|• Main||• Contacts|
we will briefly notice the principal parts of vegetable sexual organs
as illustrated in flowers.
Complete flowers are made up of four parts, two of which, the _stamen_
and _pistil_, are essential, while the other two, the calyx and corolla,
The _calyx_ is that part which surrounds the flower at its outer and
lower part. It varies greatly in form and color, but is most frequently
of a green or greenish color.
Just within the calyx is the _corolla_, which usually forms the most
attractive, showy, and beautiful part of the flower. The beautifully
colored petals of the rose, geranium, dahlia, and other similar flowers,
form their corollas.
Vegetable Husbands.--Within the cup formed by the calyx and corolla
are placed the _stamens_ and _pistils_ of the flower, the first being
the male organs proper, and the second the female organs of the flower.
The stamen is composed of a stem or filament, at the summit of which
are placed two little sacks called the _anther_, which contain a fine,
microscopic dust, the _pollen_, which contains the male reproductive
element of the flower. This part of the plant corresponds to the male
organ of reproduction in animals. A stamen has been called, not inaptly,
a vegetable husband. Some flowers have many stamens, or vegetable
husbands, which reminds us of the custom in Thibet and some other
Eastern countries which allows a woman to have several husbands.
Polygamous Flowers.--The great naturalist, Linnaeus, whose name was
immortalized by his careful study and classification of organized life,
made the number of stamens possessed by various flowers the basis of
a systematic classification.
For example, a flower having but one stamen was classed as _monandria_,
which means, literally, one husband; one having two stamens was
classified as _diandria_; flowers having a large number of male organs
were termed _polyandria_, or many husbands.
The Female Organ of Flowers.--The _pistil_ occupies the very center
of the flower. It produces and contains in a cell, the female element,
termed the _ovule_. It is surmounted by the _style_ and the _stigma_.
A series of plants in which the sexual organs are not visible to the
eye are termed _cryptogamia_, which means literally, hidden marriages.
As we proceed to study the anatomy of the human sexual apparatus we
shall be constantly struck with the remarkable correspondence between
animals and vegetables in the structure and functions of the sexual
Sexual Organs of Animals.--The male reproductive element is called a
_spermatozoon_ or _zoosperm_. The female element is called an _ovum_,
literally, an egg.
The Spermatozoon.--The male reproductive element of animals is formed
by an organ called the _testis_, or _testicle_, of which each male
possesses two. They are elastic, glandular bodies, and are formed
within the cavity of the abdomen, near the kidneys, but usually pass
out of the abdominal cavity and descend to their permanent position
before birth. The opening in the abdominal wall is usually completely
Page 2 from 6: Back 1  3 4 5 6 Forward