There is the cocoa-nut palm, with its swollen bulb-like stem when young, its tall straight trunk when full-grown, its cluster of heavy fruit, its long plume-like drooping flower; the coccoeiro, with its slighter trunk and pendent branches of small berry-like fruit; the palmetto, with its tender succulent bud on the summit of the stem, used as a vegetable, and proving an excellent substitute for cabbage; the thorny icari, or cari a variety of fan-palm.
The monstrous Pit of Darkness which was the night side of Earth seemed almost about to engulf the Platform. They were a few hundred feet higher than the great metal globe, and the blackness was behind it. They were a quarter of a mile away. The distance diminished. A thin straight line seemed to grow out toward them. There was a small, bulb-like object at its end.
Boltenia, the scientists call them, tall, queer-shaped things; a stalk six to eight inches in length, with a knob or oblong bulb-like body at the summit, looking exactly like the flower of a lady-slipper orchid and as delicately coloured.
These are raised in oblong patches of ground surrounded by low mud walls for retaining the water which is essential to their growth. The plants are quite small, with green leaves at the base, from which rise tall stalks with bulb-like tops, the pod of the flower.
"It is contained in those roots," answered Sekosini, pointing to a bundle of bulb-like objects also suspended from the roof. "The method of preparation is simple. A root is taken, cleaned from the adhering soil, and boiled in water until it is soft enough to crush between the fingers. Then the liquid is allowed to cool and strained through cloth. This liquid is of a dark colour, almost black.
He gathered up the leading-reins of the ponies which had been easily caught and hurried towards the spire. The others ran swiftly after him, their steps hastened by the roar of a second shot and the whistle of a second heavy ball. In a couple of minutes they had reached the pagoda and leaped on the platform between the columns which supported the bulb-like roof crowned by its tapering spire.
At any time late in February or early in March, bulb-like projections, more globular than the somewhat elongated buds of the true Hydroid heads, may be seen growing either among the tentacles of one of these little animals, or just below the head where it merges in the stem, Very delicate and transparent in substance, it is hardly perceptible at first; and the gradual formation of its internal structure is the less easily discerned, because a horny sheath, forming the outer covering of the Hydroid stock, extends to inclose and shield the new-comer, whom we shall see to be so different from the animal that gives it birth that one would suppose the Hydroid parent must be as much surprised at the sight of its offspring as the Hen that has accidentally hatched a Duck's egg.