Herbs fleshy, leafless, growing parasitically upon the roots of other plants. Calyx 4 to 5-toothed, inferior, persistent. Corolla irregular, persistent, imbricate in aestivation. Stamens 4, didynamous. Anthers 2-celled, cells distinct, parallel, often bearded, at base. Ovary 1-cellod, free from the calyx, with 2 or 4 parietal placentae. Capsule enclosed within the withered corolla, 1-celled, 2-valved. Seeds very numerous and minute, with albumen.
Genera 12, species 116, mostly natives of the northern temperate zone. Properties astringent and bitter.
* Flowers polygamous, on spicate branchos ; sterile above, fertile below......
* Flowers perfect, - in a dense, thick spike. Calyx 2-bracted......................................................
-on naked, terminal peduncles. Calyx bractless..........
1. EPIPHE'GUS, Nutt. Beechdrops. (Gr. upon, the beech ; being parasitic on the roots of that tree.) Monœciously polygamous, the upper flowers complete but sterile, the lower imperfect, fertile ; Calyx 5-toothed ; corolla tubular, compressed, curved, upper lip emarginate; stamens barely included ; corolla 4-toothed, short, deciduous, without expanding; stamens imperfect; capsule, 2-valved, opening on the upper side.-Parasite on the roots of the beech. Branches simple, spicate, floriferous their whole length.
E. Virginiana Bart.-In Beech woods, Can. to Ga. and Ky. Root a ball of rigid, short, brittle radicles. Plant If high, leafless, of a dull, red color, glabrous, branching and flower-bearing its whole length. Fls. alternate, subsessile, brownish white, the sterile, 4 to 5" long. Aug., Sept.
2. CONOPH'OLIS, Wallroth. Squaw Root. (Gr. a cone, a scale; from its resemblance.) Flowers perfect, crowded, spicate ; calyx with 2 bractlets at the base, unequally 5-cleft; corolla ringent, 2 lipped, tube curved, upper lip 2-lobcd, lower 3-parted ; anthers sagittate 2-celled, cells acute at base ; capsule with 2 placentae on each valve.-Stem short, thick, simple, covered with ovate-lanceolate, acute, imbricated scales, the upper with the fls. subsessile in their axils.
1 C. Americana Wallr. Very smooth; stem very thick; scales oval-lanceolate; calyx more deeply cleft on the lower side; cor. ventricous; stam. exserted.-Old woods, Can. to Ga. and La. Stem 4-7 high, and near 1' thick, of a brownish yellow, covered with pale, polished scales regularly imbricated as in a Pine cone. July. (Orobanche, L.)
2 C. Ludoviciana. Glandular pubescent; stem rather thick, very short; scales ovate; cal. subequally and deeply cleft; cor. tubular, much longer than the bracts; stam. included.-Alluvial soil, Ill. (Hall, fide Gray), to Nebraska. St 3 to 4' high. Fls. very numerous and crowded. Cal. segm. linear, acute. Cor. purple. Oct. (Orobanche, Nutt. Philipaea, Don.)
3. APHYL'LON, Mitchell. (Orobanche, L.) Naked Broomrape. (Gr. a, privative, a leaf; alluding to its leafless character.) Flowers perfect, solitary, on long bractless peduncles or scapes; calyx regularly 5-cleft, campanulate ; corolla tube elongated, curved, border spreading, subequally 5-lobed ; anthers included, cells distinct, mucron-ate; capsule with 4, equidistant placentae. Plants glandular, pubescent. St. very short, producing at the summit, 1, 2, or many flower stalks, and few if any scales.
1 A. uniflora Torr. & Gr. Ped. in pairs or simple, naked, each 1-flowered.-A small, leafless plant, with the general aspect of a Monotropa, found in woods and thickets. Can. and U. S. St. not exceeding 1/2' in length. This divides at its top generally into 2, scape like, erect, round, simple, naked peduncles 4 to 5' high, downy, purplish white, with a nodding flower at the top, of the same hue. Jn., Jl.
2 A. fasciculata Torr. & Gr. Ped. many, nearly terminal, about the length of the stem; scales few, ovate; cor. lobes short, rounded.-Islands in Lake Huron (Engelman, fide Gray), W. to Nebraska. Stem arising 2 to 3' out of the ground. Ped. 6 or more, same length. Fls. pale purple. May.