A School Flora: For the Use of Elementary Botanical Classes by W Marshall Watts

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W Marshall Watts
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A School Flora: For the Use of Elementary Botanical Classes

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Book review

Excerpt from A School Flora: For the Use of Elementary Botanical Classes

The object of this little work is to provide the student who has mastered the elements of botanical science with a Flora of such small size as to be easily carried on country rambles, which shall enable him readily to identify the common plants with which he will meet.

It has been sought to render the task of determining an unknown plant as easy as possible by making each step of the process to consist in deciding which of two opposite characters the plant under examination possesses. An example will best explain the way in which the book is to be used. The first table (on p. 9) is used to determine the Sub-Class to which the plant belongs. When this has been made out the tables under each division are used to determine the Natural Order, and then in like manner the Genus and Species are to be found. We will suppose that the plant which the student has for determination is the common Germander Speedwell - a well-known little plant with bright blue flowers. The plant being a flowering plant, we have to determine whether it is a dicotyledon or monocotyledon? Its net-veined leaves and 4-partite corolla leave no doubt that it is a dicotyledon. We pass on then to 4, and ask - Is the corolla present as well as the calyx? and the answer being in the affirmative, the next point to decide is 6, whether the stamens grow on the corolla? Evidently they do, and the plant therefore belongs to Corollifloræ.

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