Herbs, with alternate, entire, or pinnate leaves. Stipules minute, gland-like. Fls. in racemes or spikes, small and often fragrant, 4 - 7-merous. Sepals somewhat united at base, unequal, green. Petals unequal, entire or cleft. Sta. 8 - 20, inserted on the disk. Torus hypogynous, one-sided, glandular. Ova. sessile, 3-lobed, 1-celled, many-seeded. Placenta 2, parietal. Fr. a capsule, 1-celled, opening between the stigmas before maturity. (Illustrated in Figs. 295, 422.)
Genera 6, species 41, inhabiting the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, having no very remarkable properties. Reseda luteola contains a yellow coloring matter, and other species are very fragrant.
RESEDA, L. (Lat. resedo, to calm; the plants are said to relieve pain.) Sepals 4 - 7; petals of an equal number, often cleft; torus large, fleshy, one-sided, bearing the 8 - ∞ stamens.
1 R. luteola L. Dyer's Weed. Lvs. lanceolate, with a tooth on each side at base; sepals 4, united below; petals (greenish-yellow) 3 - 5-cleft. - Nearly naturalized in West N. Y. St. about 2f high. The flowers are arranged in a long spike, which, as Linnaeus observes, follows the course of the sun, inclining east, south and west, by day, and north by night. - It affords a useful yellow dye, also, the paint called Dutch pink. § Eur.
2 R. odorata L. Mignonette. Fig. 295, 422. Lvs. cuneiform, entire or 3-lobed; sep. shorter than the 7 - 13-cleft petals. - A well known and universal favorite of the garden, native of Egypt. The flowers are highly fragrant and no bouquet should be considered complete without them. The variety frutescens is by a peculiar training (§87) made perennial and raised to the height of 2f, with the form of a tree. The species phyteuma, native of Palestine, has a calyx larger than the petals.