RECORD: Anon. 1875. [Review of Climbing plants]. Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. 105: 261-261.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 6.2021. RN1

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Darwin, C. R. 1865. On the movements and habits of climbing plants. [Read 2 February] Journal of the Linnean Society of London (Botany) 9: 1-118. F1733

Darwin, C. R. 1875. The movements and habits of climbing plants. 2d ed. London: John Murray. F836

[page] 260


Although Mr Darwin's reputation rests chiefly in most minds upon that theory which generally bears his name, his claims to rank as a thoroughly practical naturalist and most acute and accurate observer have an equally sure foundation, and are of much longer standing. Even his opponents admit that the qualities of a naturalist of the very highest rank are displayed even in those theoretical works to the general conclusions of

[page] 261

which they object; and some of the publications which have been produced in support of the theory manifest the same qualities very strongly. One of these is the memoir on "The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants, originally published in the Journal of the Linnean Society, a second enlarged and improved edition of which is now before us. In this work Mr Darwin describes the various modes in which plants climb, -by simple twining, by means of tendrils of diverse origin, by the agency of hooks, and by peculiarly-developed roots. He enters into very full and interesting details of experiments made for the purpose of determining the direct causes of the movements implicated in producing the described results, and shows that, as he himself says, many of the plants cited "display as beautiful adaptations as can be found in any part of the kingdom of nature."

By a series of comparative considerations upon the state of the organs in nearly-allied plants, and even in different parts of the same plant, Mr Darwin endeavours to show the mode in which the peculiar structures of climbing plants have been developed in accordance with his theory of evolution. The little books is, however, of the highest interest independent of any theoretical considerations, and to the botanist its study will be indispensable.

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