Erect perennial herbs, with large 2-3-ternate leaves, and small spicate polygamous flowers in terminal panicles. Calyx campanulate, 4-5-lobed. Petals 4-5 (in our species), linear-spatulate, inserted at the base of the calyx. Stamens 8-10, all perfect, inserted with the petals; filaments elongated. Ovary superior or nearly so, 2-3-celled, deeply 2-3-lobed; styles 2-3) stigmas obtuse; ovules 00. Capsule 2-3-lobed, separating into 2-3 follicle-like carpels, each usually few-seeded. Seeds small, the testa loose, tapering at each end. [Greek, without brightness.]

About 7 species, natives of eastern North America, eastern Asia and the Himalayas. Besides the following another species occurs in the southern Alleghanies. Type species: Astilbe rivu~ làris D. Don.

1. Astilbe Biternàta (Vent.) Britton. False Goat's Beard. Astilbe

Fig. 2151

Tiarella biternata Vent. Jard. Malm.

pl. 54. 1803. Spiraea Aruncus var. hermaphrodita Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 294. 1803. Astilbe decandra D. Don, Prodr. Fl.

Nepal, 211. 1825. Astilbe biternata Britton, Bull. Torr.

Club 20: 475. 1893.

Erect, 3°-6° high, more or less pubescent. Leaves petioled, 2-3-ternately compound, often 2° broad; leaflets thin, stalked, ovate, cordate, truncate or rounded at the base, the lateral ones usually oblique, acuminate at the apex, sharply serrate or incised, 2'-5' long; panicles often 1° long; flowers sessile or nearly so, about 2" broad, yellowish white; petals of the staminate flowers spatu-late, those of the perfect ones much smaller or none; stamens 10; follicles 2, acute, glabrous, about 1 1/2" long.

In woods, mountains of Virginia to North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Plant with the aspect of Aruncus. June.

1 Astilbe Bitern Ta Vent Britton False Goat s Bear 493