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..
Perennial herbs, with alternate, usually entire leaves, and white or yellow, axillary, solitary flowers. Peduncles mostly 2-bracted at the summit. Calyx-tube elongated, cylindric or prismatic, adnate to the ovary but not prolonged beyond it, the limb 4-6-lobed, the lobes acute, persistent. Petals 4-6 (rarely more), inserted under the margin of the disk. Stamens 8-12, in 2 rows, inserted with the petals; filaments short. Ovary 4-6-celled; stigma 4-6-lobed; ovules ∞ . Capsule linear, oblong or club-shaped, angular or ribbed, septicidally dehiscent, crowned with the calyx-lobes. Seeds numerous. [In honor of Bernard de Jussieu, 1699-1777, founder of the Natural System of Botany.]
About 35 species, natives of warm and temperate regions, most abundant in America. Besides the following about 7 others occur in the Southern States. Type species: Jussiaea repens L.
Creeping or floating; petals 5; pod cylindric.
Erect; petals 4; pod club-shaped, 4-sided.
I. diffusa Forskal, Fl. AEgypt. Arab. 210. 1775. Jussiaea repens Sw. Obs. 172. 1791. Not L.
Stem creeping or floating, freely rooting from the nodes, glabrous, 1°-3° long. Leaves oval, oval-lanceolate or obovate, slender-peti-oled, glabrous, veiny, obtuse or acute at the apex, narrowed at the base, entire, 1'-4' long; peduncles slender; flowers yellow, 6"-12" broad; calyx-lobes 5, lanceolate, acute, shorter than the 5 obovate usually emarginate petals; stamens 10; capsule cylindric, tapering at the base, ridged, glabrous, 1'-1 1/2' long, 1 1/2"-2" thick; seeds in 1 row in each cell.
In ponds, Kentucky and Illinois to Kansas, Florida and Texas. Also in tropical America and Asia. Clove-strip. June-Aug.
Erect, stem angled, branching, glabrous, 1°-2° high. Leaves lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base and decurrent on the stem, entire, 1'-4' long; flowers very short-peduncled, yellow, 4"-6" broad; calyx-lobes 4, ovate-lanceolate, acute, about equalling the 4 obovate petals; stamens 8; capsule club-shaped, 2-3 times as long as the peduncle, 4-sided, the angles somewhat winged; seeds in several rows in each cell.