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 or perennial tall herbs, with opposite broad petioled thin leaves and very small polygamous perfect or dioecious 3-bracted white flowers, in large terminal panicles or pan-icled spikes. Calyx 5-parted, the pistillate usually woolly-pubescent. Stamens 5, rarely less; filaments united by their bases, filiform; anthers I-celled. Utricle very small, subglobose, indehiscent. [Greek, in allusion to the woolly pubescence.]
About 20 species, natives of warm and temperate regions. Besides the following typical species another occurs in the southwestern United States.
Celosia paniculata L. Sp. Pl. 206. 1753.
Iresine celosioides L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, 1456. 1763.
Iresine paniculata Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 542. 1891.
Annual, stem erect, usually branched, slender, 2°-5° tall, glabrous or nearly so. Leaves ovate, ovate-lanceolate or the upper lanceolate, 2'-6' long, slender-petioled, pinnately veined, nearly or quite glabrous; flowers very numerous, 1" broad or less, in large terminal much branched panicles; calyx and bracts silvery, dry; pistillate flowers white-villous at the base, about twice as long as the bracts.
In dry soil, Ohio to Kansas, south to Florida and Texas. Widely distributed in tropical America. Aug.-Sept.