The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants, by Charles Darwin

Table of Contents


Chapter I. — Twining Plants.

Introductory remarks — Description of the twining of the Hop — Torsion of the stems — Nature of the revolving movement, and manner of ascent — Stems not irritable — Rate of revolution in various plants — Thickness of the support round which plants can twine — Species which revolve in an anomalous manner.

Chapter II. — Leaf-Climbers.

Plants which climb by the aid of spontaneously revolving and sensitive petioles — Clematis — Tropaeolum — Maurandia, flower-peduncles moving spontaneously and sensitive to a touch — Rhodochiton — Lophospermum — internodes sensitive — Solanum, thickening of the clasped petioles — Fumaria — Adlumia — Plants which climb by the aid of their produced midribs — Gloriosa — Flagellaria — Nepenthes — Summary on leaf-climbers.

Chapter III. — Tendril-Bearers.

Nature of tendrils — BIGNONIACEAE, various species of, and their different modes of climbing — Tendrils which avoid the light and creep into crevices — Development of adhesive discs — Excellent adaptations for seizing different kinds of supports. — POLEMONIACEAE— Cobaea scandens much branched and hooked tendrils, their manner of action — LEGUMINOSAE— COMPOSITAE— SMILACEAE— Smilax aspera, its inefficient tendrils — FUMARIACEAE— Corydalis claviculata, its state intermediate between that of a leaf-climber and a tendril-bearer.

Chapter IV. — Tendril-Bearers —(continued).

CUCURBITACEAE. — Homologous nature of the tendrils — Echinocystis lobata, remarkable movements of the tendrils to avoid seizing the terminal shoot — Tendrils not excited by contact with another tendril or by drops of water — Undulatory movement of the extremity of the tendril — Hanburya, adherent discs — VITACAE— Gradation between the flower-peduncles and tendrils of the vine — Tendrils of the Virginian Creeper turn from the light, and, after contact, develop adhesive discs — SAPINDACEAE— PASSIFLORACEAE— Passiflora gracilis — Rapid revolving movement and sensitiveness of the tendrils — Not sensitive to the contact of other tendrils or of drops of water — Spiral contraction of tendrils — Summary on the nature and action of tendrils.

Chapter V. — Hook and Root-Climbers. — Concluding Remarks.

Plants climbing by the aid of hooks, or merely scrambling over other plants — Root-climbers, adhesive matter secreted by the rootlets — General conclusions with respect to climbing plants, and the stages of their development.

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