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Scientific American Supplement, No. 430, March 29, 1884   By:

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NEW YORK, MARCH 29, 1884

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XVII, No. 430.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.


I. ENGINEERING, MECHANICS, ETC. The Iron Industry In Brazil. By Prof. P. FEHRAND. Methods of obtaining iron. Operation of the system. Elaboration of the ore. Setting up a forge. Selling price of iron

The Steamer Churchill, built by Messrs. Hall, Russell & Co., for service at Natal. With full page of illustrations

Three Way Tunnels

Falconetti's Continuously Primed Siphon. Manner of carrying a water course over a canal, river, or road. With engraving

The Weibel Piccard System of Evaporating Liquids. 2 illustrations

II. TECHNOLOGY. Coal Gas as a Labor saving Agent in Mechanical Trades. By T. FLETCHER. Gas as fuel. Arrangement of burners for disinfection, for drying glue, albumen, etc. Best burners. Gas bars for furnaces, etc.

Instantaneous Photography. Several illustrations

III. ELECTRICITY, MAGNETISM, ETC. Electric Launches. A paper read before the Society of Arts by A. RECKENZAUN, and discussion on the same. Advantages of electromotive power. Cost of same. Experimental electric launches

First Experiments with the Electric Light. Sir Humphry Davy's experiments in 1813, With two engravings

Electrical Grapnel for Submarine Cables and Torpedo Lines. 3 figures

Hughes' New Magnetic Balance. 1 figure

Apparatus for Measuring Small Resistances. With engraving and diagram

Terrestrial Magnetism. Magnetism on railways. Synchronous Seismology

IV. ARCHITECTURE. Adornments of the New Post Office at Leipzig. 2 engravings

V. NATURAL HISTORY, ETC. Comparison of Strength of Large and Small Animals. By W. N. LOCKINGTON

Oil in California

VI. HORTICULTURE, BOTANY. ETC. The Dodder. A new parasitic plant. With engraving

Recent Botanical Investigations

VII. MEDICINE, HYGIENE ETC. Nutritive Value of Condiments. By H. D. ABBOTT

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS. Mont St. Michel, Normandy. With engraving


The genus Cuscuta contains quite a number of species which go under the common name of dodder, and which have the peculiarily of living as parasites upon other plants. Their habits are unfortunately too well known to cultivators, who justly dread their incursions among cultivated plants like flax, hops, etc.

All parasitic plants, or at least the majority of them, have one character in common which distinguishes them at first sight. In many cases green matter is wanting in their tissues or is hidden by a livid tint that strikes the observer. Such are the Orobanchaccæ, or "broomropes," and the tropical Balanophoraceæ. Nevertheless, other parasites, such as the mistletoe, have perfectly green leaves.

However this may be, the naturalist's attention is attracted every time he finds a plant deprived of chlorophyl, and one in which the leaves seem to be wanting, as in the dodder that occupies us. In fact, as the majority of parasites take their nourishment at the expense of the plants upon which they fasten themselves, they have no need, as a general thing, of elaborating through their foliar organs the materials that their hosts derive from the air; in a word, they do not breathe actively like the latter, since they find the elements of their nutrition already prepared in the sap of their nurses. The dodders, then, are essentially parasites, and their apparent simplicity gives them a very peculiar aspect... Continue reading book >>

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