The Ancient Library
 

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GREEK BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE

established practices in their cultivation. He says that the " male " and the " female " have been distinguished with all trees, " the latter being fruit-bearing, the former barren in some kinds." 59

" With dates., it is helpful to bring the male to the female; for it is the male which causes the fruit to persist and ripen. . . . The process is thus performed: when the male palm is in flower, they at once cut off the spathe on which the flower is, just as it is, and shake the bloom with the flower and the dust over the fruit of the female, and, if this is done to it, it retains the fruit and does not shed it." 60

Without following Theophrastus further, I will borrow a summary of his botanical achieve­ments, or rather of his position, from one more competent than myself:

" i. He distinguished the external organs of plants, naming them in regular sequence from root to fruit, and attained in many cases to a really philosophical distinction.

"2. He definitely set forth the leaf ho-mology of the perianth members of flowers but attained to no real knowledge of their sexual nature.

" 3. He established the first rudiments of a botanical nomenclature. [82]

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