A Summary of the Structure of Plant Parts and Their Functions


The work presented here is Kitāb mukhtaṣar tarkīb a‘ḍā al-nabāt wa waẓāifihā (A summary of the structure of plant parts and their functions) by ‘Uthmān Ghālib (1845−1920), an Egyptian physician and botanist. In a brief preface, he states that his aim is “to write concise books on the (various) branches of natural history so that they could be used in elementary schools.” He explains that “since botany, as the other branches of the natural sciences, requires ‘visualization’ for its apprehension, I strove to produce the necessary figures, in order that through them the student could achieve the knowledge that he desires.” The format approximates to a glossary, with the definitions accompanied by line drawings. Among the topics presented are features of plant cells, such as crystalline inclusions, starch, inulin, tannin, and chlorophyll; sexual and asexual cell reproduction; anatomical information on roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds; fertilization; geotropism; heliotropism; and plant pathologies. The work concludes with a table of contents. It was printed by lithography in Cairo in 1887. Ghālib was born in Giza and graduated from Qasr al-‘Aynī medical school in 1871, where in 1881 he taught natural history, and later served as vice-chancellor of the school and the hospital and director of the Qasr al-‘Aynī botanical garden. This work was commissioned by Ya‘qūb Artīn Pāsha, an Armenian Egyptian man of letters who served as deputy information minister of Egypt from 1884 to 1919 and is considered a pioneer in the field of education in Egypt.

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Title in Original Language

كتاب مختصر تركيب اعضأ [الصحيح أعضاء] النبات ووظائفها

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173 pages : lithographic printing ; 24 centimeters

Last updated: July 21, 2014