Page images

c. Pepo, a fleshy berry, with the seeds attached at a dis

tance from the axis, upon the parietes of the pericarp;

as Cucumis, Stratiotes, Passiflora, Vareca, and others. To the term bacca all other succulent fruits are referred which do not belong to Acinus, Pomum, or Pepo; as Garcinia, Caryophyllus, Cucubalus, Hedera.

6. Legumen, the fruit of Leguminosæ.
7. Siliqua and Silicula, the fruit of Cruciferæ.

Willdenow defines those employed by him in the following manner:

1. Utriculus, a thin skin enclosing a single seed. Adonis, Galium, Amaranthus.

2. Samara, a pericarp containing one seed, or at most two, and surrounded by a thin membrane, either along its whole circumference, or at the point, or even at the side. Ulmus, Acer, Betula.

3. Folliculus, an oblong pericarp bursting longitudinally on one side, and filled with seeds. Vinca.

4. Capsula, a pericarp consisting of a thin coat containing many seeds, often divided into cells, and assuming various forms. Silene, Primula, Scrophularia, Euphorbia, Magnolia.

5. Nux, a seed covered with a hard shell which does not burst. Corylus, Quercus, Cannabis.

6. Drupa, a nut covered with a thick succulent or cartilaginous coat. Prunus, Cocos, Tetragonia, Juglans, Myrisa tica, Sparganium.

7. Bacca, a succulent fruit containing several seeds, and not dehiscing. It encloses the seeds without any determinate order, or it is divided by a thin membrane into cells. Ribes, Garcinia, Hedera, Tilia. Rubus has a compound bacca.

8. Pomum, a fleshy fruit that internally contains a capsule for the seed. It differs from the celled berry in having a perfect capsule in the heart. Pyrus.

9. Pepo, a succulent fruit which has its seeds attached to the inner surface of the rind. Cucumis, Passiflora, Stratiotes.

10. Siliqua, a dry elongated pericarp consisting of two valves held together by a common permanent suture. Cruciferæ. Silicula is a small form of the saine.

11. Legumen, a dry elongated pericarp consisting of two valves externally forming two sutures. Leguminosä.

12. Lomentum, a legumen divided internally by spurious dissepiments, not dehiscing longitudinally, but either remaining always closed, as in Cathartocarpus fistula, or separating into pieces at transverse contractions along its length, as in Ornithopus.

The following are enumerated as spurious fruits :

13. Strobilus, an Amentum the scales of which have become woody. Pinus.

14. Spurious capsule. Fagus, Rumex, Carex.
15. Spurious nut. Trapa, Coix, Mirabilis.
16. Spurious drupe. Taxus, Anacardium, Semecarpus.
17. Spurious bacca. Juniperus, Fragaria, Basella.

By this author the names of fruits are, perhaps, more loosely and inaccurately applied than by any other.

. Link objects to applying particular names to variations in anatomical structure; observing, “that botanists have strayed far from the right road in distinguishing these terms by characters which are precise and difficult to seize.

Terms are only applied to distinct parts, as the leaf, peduncle, calyx, and stamens, and not to modifications of them.

Who has ever thought of giving a distinct name to a labiate or papilionaceous corolla, or who to a pinnated leaf?” But this sort of reasoning is of little value, if it is considered that the fruit is subject to infinitely greater diversity of structure than any other organ, and that names for these modifications have become necessary, for the sake of avoiding a minute explanation of the complex differences upon which they depend. Besides, to admit, as Link actually does, such names as capsula, &c., is abandoning the argument; and when the following definitions, which this learned botanist has proposed, are considered, I think that little doubt will exist as to whether terms should be employed in the manner recommended by himself, or with the minute accuracy of the French. According to Professor Link, the following are the limits of carpological nomenclature:

1. Capsula, any dry, membranous, or coriaceous, pericarp. 2. Capsella, the same, if small and one-seeded.


3. Nux, externally hard.
4. Nucula, externally hard, small, and one-seeded.
5. Drupa, externally soft, internally hard.
6. Pomum, fleshy or succulent, and large.
7. Bacca, fleshy or succulent, and small.

8. Bacca sicca, fleshy when unripe, dry when ripe, and then distinguishable from the capsule by not being brown.

9. Legumen, 10. Siliqua,

the pericarps of certain natural orders. 11. Amphispermium, a pericarpium which is of the same figure as the seed it contains.

In more recent times there have been three principal attempts at classing and naming the different modifications of fruit; namely, those of Richard, Mirbel, and Desvaux. These writers have all distinguished a considerable number of variations, of which it is important to be aware for some purposes, although their nomenclature is not much employed in practice. But, in proportion as the utility of a classification of fruit consists in its theoretical explanation of structure rather than in a strict applicability to practice, it becomes important that it should be founded upon characters which are connected with internal and physiological distinctions rather than with external and arbitrary forms. Viewing the subject thus, it is not to be concealed, that, notwithstanding the undoubted experience and talent of the writers just mentioned, their carpological systems are essentially defective. Besides this, each of the three writers has felt himself justified in contriving a nomenclature at variance with that of his predecessors, for reasons which it is difficult to comprehend.

If a complete carpological nomenclature is to be established, it ought to be carried farther than has yet been done, and to depend upon principles of a more strictly theoretical character. I have accordingly ventured to propose a new arrangement, in which an attempt has been made to adjust the synonymes of carpological writers, and in which the names that seem to be most legitimate are retained in every case, their definitions only being altered; previously to which I shall briefly explain the methods of Richard, Mirbel, and Desvaux.


Class 1. Simple fruits.

§ 1. Dry.

* Indehiscent. * * Dehiscent.

§ 2. Fleshy. Class 2. Multiplied fruits. Class 3. Aggregate or compound fruits.


Class 1. Gymnocarpians. Fruit not disguised by the adher

ence of any other organ than the calyx. Ord. l. Carcerular. Pericarpium indehiscent, but

sometimes with apparent sutures, generally dry, superior or inferior, mostly unilocular and monospermous, sometimes plurilocular and polysper


Ord. 2. Capsular. Pericarpium dry, superior, or

inferior, opening by valves, but never separating

into distinct pieces or cocci. Ord. 3. Dieresilian. Pericarpium superior or inferior,

dry, regular, and monocephalous (that is, having one common style), composed of several distinct pieces arranged systematically round a central real

or imaginary axis, and separating at maturity. Ord. 4. Eterionar. Pericarps several, irregular,

superior, one- or many-seeded, with a suture at

the back. Ord. 5. Cenobionar. A regular fruit divided to the

base into several acephalous pericarpia ; that is to say, not marked on the summit by the stigmatic

scar, the style having been inserted at their base. Ord. 6. Drupaceous. Pericarpium indehiscent, fleshy

externally, bony internally.

Ord. 7. Baccate. Succulent, many-seeded. Class 2. Angiocarpians. Fruit seated in envelopes not form

ing part of the calyx.


Class 1. Pericarpium dry.
Ord. 1. Simple fruits.

$ $ Dehiscent.

Ord. 2. Dry compound fruits.
Class 2. Pericarpium fleshy.

Ord. 1. Simple fruits.
Ord. 2. Compound fruits.

In explanation of the principles upon which the classification of fruit which I now venture to propose is founded, it will of course be expected that I should offer some observations. In the first place, I have made it depend primarily upon the structure of the ovary, by which the fruit is of necessity influenced in a greater degree than by any thing else, the fruit itself being only the ovary matured. In using the terms simple and compound, I have employed them precisely in the sense that has been attributed to them in my remarks upon the ovary; being of opinion that, in an arrangement like the following and those which have preceded it, in which theoretical rather than practical purposes are to be served, the principles on which it depends should be conformable to the strictest theoretical rules of structure. A consideration of the fruit, without reference to the ovary, necessarily induces a degree of uncertainty as to the real nature of the fruit; the abortion and obliteration to which almost every part of it is more or less subject, often disguising it to such a degree that the most acute carpologist would be unable to determine its true structure, from an examination of it in a ripe state only. In simple fruits are stationed those forms in which the ovaries are multiplied so as to resemble a compound fruit in every respect except their cohesion, they remaining simple. But, as the passage which is thus formed from simple to compound fruits is deviated from materially when the ovaries are placed in more than a single series, I have found it advisable to constitute a particular class of such, under the name of aggregate fruit. Care must be taken not to confound these with the fourth class containing collective

« PreviousContinue »