Herbs perennial, sometimes bulbous, often poisonous, with parallel-veined leaves, perianth double, regular, persistent, of 6 consimilar, green or colored segments. stamens 6, with extrorse anthers, 3 distinct styles and a free, 3-celled ovary, capsuh 3-celled, 3-partible or septicidal, and seeds few or many with a thin seed coat Figs. 61, 62, 464

Genera 30, species 130, rather generally diffused in northern countries.

Properties. - The order 13 generally pervaded by drastic, narcotic and poisonous qualities, most powerful in Veratrum and Colchicum. The conns and seeds of the latter are the most impor tant medicinal products of the order. Their virtue is due to an alkaline principle called vera tria, which is found in this genus, as well as in most of the others.

Genera

§ Anthers 1-celled, extrorse, cordate, becoming peltate by opening. (*)

* Inflorescence paniculate, or a raceme somewhat branched at base, (a)

a Sepals glandular at base inside, clawed. Stamens perigynous.....

MELANTHIUM.

1

a Sepals glandular at base inside, clawed. Stamens livpogrynous...............

ZINGADERUS.

3

a Sepals not gland bearing. Stamens perigynous....................................

VERATRUM.

3

* Inflorescence racemous, with white flowers. Stamens perigynous...............

AMIANTHUM.

4

* Inflorescence spicate, with green flowers. Stamens hypogynons...................

SCUaeNOCACLON.

5

§ Anthers 2-celled, extrorse. Capsule loculicidal. Flowers racemous. (b)

b Flowers perfect. Filaments dilated at base. Ovary cells2-ovuled..................

NEROPOYLLUUM.

6

b Flowers perfect. Filaments filiform. Ovary cells ∞ -ovuled.......................

Helonias.

7

b Flowers dioecious white. Stem leafy.............................................................

CHAMaeIRIUM.

8

§ Anthers 2-celled, introrse. Capsule septicidal. Flowers racemous. (c)

c Stamens 6. Flowers greenish or yellowish, 9 to 40........................................

TOFIRLDIA.

9

c Stamens 9 to 12. Flowers deep yellow, 6 to 9, mostly 6...............................

PLEEA.

10

1. MELAN'THIUM, Gronov. (Gr.Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2063 black, Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2064 flower; a false name if applied to the yellowish flowers.) Flowers mouoeciously polygamous; perianth rotate, 6-parted, segments oblong, acutish, cordate or auricled, and with 1 or 2 glandular, brownish spots at base; the claws bearing the stamens; ovary often abortive, capsule exserted, subovoid, trifid at the summit and tipped with 3 persistent styles; seeds broadly winged. - St. erect, thickened at base, bearing an open pyramidal panicle of simple racemes. Lvs. lanceolate, varying to linear.

M. Virginicum L. Wet meadows and margins of swamps, Wis. to N. T. and Fla. St 3 to 4f high, leafy. Lvs. about a foot long 6" to 2' wide, sessile, on a contracted and subclasping base. Fls. about 8" broad, on short pedicels, arranged in simple, alternate racemes, and together constituting a pyramidal panicle 10 to 15' in length. Lower fls. generally sterile. Jl., Aug. β. HYBRIDUM. Lower lvs. lanceolate and lance-oval. - A larger growth. (M. hybridum R & S.)

2. ZIGADE'NUS, Mx. Zigadene. (Gr.Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2065 a pair, Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2066 a gland.) Perianth deeply 6-parted, spreading, colored, each segment with 2 glands above its contracted base; stamens inserted in contact with the ovary; capsule membranous, 3-celled, many-seeded, septicidal; seeds scarcely winged. - Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2067 St. simple, paniculate above, smooth and glaucous, as well as the linear lvs. Fls. greenish.

1 Z. glaberrimus Mx. Rhizome creeping; lvs. linear, channeled, recurved; panicle pyramidal; bracts ovate, acuminate; segm. of the perianth acuminate, glands 2 on the claw of each. - S. States. St. 2 to 3f high. Lower lvs. about 10' long, upper ones gradually diminishing, all concave and tapering to a point. Panicle terminal, loose, consisting of many greenish-white fls. Sep. ovate-lanceolate, free from the stamens, the 2 glands orbicular, distinct and conspicuous. Jn.

2 Z. glaucus Nutt. St. bulbous, nearly naked; lvs. shorter than the stem, linear, rather obtuse; panicle simple,; bracts lanceolate, shorter than the pedicels; segments oval or obovate, obtuse, each with an obcordate gland. - Sandy shores, Can. to N. Y. and Wis. Stem 10 - 15' high. Leaves glaucous, upper gradually reduced to bracts. Raceme subsimple, sometimes a little compound at base. Flowers few (10 - 20), greenish-white, on pedicels 1' long, the segments with the 2 glands united. Capsule oblong-ovoid, carpels divergent at apex, 6 - 8-seeded. Jl., Aug.

3 Z. leimanthoides Gray. Rt. fibrous; lvs. linear, flat; pan. simple, the terminal raceme elongated; segments obovate, with a glandular spot at base, and longer than the linear styles; sds. winged at the apex, lanceolate, compressed. - N. J. to La. Stem roundish, 2 - 4f high, the lower leaves about half as long, pale green, acute. Flowers white, on filiform pedicels, finally recurved. Segments of the perianth obtuse, a little shorter than the capillary filaments. July.

3. VERA'TRUM, Tourn. False Hellebore. (Lat. vere, atrum, truly black; alluding to the dark color of the flowers or root.) Flowers by abortionOrder CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2068Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2069Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2070 ; segments of the perianth united at base, petaloid, spreading, sessile and without glands; stamens 6, shorter than the perianth, and inserted on its base; ovaries 3, united at base, often abortive; styles short; capsule 3-lobed, 3-partible, ∞-seeded. - Rt. lvs. alternate. Fls. paniculate.

§ Stem stout and very leafy throughout. Sepals lanceolate, acuminate.......................................

, No. 1

§ Stem slender, nearly naked. - Sepals obtusish. Leaves oval and lanceolate.......

Nos. 2, 3

- Sepals acuminate. Leaves linear...................................................

No. 4

1 V. viride Ait. Lvs. lance-oval, acuminate; si. stout and very leafy; panicle compound, racemous; bracts oblong-lanceolate, bracteoles longer than the downy pedicels. - Can. to Ga. A large-leaved, coarse-looking plant, of our meadows and swamps. Root large, fleshy, with numerous long fibers.. Stem 2 - 4f high, striate and pubescent. Leaves strongly veined and plaited, the lower near a foot long and half as wide, sheathing at the base. Flowers numerous, green, in many axillary (or bracted) racemes, which together form a very large, pyramidal, terminal panicle. July. Root emetic and stimulant, but poisonous. (V. album Mx.)

2 V. Woodii Robbins. Indiana Veratrum. Lvs. mostly radical, lanceolate and linear-lanceolate, glabrous, veined and plicate, acute tapering to a long, winged, sheathing petiole; st. or scape terete, tall, erect, with remote, lance-linear bracts; panicle simple, slender, pyramidal, many-flowered; fls.Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2071Order CXLIX Melanthaceae Melanths 2072 , sub-sessile; segments oblanceolate, sessile {the stamens nearly free and of equal length) dark brownish-purple within. - Woods, Green Co., la., I11. (Mead) and Iowa (Cous-ens). Root fasciculate. Leaves 10 - 16' long (including the 4 - 8' petiole), 2 - 4 wide. Bracts 1 - 3' long. Scape 3 - 6f high, paniculate 1/3 its length. Flowers 9" diam., almost black, with red stamens, upper and lower sterile. Ovary oblong, crowned with 3 spreading styles half its length. Seeds compressed, winged with the broad, loose, membranous testa. July. - Very different from the next.