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..
Aquatic glabrous herbs, rooting in the mud, or floating, with large pinnatifid submersed crowded leaves, and small white or purplish flowers, racemose-verticillate on bracted hollow erect emersed peduncles. Calyx deeply 5-parted, the lobes linear, imbricated, persistent. Corolla salverform, the tube short, the limb 5-parted, the lobes spreading, imbricated at least in the bud. Stamens 5, included, inserted on the tube of the corolla; filaments short; anthers oblong. Ovary ovoid; style filiform; stigma minute, capitate; ovules numerous, anatropous. Capsule subglobose, 5-valved. Seeds ellipsoid, numerous. [Dedicated to Peter Hotton, 1648-1709, professor at Leyden.]
Two species, the following of eastern North America, the other, the typical one, of Europe and eastern Asia.
Hottonia inflata Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 231. 1817.
Stem entirely submerged, spongy, densely leafy, branched, sometimes 2° long. Leaves sessile, or nearly so, ovate or oblong in outline, divided very nearly to the rachis into narrowly linear entire segments 1/2' -2' long, 1/4"-1" wide; peduncles several in a cluster at the ends of the stem and branches, partly emersed, hollow, jointed, constricted at the joints, 3'-8' high, the lower joint 2'-4' long, sometimes 1' thick, the others successively smaller; pedicels 2"-12" long; flowers 2"-3" long in verticils of 2-10 at the joints, subtended by linear bracts; corolla white, shorter than the calyx; capsule globose, about 1 1/2" in diameter.
4. SÀMOLUS [Tourn.] L. Sp. Pl. 171.
Perennial glabrous herbs, with alternate entire leaves, or the basal ones rosulate. Flowers small, white, in terminal racemes or panicles in our species. Calyx persistent, its tube adnate to the ovary below, its limb 5-cleft. Corolla perigynous, subcampanulate, 5-lobed or 5-parted, the lobes obtuse, imbricated, at least in the bud. Stamens 5, inserted on the tube of the corolla, opposite its lobes, alternating with as many staminodia (these wanting in S. ebracteatus), filaments short; anthers cordate. Ovary partly inferior; ovules numerous, amphitropous. Capsule globose or ovoid, 5-valved from the summit. Seeds minute. [Name Celtic]
About 10 species, of wide distribution, most abundant in South Africa and Australasia. Besides the following 3 others occur in the southern United States. Type species: Samolus Valerandi L.
Samolus floribundus H.B.K. Nov. Gen. 2: 224. 1817.
S. Valerandi var. americanus A. Gray, Man. Ed. 2, 274. 1856.
Erect or ascending, branched, at least at the base, 6'-i8' high. Leaves membranous, 1' - 3' long, 1/2'-1' wide, obovate, obtuse at the apex, narrowed at the base into petioles, the basal often in a rosulate tuft, the uppermost smaller and sometimes sessile; flowers commonly numerous, less than 1" broad, in loose elongated panicled racemes; pedicels filiform, spreading, 4"-12" long, bracteolate near the middle; calyx-lobes acute, shorter than the corolla; capsule \"-\\" in diameter, the 5 apical valves spreading at maturity.
Samolus Valeràndi L., of Europe and Asia, a smaller plant with mostly simple racemes and larger flowers and capsules, has been found in ballast about Philadelphia.