Definition: adhesive; gluey
Definition: adhesive; gluey
Sentences Containing 'viscid'
The passage is narrow, and is roofed over by the column, so that a bee, in forcing its way out, first rubs its back against the viscid stigma and then against the viscid glands of the pollen-masses.
When the bee, thus provided, flies to another flower, or to the same flower a second time, and is pushed by its comrades into the bucket and then crawls out by the passage, the pollen-mass necessarily comes first into contact with the viscid stigma, and adheres to it, and the flower is fertilised.
Now at last we see the full use of every part of the flower, of the water-secreting horns of the bucket half-full of water, which prevents the bees from flying away, and forces them to crawl out through the spout, and rub against the properly placed viscid pollen-masses and the viscid stigma.
This antenna, when touched, transmits a sensation or vibration to a certain membrane which is instantly ruptured; this sets free a spring by which the pollen-mass is shot forth, like an arrow, in the right direction, and adheres by its viscid extremity to the back of the bee.
The pollen-mass of the male plant (for the sexes are separate in this orchid) is thus carried to the flower of the female plant, where it is brought into contact with the stigma, which is viscid enough to break certain elastic threads, and retain the pollen, thus effecting fertilisation.
A pollinium, when highly developed, consists of a mass of pollen-grains, affixed to an elastic foot-stalk or caudicle, and this to a little mass of extremely viscid matter.
In most flowers belonging to other orders the stigma secretes a little viscid matter.
Now, in certain orchids similar viscid matter is secreted, but in much larger quantities by one alone of the three stigmas; and this stigma, perhaps in consequence of the copious secretion, is rendered sterile.
When an insect visits a flower of this kind, it rubs off some of the viscid matter, and thus at the same time drags away some of the pollen-grains.
From this simple condition, which differs but little from that of a multitude of common flowers, there are endless gradations--to species in which the pollen-mass terminates in a very short, free caudicle--to others in which the caudicle becomes firmly attached to the viscid matter, with the sterile stigma itself much modified.
In this, and in almost every other case, the enquiry may be pushed further backwards; and it may be asked how did the stigma of an ordinary flower become viscid, but as we do not know the full history of any one group of beings, it is as useless to ask, as it is hopeless to attempt answering, such questions.
With the pollinia of orchids, the threads which originally served to tie together the pollen-grains, can be traced cohering into caudicles; and the steps can likewise be followed by which viscid matter, such as that secreted by the stigmas of ordinary flowers, and still subserving nearly but not quite the same purpose, became attached to the free ends of the caudicles--all these gradations being of manifest benefit to the plants in question.
But as the excretion is extremely viscid, it is no doubt a convenience to the aphides to have it removed; therefore probably they do not excrete solely for the good of the ants.
I do not believe that botanists are aware how charged the mud of ponds is with seeds: I have tried several little experiments, but will here give only the most striking case: I took in February three tablespoonfuls of mud from three different points, beneath water, on the edge of a little pond; this mud when dry weighed only 6 and 3/4 ounces; I kept it covered up in my study for six months, pulling up and counting each plant as it grew; the plants were of many kinds, and were altogether 537 in number; and yet the viscid mud was all contained in a breakfast cup!
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