This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", 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..
Tall erect perennial herbs, with large decompound leaves, and white racemose flowers. Sepals 2-5, petaloid, deciduous. Petals 1-8, small, clawed, 2-lobed or none. Stamens numerous, the filaments filiform. Carpels 1-8, many-ovuled, sessile or stipitate, forming follicles at maturity. Stigma broad or minute. [Latin, to drive away bugs.]
A genus of about 10 species, natives of North America, Asia and eastern Europe. Besides the following, there are 3 on the western side of the continent. Type species: Cimicifuga foetida L.
Carpels 1 or 2, sessile; seeds in 2 rows, smooth.
Leaflets ovate, oblong or obovate, narrowed, truncate or subcordate at the base.
Leaflets broadly ovate or suborbicular, deeply cordate.
Carpels 2-8, stalked; seeds in 1 row, chaffy.
Actaea racemosa L. Sp. Pl 504. 1753.
Cimicifuga racemosa Nutt. Gen. 2: 15. 1818.
Cimicifuga racemosa dissecta A. Gray, Man. Ed. 6, 47. 1890.
Stem slender, 3°-8° high, leafy above; root-stock thick. Leaves ternate, the divisions pinnate and the ultimate leaflets often again compound; leaflets ovate or oblong, or the terminal one obovate, acute or sometimes ob-tusish at the apex, narrowed, truncate or the lower subcordate at base, incisely-toothed, cleft, divided, or occasionally dissected, thick-ish, nearly glabrous; racemes compound, terminal, 6'-3° long, usually finely pubescent; pedicels bracted; flowers 6"-7" broad, foetid; petals 4-8, 2-cleft; stamens very numerous; pistils 1 or 2, sessile; stigma broad; follicles oval, 3"-4" long, minutely beaked; seeds in 2 rows, smooth, flattened.
Cimicifuga cordifolia Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 373. 1814.
Cimicifuga racemosa var. cordifolia A. Gray, Syn. Fl. 1: Part 1, 55. 1895.
Tall, similar to the preceding species. Leaflets few, very broadly ovate or orbicular, acute, obtuse or acuminate at the apex, deeply cordate at the base, sometimes 6' wide; pistil 1, sessile; follicles apparently very similar to those of C. racemosa. An imperfectly understood species, reported to flower later than C. racemosa where the two grow together.
In woods, southwestern Virginia to North Carolina and Tennessee. Tennessee specimens agree exactly with the figure of this plant given in Botanical Magazine. pl. 2069. Heart-leaved rattle-top. June-July.
C. americana Michx. Fl. Am. I: 316. 1803.
Stem slender, 3°-5° high, leafy. Leaves ter-natc, the divisions pinnate with many of the ultimate leaflets again compound; leaflets ovate or oblong, the terminal one generally cuneate, acute, thin, glabrate, all incisely toothed, cleft or divided, 1'-3' long; racemes terminal, slender, compound, densely and finely pubescent, 1°-2° long; flowers pedi-celled, 4"-6" broad; pedicels minutely bracted; petals few, 2-lobed; stamens numerous; pistils 3-8, stipitate, stigma minute; follicles inflated, membranous, 5" long, narrowed below, tipped with a short oblique subulate beak; seeds in 1 row, flattened, chaffy.