Investigations carried out by Blackman, and by Brown and Escombe, have shown clearly that the view put forward by Boussingault, that such absorption of gases takes place through the cuticular covering of the younger parts of the plant, is erroneous and can no longer be supported.
There is no need for cuticularization here, as the external dangerous influences do not reach the interior, and the processes of absorption which Boussingault attributed to the external cuticularized cells can take place freely through the, delicate cell-walls of the interior, saturated as these are with water.
Long ago the view that this gas might be the source of the combined nitrogen found in different forms within the plant, was critically examined, particularly by Boussingault, and later by Lawes and Gilbert and by Pugh, and it was ascertained to be erroneous, the plants only taking nitrogen into their substance when it is presented to their roots in the form of nitrates of various metals, or compounds of ammonia.
Bouger and La Condamine were the first to reach its brink in 1742, after which Humboldt made the ascent in 1802, Boussingault and Hall in 1831, Garcia Moreno and Sebastian Wisse in 1844 and 1845 (descending into the crater for the first time), Garcia Moreno and Jameson in 1857, Farrand and Hassaurek in 1862, Orton in 1867, and Whymper in 1880.
Boussingault gives 25.2% of starch and 3% of nitrogenous matter.