Elements of Botany, The by GRAY, Asa

The book is intended to ground beginners in Structural Botany and the principles of vegetable life, mainly as concerns Flowering or Phanerogamous plants, with which botanical instruction should always begin; also to be a companion and interpreter to the Manuals and Floras by which the student threads his flowery way to a clear knowledge of the surrounding vegetable creation. Such a book, like a grammar, must needs abound in technical words, which thus arrayed may seem formidable; nevertheless, if rightly apprehended, this treatise should teach that the study of botany is not the learning of names and terms, but the acquisition of knowledge and ideas. No effort should be made to commit technical terms to memory. Any term used in describing a plant or explaining its structure can be looked up when it is wanted, and that should suffice. On the other hand, plans of [Pg iv]structure, types, adaptations, and modifications, once understood, are not readily forgotten; and they give meaning and interest to the technical terms used in explaining them. – Summary by Asa Gray
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