How Plants Get Their Names

How Plants Get Their Names

How Plants Get Their Names

How Plants Get Their Names

Excerpt

On my table stands a plant richly laden with orange-red cherry-like berries against smooth deep green narrow leaves, a pleasant object on this first day of November when foliage has fallen from the great elms and from the soft maple tree and when signs of approaching winter are on the landscape. It is a stocky arresting plant, good to see. Although only one foot high and about as far across, it holds more than one hundred berries standing boldly upright or sidewise on short stout stalks. The largest oldest berries are about one inch across, nearly globular but slightly flattened endwise; and there are younger berries to make succession. Each berry is held in a fingered cup closely pressed to its rondure.

On the seventh day of last January, in the genial warmth of the greenhouse, a kidney-shaped tomato- like seed was put in the earth; soon a sprout appeared, then aspiring green leaves, and steadily the plantlet grew. Shortly it was pricked off into a two-inch pot, then into a three-inch, then turned from the pot into the open field where it remained in the summer weather; when the cool of autumn came it was lifted from the field and placed in the five-inch pot where it now stands, as I write, erect and handsome.

How and why this plant made itself out of the inert soil and the transparent air I have no way of . . .

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