Our Native Orchids - A Series of Drawings from Nature of All the Species Found in the Northeastern United States by William Hamilton Gibson

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William Hamilton Gibson
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Our Native Orchids - A Series of Drawings from Nature of All the Species Found in the Northeastern United States

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Book review

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.1905 Excerpt: ... Ill HABENARIA (Plate XII.) The genus Habenaria, or Rein-Orchis, as the Greek name signifies, is a group whose external characteristics are leafy stems and a wand of many flowers. There are some four hundred species in different parts of the world, and beside the eighteen included in our northeastern limit there are perhaps twenty others in the southern and western parts of North America. The genus Habenaria contains some of the larger plants of our American orchids. They have substantial fibrous or tuberous roots and round or pointed leaves, which in some species are very large. The sepals are nearly equal, sometimes forming a tube at the base and sometimes separate, but generally spreading at the sides. The chief flower characteristic is the long spur (Plate XII.) which hangs from under the drooping, spreading lip. This lip is often cut or lobed or fringed, and brightly coloured and marked. By examining it one can get a clue to the species, for it seems to be the most variant feature. The position of the pollen masses is extremely interesting. The coarse pollen granules are packed together and shaped like clubs and lie in parallel anther sacs under the overarching roof of the rostellum. At the base of the clubs are little drum-like sticky discs that are so attached that the pair face each othei just the width of an insect's head apart. The observations that Darwin made in some of the English species of Habenaria have been confirmed and illustrated in the blossoms of Habenaria orbiculata. Mr. Gibson says: "In our own native orchids we have a remarkable example of the latter form in the Habenaria orbiculata, Large Round-leafed Orchis, whose structure and mechanism have also been admirably described by Asa Gray." A single blossom of the species is shown in Pl...

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