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Nature volume 30, page 168 | Download Citation



THIS is another well-intentioned but unsuccessful attempt to deal in a popular style with some of the more sensational parts of the science of botany. Inaccuracy is again the glaring fault: thus we read on p. 4 that “vegetable cells, in the earlier stages of development, generally approximate to the sphere in form”; on p. 17 that the vessels “serve to convey air through the tissues of the plant,” and “are the lungs of the plant”; and again, on p. 24, that the red and ultra-red rays are those actively concerned in the process of assimilation. Similar inaccuracy may be traced in those of the illustrations which are original; for example, the drawing of Penicillium on p. 60. The frequent production of popular treatises shows that there must be some demand for such books. It is much to be desired that some botanist who is really master of his subject would take the matter up, and write in a popular style a trustworthy account of those parts of the science of botany which are of especial interest to the general public.

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