This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Marsh herbs with basal half-rounded ligulate leaves with membranous sheaths. Flowers in terminal spikes or racemes on long naked scapes. Perianth-segments 3-6, concave, the 3 inner ones inserted higher up than the outer. Stamens 3-6; anthers 2-celled, sessile or nearly so, inserted at the base of the perianth-segments and attached by their backs. Ovaries 3-6, 1-celled, sometimes abortive; ovules solitary, basal, erect, anatropous. Style short or none. Stigmas as many as the ovaries, plumose. Fruit of 3-6 cylindraceous oblong or obovoid carpels, which are distinct or connate, coriaceous, costate, when ripe separating from the base upward from a persistent central axis, their tips straight or recurved, dehiscing by a ventral suture. Seeds erect, cylindraceous or ovoid-oblong, compressed or angular. [Greek, in allusion to the three-pointed fruit of some species.]
About 9 species, natives of the temperate and subarctic zones of both hemispheres. Type species: Triglochin palustris L. Only the following are known to occur in North America.
Fruit linear or clavate, tapering to a subulate base.
Fruit nearly globose.
Carpels 6; fruit oblong or ovoid, obtuse at the base.
Triglochin palustris L. Sp. PI. 338. 1753.
Rootstock short, oblique, with slender fugacious stolons. Leaves linear, shorter than the scapes, 5'-12' long, tapering to a sharp point; ligules very short; scapes 1 or 2, slender, striate, 8'-20' high; racemes 5'-12' long; pedicels capillary, in fruit erect-appressed and 2 1/2"-3 1/2" long; perianth-segments 6, greenish-yellow; anthers 6, sessile; pistil of 3 united carpels, 3-celled, 3-ovuled; stigmas sessile; fruit 3"-3 1/2" long, linear or clavate; ripe carpels separating from the axis and hanging suspended from its apex, the axis 3-winged.
In bogs, Greenland to Alaska, south to New York, Indiana and Colorado. Also in Europe and Asia. July-Sept.
Rootstocks upright or oblique. Scapes 1 or 2, more or less angular, usually not over 10' high; leaves slender, slightly fleshy, nearly or quite as long as the scapes, 1/4"-1" wide; flowers very small, light yellow or greenish, in spicate racemes; pedicels \"-\" long, not elongating in fruit; perianth-segments 3, stamens 3; anthers oval, large; pistil of 3 united carpels; fruit sub-globose or somewhat obovoid, about 1" in diameter, appearing 3-winged when dry by the contracting of the carpels; carpels coriaceous, rounded and 3-ribbed on the back; axis broadly 3-winged.
In saline marshes. Maryland to Florida and Louisiana. Also in California and tropical America. June-Sept.
Rootstock without stolons, often subligneous, the caudex thick, mostly covered with the sheaths of old leaves. Scape stout, nearly terete, 6'-2° high; leaves half-cylindric, usually about 1" wide; raceme elongated, often 16' or more long; pedicels decurrent, 1"-1 1/2" long, slightly longer in fruit; perianth segments 6, each subtending a large sessile anther; pistil of 6 united carpels; fruit oblong or ovoid, 2 1/2"-3" long, 1 1/2"-2" thick, obtuse at the base, with 6 recurved points at the summit; carpels 3-angled, flat or slightly grooved on the back, or the dorsal edges curving upward and winged, separating at maturity from the hexagonal axis.
In salt marshes, along the Atlantic seaboard from Labrador to New Jersey, and in fresh or saline marshes to Alaska, California and Mexico. Also in Europe and Asia. July-Sent.