Herbert W.
1821
An Appendix
<< 42 >>

Proiphys Herb. An Appendix 42. 1821.
PROIPHYS.
Bulbus ovatus. Folia latissima, petiolata. Scapus folia vix prŠcurrens.
Spatha trifida. Umbella multiflora. Pedunculi recti. Germen ovale, tubo
et pedunculo continuatum, dissepimentis imperfectis vix triloculare, loculis
dispermis, rarius trispermis. Tubus cylindricus, angulis obsoletis. LaciniŠ
alternŠ Šquales (in Amboinensi exterŠ angustiores). Filamenta divaricata,
basi dilatata, complanata, proximis contigua, extra tubum inserta, et mem-
brana tenuissima vix discernenda ibi connexa ; alterna (extera scilicet)
breviora. AntherŠ breves, ima parte filamentis affixŠ. Stylus erectus,
cylindricus. Stigma punctum attenuatum, fimbriatum. Ovula obovata,
apice dehiscente, embryo exserto; unum e duobus in loculis singulis sŠpe
erectum, alterum pendulum. Capsula obovata, acumine brevi, tricostata, dis-
sepimentis marcidis. Semina duobus integumentis crasse carnosis, albumine
bulbum in capsula adhuc immatura integumentis dehiscentibus protrudente.
Patria Amboyna, Sumatra. Species.
* 1. Amboinensis. Bot. Mag. 1419. Pancratium.
Bulb ovate. Leaves very broad, petiolated. Scape rising a little before
the leaves, Spathe trifid. Umbel many-flowered. Peduncles straight.
Germ oval, continued from the peduncle and tube, scarcely three-celled (the
dissepiments being imperfect) with two ovules in a cell, rarely three. Tube
cylindrical, with obsolete angles. Petals alternately equal (in P. Amboi-
nense the outer narrowest). Filaments diverging, with the base greatly
dilated and flattened, touching each other and adhering to the petals just
without the tube, and near that point united by a fine and almost impercep-
tible membrane, the outer shortest. Anthers short, joined at the lowest ex-
tremity to the filaments. Style erect, cylindrical. Stigma an attenuated
point, fringed. Ovules obovate, with the point open, and the embryo pro-
truded; one of the two often erect, and the other pendulous. Capsule ob-
ovate, with a short point 3-ribbed, with the dissepiments decayed. Seeds
with two thick fleshy integuments, the internal albumen protruding a bulb
through the aperture of the integuments into the capsule before its maturity.
Country Amboyna, Sumatra. Species. * 1. Amboinensis. Bot. Mag. 1419.
Pancratium. -Culture and observations. This plant flower readily in the
stove after a season of rest and its time of blossoming may be varied ac-
cordingly. It is singular that it should ever have been called a Pancratium,
since it has no cup, though the enlargement of the base of the petals, where
they touch each other, gives the appaerance of a cup. The genus was named
Eurycles by Mr. Salisbury in the Hortic. Trans. from the breadth of its
leaves, wich can scarcely be depended upon as a generic feature; and as the
has not denined the genus, and the name does not appear to have been
adopted, I have (though generaly very unwilling to alter a name unnecessa-
rily) called it Proiphys, on account of the singular circumstance of the pre-
mature germination of the seed, and the protrusion of the embryo from the
ovule, to witch I know nothing similar or analogous. Seeds of Crinum and
Hymenocallis will often sprout in the capsule, if suffered to remain in it after
it is ripe and dried up, but that is merely as grain will sprout in the ear; and
the young bulb is formed at the end of the sprout witch issues from the seed
and pierces the earth. In Proiphys the bulb itself is protruded from the seed
at the point furthest from its attachment in the capsule before it is ripe, at
which time, if taken out, the seed and bulb attached to it will perish. The
embryo, or young bulb, may be seen projecting from the point of the ovule
while the flower is fresh and lately blown, and the germ I believe not fecun-
dated; and the point from which it issues appears to be unconnected with the
germ, and consequently not the point by which the ovule is fecundated.