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    Abstract

    THIS is another attempt to give a popular description of some of the more sensational parts of the science of botany; though the plan is disconnected, the general idea of the book would not be bad, provided it were well carried out. It is to be regretted that the author has failed to realise that it is necessary to be accurate in popular description. For instance, it is gravely stated in italics that roots are never green (p. 29); we also read that Ruscus aculeatus “presents the remarkable appearance of a flower growing in the centre of a leaf” (p. 94), that the Cryptogams have no embryo (p. 211), and that the Ricciaceœ and Characeœ have stomata (p. 212)! On p. 171 he mistakes intercellular spaces for cells in Isoëtes which he classes under the Marsiliaceœ (spelt Marcileaceœ, p. 212 ; and on p. 165 we are informed that the elaters of Equisetum are composed of cells. As is usual in works such as this, the terminology of the reproductive organs of the lower forms is very erratic: thus he uses the terms “spore” and “antheridium” as equivalent in Selaginella (p. 139), he calls the “sporogonia” of the Mosses “sporangia,” and the “oogonia” of Fucus “perispores.”

    Plant-Life.

    By Edward Step. Third Edition. (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1884.)

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