Herbs rarely shrubs, with the flowers 4 (sometimes 2 or 3)-merous, with the calyx tube adhering to the 2 to 4-celled ovary, and teeth valvate in the bud; the petals convolute in the bud, sometimes obsolete as well as the calyx teeth. Stamens as many or twice as many as the petals or calyx teeth; ovary 1 to 2 to 4-celled, styles united, and stigmas capitate or 4-lobed; fruit capsular or baccate, 2 to 4-celled, seeds with little or no albumen. Illust. in Figs. 116, 311, 403, 417.
Two Suborders are comprehended under this Order, viz: - the Onagraceae proper or Epilobieae, and Halorageae. The latter are aquatic herbs of low grade, - reduced Epilobes, the flowers being imperfect or reduced to solitary organs. Both together contain 38 genera and 520 species, particularly abundant throughout America, more rare in the Old World.
They possess no remarkable properties. Many of them are ornamental, as the genus Fuchsia, Clarkia, etc.
SUBORDERS AND GENERA.
I. EPILOBIEAE. Flowers perfect and complete (sometimes apetalous in Ludwigia) 2-parted
or 4-parted. Pollen connected by cobwebs. (*)
II. HALOUAGEAE. Flowers incomplete and often imperfect, small and greenish, 1,3, and
4-parted. Plants aquatic, often submersed. (c)
* Stamens 8 (or twice as many as the petals). (a)
* Stamens 4 or 2, - as many as the petals or sepals. (b)
a Calyx tube not prolonged beyond the ovary. - Seeds comous..
- Seeds glabrous..
a Calyx tube prolonged, the free summit - slender. Seeds 00...
- slender. Seeds 1 to 4
- short. Petals clawed.
- long and enlarged..........
b Flowers 4-parted, perfect, sometimes apetalous.............
b Flowers 2-parted, perfect and complete.....................
C Flowers 3-parled, perfect, apetalous..................................
C Flowers 4-parted, msnoecious, petals 4 or 0. Submersed.....................
C Flowers 1-parted, perfect, apetalous,
1. EPILO'BIUM, L. Willow Herb. Rose Bay. (Gr. upon,
a pod, lov, a violet; i. e., a violet growing upon a pod.) Calyx tube not prolonged beyond the ovary, limb deeply 4-cleft, deciduous; petals 4; stamens 8, anthers fixed near the middle; sligma often with 4 spreading lobes; ovary and capsule linear, 4-cornered, 4-celled, 4-valved; seeds ∞, comous, with a tuft of long silky hairs. - Fls. violet purple or white.
§ Leaves alternate. Fls. showy, expanding. Stamens and sty. declined................
§ Leaves opposite. Fls. small, not expanding. - Petals entire.............................
Nos. 2, 3
- Petals notched.....................
Nos. 4 - 6
1 E. angustifolium L. St. simple, erect; lvs. scattered, lanceolate, subenlire with a marginal vein; rac. long, terminal, spicate; petals unguieulate: stam. and sty. declined; stig. with 4 linear, revoluto lobes. - In newly cleared lands, low waste grounds, Penn. to Arc. Am. St. 4 to 6f high, often branched above. Lvs. sessile, smooth, 2 to 5' long, 1/4 as wide, acuminate, with pellucid veins. Fls. numerous and showy, all the parts colored; petals deep lilac-purple; ova. and sep. (5 to 6' long) pale glaucous purple. Jl., Aug.
β. canescens. Fls. of a pure white in all their part3; ovaries silvery canes-cent. Danville, Vt. (Miss Towle.)
2 E. alpinum L. St. creeping at base, usually with 2 pubescent lines, few-flowered; lvs. glabrous, opposite, obong-ovate, subentire, obtuse, sessile or sub-petiolate, smooth; stig. undivided; caps. mostly pedicellate. - Mountains, N. States to Arc. Am. St. C to 12' high. Lvs. often sightly petiolate and denticulate, lower obtuse, middle acute, and upper acuminate. Fls. smaller than in E. molle, reddish white.
β. nutans Hornem. St. large, nodding at the summit; lvs. oblong, denticulate.
3 E. palustre L. Minutely tomentous; st. terete, branching; lvs. sessile, lanceolate, subdenticulate, smooth, attenuate at base, rather acute, lower ones opposite; petals small, erect (acute?), twice longer than the calyx; sty. included; stig. clavate; caps. pubescent. - In swamps and marshes, Penn. to Arc. Am. W. to Oreg. Sts. 1 to 2f high, very branching. Lvs. mostly alternate, 1 to 3' long, 2 to 6" wide, entire, or with a few minute teeth. Fls. numerous, rose color. Caps. 2 or 3' long, on short pedicels. Aug.
β. albiflorum Lebm. St. slender, at first simple, branched at top; lvs. linear, entire, margin revolute; caps. canescent. - In mud about ponds, N. H. and Can. St. 2 to 3f high. (E. lineare Muhl.)
4 E. molle Torr. Plant velvety-pubescent; st. terete, straight, erect, branching above; lvs. opposite (alternate above), crowded, sessile, mostly entire, oblong-linear, obtusish; petals deeply emarginate, twice longer than the calyx; stig. large, turbinate; caps. elongated, subsessile. - Swamps, Mass. to N. J., rare. St. 1 to 2f high. Lvs. numerous, 8 to 15" by 1 to 4'. Fls. rose color. Caps. 3' long. Sept.
5 E. coloratum Muhl. St. subterete, puberulent, erect, very branching; lvs. mostly opposite, lanceolate, dent-serrulate, acute, subpetiolate, smooth, often with reddish veins; pet. small, 2-cleft at apex; cal. campanulate; sty. included; stig. clavate; ovules in a single row. - Ditches and wet, shady grounds, British Am. to Ga., W. to Oreg. St. 1 to 3f high, becoming very much branched. Lvs. 2 to 4' long, 1/4 as wide, with minute white dots, upper ones alternate and sessile, lower on short petioles. Fls. numerous axillary. Pedicels 1 to 2" in length, ovaries 4 to 6", caps. 20", very slender. Petals rose color, twice longer than the sepals. Jl. - Sept. - Scarcely distinct from the next.
6 E. tetragonum L. St. 4-angled, erect, branched and nearly glabrous; lvs. oblong-lanceolate, glandular-serrulate, more or less decurrent, the lower subpetiolate, petals emarginate. - Mts. of N. Car., N. Y. and Can. St. 1 to 2f high, apparently winged along the middle by the decurrent lvs. Petals rose red. Stig. club-shaped, pods pedicellate, puberulent.
2. JUSSIAE'A, L. (Dedicated to Bernard de Jussieu, founder of the Nat. System.) Calyx tube long, but not produced beyond the ovary; the lobes 4 to 6, leafy, persistent; petals 4 to 6, spreading; stamens 8 to 12; capsule 4 to 6-celled, commonly lengthened, opening between the ribs; seeds very numerous. Herbs with alternate lvs. and yellow fls.
1 J. decurrens DC. Glabrous; fls. 4-merous; sts. erect, with slender branches, and winged by the decurrent lvs.; lvs. lanceolate, sessile; caps. clavate, 4-angled, thrice longer than the pedicel, crowned with the lance-ovate, acuminate calyx lobes.- In swamps, Va. to Fla. and La., common. Sts. 6 to 12 to 20' high. Lvs. 2 to 3' long. Fls. showy, expanding about 9". Jl. - Sept.
2 J. grandiflora Mx. Hirsute; fls. 5-merous; st. creeping at base, erect; lvs. elliptical, the lower spatulate, acutish, short-petioled; fls. large; ova. slender, shorter than the pedicels; sep. lanceolate, acute.- Bogs and ditches, S. Car. Ga. (Savannah, Feay and Pond). Creeping stems several feet long, branches 1 to 2f high. Ova. with 2 tubercles at base. Fls. expanding nearly 2'. May - Aug.