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LEGUMINOUS PLANTS.   15

 

marvellous things. Rub one gently with a bit of straw and it will answer to the touch by bending. Give it an opportunity to grasp the branch of an adjoining plant and it will embrace the branch so firmly that it will be impossible to loosen the plants without breaking the tendril. It has the faculty of feeling and the ability to act. Its sensitiveness is so great that some tendrils can feel a weight of only a quarter of a milligram.

are

crowded, as in Red Clover and Alsike. The inflorescences are then called heads. It is, however, impossible to draw a sharp line between a head and a raceme, the inflorescences, for instance, of Alfalfa (Plate 21) and Crimson Clover (Plate 17) being as much like short racemes as elongated heads.

 

Flowers: The flowers of all leguminous plants are alike in general construction and totally different from the flowers of other plant

Fig. c. Leaf of Alsike Clover. Natural size. St.—Stipule.

racemes. In other plants the racemes

si

Two appendages, the stipules, are attached to the base of the leaf stalk (Fig. 6, St.). They are generally narrow and in-significant, but some-times, as in peas, they are shaped like the leaflets and are almost as large.

 

Inflorescence: The

flowers of leguminous plants are in clusters which, however different in appearance, are always constructed after the same principle. Sometimes they are long and comparatively sparsely covered with flowers, as in vetches (Plates 24 and 25). They are then called short and the flowers

Picture

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