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..
Annual viscid glandular-pubescent herbs, with digitately 3-foliolate leaves, and small white or yellowish flowers in terminal bracted racemes. Sepals spreading, slightly united at the base. Petals 4, laciniate or fimbriate at the summit, borne on long slender claws, the 2 lower smaller than the 2 upper. Receptacle short, with a short petaloid nectary between the ovary and the upper sepal. Stamens 6-14; filaments slender, declined. Ovary stalked, also declined. Capsule linear, nearly terete, many-seeded. [Diminutive of cristatus, crested, referring to the lacinitale petals.]
A genus of 2 species natives of the south-central United States. Type species: Cristatella erosa Nutt.
Cristatella Jamesii T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1: 124. 1838.
Erect, slender, branching, 6'-15' high. Leaves slender-petioled; leaflets nearly sessile, linear or linear-oblong, longer than the petiole, entire, obtuse, 4"-12" long; flowers slender-pedicelled, whitish or yellowish, the pedicels diverging; bracts mostly 3-foliolate; claws of the larger petals 1 1/2"-2 1/2" long; sepals acute or obtusish; pod ascending, much longer than its stipe and somewhat longer than the pedicel.
In dry soil, Iowa to Nebraska, Colorado, Louisiana and Texas. Reported from Illinois. June-Dec.