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Notes on the Food of Plants

Nature volume 5, page 24 | Download Citation



THIS is a useful elementary sketch of the form and manner in which food is obtained by plants. Faults in it there are. Thus, notwithstanding the conclusive experiments of Prillieux and Duchartre, proving that plants have no power of absorbing moisture through their leaves, and the author's own reference to this now established fact in the preface, we still find the assertion (p. 14) that “the leaves withdraw from the atmosphere aqueous vapour.” The statement (p. 25) that the sap descends in dicotyledonous plants through the bark is not strictly correct; and a Fellow of the Chemical Society ought not to have described (p. 23) carbonic acid as “carbon dioxide combined with water.” These blemishes apart, this little book may be recommended to those who desire an explanation of the mode in which vegetable organisms are built up from inorganic materials, and who are unable to devote the time to the more elaborate works of Mr. Johnson, “How Crops Grow” and “How Crops Feed.” The portion relating to the effect on crops of different soils strikes us as the best.

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