Herbs weed-like with opposite or alternate leaves, and a bracteate, spiked or capitate inflorescence. Flowers generally with an imbricated involucre of 3 dry, scarious bracts. Sepals 3 to 5 (rarely but 1), persistent and often colored, unchanged in fruit. Stamens 3 to 5 fertile, hypogynous. Ovary compressed, l-celled, 1 to ∞-ovuled. Style 1. Fruit a utricle, caryopsis or berry. Seed vertrical, albuminous Embryo annular.
Illustrated in figs. 188, 406.
Genera 46, species 4S0, most abundant within the tropics. Their properties are not important. A few are cultivated for their richly-colored imperishable flowers; others are mere weeds.
CELOSIEae. Anthers 2-celled. Ovary many-ovuled. (Cultivated)........
ACHYUANTHEae. Anthers 2-celled. Ovary one-ovuled. Leaves alternate. (*)
* Flowers monœcious or polygamous. - Utricle circumscissile....................
- Utricle indehiscent.......................
* Flowers diœcious. - Utricle indehiscent and valveless................................
- Utricle dehiscent, circumscissile...............................
GOMPHEENEae. Anthers one-celled. Ovary one-ovuled. Leaves opposite, (a)
a Sterile stamens none. - (Flowers white, paniculate)....................................
a Sterile stamens none. - (Flowers crimson, etc. Capitate. Cultivated).....
a Sterile stamuns 5, the 5 fertile in a tube. - Heads axillary.................
- Spikes terminal and axillary......
1. CELO'SIA, L. Cockscomb. (Gr. shining; characteristic of the brilliant colors of some species.) Flowers perfect, 3-bracted; calyx of 5, erect-spreading sepals; stamens 5; anthers 2-celled; stigmas 2,
3, recurved; utricle circumscissile, many-seeded, more or less inclosed in the calyx. - Herbs or shrubs smooth, erect, with alternate lvs. and brilliant, scarious fls,
C. cristata L. Lvs. ovate-lanceolate, petiolate; spikes subsessile, ovate-pyramidal, or (in cultivation) compressed, dilated and truncate at the apex, or excessively branched; fls. subsessile, 2-styled; sep. mucronate, longer than the bracts. - Gardens. This curious and popular annual is said to be native of E. Ind. Its broad spikes are of fantastic shapes and of the richest crimson, varying to white.
2. AMARAN'TUS, Tourn. (Gr. a, not, to fade, flower; sc. unfading flowers.) Amaranth. Flowers polygamous, 3-bracted; calyx 5 to 3-sepaled, equal, erect; stamens 5 to 3, with no rudiments; style 0; stigmas 2 to 3; utricle ovate, 2 to 3-beaked, partly inclosed, circumscissile; seed 1. - Herbs with alternate leaves tapering to a petiole, and minute green or purplish fls. in axillary or terminal clusters.
§ Flowers in long axillary and terminal, paniculate spikes, and 5-parted. (*)
* Herbage and flowers more or less tinged with crimson.................................
* Herbage and flowers green, never tinged with crimson................................
3 - 5
§ Flowers in remotish, axillary, dense glomerules, and 3-parted...........................
1 A. hypochondriacus L. Prince's Feather. Erect, furrowed, smoothish, and somewhat reddened; lvs. long-petioled, oblong-lanceolate, pointed at each end, roughish beneath; panicle branched; spikes erect, very obtuse, the terminal one much the longest and largest, lateral short and crowded; fls. deep purple; cal. shorter than the long-awned bracts. - Fields and gardens, spontaneous and often cultivated. Very tall (3 to 4 to 6f) and showy. Lvs. 4 to 8' long, petioles nearly same length, † § Mex.
2 A. paniculatus Moq. Prince's Feather. Erect, subterete, pubescent, pale green; lvs. oval or ovate-lanceolate, taper pointed at each end, purplish on the margin; panicle very branching, spikes erect or spreading, cylindric, acutish, crowded, all nearly equal; fls. reddish green or (in variety sanguineus) blood-red: bracts short-awned, a Utile longer than the calyx. - Fields and gardens. St. 3 to 5f high, with purple lines. Lvs. 4 to 8' by 2 to 3', petiole 2 to 3'. Spikes slender. † § Mex.
3 A. retroflexus L. Erect, subterete, pubescent, glaucous green; lvs. long-petioled, ovate or subrhombic, acuminate, obtuse at apex, undulate; panicle pyramidal, spikes oblong-ovate, thick, crowded, in a dense panicle, the terminal hardly longer; fls. dense, pale green; bracts awned, twice longer than the calyx; utricle included, - A common weed in cultivated and waste grounds. St. 2 to 4f high. Lvs. 3 to 5' by 18 to 30" with prominent veins, petiole 2 to 3'. Spikes 6 to 9" thick and rather short. Jl. - Sept.
4 A. chlorostachys Willd. Lvs. ovate, obtuse, intense green, as well as the flowers; panicle raceme-like, with acute spikes, terminal spike longest and flexuous; bracts a third longer than the calyx; utricle exserted; otherwise as in No. 3. - Cultivated and waste grounds. St. 3 to 4f high. Lvs. 2 to 3' by 1 to 2', petiole 2 to 3'. Fls. smaller than in that species. Jl. - Sept. § Asia.
5 A. hybridus L. Erect, angular, glabrous, green; lvs. ovate-oblong or ovate-acute, bright green; panicle loosely branched; spikes erect cylindric obtuse, terminal one long, rigid, lateral short, close: fls. loose, green, cal. shorter than the awned bracts, as long as the utricle. - Cultivated and waste grounds, common. St. 2 to 4f high. Lvs. 2 to 4' by 9 to 18", petioles longer. Panicle long, sometimes tinged with red. Jl. - Sept. § Mex.
6 A. albus L. White Pigweed. Erect, subterete, whitish, with spreading branches; lvs. long-petioled, ovate, rhomb-ovate or obovate, very obtuse, glabrous, light green; glomerules remote, in pairs, much shorter than the petioles; fls. dense, green; cal much shorter than the rigid, subulate, pungent bracts, twice shorter than the utricle. - A common weed, roadsides, waste grounds. Sts. 1 to
2f high, at length diffuse. Lvs. 1 to 2' by 3 to 1", petiole 1 to 2'; branch-lvs. much smaller. Clusters 4 to 5-flowered.
7 A. melancholicus 1. Love-lies-bleeding. Erect, glabrous, usually dark purple; lvs. long-petioled, lance-ovate or lance-oblong, obtuse, eniarginate; glomerules geminate, subpedunculate, shorter than the petioles; fts. dense, dark purple; bracts, calyx and utricle subequal. Gardens. St. 1 to 2f high, simple. Lvs. 2 to 5' long, petiole 2 to 3. Clusters amplexicauL † Asia. - Varies much in color.
β. tricolor. Lvs. oblong-lanceolate, the young red with a yellow apex, the adult bright red at base, violet in the middle, green at apex, the old green with a violet base. †
3. EUX'OLUS, Raf. (A name intended, to signify well-closed; re ferring to the valveless utricle.) Flowers monoecious, 3-bractcd; calyx 3 (2 to 5)-sepalcd, sepals equal, erect, glabrous; stamens 3 (2 to 5); stigmas 3; utricle ovate, 1-seeded, valveless and indehiscent, or tearing open; seed vertical, embryo annular. - Herbs with the habit of Amar-antus (Amarantus, L.)