A selection from the physiological and horticultural papers, published in the Transactions of the Royal and Horticultural societies by ... T.A. Knight

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1841
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User Review  - bness2 - LibraryThing

Surprisingly insightful experiments in plant physiology. Knight is one of the sources Darwin mentions in the Origin of Species. His conclusions about reproduction and adaptation seem more or less Lamarckian. Read full review

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Page 360 - I first observed this, I suspected that woodcocks might have been upon the unfrozen ground during the preceding night ; but I could not discover (as I think I should have done had this been the case) any traces of their having been there ; and as I could not do so, I was led to conclude that the young dogs were guided by feelings and propensities similar to those of their parents. 'The subjects of my observation in these cases were all the offspring of well-instructed parents, of five or six years...
Page 327 - The whole number employed was twenty-eight, and out of these twenty-two grew well ; generally very vigorously, many producing shoots of nearly a yard long, and of very great strength ; and the length of the longest shoot exceeding a yard and five inches. The grafts were attached to the young (annual) wood of stocks, which were between five and eight feet high ; and in all cases they were placed to stand astride the stocks, one division being in some instances introduced between the bark and the wood...
Page 358 - ... the terrier evinced, as soon as it perceived the scent of the polecat, very violent anger ; and as soon as it saw the polecat, attacked it with the same degree of fury as its parents would have done. The young spaniel, on the contrary, looked on with indifference ; but it pursued the first woodcock which it ever saw with joy and exultation, of which its companion, the terrier, did not in any degree partake.
Page 128 - Another, and apparently a more weighty, objection to the preceding hypothesis, (if applied to the subsequent growth and forms of trees,) arises from the facts that few of their branches rise perpendicularly upwards, and that their roots always spread horizontally ; but this objection I think may be readily answered. The luxuriant shoots of trees, which abound in sap, in whatever direction they are first protruded, almost uniformly turn upwards, and endeavour to acquire a perpendicular direction;...
Page 135 - I should scarely have thought an account of the preceding experiments worth sending to you, but that many of the conclusions I have drawn in former memoirs appear, at first view, almost incompatible with the facts stated by HALES and Du HAMEL, and that I had one fact to communicate relative to the effects produced by the stagnation of the descending sap of resinous trees, which appeared to lead to important consequences. I have in my possession a piece of a fir-tree, from which a portion of bark,...
Page 135 - ... round its whole stem, had been taken off" several years before the tree was felled ; and of this portion of wood one part grew above, and the other below, the decorticated space. Conceiving that, according to the theory I am endeavouring to support, the wood above the decorticated space ought to be much heavier than that below it, owing to the stagnation of the descending sap, I ascertained the specific gravity of both kinds, taking a wedge of each as nearly of the same form, as I could obtain,...
Page 360 - I imagined to have derived its extraordinary powers in some degree from the highly cultivated intellect of its male parent. I have witnessed, within the period above mentioned, of nearly sixty years, a very great change in the habits of the Woodcock. In the first part of that time, when it had recently arrived in the autumn, it was very tame ; it usually chuckled when disturbed, and took only a very short flight. It is now, and has been during many years, comparatively a very wild bird, which generally...
Page 359 - Woodcocks are driven in frosty weather, as is well known, to seek their food in springs and rills of unfrozen water, and I found that my old dogs knew about as well as I did the degree of frost which would drive the woodcocks to such places ; and this knowledge proved very troublesome to me, for I could not sufficiently restrain them. I therefore left the old experienced dogs at home, and took only the wholly inexperienced young dogs ; but to my astonishment, some of these, in several instances,...
Page 175 - The plants thus produced seem perfectly well calculated in every respect to answer the object of the experiment, and possess an extraordinary hardiness and luxuriance of growth. The annual shoots of some of them, from newly grafted trees in my nursery, the soil of which is by no means rich, exceeded six feet and a half in height in the last season ; and their blossoms seem capable of bearing extremely unfavorable weather without injury.
Page 131 - But the medulla does not apparently contain any vessels calculated to carry the descending sap ; whilst the cortical vessels are during this period much distended and full of moisture: and as the medulla certainly does not carry any fluid in stems or branches of more than one year old, it can scarcely be suspected that it, at any period, conveys the whole current of the descending sap. As the leaves grow, and enter on their office, cortical vessels, in every respect apparently similar to those which...

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