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The Various Contrivances by Which Orchids Are Fertilized by Insects

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1877 Excerpt: ...the stigmatic surface which lies close beneath the rostellum. The projecting upper lip of the anther rests on, and opens close over the base of the upper membranous surface of the tongue-shaped rostellum. The anther is kept closed by a spring, at its point of attachment on the top of the column. The pollinia consist of four (or eight in Cattleya crispa) waxy masses, each furnished (see figs. C and D) with a ribbon-like tail, formed of a bundle of highly elastic threads, to which numerous separate pollen-grains are attached. The pollen therefore consists of two kinds, namely, waxy masses and separate though compound grains (each, as usual, consisting of four) united by elastic threads. This latter kind of pollen is identical with that of Eplpactis and other Neotteae. These tails, with their appended pollen-grains, act as caudicles, and are thus designated, for they serve as the means for the removal of the larger waxy masses from the anther-cells. The tips of the caudicles are generally reflexed, and in the mature flower protrude a little The pollen-masses of Bletia published by Lindley in his ' IIare admirably represented on a lustrations.' large scale in Bauer's drawings, Fig. 22, way out of the anther-case (see fig. A) lying on the base of the upper membranous lip of the rostellum. The labellum enfolds the column, making the flower tubular, and its lower part is produced into a nectary, which penetrates the ovarium. Now for the action of these parts. If any body of size proportional to that of the tubular flower be forced into it--a dead humble-bee acts very well--the tongue-shaped rostellum is depressed, and the object often gets slightly smeared with viscid matter; but in withdrawing it, the rostellum is upturned, and a surprising quantity of viscid mat... Hide synopsis

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