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lected under each organ all the terms which could by possibility be applied to it, and have repeated them over and over again without regard to previous definitions; as if they supposed it impossible to convey by words an idea of the meaning of any term whatever, without noticing at length every possible application of it. Thus, in Willdenow's Principles of Botany, the most common and simple terms are repeated five, six, and even seven times; and in a more modern work, of very high character (Les E’lémens de Physiologie Végétale et de Botanique, by Mirbel), the same practice has been carried so far, that the application of the word simple is explained in twenty-three different instances.
The true principles of arranging the glossology of science have, however, been long before the public. In the year 1797, Link, in his Prodromus Philosophie Botanicæ, distinguished the characteristic or common terms used in Botany from those which applied only to particular organs; and his example was afterwards followed by Illiger, a learned German naturalist, who, in the year 1810, proposed a total reformation of the method of describing the terms employed in Natural History (see his Versuch einer Systematischen vollständigen Terminologie für das Thierreich und Pflanzenreich). Little attention, however, was paid to the principles of these writers till the year 1813; when De Candolle adopted them in his Théorie E'lémentaire de la Botanique, with his accustomed skill and sagacity.
The characteristic terms of Botany are those which have a general application to any or all of the parts of plants, and must not be confounded with such as have a particular application only, which will be found under the organs to which they respectively belong : the former are either individual or collective; of which the first apply to plants, or parts of plants, considered abstractedly; the second to plants, or their parts, considered in masses. To these are to be added those syllables and marks which, either prefixed or affixed to a known term, occasion an alteration in its signification. These I call terms of qualification. In the following arrangement, those terms which are seldom used are marked with a t; and
those are entirely omitted which are used in Botany in their common acceptation.
CHARACTERISTIC TERMS are either INDIVIDUAL or COLLECTIVE.
A. with respect to general form.
the apex or point.
composition or ramification.
A. with respect to the mode of attachment or of adhesion.
Class I. OF INDIVIDUAL TERMS. The terms which are included in this class are applied to the parts of a plant considered by themselves, and not in masses : they are either absolute, being used with reference to their own individual quality; or relative, being employed to express the relation which is borne by plants, or their parts, to some other body. Thus, for example, when we say that a plant has a lateral ovate spike of flowers, the term lateral is relative, being used to express the relation which the spike bears to the stem; and the term ovate is absolute, being
expressive of the actual form of the spike: and, again, in speaking of a rugose terminal capsule, rugose is absolute, terminal is relative.
I. Of Individual Absolute Terms. These relate to figure, division, surface, texture, size, duration, colour, variegation, and veining.
15 1. Conical (conicus, t pyramidalis); having the figure of a
true cone; as the prickles of some Roses, the root of
Carrot, &c. 2. Conoidal (conoideus); resembling a conical figure, but not
truly one; as the calyx of Silene conoidea. 3. Prism-shaped (prismaticus); having several longitudinal an
gles and intermediate flat faces; as the calyx of Frankenia
pulverulenta. 4. Globose (globosus, sphæricus, + globulosus); forming nearly
a true sphere; as the fruit of Ligustrum vulgare, many
seeds, &c. 5. Cylindrical (cylindricus); having nearly a true cylindrical
figure: as the stems of Grasses, and of most monocotyledonous
plants. 6. Tubular (tubulosus, † tubulatus); approaching a cylindrical
figure, and hollow; as the calyx of many Silenes, &c. 7. Fistulous (fistulosus); this is said of a cylindrical or terete
body, which is hollow, but closed at each end; as the leaves
and stems of the Onion. 8. Cubical (t cubicus); having or approaching the form of a
cube: a very rare form, chiefly occurring in some seeds, as
that of Vicia lathyroides. 9. Club-shaped (clavatus, t claviformis); gradually thickening
upwards from a very taper base; as the appendages of the flower of Schwenkia, or the style of Campanula and
Michauxia. 10. Turbinate, or top-shaped (turbinatus); inversely conical, with
a contraction towards the point; as the fruit of some Roses. 11. Pear-shaped (pyriformis); differing from turbinate in being
more elongated; as in many kinds of Pears. 12. + Tear-shaped (+ lachrymæformis); the same as pear-shaped,
except that the sides of the inverted cone are not contracted;
as the seed of the Apple. 13. + Strombus-shaped (t strombuliformis); twisted in a long
spire, so as to resemble the convolutions of the shell called a Strombus; as the pod of Acacia strombulifera, or Medicago
polymorpha. 14. Spiral (spiralis); twisted like a corkscrew. : 15. Cochleate (cochleatus); twisted in a short spire, so as to
resemble the convolutions of a snail-shell; as the pod of
Medicago cochleata, the seed of Salicornia. 16. Turnip-shaped (napiformis); having the figure of a de
pressed sphere; as the root of the Turnip-Radish, &c. 17. + Placenta-shaped (+ placentiformis); thick, round, and con: cave, both on the upper and lower surface; as the root of
Cyclamen. 18. Lens-shaped (lenticularis, lentiformis); resembling a double
convex lens; as the seeds of Amaranthus. 19. Buckler-shaped (scutatus, scutiformis); having the figure of
a small round buckler; as the scales upon the leaves of
Elæagnus: lens-shaped, with an elevated rim. 20. Bossed (umbonatus); round, with a projecting point in the
centre, like the boss of an ancient shield; as the pileus of many species of Agaricus. 21. Gibbous (gibbus, gibbosus); very convex or tumid; as the
leaves of many succulent plants: properly speaking, this term
should be restricted to solid convexities. 22. + Melon-shaped (+ meloniformis); irregularly spherical, with
projecting ribs; as the stem of Cactus Melocactus : a bad terni.
23. Spheroidal (sphæroideus); a solid with a spherical figure, a
little depressed at each end. De Cand. 24. Ellipsoidal (ellipsoideus); a solid with an elliptical figure.
De Cand. 25. Ovoidal (ovoideus); a solid with an ovate figure, or resembling
an egg. De Cand. 26. Shield-shaped (clypeatus); in the form of an ancient buckler:
the same as scutate, No. 19. 27. Spindle-shaped (fusiformis, + fusinus); thick, tapering to
each end; as the root of the long Radish. Sometimes conical
roots are called fusiform, but improperly. 28. Terete, or taper (teres); the opposite of angular: usually em
ployed in contradistinction to that term, when speaking of long bodies. Many stems are terete. 29. Half-terete (semiteres); flat on one side, terete on the
other. 30. Compressed (compressus) ; flattened lengthwise ; as the pod
of a Pea. 31. Depressed (depressus); flattened vertically; as the root of a
Turnip. 32. Plane (planus); a perfectly level or flat surface; as that of
many leaves. 33. Cushioned (pulvinatus); convex, or rather flattened: seldom
used. 34. Discoidal (discoideus); orbicular, with some perceptible
thickness, parallel faces, and a rounded border; as the fruit of
Strychnos Nux-vomica. 35. Curved (arcuatus, curvatus); bent, but so as to represent the