Close-up view of an alsike clover plant at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory located in Washington, D.C. Notably, the root of the plant is growing from the pedicel (i.e. the stem that attaches a single flower to the complete flower head of a plant) of one cotyledon (i.e. an embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants, one or more of which are the first leaves to appear from a germinating seed).
The Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory (F.N.R.L.) was established at American University in 1919 under the directorship of Arthur B. Lamb. Initially part of the War Department, the F.N.R.L. was the successor to several wartime initiatives to develop a secure domestic supply of nitrate compounds necessary for the manufacture of explosives during World War I. With a staff of about 110 individuals, including 35 to 50 chemists, the F.N.R.L. focused on the manufacture, production, and development of products of atmospheric nitrogen, including munitions and fertilizers.
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“Alsike Clover Plant at the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory,” January 8, 1930. Travis P. Hignett Collection of Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory Photographs, Box 2. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/cr56n104t.
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