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The Anatomy of Plants. With an Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants. And several other Lectures, Read before the Royal Society
London: Printed by W. Rawlins, for the Author, 1682. FIRST EDITION. Folio (318 x 193 mm). 11 ff., 304, [19] pp. With 83 engraved plates, of which 5 are double-page. Bound in contemporary English calf, rebacked, red morocco spine label (chipped with loss of 5 letters), extremities worn and partially defective; some soiling or browning internally. Plates 54-83 with stain along top margin. A good copy. Nehemiah Grew is considered to be among the founders of the science of plant anatomy. This revised collected edition represents the first textbook on the subject, containing three earlier treatises: The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun (1672), An Idea of a Phytological History Propounded (1673), and The Comparative Anatomy of Trunks (1675). Grew's pioneering investigations into how organs and tissues are formed during plant growth led to the conception of the plant as a coordinated developing structure and marked the beginning of efforts to link structure and development. Along with Malpighi, Grew was the first to investigate internal plant anatomy: with the aid of the microscope, he demonstrated that plants have a characteristic ordered inner structure, (illustrated in his accurate and beautiful plates) and that all plant tissues could be broadly divided into “ligneous” (fibro-vascular) and “pithy” (parenchymatous) categories. He showed that the “cells” first observed by Robert Hooke made up the normal structure of the parenchyma, and came very close to recognizing the universal cellular structure of plants. He believed that a plant's sexual organs were contained in its flowers, and recognized the stamen to be a male organ. As we learn from the DNB: “In 1682 Grew's magnum opus, ‘The Anatomy of Plants,' was issued. Of the four ‘books' of this work, the first, second, and third are second editions of ‘The Anatomy begun,' ‘The Anatomy of Roots,' and the ‘The Anatomy of Trunks,' extending to 49, 46, and 44 folio pages respectively, and illustrated by four, thirteen, and twenty-three plates. The fourth book, dedicated to Boyle, includes ‘The Anatomy of Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds,' 72 pages, with forty-two plates. Among the structural points clearly shown in these plates are the coats of the ovule and seed, the pulpy coat to that of the gooseberry, the cotyledons, plumule, and radicle of the embryo, the vascular bundles in leaf-stalks, the resin-ducts of the pine, the latex-vessels of the vine and the sumach, the folding of leaves in buds, superficial hairs and internal crystals, the structure of the minute flowers of the compositae, the stamens, or ‘attire,' as they were then termed, and their pollen-grains. Although it is commonly attributed, on the ground of a modest remark of Grew's, to Sir Thomas Millington, it is probable that to Grew himself belongs the credit of first observing the true existence of sex in plants. Haller styles him ‘industrius ubique naturae observator,' and Linneaus dedicated to him the genus Grewia in Tiliaceae.” “The book is best remembered for the idea, suggested to Grew by the physician Sir Thomas Millington, that the stamen, with its pollen, is the male sex organ and that the pistil corresponds to the sex organ of the female.” (Encyclopedia Britannica) Hunt 362. Wing G-1945. Horblit 43B. Nissen (BBI) 758. Hook and Norman 946. Plesch 243. Henrey 162.
      [Bookseller: Michael Laird Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2017-10-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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