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CHAPTER MODIFIED CIRCUMNUTATION: EXCITED BY GRA VIT ATION

MOVEMENTS

Apogeotropism. Plants were selected for observation almost by chance, excepting that they were taken from widely different families. If the stem of a plant which is even moderately sensitive to apogeotropism be placed horizontally, the upper growing part bends quickly upwards, so as to become perpendicular; and the line traced by joining the dots successively made on a glass-plate, is generally almost straight. For instance, a young Cytisus fragrans, 12 inches in height, was placed so that the stem projected JOO beneath the horizon, and its course was traced during 72 h. At first it bent a very little downwards (Fig. 182), owing no doubt to the weight of the stem, as this occurred with most of the other plants observed, though, as they were of course circumnutating, the short downward lines were often oblique. After three-quarters of an hour the stem began to curve upwards, quickly during the first two hours, but much more slowly during the afternoon and night, I and on the following day. During the second night it fell a little, and circumnutated during the following day; but it also moved a short distance to the right, which was caused by a little light having been accidentally admitted on this side. The stem was now inclined 60° above the horizon, and had therefore risen 70°. With time allowed it would probably have become upright, and no doubt would have continued circumnutating. The sole remarkable feature in the figure here given is the straightness of the course pursued. The stem, however, did not move upwards at an equable rate, and it sometimes stood almost or quite still. Such periods probably represent attempts to circumnutate in a direction opposite to apogeotropism.