Letter | Published:

Structure of Lepidodendron

Nature volume 5, page 25 | Download Citation



I MAY, perhaps, notwithstanding the editorial injunction to thev contrary, be permitted to make one remark by way of addition to what I said in my last letter on this subject. I have been favoured by Mr. J. T. Young with the inspection of some Lepidodendroid stems from the Lancashire coal-fields. These are somewhat different from any others which I have seen, and are probably similar to those Prof. Williamson is working with. At any rate they enable me to understand, what otherwise I have failed to comprehend, namely, the three structures which Prof. Williamson sees in the vascular axis of these plants. In Mr. Young's specimens a transverse section of the vascular axis exhibits (1) the investing cylinder, (2) a zone of larger scalariform vessels, (3) a central irregular mass of vertically disposed rows of scalariform cells with transversely truncate ends. Suppose the transverse septa separating these cells absorbed, as probably eventually they would have been, and the rows of cells become scalariform vessels. I see no reason therefore to lead me to alter my views upon this matter, or to look upon 2 and 3 as forming more than one central structure distinct from 1, the investing cylinder.

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