ONE of the strangest of Nature's productions is the Sensitive Plant. It almost seems to form a connecting link between the animal and the vegetable kingdom. Each part of the plant has the power to move independently of every other part. When a leaf is touched, it immediately folds up, as if recoiling from danger; if touched in just the right way, the leafstalk will move toward the main stem, but the leaves will remain open. The flower looks like a pink silken tassel, and this also, when hit with considerable force, will roll up; yet the plant will remain unmoved under a moderate shower.

A gigantic water-plant, called Victoria Regia, is found in South America, the leaves of which are from five to six feet in diameter, and are encircled by a rim five or six inches deep. 

They are a light green color on the upper side, and red on the under side. 

The flower is very beautiful and sweet-scented. It corresponds with the leaves in size, the calyx measuring twelve or thirteen inches across. The petals, of which there are many hundreds in a single flower, are pure white when first opened, but by the next day have changed to pink.

Another wonder, growing in Sumatra, is the Mafflesia Arnoldi. This plant has neither stem nor leaves, but is a mere flower with tiny roots which penetrate the stalk of another plant. 

When first noticed, it seems to be only a small knob growing out of the vine, which supports it. This little knob grows to nearly the size of a common cabbage-head, and then opens. 

The flower is said to be three and one-half feet across, and the petals one and one-half inches thick near the base. It weighs about fifteen pounds, and its center will contain fifteen pints of water. Its color is brick-red, with a little orange, and blotches of darker red and white. The odor is strong but disagreeable. But though it is wondrously beautiful, the plant lives but a short time.


LIVE to be useful. 

Live to give light. 

Live to accomplish the end 

for which you were made, 

and quietly and steadily shine on, 

trying to do your duty; 

for those who are enabled through grace 

to shine as lights here, 

shall in the world to come, 

shine as suns and stars forever and ever.