this appeared several Knobs of a yellowish red gummy Substance, out of which
sprung Multitudes of long Pods, in Shape resembling those of common Moss ; but,
so much less, that many Hundreds of them would not be equal to one Seed-Pod of
Moss. The Stalks whereon they grew were finely transparent, and almost like the
Stalks of the Plants in Mouldiness, but somewhat yellower.
Some of these Hillocks appeared barren or destitute, without any thing growing
on them, as G.
The Pods in others, were just shooting out their Heads, and seemed all pointing
directly upwards, as at A.
In some, as at B, they were just gotten out of the Hillock, with Pods of an indi?-
ferent Size, but little or no Stalk.
They were found in some beginning to have little short Stalks, as C.
In others, as D, the Stalks were increased both in Length and Thickness.
Others still, as E, F, H, I, K, L, produced Pods and Stalks that were a great deal
larger, and probably at their full Growth : The Stalks were more bulky about the
Root, and tapering towards the Top, as F and L most particularly shew.
No Seeds could be discovered in these Pods ; but as they grew to their full Size
they began to bend their Heads downward, in the Manner those of common Most
do; whereby Nature seems to intend the same as in many Seed Vessels of greater
Bulk, viz. that the Seed, when ripe, should be shaken and scattered out at the Ends
of them, as we see it is in the Columbine, &c.
If these Pods, as is highly probable, contain Seeds, and the Size of those Seeds bean
such a Proportion to that of the Pod, as we find between the Seeds and Seed Vessels of
Pinks, Columbines, Poppies, &c. how inconceivably minute must each of those Seeds be?
The whole Length of one of the largest Pods was not the five hundredth Part of an
Inch, and in some not above the thousandth Part, certainly therefore many thousand
such Seeds must be necessary to constitute a Bulk visible to the naked Eye ; and, if
each of these contains the Rudiments of a young Plant of the same Kind, what
must we think of the constituent Parts, Sap-vessels, and Pores thereof?
An EXPLANATION of the TENTH PLATE
THIS Plate exhibits the different Parts of a small and beautiful, but very com-
mon Species of Moss, as they appeared before the Microscope.
The Root A resembles a seedy Parsnep, furnished with small Strings and Fibres, findy
branched, like the Roots of much larger Vegetables. From this the Body of the Plant
springs up, of a Shape somewhat quadrangular, most curiously fluted with little Hol-
lows running parallel all its Length. Its Sides are closely set with a Multitude of large,
fair, well-shaped Leaves, some rounder, and others longer, according to their Age,
as B, C.
When this Plant is young, and springing up as C, 'tis not unlike to Houseleek ; har-
ing such kind of thick Leaves, folding over one another ; but when they grow longer,
the Surface on each Side of them becomes beautifully covered with little oblong tran-
sparent Bodies, as the Leaves D, D, D, express.
There shoots out between the Leaves, a small white transparent hair-like Body, which
becomes in time a long, round, and even Stalk, as E ; which being cut tranversely, when
dry, was found to be a stiff, hard, and hollow Cane or Reed, without any kind of
Knot or Joint, from its Bottom, where the Leaves surrounded it, to the Top where
a large Seed-Case grew.
F represents the Seed-Vessel or Case, cut off from the Stalk E, and covered with a
thin whitish Skin G, terminating in a long thorny Top. This skinny Membrane at?
incloses the whole Seed-Vessel, but as that swells within it, the skin breaks by degrees,
and at length falls off with its thorny Top, leaving the Seeds to ripen, and be scattered?
from an Opening, to be described presently, which before was covered by it.
H shews the Seed-Vessel, when ripe, without its membranous Covering G. The Top
hereof before the Seeds are ripe appears like a flat barr'd Button I, and has no Hole or O-
pening ; but as they ripen, the Button grows bigger, and a round Hole K opens itself ex-
actly in the Center, through which the Seed is shed : And for the more readily effecting this