Herbs growing in marshes and ditches, with rigid, ensiform, sessile leaves. Flowers monoecious, arranged on a spadix or in heads, with no spathe. Perianth of a few scales, or a tuft of hairs, or 0. Stamens 1 to 4, with long, slender filaments. Ovary with 1 pendulous ovule. Seed albuminous, with an axial embryo. Fig. 457.
Genera 2, species 13, widely distributed throughout the world.
I. TY'PHA. L. (Gr. a marsh; where all the species grow.)
Spadix of flowers long, cylindric, dense; stamens about 3 together, united into a common filament; flowers below the sterile; ovary pedicellate, surrounded at base by a hair-like pappus. - Root . Spadix terminal, the upper staminate, the lower pistillate. Fls. very numerous.
T. latifolia (and angustifolia Linn.) Cat-tail. Reed Mace. Lvs. ensiform, concave within near the base; sterile and fertile spikes close together, or a little remote. - A common, smooth, tall inhabitant of the water, in muddy pools and ditches, U. S, Can. Stem 3 to 5f, round and smooth, leafy below. Spikes terminal, 6 to 10', brown, composed of slender, downy flowers, packed solid. The upper portion is slender, composed of the sterile flowers. Leaves somewhat sword-shaped, erect, 2 - 4f and nearly 1' wide. They are called flags, and useful for weaving the seats of chairs, etc. July.
β. angustifolia. Sterile and fertile spikes a little remote (1/4 - 2'). - Found in the same situations with the former. A well marked variety, but differing only in the more slender habit, and less complete development of its parts.
2. SPAR'GANUM, L. Burr Reed. (Gr. a band or fillet; in reference to the long, ribbon-like leaves.) Spadices many, globoids, the lower fertile, the upper consisting of numerous stamens with scales intermixed; filaments slender; anthers oblong-linear, 2-celled; pistils numerous, sessile, each surrounded by 3 or 6 scales, which represent a perianth; stigma ligulate, unilateral, fruit nut-like, sessile, 1-seeded. - Aquatic herbs. St. leafy, simple or branched. Lvs. long, linear, sheathing at base.
§ Stigmas mostly 2. Stems of the inflorescence branching. Erect........................................................
§ Stigmas always single. Stem simple. - Erect. Heads large (half inch diam.).......
- Floating or erect. Heads small............................................
1 S. ramosum Huds. Lvs. triangular at base, their sides concave; common flower-stalks branched; stig. 2, linear. - Grows in pools and ditches, where it is conspicuous among other reedy plants for its globular burrs of flowers. Stem 1 - 2f high, flexuous, round, with a few branches above. Leaves 1/2 - 2f long, 4 - 8" wide, linear, arising above the stem, triangular towards the base, and sword-form upwards, tapering, but obtuse. Heads of flowers light green; fertile ones 2 - 5, 6" diam., the lowest generally raised on a short, axillary stalk; sterile ones above, more numerous, smaller, sessile. Aug.
2 S. simplex Smith. Lower lvs. equal with, or exceeding the stem, which is nearly simple, floral ones concave at base and erect; stig. always simple, ovate-oblong, oblique, scarcely more than half the length of the style. - Ponds and lakes. Stem 1 - 2f high, simple or divided at base. Leaves mostly radical, 1 - 2 1/2f by 3", carinate at base. Fertile heads sessile, generally 3, 6 to 8" diam., below the several barren ones, with the simple styles conspicuous. Aug. (S. Americanum Nutt.)
3 S. natans L. Lvs. floating, flat; common flower-stalk simple; stig. ovate, very short; head of sterile fls. subsolitary; fruit beaked and stipitate. - Lakes and pools, U. S. and Brit. Am. Stem long and slender, and, with the leaves, floating upon the surface of the water. Leaves thin and pellucid. Heads of fertile flowers axillary, generally 2, small, mostly sessile. Sterile cluster terminal. Aug.
4 S. angustifolium Mx. Slender, weak, simple, erect or floating; lvs. narrowly linear, shorter than the stem when erect, elongated when floating; heads very small, axillary, the lower pedunculate; stigma single, short; fr. scarcely beaked, sessile. - N. Eng., N. Y., Can., pools and streams. Sts. 1 to 2f long, lvs. 1 to 3 to 9' or more, obtuse. Hds. scarce a fourth of an inch diam.