There are two groups of plants which are so peculiar in their structure that beginners maybe excused if they find it difficult to classify them. As they cannot very well be placed in any of the groups which follow, I must draw attention to them here. The spurges (Fig. 5) will be best recognized by their caper-like fruits, and their acrid, milky juice (see Group xvi). There are a few other plants which yield a similar juice, as the dandelion, lettuce, greater celandine (161), and poppy, but these all belong to the composites (Group viii), or to the plants with open blossoms and many stamens (Group xviii). There are about a dozen spurges, and, like the umbels and composites, they must be set aside till the student has gained a considerable knowledge of other plants.

There are about fifty orchids (8) in the British flora, and the group includes the most curious and interesting flowers in the world. They assume the shapes of bees, flies, spiders, insects, animals, and other living things, and are worth our best attention. One or two common kinds (Fig. 11) are found in our meadows, and if these are carefully studied it will be easy to recognize the others. They belong to the monocotyledons, but cannot be placed in the same group (ix) because they have not six stamens. Their fleshy leaves, with parallel veins, strange shapes, and absence of stamens, will be sufficient guides for their identification.

Fig. 16.   Wild Convolvulus.

Fig. 16. - Wild Convolvulus.