large bud
Fig. 70. Iberis umbellata: circumnutation of stem of young plant, traced from 8.30 A.M. Sept. 13th to same hour on following morning. Distance of summit of stem beneath the horizontal glass 7.6 inches. Diagram reduced to half of original size. Movement as here shown magnified between 4 and 5 times.
on the summit, was traced, as here shown, during 24 h. (Fig. 70). As far as
we could judge the uppermost inch alone of the stem circumnutated, and this
in a simple manner. The movement was slow, and the rate very unequal at
different times. In part of its course an irregular ellipse, or rather
triangle, was completed in 6 h. 30 m.
 (2.) Brassica oleracea (Cruciferae).—A very young plant, bearing three
leaves, of which the longest was only three-quarters of an inch in length,
was placed under a microscope, furnished with an eye-piece micrometer, and
the tip of the largest leaf was
[page 203]
found to be in constant movement. It crossed five divisions of the
micrometer, that is, 1/100th of an inch, in 6 m. 20 s. There could hardly
be a doubt that it was the stem which chiefly moved, for the tip did not
get quickly out of focus; and this would have occurred had the movement
been confined to the leaf, which moves up or down in nearly the same
vertical plane.
(3.) Linum usitatissimum (Lineae, Fam. 39).—The stems of this plant, shortly before the flowering period, are stated by Fritz Müller ('Jenaische Zeitschrift,' B. v. p. 137) to revolve, or circumnutate.
(4.) Pelargonium zonale (Geraniaceae, Fam. 47).—A young plant, 7 ? inches in height, was observed in the usual manner; but, in order to see the bead at the end of the glass filament
Fig. 71. Pelargonium zonale: circumnutation of stem of young plant, feebly illuminated from above. Movement of bead magnified about 11 times; traced on a horizontal glass from noon on March 9th to 8 A.M. on the 11th.
and at the same time the mark beneath, it was necessary to cut off three
leaves on one side. We do not know whether it was owing to this cause, or
to the plant having previously become bent to one side through
heliotropism, but from the morning of the 7th of March to 10.30 P.M. on the
8th, the stem moved a considerable distance in a zigzag line in the same
general direction. During the night of the 8th it moved to some distance at
right angles to its former course, and next morning (9th) stood for a time
almost still. At noon on the 9th a new tracing was begun (see Fig. 71),
which was continued till 8 A.M. on the 11th. Between noon on the 9th and 5
P.M. on the 10th (i.e. in the course of 29 h.), the stem described a
circle. This plant therefore circumnutates, but at a very slow rate, and to
a small extent.
 (5.) Tropaeolum majus (?) (dwarfed var. called Tom Thumb); (Geraniaceae,
Fam. 47).—The species of this genus climb by the
[page 204]
aid of their sensitive petioles, but some of them also twine round
supports; but even these latter species do not begin to circumnutate in a
conspicuous manner whilst young. The
Fig. 72. Tropaeolum majus (?): circumnutation of stem of young plant, traced on a horizontal glass from 9 A.M. Dec. 26th to 10 A.M. on 27th. Movement of bead magnified about 5 times, and here reduced to half of original scale.
variety here treated of has a rather thick stem, and is so dwarf that apparently it does not climb in any manner. We therefore wished to ascertain whether the stem of a young plant, consisting of two internodes, together 3.2 inches in height, circumnutated. It was observed during 25 h., and we see in Fig. 72 that the stem moved in a zigzag course, indicating circumnutation.
Fig. 73. Trifolium resupinatum: circumnutation of stem, traced on vertical
glass from 9.30 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. Nov. 3rd. Tracing not greatly magnified,
reduced to half of original size. Plant feebly illuminated from above.
 (6.) Trifolium resupinatum (Leguminosae, Fam. 75).—When we treat of the
sleep of plants, we shall see that the stems in several Leguminous genera,
for instance, those of Hedysarum, Mimosa, Melilotus, etc., which are not
climbers, circumnutate in a conspicuous manner. We will here give only a
single instance (Fig. 73), showing the circumnutation of the stem of a
large plant of a clover, Trifolium resupinatum. In the course of 7 h. the
stem changed
[page 205]
its course greatly eight times and completed three irregular circles or
ellipses. It therefore circumnutated rapidly. Some of the lines run at
right angles to one another.
Fig. 74. Rubus (hybrid): circumnutation of stem, traced on horizontal
glass, from 4 P.M. March 14th to 8.30 A.M. 16th. Tracing much magnified,
reduced to half of original size. Plant illuminated feebly from above.
 (7.) Rubus idaeus (hybrid) (Rosaceae, Fam. 76).—As we happened to have a
young plant, 11 inches in height and growing vigorously, which had been
raised from a cross between the raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and a North
American Rubus, it was observed in the usual manner. During the morning of
March 14th the stem almost completed a circle, and then moved far to the
right. At 4 P.M. it reversed its course, and now a fresh tracing was begun,
which was continued during 40 ? h., and is given in Fig. 74. We here have
well-marked circumnutation.
(8.) Deutzia gracilis (Saxifrageae, Fam. 77).—A shoot on a bush about 18 inches in height was observed. The bead changed its course greatly eleven times in the course of 10 h. 30 m. (Fig. 75), and there could be no doubt about the circumnutation of the stem.
Fig. 75. Deutzia gracilis: circumnutation of stem, kept in darkness, traced on horizontal glass, from 8.30 A.M. to 7 P.M. March 20th. Movement of bead originally magnified about 20 times, here reduced to half scale.
(9.) Fuchsia (greenhouse var., with large flowers, probably a hybrid) (Onagrarieae, Fam. 100).—A young plant, 15 inches in height, was observed during nearly 48 h. The [page 206] accompanying figure (Fig. 76) gives the necessary particulars, and shows that the stem circumnutated, though rather slowly.
Fig. 76. Fuchsia (garden var.): circumnutation of stem, kept in darkness, traced on horizontal glass, from 8.30 A.M. to 7 P.M. March 20th. Movement of bead originally magnified about 40 times, here reduced to half scale.
(10.) Cereus speciocissimus (garden var., sometimes called Phyllocactus multiflorus) (Cacteae, Fam. 109).—This plant, which was growing vigorously from having been removed a few days before from the greenhouse to the hot-house, was observed with especial interest, as it seemed so little probable that the stem would circumnutate. The branches are flat, or flabelliform; but some of them are triangular in section, with the three sides hollowed out. A branch of this latter shape, 9 inches in length and 1 ? in diameter, was chosen for observation, as less likely to circumnutate than a flabelliform branch. The movement of the bead at the end of the glass filament, affixed to the summit of the branch, was traced (A, Fig. 77) from 9.23 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. on Nov. 23rd, during which time it changed its course greatly six times. On the 24th another tracing was made (see B), and the bead on this day changed its course oftener, making in 8 h. what may be considered as four ellipses, with their longer axes differently directed. The position of the stem and its commencing course on the following morning are likewise shown. There can be no doubt that this branch, though appearing quite rigid, circumnutated; but the [page 207] extreme amount of movement during the time was very small, probably rather less than the 1/20th of an inch.
Fig 77. Cereus speciocissimus: circumnutation of stem, illuminated from above, traced on a horizontal glass, in A from 9 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. on Nov. 23rd; and in B from 8.30 A.M. on the 24th to 8 A.M. on the 25th. Movement of the bead in B magnified about 38 times.
(11.) Hedera helix (Araliaceae, Fam. 114).—The stem is known to be apheliotropic, and several seedlings growing in a pot in the greenhouse became bent in the middle of the summer at right angles from the light. On Sept. 2nd some of these stems were tied up so as to stand vertically, and were placed before a north-east window; but to our surprise they were now decidedly heliotropic, for during 4 days they curved themselves towards the light, and their course being traced on a horizontal glass, was strongly zigzag. During the 6 succeeding days they circumnutated over the same small space at a slow rate, but there could be no doubt about their circumnutation. The plants were kept exactly in the same place before the window, and after an interval of 15 days the stems were again observed during 2 days and their movements traced, and [page 208] they were found to be still circumnutating, but on a yet smaller scale.
(12.) Gazania ringens (Compositae, Fam. 122).—The circumnutation of the stem of a young plant, 7 inches in height, as measured to the tip of the highest leaf, was traced during 33 h., and is shown in the accompanying figure (Fig. 78). Two
Fig. 78. Gazania ringens: circumnutation of stem traced from 9 A.M. March 21st to 6 P.M. on 22nd; plant kept in darkness. Movement of bead at the close of the observations magnified 34 times, here reduced to half the original scale.
main lines may be observed running at nearly right angles to two other main lines; but these are interrupted by small loops.
(13.) Azalea Indica (Ericineae, Fam. 128).—A bush 21 inches in height was
selected for observation, and the circumnutation of its leading shoot was
traced during 26 h. 40 m., as shown in the following figure (Fig. 79).
 (14.) Plumbago Capensis (Plumbagineae, Fam. 134).—A small lateral branch
which projected from a tall freely growing bush, at an angle of 35o above
the horizon, was selected for observation. For the first 11 h. it moved to
a considerable distance in a nearly straight line to one side, owing
probably to its having been previously deflected by the light whilst
standing in the greenhouse. At 7.20 P.M. on March 7th a fresh tracing was
begun and continued for the next 43 h. 40 m. (see Fig. 80). During the
first 2 h. it followed nearly the same direction as before, and then
changed it a little; during the night it moved at nearly right angles to
its previous course. Next
[page 209]
day (8th) it zigzagged greatly, and on the 9th moved irregularly round and
round a small circular space. By 3 P.M. on the 9th the figure had become so
complicated that no more dots could be made; but the shoot continued during
the evening of the 9th, the whole of the 10th, and the morning of the 11th
Fig. 79. Azalea Indica: circumnutation of stem, illuminated from above, traced on horizontal glass, from 9.30 A.M. March 9th to 12.10 P.M. on the 10th. But on the morning of the 10th only four dots were made between 8.30 A.M. and 12.10 P.M., both hours included, so that the circumnutation is not fairly represented in this part of the diagram. Movement of the bead here magnified about 30 times.
Fig. 80. Plumbago Capensis: circumnutation of tip of a lateral branch, traced on horizontal glass, from 7.20 P.M. on March 7th to 3 P.M. on the 9th. Movement of bead magnified 13 times. Plant feebly illuminated from above.
circumnutate over the same small space, which was only about the 1/26th of an inch (.97 mm.) in diameter. Although this branch circumnutated to a very small extent, yet it changed its course frequently. The movements ought to have been more magnified.
(15.) Aloysia citriodora (Verbenaceae, Fam. 173).—The following figure (Fig. 81) gives the movements of a shoot during [page 210] 31 h. 40 m., and shows that it circumnutated. The bush was 15 inches in height.
Fig. 81. Aloysia citriodora: circumnutation of stem, traced from 8.20 A.M. on March 22nd to 4 P.M. on 23rd. Plant kept in darkness. Movement magnified about 40 times.
(16.) Verbena melindres (?) (a scarlet-flowered herbaceous var.) (Verbenaceae).—A shoot 8 inches in height had been laid horizontally, for the sake of observing its apogeotropism, and the terminal portion had grown vertically upwards for a length of 1 ? inch. A glass filament, with a bead at the end, was fixed
Fig. 82. Verbena melindres: circumnutation of stem in darkness, traced on vertical glass, from 5.30 P.M. on June 5th to 11 A.M. June 7th. Movement of bead magnified 9 times.
upright to the tip, and its movements were traced during 41 h. 30 m. on a
vertical glass (Fig. 82). Under these circumstances the lateral movements
were chiefly shown; but as the lines from side to side are not on the same
level, the shoot
[page 211]
must have moved in a plane at right angles to that of the lateral movement,
that is, it must have circumnutated. On the next day (6th) the shoot moved
in the course of 16 h. four times to the right, and four times to the left;
and this apparently represents the formation of four ellipses, so that each
was completed in 4 h.
(17.) Ceratophyllum demersum (Ceratophylleae, Fam. 220).—An interesting
account of the movements of the stem of this water-plant has been published
by M. E. Rodier.* The movements are confined to the young internodes,
becoming less and less lower down the stem; and they are extraordinary from
their amplitude. The stems sometimes moved through an angle of above 200o
in 6 h., and in one instance through 220o in 3 h. They generally bent from
right to left in the morning, and in an opposite direction in the
afternoon; but the movement was sometimes temporarily reversed or quite
arrested. It was not affected by light. It does not appear that M. Rodier
made any diagram on a horizontal plane representing the actual course
pursued by the apex, but he speaks of the "branches executing round their
axes of growth a movement of torsion." From the particulars above given,
and remembering in the case of twining plants and of tendrils, how
difficult it is not to mistake their bending to all points of the compass
for true torsion, we are led to believe that the stems of this
Ceratophyllum circumnutate, probably in the shape of narrow ellipses, each
completed in about 26 h. The following statement, however, seems to
indicate something different from ordinary circumnutation, but we cannot
fully understand it. M. Rodier says: "Il est alors facile de voir que le
mouvement de flexion se produit d'abord dans les mérithalles supérieurs,
qu'il se propage ensuite, en s'amoindrissant du haut en bas; tandis qu'au
contraire le movement de redressement commence par la partie inférieur pour
se terminer a la partie supérieure qui, quelquefois, peu de temps avant de
se relever tout à fait, forme avec l'axe un angle très aigu."
 (18.) Coniferae.—Dr. Maxwell Masters states ('Journal Linn. Soc.,' Dec.
2nd, 1879) that the leading shoots of many Coniferae during the season of
their active growth exhibit very remarkable movements of revolving
nutation, that is, they circumnutate. We may feel sure that the lateral
shoots whilst growing would exhibit the same movement if carefully
* 'Comptes Rendus,' April 30th, 1877. Also a second notice published separately in Bourdeaux, Nov. 12th, 1877. [page 212]
(19.) Lilium auratum (Fam. Liliaceae).—The circumnutation
Fig. 83. Lilium auratum: circumnutation of a stem in darkness, traced on a horizontal glass, from 8 A.M. on March 14th to 8.35 A.M. on 16th. But it should be noted that our observations were interrupted between 6 P.M. on the 14th and 12.15 P.M. on the 15th, and the movements during this interval of 18 h. 15 m. are represented by a long broken line. Diagram reduced to half original scale.
of the stem of a plant 24 inches in height is represented in the above figure (Fig. 83).
Fig. 84. Cyperus alternifolius: circumnutation of stem, illuminated from
above, traced on horizontal glass, from 9.45 A.M. March 9th to 9 P.M. on
10th. The stem grew so rapidly whilst being observed, that it was not
possible to estimate how much its movements were magnified in the tracing.
 (20.) Cyperus alternifolius (Fam. Cyperaceae.)—A glass
[page 213]
filament, with a bead at the end, was fixed across the summit of a young
stem 10 inches in height, close beneath the crown of elongated leaves. On
March 8th, between 12.20 and 7.20 P.M. the stem described an ellipse, open
at one end. On the following day a new tracing was begun (Fig. 84), which
plainly shows that the stem completed three irregular figures in the course
of 35 h. 15 m.]
Concluding Remarks on the Circumnutation of Stems.—Any one who will inspect the diagrams now given, and will bear in mind the widely separated position of the plants described in the series,—remembering that we have good grounds for the belief that the hypocotyls and epicotyls of all seedlings circumnutate,—not forgetting the number of plants distributed in the most distinct families which climb by a similar movement,—will probably admit that the growing stems of all plants, if carefully observed, would be found to circumnutate to a greater or less extent. When we treat of the sleep and other movements of plants, many other cases of circumnutating stems will be incidentally given. In looking at the diagrams, we should remember that the stems were always growing, so that in each case the circumnutating apex as it rose will have described a spire of some kind. The dots were made on the glasses generally at intervals of an hour, or hour and a half, and were then joined by straight lines. If they had been made at intervals of 2 or 3 minutes, the lines would have been more curvilinear, as in the case of the tracks left on the smoked glass-plates by the tips of the circumnutating radicles of seedling plants. The diagrams generally approach in form to a succession of more or less irregular ellipses or ovals, with their longer axes directed to different points of the compass during the same day or on succeeding days. The stems there- [page 214] fore, sooner or later, bend to all sides; but after a stem has bent in any one direction, it commonly bends back at first in nearly, though not quite, the opposite direction; and this gives the tendency to the formation of ellipses, which are generally narrow, but not so narrow as those described by stolons and leaves. On the other hand, the figures sometimes approach in shape to circles. Whatever the figure may be, the course pursued is often interrupted by zigzags, small triangles, loops, or ellipses. A stem may describe a single large ellipse one day, and two on the next. With different plants the complexity, rate, and amount of movement differ much. The stems, for instance, of Iberis and Azalea described only a single large ellipse in 24 h.; whereas those of the Deutzia made four or five deep zigzags or narrow ellipses in 11 ? h., and those of the Trifolium three triangular or quadrilateral figures in 7 h.
Stolons consist of much elongated, flexible branches, which run along the surface of the ground and form roots at a distance from the parent-plant. They are therefore of the same homological nature as stems; and the three following cases may be added to the twenty previously given cases.
[Fragaria (cultivated garden var.): Rosaceae.—A plant growing in a pot had emitted a long stolon; this was supported by a stick, so that it projected for the length of several inches horizontally. A glass filament bearing two minute triangles of paper was affixed to the terminal bud, which was a little upturned; and its movements were traced during 21 h., as shown in Fig. 85. In the course of the first 12 h. it moved twice up and twice down in somewhat zigzag lines, and no doubt travelled in the same manner during the night. On the following [page 215] morning after an interval of 20 h. the apex stood a little higher than it did at first, and this shows that the stolon had not been Fig. 85. Fragaria: circumnutation of stolon, kept in darkness, traced on vertical glass, from 10.45 A.M. May 18th to 7.45 A.M. on 19th.
acted on within this time by geotropism;* nor had its own weight caused it to bend downwards.
On the following morning (19th) the glass filament was detached and refixed close behind the bud, as it appeared possible that the circumnutation of the terminal bud and of the adjoining part of the stolon might be different. The movement was now traced during two consecutive days (Fig. 86). During the first day the filament travelled in the course of 14 h. 30 m. five times up and four times down, besides some lateral movement. On the 20th the course was even more complicated, and can hardly be followed in the figure; but the filament moved in 16 h. at least five times up and five times down, with very little
* Dr. A. B. Frank states ('Die Naturliche wagerechte Richtung von Pflanzentheilen,' 1870, p. 20) that the stolons of this plant are acted on by geotropism, but only after a considerable interval of time. [page 216]
lateral deflection. The first and last dots made on this second day, viz., at 7 A.M. and 11 P.M., were close together, showing that the stolon had not fallen or risen. Nevertheless, by comparing its position on the morning of the 19th and 21st, it is obvious that the stolon had sunk; and this may be attributed to slow bending down either from its own weight or from geotropism.
Fig. 86. Fragaria: circumnutation of the same stolon as in the last figure, observed in the same manner, and traced from 8 A.M. May 19th to 8 A.M. 21st.
During a part of the 20th an orthogonal tracing was made by applying a cube of wood to the vertical glass and bringing the apex of the stolon at successive periods into a line with one edge; a dot being made each time on the glass. This tracing therefore represented very nearly the actual amount of movement of the apex; and in the course of 9 h. the distance of the extreme dots from one another was .45 inch. By the same method it was ascertained that the apex moved between 7 A.M. on the 20th and 8 A.M. on the 21st a distance of .82 inch.
A younger and shorter stolon was supported so that it projected at about 45o above the horizon, and its movement was traced by the same orthogonal method. On the first day the apex soon rose above the field of vision. By the next morning it had sunk, and the course pursued was now traced during 14 h. 30 m. (Fig. 87). The amount of movement was almost the same, [page 217] from side to side as up and down; and differed in this respect remarkably from the movement in the previous cases. During the latter part of the day, viz., between 3 and 10.30 P.M., the
Fig. 87. Fragaria: circumnutation of another and younger stolon, traced from 8 A.M. to 10.30 P.M. Figure reduced to one-half of original scale.
actual distance travelled by the apex amounted to 1.15 inch; and in the course of the whole day to at least 2.67 inches. This is an amount of movement almost comparable with that of some climbing plants. The same stolon was observed on the following day, and now it moved in a somewhat less complex manner, in a plane not far from vertical. The extreme amount of actual movement was 1.55 inch in one direction, and .6 inch in another direction at right angles. During neither of these days did the stolon bend downwards through geotropism or its own weight.
Four stolons still attached to the plant were laid on damp sand in the back of a room, with their tips facing the north-east windows. They were thus placed because De Vries says* that they are apheliotropic when exposed to the light of the sun; but we could not perceive any effect from the above feeble degree of illumination. We may add that on another occasion, late in the summer, some stolons, placed upright before a south-west window
* 'Arbeiten Bot Inst., Würzburg,' 1872, p. 434. [page 218]
on a cloudy day, became distinctly curved towards the light, and were therefore heliotropic. Close in front of the tips of the prostrate stolons, a crowd of very thin sticks and the dried haulms of grasses were driven into the sand, to represent the crowded stems of surrounding plants in a state of nature. This was done for the sake of observing how the growing stolons would pass through them. They did so easily in the course of 6 days, and their circumnutation apparently facilitated their passage. When the tips encountered sticks so close together that they could not pass between them, they rose up and passed over them. The sticks and haulms were removed after the passage of the four stolons, two of which were found to have assumed a permanently sinuous shape, and two were still straight. But to this subject we shall recur under Saxifraga.
Saxifraga sarmentosa (Saxifrageae).—A plant in a suspended pot had emitted long branched stolons, which depended like
Fig. 88. Saxifraga sarmentosa: circumnutation of an inclined stolon, traced in darkness on a horizontal glass, from 7.45 A.M. April 18th to 9 A.M. on 19th. Movement of end of stolon magnified 2.2 times.
threads on all sides. Two were tied up so as to stand vertically, and their upper ends became gradually bent downwards, but so slowly in the course of several days, that the bending was probably due to their weight and not to geotropism. A glass filament with little triangles of paper was fixed to the end of one of these stolons, which was 17 ? inches in length, and had already become much bent down, but still projected at a considerable angle above the horizon. It moved only slightly three times from side to side and then upwards; on the following day [page 219] the movement was even less. As this stolon was so long we thought that its growth was nearly completed, so we tried another which was thicker and shorter, viz., 10 1/4 inches in length. It moved greatly, chiefly upwards, and changed its course five times in the course of the day. During the night it curved so much upwards in opposition to gravity, that the movement could no longer be traced on the vertical glass, and a horizontal one had to be used. The movement was followed during the next 25 h., as shown in Fig. 88. Three irregular ellipses, with their longer axes somewhat differently directed, were almost completed in the first 15 h. The extreme actual amount of movement of the tip during the 25 h. was .75 inch. Several stolons were laid on a flat surface of damp sand, in the same manner as with those of the strawberry. The friction of the sand did not interfere with their circumnutation; nor could we detect any evidence of their being sensitive to contact. In order to see how in a state of nature they would act, when encountering a stone or other obstacle on the ground, short pieces of smoked glass, an inch in height, were stuck upright into the sand in front of two thin lateral branches. Their tips scratched the smoked surface in various directions; one made three upward and two downward lines, besides a nearly horizontal one; the other curled quite away from the glass; but ultimately both surmounted the glass and pursued their original course. The apex of a third thick stolon swept up the glass in a curved line, recoiled and again came into contact with it; it then moved to the right, and after ascending, descended vertically; ultimately it passed round one end of the glass instead of over it.
Many long pins were next driven rather close together into the sand, so as to form a crowd in front of the same two thin lateral branches; but these easily wound their way through the crowd. A thick stolon was much delayed in its passage; at one place it was forced to turn at right angles to its former course; at another place it could not pass through the pins, and the hinder part became bowed; it then curved upwards and passed through an opening between the upper part of some pins which happened to diverge; it then descended and finally emerged through the crowd. This stolon was rendered permanently sinuous to a slight degree, and was thicker where sinuous than elsewhere, apparently from its longitudinal growth having been checked.
Cotyledon umbilicus (Crassulaceae).—A plant growing in a pan [page 220] of damp moss had emitted 2 stolons, 22 and 20 inches in length. One of these was supported, so that a length of 4 ? inches projected in a straight and horizontal line, and the movement of the apex was traced. The first dot was made at 9.10 A.M.;
Fig. 89. Cotyledon umbilicus: circumnutation of stolon, traced from 11.15 A.M. Aug. 25th to 11 A.M. 27th. Plant illuminated from above. The terminal internode was .25 inch in length, the penultimate 2.25 and the third 3.0 inches in length. Apex of stolon stood at a distance of 5.75 inches from the vertical glass; but it was not possible to ascertain how much the tracing was magnified, as it was not known how great a length of the internode circumnutated.
the terminal portion soon began to bend downwards and continued to do so until noon. Therefore a straight line, very nearly as long as the whole figure here given (Fig. 89), was first traced on the glass; but the upper part of this line has not been copied in the diagram. The curvature occurred in the middle [page 221] of the penultimate internode; and its chief seat was at the distance of 1 1/4 inch from the apex; it appeared due to the weight of the terminal portion, acting on the more flexible part of the internode, and not to geotropism. The apex after thus sinking down from 9.10 A.M. to noon, moved a little to the left; it then rose up and circumnutated in a nearly vertical plane until 10.35 P.M. On the following day (26th) it was ob-
Fig. 90. Cotyledon umbilicus: circumnutation and downward movement of another stolon, traced on vertical glass, from 9.11 A.M. Aug. 25th to 11 A.M. 27th. Apex close to glass, so that figure but little magnified, and here reduced to two-thirds of original size.
served from 6.40 A.M. to 5.20 P.M., and within this time it moved twice up and twice down. On the morning of the 27th the apex stood as high as it did at 11.30 A.M. on the 25th. Nor did it sink down during the 28th, but continued to circumnutate about the same place.
Another stolon, which resembled the last in almost every [page 222] respect, was observed during the same two days, but only two inches of the terminal portion was allowed to project freely and horizontally. On the 25th it continued from 9.10 A.M. to 1.30 P.M. to bend straight downwards, apparently owing to its weight (Fig. 90); but after this hour until 10.35 P.M. it zigzagged. This fact deserves notice, for we here probably see the combined effects of the bending down from weight and of circumnutation. The stolon, however, did not circumnutate when it first began to bend down, as may be observed in the present diagram, and as was still more evident in the last case, when a longer portion of the stolon was left unsupported. On the following day (26th) the stolon moved twice up and twice down, but still continued to fall; in the evening and during the night it travelled from some unknown cause in an oblique direction.]
We see from these three cases that stolons or runners circumnutate in a very complex manner. The lines generally extend in a vertical plane, and this may probably be attributed to the effect of the weight of the unsupported end of the stolon; but there is always some, and occasionally a considerable, amount of lateral movement. The circumnutation is so great in amplitude that it may almost be compared with that of climbing plants. That the stolons are thus aided in passing over obstacles and in winding between the stems of the surrounding plants, the observations above given render almost certain. If they had not circumnutated, their tips would have been liable to have been doubled up, as often as they met with obstacles in their path; but as it is, they easily avoid them. This must be a considerable advantage to the plant in spreading from its parent-stock; but we are far from supposing that the power has been gained by the stolons for this purpose, for circumnutation seems to be of universal occurrence with all growing parts; but it is not improbable that the amplitude of the movement may have been specially increased for this purpose. [page 223]
We did not think it necessary to make any special observations on the circumnutation of flower-stems, these being axial in their nature, like stems or stolons; but some were incidentally made whilst attending to other subjects, and these we will here briefly give. A few observations have also been made by other botanists. These taken together suffice to render it probable that all peduncles and sub-peduncles circumnutate whilst growing.
[Oxalis carnosa.—The peduncle which springs from the thick and woody stem of this plant bears three or four sub-peduncles.
Fig. 91. Oxalis carnosa: flower-stem, feebly illuminated from above, its circumnutation traced from 9 A.M. April 13th to 9 A.M. 15th. Summit of flower 8 inches beneath the horizontal glass. Movement probably magnified about 6 times.
A filament with little triangles of paper was fixed within the calyx of a flower which stood upright. Its movements were observed for 48 h.; during the first half of this time the flower was fully expanded, and during the second half withered. The figure here given (Fig. 91) represents 8 or 9 ellipses. Although the main peduncle circumnutated, and described one large and [page 224] two smaller ellipses in the course of 24 h., yet the chief seat of movement lies in the sub-peduncles, which ultimately bend vertically downwards, as will be described in a future chapter. The peduncles of Oxalis acetosella likewise bend downwards, and afterwards, when the pods are nearly mature, upwards; and this is effected by a circumnutating movement.
It may be seen in the above figure that the flower-stem of O. carnosa circumnutated during two days about the same spot. On the other hand, the flower-stem of O. sensitiva undergoes a strongly marked, daily, periodical change of position, when kept at a proper temperature. In the middle of the day it stands vertically up, or at a high angle; in the afternoon it sinks, and in the evening projects horizontally, or almost horizontally, rising again during the night. This movement continues from the period when the flowers are in bud to when, as we believe, the pods are mature: and it ought perhaps to have been included amongst the so-called sleep-movements of plants. A tracing was not made, but the angles were measured at successive periods during one whole day; and these showed that the movement was not continuous, but that the peduncle oscillated up and down. We may therefore conclude that it circumnutated. At the base of the peduncle there is a mass of small cells, forming a well-developed pulvinus, which is exteriorly coloured purple and hairy. In no other genus, as far as we know, is the peduncle furnished with a pulvinus. The peduncle of O. Ortegesii behaved differently from that of O. sensitiva, for it stood at a less angle above the horizon in the middle of the day, then in the morning or evening. By 10.20 P.M. it had risen greatly. During the middle of the day it oscillated much up and down.
Trifolium subterraneum.—A filament was fixed vertically to the uppermost part of the peduncle of a young and upright flower-head (the stem of the plant having been secured to a stick); and its movements were traced during 36 h. Within this time it described (see Fig. 92) a figure which represents four ellipses; but during the latter part of the time the peduncle began to bend downwards, and after 10.30 P.M. on the 24th it curved so rapidly down, that by 6.45 A.M. on the 25th it stood only 19o above the horizon. It went on circumnutating in nearly the same position for two days. Even after the flower-heads have buried themselves in the ground they continue, as will hereafter be shown, to circumnutate. It will also be seen in the next chapter that the sub-peduncles of the separate flowers of [page 225] Trifolium repens circumnutate in a complicated course during several days. I may add that the gynophore of Arachis hypogoea,
Fig. 92. Trifolium subterraneum: main flower-peduncle, illuminated from above, circumnutation traced on horizontal glass, from 8.40 A.M. July 23rd to 10.30 P.M. 24th.
which looks exactly like a peduncle, circumnutates whilst growing vertically downwards, in order to bury the young pod in the ground.
The movements of the flowers of Cyclamen Persicum were not observed; but the peduncle, whilst the pod is forming, increases much in length, and bows itself down by a circumnutating movement. A young peduncle of Maurandia semperflorens, 1 ? inch in length, was carefully observed during a whole day, and it made 4 ? narrow, vertical, irregular and short ellipses, each at an average rate of about 2 h. 25 m. An adjoining peduncle described during the same time similar, though fewer, ellipses.* According to Sachs** the flower-stems, whilst growing,
* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 2nd edit., 1875, p. 68.
** 'Text-Book of Botany,' 1875, [[page 226]] p. 766. Linnaeus and Treviranus (according to Pfeffer, 'Die Periodischen Bewegungen,' etc., p. 162) state that the flower-stalks of many plants occupy different positions by night and day, and we shall see in the chapter on the Sleep of Plants that this implies circumnutation. [page 226]
of many plants, for instance, those of Brassica napus, revolve or circumnutate; those of Allium porrum bend from side to side, and, if this movement had been traced on a horizontal glass, no doubt ellipses would have been formed. Fritz Müller has described* the spontaneous revolving movements of the flower-stems of an Alisma, which he compares with those of a climbing plant.
We made no observations on the movements of the different parts of flowers. Morren, however, has observed** in the stamens of Sparmannia and Cereus a "fremissement spontané," which, it may be suspected, is a circumnutating movement. The circumnutation of the gynostemium of Stylidium, as described by Gad,*** is highly remarkable, and apparently aids in the fertilisation of the flowers. The gynostemium, whilst spontaneously moving, comes into contact with the viscid labellum, to which it adheres, until freed by the increasing tension of the parts or by being touched.]
We have now seen that the flower-stems of plants belonging to such widely different families as the Cruciferae, Oxalidae, Leguminosae, Primulaceae, Scrophularineae, Alismaceae, and Liliaceae, circumnutate; and that there are indications of this movement in many other families. With these facts before us, bearing also in mind that the tendrils of not a few plants consist of modified peduncles, we may admit without much doubt that all growing flower-stems circumnutate.
Several distinguished botanists, Hofmeister, Sachs, Pfeffer, De Vries, Batalin, Millardet, etc., have ob-
* 'Jenaische Zeitsch.,' B. v. p. 133.
** 'N. Mem. de l'Acad. R. de Bruxelles,' tom. xiv. 1841, p. 3.
*** 'Sitzungbericht des bot. Vereins der P. Brandenburg,' xxi. p. 84. [page 227] served, and some of them with the greatest care, the periodical movements of leaves; but their attention has been chiefly, though not exclusively, directed to those which move largely and are commonly said to sleep at night. From considerations hereafter to be given, plants of this nature are here excluded, and will be treated of separately. As we wished to ascertain whether all young and growing leaves circumnutated, we thought that it would be sufficient if we observed between 30 and 40 genera, widely distributed throughout the vegetable series, selecting some unusual forms and others on woody plants. All the plants were healthy and grew in pots. They were illuminated from above, but the light perhaps was not always sufficiently bright, as many of them were observed under a skylight of ground-glass. Except in a few specified cases, a fine glass filament with two minute triangles of paper was fixed to the leaves, and their movements were traced on a vertical glass (when not stated to the contrary) in the manner already described. I may repeat that the broken lines represent the nocturnal course. The stem was always secured to a stick, close to the base of the leaf under observation. The arrangement of the species, with the number of the Family appended, is the same as in the case of stems.
Fig. 93. Sarracenia purpurea: circumnutation of young pitcher, traced from 8 A.M. July 3rd to 10.15 A.M. 4th. Temp. 17o - 18o C. Apex of pitcher 20 inches from glass, so movement greatly magnified.
(1.) Sarracenia purpurea (Sarraceneae, Fam. 11).—A young leaf, or pitcher, 8 ? inches in height, with the bladder swollen but with the hood not as yet open, had a filament fixed transversely [page 228] across its apex; it was observed for 48 h., and during the whole of this time it circumnutated in a nearly similar manner, but to a very small extent. The tracing given (Fig. 93) relates only to the movement during the first 26 h.
(2) Glaucium luteum (Papaveraceae, Fam. 12).—A young plant, bearing only 8 leaves, had a filament attached to the youngest leaf but one, which was 3 inches in length, including the petiole. The circumnutating movement was traced during 47 h. On both days the leaf descended from before 7 A.M. until about 11 A.M., and then ascended slightly during the rest of the day and the early part of the night. During the latter part of the night it fell greatly. It did not ascend so much during the second as during the first day, and it descended considerably lower on the second night than on the first. This difference was probably due to the illumination from above having been insufficient during the two days of observation. Its course during the two days is shown in Fig. 94.
Fig. 94. Glaucium luteum: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 9.30 A.M. June 14th to 8.30 A.M. 16th. Tracing not much magnified, as apex of leaf stood only 5 ? inches from the glass.
(3.) Crambe maritima (Cruciferae, Fam. 14).—A leaf 9 ? inches in length on a plant not growing vigorously was first observed. Its apex was in constant movement, but this could hardly be traced, from being so small in extent. The apex, however, certainly changed its course at least 6 times in the course of 14 h. A more vigorous young plant, bearing only 4 leaves, was then selected, and a filament was affixed to the midrib of the third leaf from the base, which, with the petiole, was 5 inches in length. The leaf stood up almost vertically, but the tip [page 229] was deflected, so that the filament projected almost horizontally, and its movements were traced during 48 h. on a vertical glass as shown in the accompanying figure (Fig. 95). We here plainly see that the leaf was continually circumnutating; but the proper periodicity of its movements was disturbed by its being only dimly illuminated from above through a double skylight. We infer that this was the case, because two leaves on plants growing out of doors, had their angles above the horizon measured in the middle of the day and at 9 to about 10 P.M. on successive nights, and they were found at this latter hour to have risen by an average angle of 9o above their mid-day position: on the following morning they fell to their former position. Now it may be observed in the diagram that the leaf rose during the second night, so that it stood at 6.40 A.M. higher than at 10.20 P.M. on the preceding night; and this may be attributed to the leaf adjusting itself to the dim light, coming exclusively from above.
Fig. 95. Crambe maritima: circumnutation of leaf, disturbed by being insufficiently illuminated from above, traced from 7.50 A.M. June 23rd to 8 A.M. 25th. Apex of leaf 15 1/4 inches from the vertical glass, so that the tracing was much magnified, but is here reduced to one-fourth of original scale.
(4.) Brassica oleracea (Cruciferae).—Hofmeister and Batalin* state that the leaves of the cabbage rise at night, and fall by day. We covered a young plant, bearing 8 leaves, under a large bell-glass, placing it in the same position with respect to the
* 'Flora,' 1873, p. 437. [page 230]
light in which it had long remained, and a filament was fixed at the distance of .4 of an inch from the apex of a young leaf nearly 4 inches in length. Its movements were then traced during three days, but the tracing is not worth giving. The leaf fell during the whole morning, and rose in the evening and during the early part of the night. The ascending and descending lines did not coincide, so that an irregular ellipse was formed each 24 h. The basal part of the midrib did not move, as was ascertained by measuring at successive periods the angle which it formed with the horizon, so that the movement was confined to the terminal portion of the leaf, which moved through an angle of 11o in the course of 24 h., and the distance travelled by the apex, up and down, was between .8 and .9 of an inch.
In order to ascertain the effect of darkness, a filament was fixed to a leaf 5 ? inches in length, borne by a plant which after forming a head had produced a stem. The leaf was inclined 44o above the horizon, and its movements were traced on a vertical glass every hour by the aid of a taper. During the first day the leaf rose from 8 A.M. to 10.40 P.M. in a slightly zigzag course, the actual distance travelled by the apex being .67 of an inch. During the night the leaf fell, whereas it ought to have risen; and by 7 A.M. on the following morning it had fallen .23 of an inch, and it continued falling until 9.40 A.M. It then rose until 10.50 P.M., but the rise was interrupted by one considerable oscillation, that is, by a fall and re-ascent. During the second night it again fell, but only to a very short distance, and on the following morning re-ascended to a very short distance. Thus the normal course of the leaf was greatly disturbed, or rather completely inverted, by the absence of light; and the movements were likewise greatly diminished in amplitude.
We may add that, according to Mr. A. Stephen Wilson,* the young leaves of the Swedish turnip, which is a hybrid between B. oleracea and rapa, draw together in the evening so much "that the horizontal breadth diminishes about 30 per cent. of the daylight breadth." Therefore the leaves must rise considerably at night.
(5.) Dianthus caryophyllus (Caryophylleae, Fam. 26).—The
* 'Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh,' vol. xiii. p. 32. With respect to the origin of the Swedish turnip, see Darwin, 'Animals and Plants under Domestication,' 2nd edit. vol. i. p. 344. [page 231]
terminal shoot of a young plant, growing very vigorously, was selected for observation. The young leaves at first stand up vertically and close together, but they soon bend outwards and downwards, so as to become horizontal, and often at the same time a little to one side. A filament was fixed to the tip of a young leaf whilst still highly inclined, and the first dot was made on the vertical glass at 8.30 A.M. June 13th, but it curved downwards so quickly that by 6.40 A.M. on the following morning it stood only a little above the horizon. In Fig. 96
Fig. 96. Dianthus caryophyllus: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 10.15 P.M. June 13th to 10.35 P.M. 16th. Apex of leaf stood, at the close of our observations, 8 3/4 inches from the vertical glass, so tracing not greatly magnified. The leaf was 5 1/4 inches long. Temp. 15 1/2o - 17 1/2o C.
the long, slightly zigzag line representing this rapid downward course, which was somewhat inclined to the left, is not given; but the figure shows the highly tortuous and zigzag course, together with some loops, pursued during the next 2 ? days. As the leaf continued to move all the time to the left, it is evident that the zigzag line represents many circumnutations.
(6.) Camellia Japonica (Camelliaceae, Fam. 32).—A youngish leaf, which together with its petiole was 2 3/4 inches in length and which arose from a side branch on a tall bush, had a filament attached to its apex. This leaf sloped downwards at an angle of 40o beneath the horizon. As it was thick and rigid, and its [page 232] petiole very short, much movement could not be expected. Nevertheless, the apex changed its course completely seven times in the course of 11 ? h., but moved to only a very small distance. On the next day the movement of the apex was traced during 26 h. 20 m. (as shown in Fig. 97), and was nearly of the same nature, but rather less complex. The movement seems to be periodical, for on both days the leaf circumnutated in the forenoon, fell in the afternoon (on the first day until between 3 and 4 P.M., and on the second day until 6 P.M.), and then rose, falling again during the night or early morning.
Fig. 97. Camellia Japonica: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 6.40 A.M. June 14th to 6.50 A.M. 15th. Apex of leaf 12 inches from the vertical glass, so figure considerably magnified. Temp. 16o - 16 1/2o C.
In the chapter on the Sleep of Plants we shall see that the leaves in several Malvaceous genera sink
Fig. 98. Pelargonium zonale: circumnutation and downward movement of young leaf, traced from 9.30 A.M. June 14th to 6.30 P.M. 16th. Apex of leaf 9 1.4 inches from the vertical glass, so figure moderately magnified. Temp. 15o - 16 1/2o C.
at night; and as they often do not then occupy a vertical position, especially if they have not been well illuminated during [page 233] the day, it is doubtful whether some of these cases ought not to have been included in the present chapter.
(7.) Pelargonium zonale (Geraniaceae, Fam. 47).—A young leaf, 1 1/4 inch in breadth, with its petiole 1 inch long, borne on a young plant, was observed in the usual manner during 61 h.; and its course is shown in the preceding figure (Fig. 98). During the first day and night the leaf moved downwards, but circumnutated between 10 A.M. and 4.30 P.M. On the second day it sank and rose again, but between 10 A.M. and 6 P.M. it circumnutated on an extremely small scale. On the third day the circumnutation was more plainly marked.
(8.) Cissus discolor (Ampelideae, Fam. 67).—A leaf, not nearly full-grown, the third from the apex of a shoot on a cut-down plant, was observed during 31 h. 30 m. (see Fig. 99). The day was cold (15o - 16o C.), and if the plant had been observed in the hot-house, the circumnutation, though plain enough as it was, would probably have been far more conspicuous.
Fig. 99. Cissus discolor: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 10.35 A.M. May 28th to 6 P.M. 29th. Apex of leaf 8 3/4 inches from the vertical glass.
(9.) Vicia faba (Leguminosae, Fam. 75).—A young leaf, 3.1 inches in length, measured from base of petiole to end of leaflets, had a filament affixed to the midrib of one of the two terminal leaflets, and its movements were traced during 51 ? h. The filament fell all morning (July 2nd) till 3 P.M., and then rose greatly till 10.35 P.M.; but the rise this day was so great, compared with that which subsequently occurred, that it was probably due in part to the plant being illuminated from above. The latter part of the course on July 2nd is alone given in the following figure (Fig. 100). On the next day (July 3rd) the leaf again fell in the morning, then circumnutated in a conspicuous manner, and rose till late at night; but the movement was not traced after 7.15 P.M., as by that time the filament pointed towards the upper edge of the glass. During the latter part of the night or early morning it again fell in the same manner as before. [page 234]
As the evening rise and the early morning fall were unusually large, the angle of the petiole above the horizon was measured at the two periods, and the leaf was found to have risen 19o
Fig. 100. Vicia faba: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 7.15 P.M. July 2nd to 10.15 A.M. 4th. Apex of the two terminal leaflets 7 1/4 inches from the vertical glass. Figure here reduced to two-thirds of original scale. Temp. 17o - 18o C.
between 12.20 P.M. and 10.45 P.M., and to have fallen 23o 30 seconds between the latter hour and 10.20 A.M. on the following morning.
The main petiole was now secured to a stick close to the base [page 235] of the two terminal leaflets, which were 1.4 inch in length; and the movements of one of them were traced during 48 h. (see Fig. 101). The course pursued is closely analogous to that of the whole leaf. The zigzag line between 8.30 A.M. and 3.30 P.M. on the second day represents 5 very small ellipses, with their Fig 101. Vicia faba: circumnutation of one of the two terminal leaflets, the main petiole having been secured, traced from 10.40 A.M. July 4th to 10.30 A.M. 6th. Apex of leaflet 6 5/8 inches from the vertical glass. Tracing here reduced to one-half of original scale. Temp. 16o - 18o C.
longer axes differently directed. From these observations it follows that both the whole leaf and the terminal leaflets undergo a well-marked daily periodical movement, rising in the evening and falling during the latter part of the night or early morning; whilst in the middle of the day they generally circumnutate round the same small space. [page 236]
(10.) Acacia retinoides (Leguminosae).—The movement of a young phyllode, 2 3/8 inches in length, and inclined at a considerable angle above the horizon, was traced during 45 h. 30 m.; but in the figure here given (Fig. 102), its circumnutation is shown during only 21 h. 30 m. During part of this time (viz., 14 h. 30 m.) the phyllode described a figure representing 5 or 6 small ellipses. The actual amount of movement in a vertical direction was .3 inch. The phyllode rose considerably between 1.30 P.M. and 4 P.M., but there was no evidence on either day of a regular periodic movement.
Fig. 102. Acacia retinoides: circumnutation of a young phyllode, traced from 10.45 A.M. July 18th to 8.15 A.M. 19th. Apex of phyllode 9 inches from the vertical glass; temp. 16 1/2o - 17 1/2o C.
(11.) Lupinus speciosus (Leguminosae).—Plants were raised from seed purchased under this name. This is one of the species in this large genus, the leaves of which do not sleep at night. The petioles rise direct from the ground, and are from 5 to 7 inches in length. A filament was fixed to the midrib of one of the longer leaflets, and the movement of the whole leaf was traced, as shown in Fig. 103. In the course of 6 h. 30 m. the filament went four times up and three times down. A new tracing was then begun (not here given), and during 12 ? h. the leaf moved eight times up and seven times down; so that it described 7 ? ellipses in this time, and this is an extraordinary rate of movement. The summit of the petiole was then secured to a stick, and the separate leaflets were found to be continually circumnutating.
Fig. 103. Lupinus speciosus: circumnutation of leaf, traced on vertical glass, from 10.15 A.M. to 5.45 P.M.; i.e., during 6 h. 30 m. [page 237]
(12.) Echeveria stolonifera (Crassulaceae, Fam. 84).—The older leaves of this plant are so thick and fleshy, and the young ones so short and broad, that it seemed very improbable that any circumnutation could be detected. A filament was fixed to a young upwardly inclined leaf, .75 inch in length and .28 in breadth, which stood on the outside of a terminal rosette of leaves, produced by a plant growing very vigorously. Its movement was traced during 3 days, as here shown (Fig. 104). The course was chiefly in an upward direction, and this may be attributed to the elongation of the leaf through growth; but we see that the lines are strongly zigzag, and that occasionally there was distinct circumnutation, though on a very small scale.
Fig. 104. Echeveria stolonifera: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 8.20
A.M. June 25th to 8.45 A.M. 28th. Apex of leaf 12 1/4 inches from the
glass, so that the movement was much magnified; temp. 23o - 24 1/2o C.
(13.) Bryophyllum (vel Calanchae) calycinum (Crassulaceae).—Duval-Jouve
('Bull. Soc. Bot. de France,' Feb. 14th, 1868) measured the distance
between the tips of the upper pair of leaves on this plant, with the result
shown in the following Table. It should be noted that the measurements on
Dec. 2nd were made on a different pair of leaves: —
               8 A.M.      2 P.M.      7 P.M.
Nov. 16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 mm.. . . . . .25 mm. . . ..
. . .(?)
  "     19. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48  " . . . . . . .  60 ". .
. . . . .  48 mm.
Dec.   2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22  ". . . . . . . . 43 ". . .
. . . . .28  "
We see from this Table that the leaves stood considerably further apart at 2 P.M. than at either 8 A.M. or 7 P.M.; and this shows that they rise a little in the evening and fall or open in the forenoon.
(14.) Drosera rotundifolia (Droseraceae, Fam. 85).—The movements of a young leaf, having a long petiole but with its tentacles (or gland-bearing hairs) as yet unfolded, were traced during 47 h. 15 m. The figure (Fig. 105) shows that it circumnutated largely, chiefly in a vertical direction, making two ellipses each [page 238] day. On both days the leaf began to descend after 12 or 1 o'clock, and continued to do so all night, though to a very unequal distance on the two occasions. We therefore thought that the movement was periodic; but on observing three other leaves during several successive days and nights, we found this to be an error; and the case is given merely as a caution. On the third morning the above leaf occupied almost exactly the same position as on the first morning; and the tentacles by this time had unfolded sufficiently to project at right angles to the blade or disc.
Fig. 105. Drosera rotundifolia: circumnutation of young leaf, with filament fixed to back of blade, traced from 9.15 A.M. June 7th to 8.30 A.M. June 9th. Figure here reduced to one-half original scale.
The leaves as they grow older generally sink more and more downwards. The movement of an oldish leaf, the glands of which were still secreting freely, was traced for 24 h., during which time it continued to sink a little in a slightly zigzag line. On the following morning, at 7 A.M., a drop of a solution of carbonate of ammonia (2 gr. to 1 oz. of water) was placed on the disc, and this blackened the glands and induced inflection of many of the tentacles. The weight of the drop caused the leaf at first to sink a little; but immediately afterwards it began to rise in a somewhat zigzag course, and continued to do so till 3 P.M. It then circumnutated about the same spot on a very small scale for 21 h.; and during the next 21 h. it sank in a zigzag line to nearly the same level which it had held when the ammonia was first administered. By this time the tentacles had re-expanded, and the glands had recovered their proper colour. We thus learn that an old leaf [page 239] circumnutates on a small scale, at least whilst absorbing carbonate of ammonia; for it is probable that this absorption may stimulate growth and thus re-excite circumnutation. Whether the rising of the glass filament which was attached to the back of the leaf, resulted from its margin becoming slightly inflected (as generally occurs), or from the rising of the petiole, was not ascertained.
In order to learn whether the tentacles or gland-bearing hairs circumnutate, the back of a young leaf, with the innermost tentacles as yet incurved, was firmly cemented with shellac to a flat stick driven into compact damp argillaceous sand. The plant was placed under a microscope with the stage removed and with an eye-piece micrometer, of which each division equalled 1/500 of an inch. It should be stated that as the leaves grow older the tentacles of the exterior rows bend outwards and downwards, so as ultimately to become deflected considerably beneath the horizon. A tentacle in the second row from the margin was selected for observation, and was found to be moving outwards at a rate of 1/500 of an inch in 20 m., or 1/100 of inch in 1 h. 40 m.; but as it likewise moved from side to side to an extent of above 1/500 of inch, the movement was probably one of modified circumnutation. A tentacle on an old leaf was next observed in the same manner. In 15 m. after being placed under the microscope it had moved about 1/1000 of an inch. During the next 7 ? h. it was looked at repeatedly, and during this whole time it moved only another 1/1000 of an inch; and this small movement may have been due to the settling of the damp sand (on which the plant rested), though the sand had been firmly pressed down. We may therefore conclude that the tentacles when old do not circumnutate; yet this tentacle was so sensitive, that in 23 seconds after its gland had been merely touched with a bit of raw meat, it began to curl inwards. This fact is of some importance, as it apparently shows that the inflection of the tentacles from the stimulus of absorbed animal matter (and no doubt from that of contact with any object) is not due to modified circumnutation.
(15.) Dionoea muscipula (Droseraceae).—It should be premised that the leaves at an early stage of their development have the two lobes pressed closely together. These are at first directed back towards the centre of the plant; but they gradually rise up and soon stand at right angles to the petiole, and ultimately in nearly a straight line with it. A young leaf, which with the [page 240] petiole was only 1.2 inch in length, had a filament fixed externally along the midrib of the still closed lobes, which projected at right angles to the petiole. In the evening this leaf completed an ellipse in the course of 2 h. On the following day (Sept. 25th) its movements were traced during 22 h.; and we see in Fig. 106 that it moved in the same general direction, due to the straightening of the leaf, but in an extremely zigzag line. This line represents several drawn-out or modified ellipses. There can therefore be no doubt that this young leaf circumnutated.
Fig. 106. Dionaea muscipula: circumnutation of a young and expanding leaf, traced on a horizontal glass in darkness, from noon Sept. 24th to 10 A.M. 25th. Apex of leaf 13 ? inches from the glass, so tracing considerably magnified.
A rather old, horizontally extended leaf, with a filament attached along the under side of the midrib, was next observed during 7 h. It hardly moved, but when one of its sensitive hairs was touched, the blades closed, though not very quickly. A new dot was now made on the glass, but in the course of 14 h. 20 m. there was hardly any change in the position of the filament. We may therefore infer that an old and only moderately sensitive leaf does not circumnutate plainly; but we shall soon see that it by no means follows that such a leaf is absolutely motionless. We may further infer that the stimulus from a touch does not re-excite plain circumnutation.
Another full-grown leaf had a filament attached externally along one side of the midrib and parallel to it, so that the filament would move if the lobes closed. It should be first stated that, although a touch on one of the sensitive hairs of a vigorous leaf causes it to close quickly, often almost instantly, yet when a bit of damp meat or some solution of carbonate of ammonia is placed on the lobes, they close so slowly that generally 24 h. is required for the completion of the act. The above leaf was first observed for 2 h. 30 m., and did not circumnutate, but it ought to have been observed for a [page 241] longer period; although, as we have seen, a young leaf completed a fairly large ellipse in 2 h. A drop of an infusion of raw meat was then placed on the leaf, and within 2 h. the glass filament rose a little; and this implies that the lobes had begun to close, and perhaps the petiole to rise. It continued to rise with extreme slowness for the next 8 h. 30 m. The position of the pot was then (7.15 P.M., Sept. 24th) slightly changed and an additional drop of the infusion given, and a new tracing was begun (Fig. 107). By 10.50 P.M. the filament had risen only a little more, and it fell during the night. On the following morning the lobes were closing more quickly, and by 5 P.M. it was evident to the eye that they had closed considerably; by 8.48. P.M. this was still plainer, and by 10.45 P.M. the marginal spikes were interlocked. The leaf fell a little during the night, and next morning (25th) at 7 A.M. the lobes were completely shut. The course pursued, as may be seen in the figure, was
Fig. 107. Dionoea muscipula: closure of the lobes and circumnutation of a full-grown leaf, whilst absorbing an infusion of raw meat, traced in darkness, from 7.15 P.M. Sept. 24th to 9 A.M. 26th. Apex of leaf 8 ? inches from the vertical glass. Figure here reduced to two-thirds of original scale.
strongly zigzag, and this indicates that the closing of the lobes was combined with the circumnutation of the whole leaf; and there cannot be much doubt, considering how motionless the leaf was during 2 h. 30 m. before it received the infusion, that the absorption of the animal matter had excited it to circumnutate. The leaf was occasionally observed for the next four days, but was kept in rather too cool a place; nevertheless, it continued to circumnutate to a small extent, and the lobes remained closed.
It is sometimes stated in botanical works that the lobes close or sleep at night; but this is an error. To test the statement, very long glass filaments were fixed inside the two lobes of three leaves, and the distances between their tips were measured in the middle of the day and at night; but no difference could be detected.
The previous observations relate to the movements of the whole leaf, but the lobes move independently of the petiole, and [page 242] seem to be continually opening and shutting to a very small extent. A nearly full-grown leaf (afterwards proved to be highly sensitive to contact) stood almost horizontally, so that by driving a long thin pin through the foliaceous petiole close to the blade, it was rendered motionless. The plant, with a little triangle of paper attached to one of the marginal spikes, was placed under a microscope with an eye-piece micrometer, each division of which equalled 1/500 of an inch. The apex of the paper-triangle was now seen to be in constant slight movement; for in 4 h. it crossed nine divisions, or 9/500 of an inch, and after ten additional hours it moved back and had crossed 5/500 in an opposite direction. The plant was kept in rather too cool a place, and on the following day it moved rather less, namely, 1/500 in 3 h., and 2/500 in an opposite direction during the next 6 h. The two lobes, therefore, seem to be constantly closing or opening, though to a very small distance; for we must remember that the little triangle of paper affixed to the marginal spike increased its length, and thus exaggerated somewhat the movement. Similar observations, with the important difference that the petiole was left free and the plant kept under a high temperature, were made on a leaf, which was healthy, but so old that it did not close when its sensitive hairs were repeatedly touched, though judging from other cases it would have slowly closed if it had been stimulated by animal matter. The apex of the triangle was in almost, though not quite, constant movement, sometimes in one direction and sometimes in an opposite one; and it thrice crossed five divisions of the micrometer (i.e. 1/100 of an inch) in 30 m. This movement on so small a scale is hardly comparable with ordinary circumnutation; but it may perhaps be compared with the zigzag lines and little loops, by which the larger ellipses made by other plants are often interrupted.
In the first chapter of this volume, the remarkable oscillatory movements of the circumnutating hypocotyl of the cabbage have been described. The leaves of Dionaea present the same phenomenon, which is a wonderful one, as viewed under a low power (2-inch object-glass), with an eye-piece micrometer of which each division (1/500 of an inch) appeared as a rather wide space. The young unexpanded leaf, of which the circumnutating movements were traced (Fig. 106), had a glass filament fixed perpendicularly to it; and the movement of the apex was observed in the hot-house (temp. 84o to 86o F.), with light admitted only from above, and with any lateral currents of air [page 243] excluded. The apex sometimes crossed one or two divisions of the micrometer at an imperceptibly slow rate, but generally it moved onwards by rapid starts or jerks of 2/1000 or 3/1000, and in one instance of 4/1000 of an inch. After each jerk forwards, the apex drew itself backwards with comparative slowness for part of the distance which had just been gained; and then after a very short time made another jerk forwards. Four conspicuous jerks forwards, with slower retreats, were seen on one occasion to occur in exactly one minute, besides some minor oscillations. As far as we could judge, the advancing and retreating lines did not coincide, and if so, extremely minute ellipses were each time described. Sometimes the apex remained quite motionless for a short period. Its general course during the several hours of observation was in two opposite directions, so that the leaf was probably circumnutating.
An older leaf with the lobes fully expanded, and which was afterwards proved to be highly sensitive to contact, was next observed in a similar manner, except that the plant was exposed to a lower temperature in a room. The apex oscillated forwards and backwards in the same manner as before; but the jerks forward were less in extent, viz. about 1/1000 inch; and there were longer motionless periods. As it appeared possible that the movements might be due to currents of air, a wax taper was held close to the leaf during one of the motionless periods, but no oscillations were thus caused. After 10 m., however, vigorous oscillations commenced, perhaps owing to the plant having been warmed and thus stimulated. The candle was then removed and before long the oscillations ceased; nevertheless, when looked at again after an interval of 1 h. 30 m., it was again oscillating. The plant was taken back into the hot-house, and on the following morning was seen to be oscillating, though not very vigorously. Another old but healthy leaf, which was not in the least sensitive to a touch, was likewise observed during two days in the hot-house, and the attached filament made many little jerks forwards of about 2/1000 or only 1/1000 of an inch.
Finally, to ascertain whether the lobes independently of the petiole oscillated, the petiole of an old leaf was cemented close to the blade with shellac to the top of a little stick driven into the soil. But before this was done the leaf was observed, and found to be vigorously oscillating or jerking; and after it had been cemented to the stick, the oscillations of about 2/1000 of an inch still continued. On the following day a little infusion [page 244] of raw meat was placed on the leaf, which caused the lobes to close together very slowly in the course of two days; and the oscillations continued during this whole time and for the next two days. After nine additional days the leaf began to open and the margins were a little everted, and now the apex of the glass filament remained for long periods motionless, and then moved backwards and forwards for a distance of about 1/1000 of an inch slowly, without any jerks. Nevertheless, after warming the leaf with a taper held close to it, the jerking movement recommenced.
This same leaf had been observed 2 ? months previously, and was then found to be oscillating or jerking. We may therefore infer that this kind of movement goes on night and day for a very long period; and it is common to young unexpanded leaves and to leaves so old as to have lost their sensitiveness to a touch, but which were still capable of absorbing nitrogenous matter. The phenomenon when well displayed, as in the young leaf just described, is a very interesting one. It often brought before our minds the idea of effort, or of a small animal struggling to escape from some constraint.
(16.) Eucalyptus resinifera (Myrtaceae, Fam. 94).—A young leaf, two inches in length together with the petiole, produced by a lateral shoot from a cut-down tree, was observed in the usual manner. The blade had not as yet assumed its vertical position. On June 7th only a few observations were made, and the tracing merely showed that the leaf had moved three times upwards and three downwards. On the following day it was observed more frequently; and two tracings were made (see A and B, Fig. 108), as a single one would have been too complicated. The apex changed its course 13 times in the course of 16 h., chiefly up and down, but with some lateral movement. The actual amount of movement in any one direction was small.
Fig. 108. Eucalyptus resinifera: circumnutation of a leaf, traced, A, from 6.40 A.M. to 1 P.M. June 8th; B, from 1 P.M. 8th to 8.30 A.M. 9th. Apex of leaf 14 ? inches from the horizontal glass, so figures considerably magnified.
(17.) Dahlia (garden var.) (Compositae, Fam. 122).—A fine young [page 245] leaf 5 3/4 inches in length, produced by a young plant 2 feet high, growing vigorously in a large pot, was directed at an angle of about 45o beneath the horizon. On June 18th the leaf descended from 10 A.M. till 11.35 A.M. (see Fig. 109); it then ascended greatly till 6 P.M., this ascent being probably due to the light
Fig. 109. Dahlia: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 10 A.M. June 18th to 8.10 A.M. 20th, but with a break of 1 h. 40 m. on the morning of the 19th, as, owing to the glass filament pointing too much to one side, the pot had to be slightly moved; therefore the relative position of the two tracings is somewhat arbitrary. The figure here given is reduced to one-fifth of the original scale. Apex of leaf 9 inches from the glass in the line of its inclination, and 4 3/4 in a horizontal line. coming only from above. It zigzagged between 6 P.M. and 10.35 P.M., and ascended a little during the night. It should be remarked that the vertical distances in the lower part of the diagram are much exaggerated, as the leaf was at first deflected beneath the horizon, and after it had sunk downwards, the filament pointed in a very oblique line towards the glass. Next [page 246] day the leaf descended from 8.20 A.M. till 7.15 P.M., then zigzagged and ascended greatly during the night. On the morning of the 20th the leaf was probably beginning to descend, though the short line in the diagram is horizontal. The actual distances travelled by the apex of the leaf were considerable, but could not be calculated with safety. From the course pursued on the second day, when the plant had accommodated itself to the light from above, there cannot be much doubt that the leaves undergo a daily periodic movement, sinking during the day and rising at night.
(18.) Mutisia clematis (Compositae).—The leaves terminate in tendrils and circumnutate like those of other tendril-bearers; but this plant is here mentioned, on account of an erroneous statement* which has been published, namely, that the leaves sink at night and rise during the day. The leaves which behaved in this manner had been kept for some days in a northern room and had not been sufficiently illuminated. A plant therefore was left undisturbed in the hot-house, and three leaves had their angles measured at noon and at 10 P.M. All three were inclined a little beneath the horizon at noon, but one stood at night 2o, the second 21o, and the third 10o higher than in the middle of the day; so that instead of sinking they rise a little at night.
(19.) Cyclamen Persicum (Primulaceae, Fam. 135).—A young leaf, 1.8 of an inch in length, petiole included, produced by an old root-stock, was observed during three days in the usual manner (Fig. 110). On the first day the leaf fell more than afterwards, apparently from adjusting itself to the light from above. On all three days it fell from the early morning to about 7 P.M., and from that hour rose during the night, the course being slightly zigzag. The movement therefore is strictly periodic. It should be noted that the leaf would have sunk each evening a little lower down than it did, had not the glass filament rested between 5 and 6 P.M. on the rim of the pot. The amount of movement was considerable; for if we assume that the whole leaf to the base of the petiole became bent, the tracing would be magnified rather less than five times, and this would give to the apex a rise and fall of half an inch, with some lateral movement. This amount, however, would not attract attention without the aid of a tracing or measurement of some kind.
* 'The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,' 1875, p. 118.
[page 247]
 (20.) Allamanda Schottii (Apocyneae, Fam. 144).—The young leaves of this
shrub are elongated, with the blade bowed so much
Fig. 110. Cyclamen Persicum: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 6.45 A.M. June 2nd to 6.40 A.M. 5th. Apex of leaf 7 inches from the vertical glass.
downwards as almost to form a semicircle. The chord—that is, a line drawn from the apex of the blade to the base of the petiole—of a young leaf, 4 3/4 inches in length, stood at 2.50 P.M. on [page 248] Dec. 5th at an angle of 13o beneath the horizon, but by 9.30 P.M. the blade had straightened itself so much, which implies the raising of the apex, that the chord now stood at 37o above the horizon, and had therefore risen 50o. On the next day similar angular measurements of the same leaf were made; and at noon the chord stood 36o beneath the horizon, and 9.30 P.M. 3 1/2o above it, so had risen 39 1/2o. The chief cause of the rising movement lies in the straightening of the blade, but the short petiole rises between 4o and 5o. On the third night the chord stood at 35o above the horizon, and if the leaf occupied the same position at noon, as on the previous day, it had risen 71o. With older leaves no such change of curvature could be detected. The plant was then brought into the house and kept in a north-east room, but at night there was no change in the curvature of the young leaves; so that previous exposure to a strong light is apparently requisite for the periodical change of curvature in the blade, and for the slight rising of the petiole.
(21.) Wigandia (Hydroleaceae, Fam. 149).—Professor Pfeffer informs us that the leaves of this plant rise in the evening; but as we do not know whether or not the rising is great, this species ought perhaps to be classed amongst sleeping plants.
Fig. 111. Petunia violacea: downward movement and circumnutation of a very young leaf, traced from 10 A.M. June 2nd to 9.20 A.M. June 6th. N.B.—At 6.40 A.M. on the 5th it was necessary to move the pot a little, and a new tracing was begun at the point where two dots are not joined in the diagram. Apex of leaf 7 inches from the vertical glass. Temp. generally 17 1/2o C. [page 249]
(22.) Petunia violacea (Solaneae, Fam. 157).—A very young leaf, only 3/4 inch in length, highly inclined upwards, was observed for four days. During the whole of this time it bent outwards and downwards, so as to become more and more nearly horizontal. The strongly marked zigzag line in the figure on p. 248 (Fig. 111), shows that this was effected by modified circumnutation; and during the latter part of the time there was much ordinary circumnutation on a small scale. The movement in the diagram is magnified between 10 and 11 times. It exhibits a clear trace of periodicity, as the leaf rose a little each evening; but this upward tendency appeared to be almost conquered by the leaf striving to become more and more horizontal as it grew older. The angles which two older leaves formed together, were measured in the evening and about noon on 3 successive days, and each night the angle decreased a little, though irregularly.
Fig. 112. Acanthus mollis: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 9.20 A.M. June 14th to 8.30 A.M. 16th. Apex of leaf 11 inches from the vertical glass, so movement considerably magnified. Figure here reduced to one-half of original scale. Temp. 15o - 16 1/2o C.
(23.) Acanthus mollis (Acanthaceae, Fam. 168).—The younger of two leaves, 2 1/4 inches in length, petiole included, produced by a seedling plant, was observed during 47 h. Early on each of the three mornings, the apex of the leaf fell; and it continued to fall till 3 P.M., on the two afternoons when observed. After 3 P.M. it rose considerably, and continued to rise on the second night until the early morning. But on the first night it fell instead of rising, and we have little doubt that this was owing to the leaf being very young and becoming through epinastic growth more and more horizontal; for it may be seen in the diagram (Fig. 112), that the leaf stood on a higher level on the first than on the second day. The leaves of an allied species ('A. spinosus') certainly rose every night; and the rise between noon and 10.15 P.M., when measured on one occasion, was 10o. This rise was chiefly [page 250] or exclusively due to the straightening of the blade, and not to the movement of the petiole. We may therefore conclude that the leaves of Acanthus circumnutate periodically, falling in the morning and rising in the afternoon and night.
(24.) Cannabis sativa (Cannabineae, Fam. 195).—We have here the rare case of leaves moving downwards in the evening, but not to a sufficient degree to be called sleep.* In the early morning, or in the latter part of the night, they move upwards. For instance, all the young leaves near the summits of several stems stood almost horizontally at 8 A.M. May 29th and at 10.30 P.M. were considerably declined. On a subsequent day two leaves stood at 2 P.M. at 21o and 12o beneath the horizon, and at 10 P.M. at 38o beneath it. Two other leaves on a younger plant were horizontal at 2 P.M., and at 10 P.M. had sunk to 36o beneath the horizon. With respect to this downward movement of the leaves, Kraus believes that it is due to their epinastic growth. He adds, that the leaves are relaxed during the day, and tense at night, both in sunny and rainy weather.
(25.) Pinus pinaster (Coniferae, Fam. 223).—The leaves on the summits of the terminal shoots stand at first in a bundle almost upright, but they soon diverge and ultimately become almost horizontal. The movements of a young leaf, nearly one inch in length, on the summit of a seedling plant only 3 inches high, were traced from the early morning of June 2nd to the evening of the 7th. During these five days the leaf diverged, and its apex descended at first in an almost straight line; but during the two latter days it zigzagged so much that it was evidently circumnutating. The same little plant, when grown to a height of 5 inches, was again observed during four days. A filament was fixed transversely to the apex of a leaf, one inch in length, and which had already diverged considerably from its originally upright position. It continued to diverge (see A, Fig. 113), and to descend from 11.45 A.M. July 31st to 6.40 A.M. Aug. 1st. On August 1st it circumnutated about the same small space, and again descended at night. Next morning the pot was moved nearly one inch to the right, and a new tracing was begun (B). From this time, viz., 7 A.M. August 2nd to 8.20 A.M. on the 4th,
* We were led to observe this plant by Dr. Carl Kraus' paper, 'Beitr?ge zur Kentniss der Bewegungen Wachsender Laubbl?tter,' Flora, 1879, p. 66. We regret that we cannot fully understand parts of this paper. [page 251]
the leaf manifestly circumnutated. It does not appear from the diagram that the leaves move periodically, for the descending course during the first two nights, was clearly due to epinastic
Fig. 113. Pinus pinaster: circumnutation of young leaf, traced from 11.45 A.M. July 31st to 8.20 A.M. Aug. 4th. At 7 A.M. Aug. 2nd the pot was moved an inch to one side, so that the tracing consists of two figures. Apex of leaf 14 ? inches from the vertical glass, so movements much magnified.
growth, and at the close of our observations the leaf was not nearly so horizontal as it would ultimately become.
Pinus austriaca.—Two leaves, 3 inches in length, but not [page 252] quite fully grown, produced by a lateral shoot, on a young tree 3 feet in height, were observed during 29 h. (July 31st), in the same manner as the leaves of the previous species. Both these leaves certainly circumnutated, making within the above period two, or two and a half, small, irregular ellipses.
(26.) Cycas pectinata (Cycadeae, Fam. 224).—A young leaf, 11 ? inches in length, of which the leaflets had only recently become uncurled, was observed during 47 h. 30 m. The main petiole was secured to a stick at the base of the two terminal leaflets. To one of the latter, 3 3/4 inches in length, a filament was fixed; the leaflet was much bowed downward, but as the terminal part was upturned, the filament projected almost horizontally. The leaflet moved (see Fig. 114) largely and periodically, for it fell until about 7 P.M. and rose during the night, falling again next morning after 6.40 A.M. The descending lines are in a marked manner zigzag, and so probably would have been the ascending lines, if they had been traced throughout the night.
Fig. 114. Cycas pectinata: circumnutation of one of the terminal leaflets, traced from 8.30 A.M. June 22nd to 8 A.M. June 24th. Apex of leaflet 7 3/4 inches from the vertical glass, so tracing not greatly magnified, and here reduced to one-third of original scale; temp. 19o - 21o C.
(27.) Canna Warscewiczii (Cannaceae, Fam. 2).—The movements of a young leaf, 8 inches in length and 3 ? in breadth, produced by a vigorous young plant, were observed during 45 h. 50 m., as shown in Fig. 115. The pot was slided about an inch to the right on the morning of the 11th, as a single figure would have been too complicated; but the two figures are continuous in time. The movement is periodical, as the leaf descended from the early morning until about 5 P.M., and ascended during the rest of the evening and [page 253] part of the night. On the evening of the 11th it circumnutated on a small scale for some time about the same spot.
Fig. 115. Canna Warscewiczii: circumnutation of leaf, traced (A) from 11.30 A.M. June 10th to 6.40 A.M. 11th; and (B) from 6.40 A.M. 11th to 8.40 A.M. 12th. Apex of leaf 9 inches from the vertical glass.
(28.) Iris pseudo-acorus (Irideae, Fam. 10).—The movements of a young leaf, rising 13 inches above the water in which the plant grew, were traced as shown in the figure (Fig. 116), during 27 h. 30 m. It manifestly circumnutated, though only to a small extent. On the second morning, between 6.40 A.M. and 2 P.M. (at which latter hour the figure here given ends), the apex changed its course five times. During the next 8 h. 40 m. it zigzagged much, and descended as far as the lowest dot in the figure, making in its course two very small ellipses; but if these lines had been added to the diagram it would have been too complex.
Fig. 116. Iris pseudo-acorus: circumnutation of leaf, traced from 10.30 A.M. May 28th to 2 P.M. 29th. Tracing continued to 11 P.M., but not here copied. Apex of leaf 12 inches beneath the horizontal glass, so figure considerably magnified. Temp. 15o - 16o C. (29.) Crinum Capense (Amaryllideae, Fam. 11).—The leaves of this plant are remarkable for their great length and narrowness: one was measured and found to be 53 inches long and only 1.4 broad at the base. Whilst quite young they stand up almost vertically to the height of about a foot; afterwards [page 254] their tips begin to bend over, and subsequently hang vertically down, and thus continue to grow. A rather young leaf was selected, of which the dependent tapering point was as yet only 5 ? inches in length, the upright basal part being 20 inches high, though this part would ultimately become shorter by being more bent over. A large bell-glass was placed over the plant, with a black dot on one side; and by bringing the dependent apex of the leaf into a line with this dot, the accompanying figure (Fig. 117) was traced on the other side of the bell, during 2 ? days. During the first day (22nd) the tip travelled laterally far to the left, perhaps in consequence of the plant having been
Fig. 117. Crinum Capense: circumnutation of dependent tip of young leaf, traced on a bell-glass, from 10.30 P.M. May 22nd to 10.15 A.M. 25th. Figure not greatly magnified.
disturbed; and the last dot made at 10.30 P.M. on this day is alone here given. As we see in the figure, there can be no doubt that the apex of this leaf circumnutated.
A glass filament with little triangles of paper was at the same time fixed obliquely across the tip of a still younger leaf, which stood vertically up and was as yet straight. Its movements were traced from 3 P.M. May 22nd to 10.15 A.M. 25th. The leaf was growing rapidly, so that the apex ascended greatly during this period; as it zigzagged much it was clearly circumnutating, and it apparently tended to form one ellipse each day. The lines traced during the night were much more vertical than those traced during the day; and this indicates that the tracing would have exhibited a nocturnal rise and a diurnal fall, if the leaf had not grown so quickly. The movement of this same leaf after an interval of six days (May 31st), by which time the tip had curved outwards into a horizontal position, [page 255] and had thus made the first step towards becoming dependent, was traced orthogonically by the aid of a cube of wood (in the manner before explained); and it was thus ascertained that the actual distance travelled by the apex, and due to circumnutation, was 3 1/8 inches in the course of 20 ? h. During the next 24 h. it travelled 2 ? inches. The circumnutating movement, therefore, of this young leaf was strongly marked.
(30.) Pancratium littorale (Amaryllideae).—The movements, much magnified, of a leaf, 9 inches in length and inclined at about 45o above the horizon, were traced during two days. On the first day it changed its course completely, upwards and downwards and laterally, 9 times in 12 h.; and the figure traced apparently represented five ellipses. On the second day it was observed seldomer, and was therefore not seen to change its course so often, viz., only 6 times, but in the same complex manner as before. The movements were small in extent, but there could be no doubt about the circumnutation of the leaf.
(31.) Imatophyllum vel Clivia (sp.?) (Amaryllideae).—A long glass filament was fixed to a leaf, and the angle formed by it with the horizon was measured occasionally during three successive days. It fell each morning until between 3 and 4 P.M., and rose at night. The smallest angle at any time above the horizon was 48o, and the largest 50o; so that it rose only 2o at night; but as this was observed each day, and as similar observations were nightly made on another leaf on a distinct plant, there can be no doubt that the leaves move periodically, though to a very small extent. The position of the apex when it stood highest was .8 of an inch above its lowest point.
(32.) Pistia stratiotes (Aroideae, Fam. 30).—Hofmeister remarks that the leaves of this floating water-plant are more highly inclined at night than by day.* We therefore fastened a fine glass filament to the midrib of a moderately young leaf, and on Sept. 19th measured the angle which it formed with the horizon 14 times between 9 A.M. and 11.50 P.M. The temperature of the hot-house varied during the two days of observation between 18 1/2o and 23 1/2o C. At 9 A.M. the filament stood at 32o above the horizon; at 3.34 P.M. at 10o and at 11.50 P.M. at 55o; these two latter angles being the highest and the lowest observed during the day, showing a difference of 45o. The rising did not become strongly marked until between
* 'Die Lehre von der Pflanzenzelle,' 1867, p. 327. [page 256]
5 and 6 P.M. On the next day the leaf stood at only 10o above the horizon at 8.25 A.M., and it remained at about 15o till past 3 P.M.; at 5.40 P.M. it was 23o, and at 9.30 P.M. 58o; so that the rise was more sudden this evening than on the previous one, and the difference in the angle amounted to 48o. The movement is obviously periodical, and as the leaf stood on the first night at 55o, and on the second night at 58o above the horizon, it appeared very steeply inclined. This case, as we shall see in a future chapter, ought perhaps to have been included under the head of sleeping plants.
(33.) Pontederia (sp.?) (from the highlands of St. Catharina,
Fig. 118. Pontederia (sp.?): circumnutation of leaf, traced from 4.50 P.M. July 2nd to 10.15 A.M. 4th. Apex of leaf 16 ? inches from the vertical glass, so tracing greatly magnified. Temp. about 17o C., and therefore rather too low.
Brazil) (Pontederiaceae, Fam. 46).—A filament was fixed across the apex of a moderately young leaf, 7 ? inches in height, and its movements were traced during 42 ? h. (see Fig. 118). On the first evening, when the tracing was begun, and during the night, the leaf descended considerably. On the next morning it ascended in a strongly marked zigzag line, and descended again in the evening and during the night. The movement, therefore, seems to be periodic, but some doubt is thrown on this conclusion, because another leaf, 8 inches in height, appearing older and standing more highly inclined, behaved differently. During the first 12 h. it circumnutated over a [page 257] small space, but during the night and the whole following day it ascended in the same general direction; the ascent being effected by repeated up and down well-pronounced oscillations.
(34.) Nephrodium molle (Filices, Fam. 1).—A filament was fixed near the apex of a young frond of this Fern, 17 inches in height, which was not as yet fully uncurled; and its movements were traced during 24 h. We see in Fig. 119 that it
Fig. 119. Nephrodium molle: circumnutation of rachis, traced from 9.15 A.M. May 28th to 9 A.M. 29th. Figure here given two-thirds of original scale.
plainly circumnutated. The movement was not greatly magnified as the frond was placed near to the vertical glass, and would probably have been greater and more rapid had the day been warmer. For the plant was brought out of a warm greenhouse and observed under a skylight, where the temperature was between 15o and 16o C. We have seen in Chap. I. that a frond of this Fern, as yet only slightly lobed and with a rachis only .23 inch in height, plainly circumnutated.*
* Mr. Loomis and Prof. Asa Gray have described ('Botanical Gazette,' 1880, pp. 27, 43), an extremely curious case of movement in the fronds, but only in the fruiting fronds, of Asplenium trichomanes. They move almost as rapidly as the little leaflets of Desmodium gyrans, alternately backwards and forwards through from 20 to 40 degrees, in a plane at right angles to that of the frond. The apex of the frond describes "a long and very narrow ellipse," so that it circumnutates. But the movement differs from ordinary [[page 258]] circumnutation as it occurs only when the plant is exposed to the light; even artificial light "is sufficient to excite motion for a few minutes." [page 258]
In the chapter on the Sleep of Plants the conspicuous circumnutation of Marsilea quadrifoliata (Marsileaceae, Fam. 4) will be described.
It has also been shown in Chap. I. that a very young Selaginella (Lycopodiaceae, Fam. 6), only .4 inch in height, plainly circumnutated; we may therefore conclude that older plants, whilst growing, would do the same.
Fig. 120. Lunularia vulgaris: circumnutation of a frond, traced from 9 A.M. Oct 25th to 8 A.M. 27th.
(35.) Lunularia vulgaris (Hepaticae, Fam. 11, Muscales).—The earth in an old flower-pot was coated with this plant, bearing gemmae. A highly inclined frond, which projected .3 inch above the soil and was .4 inch in breadth, was selected for observation. A glass hair of extreme tenuity, .75 inch in length, with its end whitened, was cemented with shellac to the frond at right angles to its breadth; and a white stick with a minute black spot was driven into the soil close behind the end of the hair. The white end could be accurately brought into a line with the black spot, and dots could thus be successively made on the vertical glass-plate in front. Any movement of the frond would of course be exhibited and increased by the long glass hair; and the black spot was placed so close behind the end of the hair, relatively to the distance of the glass-plate in front, that the movement of the end was magnified about 40 times. Nevertheless, we are convinced that our tracing gives a fairly faithful representation of the movements of the frond. In the intervals between each observation, the plant was covered by a small bell-glass. The frond, as already stated, [page 259] was highly inclined, and the pot stood in front of a north-east window. During the five first days the frond moved downwards or became less inclined; and the long line which was traced was strongly zigzag, with loops occasionally formed or nearly formed; and this indicated circumnutation. Whether the sinking was due to epinastic growth, or apheliotropism, we do not know. As the sinking was slight on the fifth day, a new tracing was begun on the sixth day (Oct. 25th), and was continued for 47 h.; it is here given (Fig. 120). Another tracing was made on the next day (27th) and the frond was found to be still circumnutating, for during 14 h. 30 m. it changed its course completely (besides minor changes) 10 times. It was casually observed for two more days, and was seen to be continually moving.
The lowest members of the vegetable series, the Thallogens, apparently circumnutate. If an Oscillaria be watched under the microscope, it may be seen to describe circles about every 40 seconds. After it has bent to one side, the tip first begins to bend back to the opposite side and then the whole filament curves over in the same direction. Hofmeister* has given a minute account of the curious, but less regular though constant, movements of Spirogyra: during 2 ? h. the filament moved 4 times to the left and 3 times to the right, and he refers to a movement at right angles to the above. The tip moved at the rate of about 0.1 mm. in five minutes. He compares the movement with the nutation of the higher plants.** We shall hereafter see that heliotropic movements result from modified circumnutation, and as unicellular Moulds bend to the light we may infer that they also circumnutate.]
The circumnutating movements of young leaves in 33 genera, belonging to 25 families, widely distributed
* 'Ueber die Bewegungen der Faden der Spirogyra princeps: Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterl?ndische Naturkunde in Württemberg,' 1874, p. 211.
** Zukal also remarks (as quoted in 'Journal R. Microscop. Soc.,' 1880, vol. iii. p. 320) that the movements of Spirulina, a member of the Oscillatorieae, are closely analogous "to the well-known rotation of growing shoots and tendrils." [page 260]
amongst ordinary and gymnospermous Dicotyledons and amongst Monocotyledons, together with several Cryptogams, have now been described. It would, therefore, not be rash to assume that the growing leaves of all plants circumnutate, as we have seen reason to conclude is the case with cotyledons. The seat of movement generally lies in the petiole, but sometimes both in the petiole and blade, or in the blade alone. The extent of the movement differed much in different plants; but the distance passed over was never great, except with Pistia, which ought perhaps to have been included amongst sleeping plants. The angular movement of the leaves was only occasionally measured; it commonly varied from only 2o (and probably even less in some instances) to about 10o; but it amounted to 23o in the common bean. The movement is chiefly in a vertical plane, but as the ascending and descending lines never coincided, there was always some lateral movement, and thus irregular ellipses were formed. The movement, therefore, deserves to be called one of circumnutation; for all circumnutating organs tend to describe ellipses,—that is, growth on one side is succeeded by growth on nearly but not quite the opposite side. The ellipses, or the zigzag lines representing drawn-out ellipses, are generally very narrow; yet with the Camellia, their minor axes were half as long, and with the Eucalyptus more than half as long as their major axes. In the case of Cissus, parts of the figure more nearly represented circles than ellipses. The amount of lateral movement is therefore sometimes considerable. Moreover, the longer axes of the successively formed ellipses (as with the Bean, Cissus, and Sea-kale), and in several instances the zigzag lines representing ellipses, were extended in very different directions during the same day or on [page 261] the next day. The course followed was curvilinear or straight, or slightly or strongly zigzag, and little loops or triangles were often formed. A single large irregular ellipse may be described on one day, and two smaller ones by the same plant on the next day. With Drosera two, and with Lupinus, Eucalyptus and Pancratium, several were formed each day.
The oscillatory and jerking movements of the leaves of Dionaea, which resemble those of the hypocotyl of the cabbage, are highly remarkable, as seen under the microscope. They continue night and day for some months, and are displayed by young unexpanded leaves, and by old ones which have lost their sensibility to a touch, but which, after absorbing animal matter, close their lobes. We shall hereafter meet with the same kind of movement in the joints of certain Gramineae, and it is probably common to many plants while circumnutating. It is, therefore, a strange fact that no such movement could be detected in the tentacles of Drosera rotundifolia, though a member of the same family with Dionaea; yet the tentacle which was observed was so sensitive, that it began to curl inwards in 23 seconds after being touched by a bit of raw meat.
One of the most interesting facts with respect to the circumnutation of leaves is the periodicity of their movements; for they often, or even generally, rise a little in the evening and early part of the night, and sink again on the following morning. Exactly the same phenomenon was observed in the case of cotyledons. The leaves in 16 genera out of the 33 which were observed behaved in this manner, as did probably 2 others. Nor must it be supposed that in the remaining 15 genera there was no periodicity in their movements; for 6 of them were observed during too short a period for any judgment to be formed on this head, [page 262] and 3 were so young that their epinastic growth, which serves to bring them down into a horizontal position, overpowered every other kind of movement. In only one genus, Cannabis, did the leaves sink in the evening, and Kraus attributes this movement to the prepotency of their epinastic growth. That the periodicity is determined by the daily alternations of light and darkness there can hardly be a doubt, as will hereafter be shown. Insectivorous plants are very little affected, as far as their movements are concerned, by light; and hence probably it is that their leaves, at least in the cases of Sarracenia, Drosera, and Dionaea, do not move periodically. The upward movement in the evening is at first slow, and with different plants begins at very different hours;—with Glaucium as early as 11 A.M., commonly between 3 and 5 P.M., but sometimes as late as 7 P.M. It should be observed that none of the leaves described in this chapter (except, as we believe, those of Lupinus speciosus) possess a pulvinus; for the periodical movements of leaves thus provided have generally been amplified into so-called sleep-movements, with which we are not here concerned. The fact of leaves and cotyledons frequently, or even generally, rising a little in the evening and sinking in the morning, is of interest as giving the foundation from which the specialised sleep-movements of many leaves and cotyledons, not provided with a pulvinus, have been developed. the above periodicity should be kept in mind, by any one considering the problem of the horizontal position of leaves and cotyledons during the day, whilst illuminated from above. [page 263]

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved