Herbs succulent or fleshy, with entire leaves, no stipules, and regular flowers.
Sepals 2. united at base, rarely 3 or 5. Petals 5, rarely 0, more or less imbricated in aestivation. Sta. variable in number, but opposite the petals when as many.
Ova. superior, 1-celled. Sly, several, stigmatous along the inner surface. Fr. a pyxis, dehiscing by a lid, or a capsule, loculicidal, with as many valves as stigmas.
Seeds few or many, on long funiculi from the base, or on free central placentae.
Genera 27, species 250, inhabiting dry places in every quarter of the world. They possess no remarkable properties.
§ Sepals 5. Petals none. Fruit a pyxis..........................................
§ Sepals 2. - Stamens .5, opposite the 5 petals......................................
- Stamens 7 to 30, - hypogynous, capsule 3-valved...........................
- perigynous. Pyxis opening by a lid..................
1. SESUVIUM, L. Sea Purslane. Sepals 5, united below, colored inside; petals 0; stamens few or many, always more than the sepals, and inserted on them; capsules (pyxis) few, 3-celled, opening transversely like a lid; seeds ∞ minute. - Succulent sea-side herbs, with opposite lvs. and axillary, solitary fls.
S portulacaatrum Tourn. Lvs. linear-spatulate; fls. sessile or short-peduncled; stam. ∞. - Sea-coast, in sand, N. J. to Fla. St round, branching, smooth, thick, a foot or more in length. Lvs. obtuse, tapering at base to a petiole, very thick and smooth. Pod. much shorter than the leaves. Sep. rose-white inside, exceeding the rose-colored stamens. Jl., Nov.
2. CLAYTON1A, L. Spring Beauty. Fig. 383, 384. (In memory of John Clayton, one of the earliest botanists of Virginia.) Sepals 2, ovate or roundish, petals 5, emargined or obtuse, stamens 5, inserted on the claws of the petals; stigmas 3-cleft; capsule 3-valved, 2 to 5-seeded. - Small, fleshy, early flowering plants, arising from a small tuber. Stem with 1 - 4 leaves.
1 C. Caroliniana Mx. Lvs. ovate-lanceolate; sep. and pet. obtuse. - A delicate little plant, common in woods and rocky hills, Can. to N. Car. W. to the Miss. Rt a compressed, brown tuber, buried at a depth in the ground equal to the hight of the plant. Root lvs. very few if any, spatulate. St. weak, 2 to 3' high, with a pair of opposite leaves half way up, which are 1 to 2' by 4 to 8", entire, tapering at base into the petiole. Fls. in a terminal cluster, white with a tinge of red, and beautifully penciled with purple lines. Apr., May.
2 C. Virginica L. Lvs. linear or lance-linear; sep. rather acute, pet. obovate, mostly emarginate or retuse; ped. slender, nodding.- In low, moist grounds,
Mid. and S. States, W. to Mo., rare in N. Eng. Tuber as large as a hazel nnt, deep in the ground. St. 6 to 10' long, weak, with a pair of opposite, very narrow lvs. 3 to 5' long. Fls. 5 - 10, rose-colored, with deeper colored veins, in a terminal, finally elongated raceme. Apr., May.
3. TALINUM, Adans. Sepals 2, ovate, concave, deciduous; petals 5, sessile; stamens 10 to 20, inserted with the petals into the torus; style trifid; capsule subglobous, 3-valved, many-seeded.
T. teretifolrum L. St. simple or branched, short and thick; lvs. linear, crowded at the summit of the stem, on short branches; ped. elongated; fls. in a dichotomous cyme.- An interesting plant on rocks, Penn. to Ga. and westward. Rhizome or perennial stem firm and fleshy, with fibrous roots. Branches 1 to 3' long. Lvs. 1 to 2' long, incurved, fleshy. Bracts ovate-lanceolate, minute. Ped. 5 to 8' high, very straight, slender, and smooth. Fls. 8" broad, purple, ephemeral Stam. about 20. Caps. globular, with 35 seeds. Jn., Aug.
4. PORTULACA, Tourn. Purslanes. Sepals 2, the upper portion deciduous; petals 5 (4 to 6), equal; stamens 8 to 20; styles 3 to 6-cleft or parted; pyxis subglobous, dehiscing near the middle, many-seeded. - Low, herbaceous, fleshy. Fls. expanding only in sunshine.
1 P. oleracea L Lvs. cuneate; fls. sessile.- A prostrate, fleshy weed, more common in our gardens than desirable. St. thick and succulent, much branched and spreading, smooth. Lvs. fleshy, sessile, rounded at the end. Fls. yellow. The herbage of the plant is of a reddish-green color. Sometimes used as a potherb. Jn., Aug. §.
2 P. grandiflora Hook. Sts. ascending, much branched, branches suberect, enlarged upwards; lvs. linear, acute, the axils villous, with long, woolly hairs; fls. terminal, sessile, 1 or few together, surrounded by an irregular circle of leaves and dense tufts of wool; pet. obovate; stam. about 15. - A. very delicate plant, with purple stems and bright purple fls. 1 1/2' diam.
P. Gilliesii Hook, with short, cylindrical, blunt lvs., somewhat flattened, ascending, branched stems, and large, deep purple fls., is also popular in house cultivation. These species are natives of S. America, †