By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Metamorphosis of Plants, released in 1790, used to be Goethe's first significant try to describe what he known as in a letter to a pal "the fact concerning the how of the organism." encouraged via the variety of plant life he discovered on a trip to Italy, Goethe sought a cohesion of shape in diversified constructions. He got here to determine within the leaf the germ of a plant's metamorphosis--"the real Proteus who can conceal or show himself in all vegetal types" -- from the foundation and stem leaves to the calyx and corolla, to pistil and stamens. With this brief booklet -- 123 numbered paragraphs, within the demeanour of the nice botanist Linnaeus -- Goethe aimed to inform the tale of botanical types in technique, to provide, in impact, a movie of the metamorphosis of vegetation. This MIT Press variation of The Metamorphosis of vegetation illustrates Goethe's textual content (in an English translation by means of Douglas Miller) with a chain of wonderful and starkly attractive colour images in addition to quite a few line drawings. it's the such a lot thoroughly and colorfully illustrated variation of Goethe's publication ever released. It demonstrates vividly Goethe's principles of transformation and interdependence, as good because the systematic use of mind's eye in medical study -- which encouraged thinkers starting from Darwin to Thoreau and has a lot to educate us this day approximately our courting with nature.
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Additional resources for The metamorphosis of plants
It is to them that I present and dedicate these pages. I. Of the Seed Leaves 10 Since we intend to observe the successive steps in plant growth, we will begin by directing our attention to the plant as it develops from the seed. At this stage we can easily and clearly recognize the parts belonging to it. Its coverings (which we will not examine for the moment) are left more or less behind in the earth, and in many cases the root establishes itself in the soil before the ﬁrst organs of its upper growth (already hidden under the seed sheath) emerge to meet the light.
Instead, we recognize them as the ﬁrst leaves of the stem. 15 But a leaf is unthinkable without a node, and a node is unthinkable without an eye. Hence we may infer that the point where the cotyledons are attached is the ﬁrst true node of the plant. This is conﬁrmed by those plants that produce new eyes directly under the wings of the cotyledons, and develop full branches from these ﬁrst nodes (as, for example, in Vicia faba). Image : Broad bean seedling (Vicia faba) 12 The Metamorphosis of Plants Image : Broad bean seedling (Vicia faba) 13 The Metamorphosis of Plants 16 The cotyledons are usually double, and here we must make an observation that will become more important later.
Of the Seed Leaves 10 Since we intend to observe the successive steps in plant growth, we will begin by directing our attention to the plant as it develops from the seed. At this stage we can easily and clearly recognize the parts belonging to it. Its coverings (which we will not examine for the moment) are left more or less behind in the earth, and in many cases the root establishes itself in the soil before the ﬁrst organs of its upper growth (already hidden under the seed sheath) emerge to meet the light.