The ovule of Primula is amphitropous or what J. Georg Agardh calls apotropo-amphitropous [see Theoria systematis plantarum (1858), tab. 24, fig. 5–6].
Royal Gardens Kew
My dear Sir
Let me beg you never to apologize. I feel so utterly unable to help you in any way unless it be about these little questions.
The ovule of Primula is amphitropal, or what Agardh
Here it is.
a. foramen or micropyle
b. Nucleus (Embr. sac.)
It is all but anatropal If the funicle were adnate quite down to
the micropyle then it w
Hofmeister says Primulaceae differ from the great majority of micropetalous plants in having 2 coats to their ovules. They have generally but 1 coat.
The inner is thick, the outer very thin. He says the exostome (opening through the
outer coat) ``liegt vom Endostom (open
What you say is very curious about pollen-tubes penetrating ovules. I do not remember any case of direct action except of course the normal place in Gymnosperms.
A good part of a notice of Welwitschia in N.H.R. I gave to the question of this Gymnospermy.— I have made drawings from the very interesting Primulas you kindly sent,—but they do not (seem to me to) furnish decisive evidence against Caspary. I am not sure as to direction taken by the tubes but from what I see in an ovary now before me of Primrose think they do not go the round-about way down the sides of the cavity—& up the placenta, but that they strike right upon the top of it near the side of the spear-process from its centre. It must surely be so.
We expect D
Ever very sincerely yours | D Oliver
I have re-opened this to say D
Yrs | D O
- f1 4093.f1See letter to Daniel Oliver, [12 April 1863].
- f2 4093.f2In his letter to Oliver of [12 April 1863], CD asked about the position of the ovule in Primula; he wondered if it was `amphitropal' or `anatropal'. Jacob Georg Agardh was professor of botany at the University of Lund, Sweden (SBL). The use of the term `apotropo-amphitropal' is not apparent in Agardh 1858, but see p. 331 and Tab. XXVII, fig. 1.
- f3 4093.f3See letter to Daniel Oliver, [12 April 1863] and n. 2.
- f4 4093.f4The reference is to Wilhelm Hofmeister and Hofmeister 1858, p. 199. Micropetalous: `having very small petals' (OED).
- f5 4093.f5Hofmeister wrote that the exostome, the opening through the outer ovule coat, was `situated a distance from the endostome in the direction of the raphe; the pollen tube has to creep between both ovular membranes from the former to the latter' (Hofmeister 1858, p. 119). The endostome was the opening in the inner ovule coat.
- f6 4093.f6CD had noted that pollen-tubes appeared to penetrate the ovule at the chalaza (see letter to Daniel Oliver, [12 April 1863]). See also letter to John Scott, 12 April .
- f7 4093.f7[Oliver] 1863c, pp. 205--9, was a review of J. D. Hooker 1863a, and appeared in the April number of the Natural History Review.
- f8 4093.f8See letter to Daniel Oliver, 28 March ; CD and Oliver were interested in the morphology of the ovary and its placenta (see also letter to Daniel Oliver, 24--5 March , and letter from Daniel Oliver [26 March ).
- f9 4093.f9Oliver refers to Caspary 1861 and Robert Caspary's notion of the relationship between the pistil and carpels (see letter from Daniel Oliver, [26 March 1863] and n. 3).
- f10 4093.f10In his letter to Oliver of [12 April 1863], CD asked when Joseph Dalton Hooker would be returning from the Channel Islands (see n. 12, below); Oliver assisted Hooker in the herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where Hooker was the assistant director (R. Desmond 1994).
- f11 4093.f11Oliver refers to CD's letter of [12 April 1863] in which he noted his observation of pollen-tubes penetrating the chalazal end of the ovule.
- f12 4093.f12Oliver refers to Hooker's mother, Maria Hooker. Hooker was on a trip to Dorset and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 April 1863).
- f13 4093.f13See nn. 6 and 8, above.