1 [1856?] [Grasses]
In duration, grasses vary, from the annual species which spring from the seed & in a few months perform all their functions and die, to the cane which lives thirty years before it perfects its blossoms.
Most of those noted as perennial are only so in regard to the roots- the culms & leaves annually die away, leaving only the roots undergrown to continue life on the approach of favorable conditions the next year.
Some are biennial, that is, they germinate and grow to a certain extent the first year but perfect their seed the next. Winter wheat is a familiar & universaly known example of this kind of growth.
The cell is the element of vegetable stucture. It is a sack or little bladder consisting of two coats, an outer and an inner. [sketch]. The form is round, but modified by a pressure against each other into a wonderful variety of shapes. [sketch].* These cells make up the whole body of all vegetable metter whether root, culm, flowers, fruit, or even seed. It is in these minute cells, usually so small as to be invisible to the naked eye that all the vegetable processes of nature are carried on. Their action & function resemble [is in] in some degree [analogous to] those of the stomach in animals, [crossed out]. In them chemical processes are constantly going on during the life of the plant.
*Sometimes these cells are very much elongated [forming?] tubes, of very minute size but of considerable length. These constitute the vegetable fibre, and are called "bass[base?]-cells"
The cells have the power of forming new layers on the inside of their inclosing membrane, and these layers are repeated so as often to entirely fill the cavity.
Cells have also the power of forming smaller cells within them which increase in size and finally occupy the place of the mother cell; and [in] this constitutes the element of vegetable growth. The number of new cells thus formed in a minute of time in a rapidly growing plant is truly wonderful.*
The outer coating of plants is impervious to air and water, except at little points called stomata or breathing pores. They are protected by two crescent shaped processes that have the power of enlarging or contracting the minute orifice so as to admit or exclude a greater or less quantity of air & moisture according to the requirements of the plant.
The matter thus formed in the interior of the cells is of various kinds, [and] some of them of the greatest importance to man. Some are only ornamental- giving beauty to the flower, greenness to the leaf &c Some contain crystals (2 any crystals in Graminea?) Some cell contents soluble in water, [some not] as albumen, gum, sugar-acids &c, some not as Graubs of starch nearly fill the cells.
[sketch of cells-Section of wheat or rye]
a- compound cells-true [illegible] b-cells with glutenc-cells nearly filled with starch grains
Starch constitutes the chief veg. food of man. Exists in minute grains 20 or 30 in a cell-each granule has a nucleus surrounded by concentric lines.
(A1) See p. 5