I've found a character I dont recognise in an old publication

I thought I had seen most of the unusual characters associated with scientific publication in the 19th century but this one has got me stumped. It occurs several times at the end of sentences published in an 1829 issue of the Philosophical Magazine, and, as I haven't seen it before I am wondering if it has any significance to the text, or if it is merely typographical decoration. Could you tell me what the character is called and if it has any special meaning in its context. The attached image is a picture of the character as taken from the original printed material. The OCR program has interprted it as "Tj" in one place and as "^" in another, but I doubt this has any meaning, given that the program in use cannot reliably extract the letters ae from the character æ!

here is one excerpt from the text with my square brackets showing its positioning:
"oxypetalum. E. (Acute, red and white flowered) tubo longi-
4. tudine loborum acuminatorum; floribus sessilibus,
fructibus longitudinaliter nervato-angulatis.
Cactus oxypetalus. DeCand. Prod. Syst.Veg. 3. 4:70.
Habitat in Mexico. [HERE]."

here is another:
"Habitat in Mexico, ubi invenit Dom. Ackermann, et
Domino Tate multis aliis communicavit : in cujus horto
nunc copiose floret. [HERE]."

The original text can be viewed at this link:
http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/15533177

I thank you in advance for any help you may be able to give,

Ciao, KK.

AttachmentSize
Weird Symbol.JPG8.24 KB
Mark Simonson's picture

It's the symbol for Saturn. Would that make sense in the context?

quadibloc's picture

And that's also the symbol for lead. But the context is about botany, where one might expect the symbols for Mars and Venus, standing for male and female flowers.

So my guess would be that the plants in question are hermaphroditic.

EDIT: Looking it up, I found this:

http://bytesizebio.net/2012/03/08/the-origin-of-gender-symbols-in-biology/

so if Linnaeus is being followed, those are woody plants, not, as I had guessed, hermaphroditic ones.

Kaelkitty's picture

Thank you, Thank you,Thank you, BOTH! Yes "woody" could well make sense in context. I never thought of looking up Astrological signs - that is cool!

Thanks again,

Ciao, KK.

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