Small annual herbs with slender, scaly or naked stems and scale-like, tufted leaves.
3, opposite the smaller teeth (petals), introrse, or 6 and extrorse. Capsule 1 or 3celled, seeds numerous, minute, loose in a membrauous testa.
Genera 7, species 30, in wet, grassy places in the warm parts of Asia, Africa and America They are said to be bitter and astringent.
1. APTE'RIA, Nutt. (Gr. a, privative, a wing.) Perianth bell-tubular, tube longer than the slender teeth, marescent; teeth alternately narrower; capsule globular, wingless, 1-celled, valves opening first at base; placentae parietal; seeds innumerable, oblong, very minute. - Herbs apparently leafless.
A. setacea Nutt. Erect, very slender, with remote, subulate scales, and dividing above into 2 racemes; fls. distant, pedicellate. - Moist, shady woods, Fla. and La. (Hale). St 4 to 6f high. Raceme often simple. Coralla 3 to 4" long, purplish.
2. BURMAN'NIA, L. (Dedicated to one Burmann, a German botanist.) Perianth tube scarcely produced above the ovary, often 3-winged below, limb with 3 inner teeth much shorter; capsule prismatic, often 3-winged, cells 3, with a thick placenta; in the axis: seeds numerous. -
1 B. biflora L. St. capillary, simple, with scarcely perceptible bracts, and 1 or 1 rarely more, small light blue flowers at top, the angles of the tube conspicuously winged. - Grassy swamps in the lower districts, Va. to Fla. and La. St. 2 to 3' high. Fls. 2 to 3" long. Oct., Nov.
2 B. capitata L. St. setaceous, furnished with a lew subulate bracts, simple, erect, bearing at top a dense cluster of white fls.; ovary and fruit scarcely winged. - Upper districts of S. Car. and Ga. (Bachman), less common and with smaller fls. than in the last. St. 6 to 8' high. Sept