This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The green color of plants is, as is well known, due to the presence in the cells of chlorophyl granules, which consists of a protoplasm base containing a green coloring matter. To the chlorophyl which they contain plants owe their power of decomposing carbonic acid gas, fixing the carbon in their tissues, and setting free the oxygen - a process which in plants corresponds, at any rate in great part, to the process of digestion and assimilation occurring in animals.
The Transactions of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society just issued are very creditable to that useful institution. The discussions on fruit, especially the apple, are the result of experience. On rose culture the pamphlet is very happy, though in our Philadelphia climate we should differ as to some recommendations.
As a proof of the essential identity between animals and plants, Professor Allman in his late address before the British Association, which everybody should read, cited at length the important experiments of Bernard on the effects of anaesthetics on plants. Bernard covered a healthy and vigorous sensitive plant with a bell glass, introducing under the glass a sponge soaked in ether. In half an hour the plant was in a state of complete anaesthesia: all its leaves remained fully extended, but they showed no tendency to shrink when touched. The bell glass was then removed, and the plant gradually recovered its irritability. Other experiments showed that anaesthetics possess the power of temporarily averting not only the irritability of vegetable protoplasm, but also the phenomenon of nutrition generally, and even those of germination. Seeds placed under the influence of ether had their germination arrested for five or six days, the process of development recommencing on the removal of the ether.
We read and study too little of our national publications. The late number of Hayden's Bulletin of the United States Surveys of the Territories, contains much of interest on the Yellowstone Park. On the slopes of Amethyst Mountain, 2,000 to 3,000 feet above the river valley, are exposed at different levels at intervals through the entire height, a series of silicified trees, many rooted in the position in which they grew, and from twenty to thirty feet in height.
Some laying down are of great size, the fragments measuring eighty-two feet in diameter, and comparable to the giant Sequoias. The series of sand stones and conglomerates in which the trees are imbedded are more than 5,000 feet thick, forming a vertical mile of fossil forests, the woody structure well preserved, but where ■cavities have been formed in the trunks of the rotting wood, they are lined with crystals of amethysts and quartz. Would not such information as the above, for instance, be more acceptable than the nauseous notices of suicides in the papers?