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..
Herbs or shrubs, sometimes small trees in tropical regions, with opposite or rarely verticillate simple entire or rarely glandular-ciliate or dentate leaves, no stipules, and terminal or axillary, solitary or cymose-paniculate flowers. Foliage pellucid-punctate or black-dotted. Flowers regular and perfect. Sepals 5 or 4, imbricated Petals of the same number, hypogynous, generally oblique or contorted. Stamens numerous or few, hypogynous, often in sets of 3 or 5; anthers versatile or innate, 2-celled, longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary 1-7-celled, composed of 1-7 carpels; styles as many as the carpels; ovules ∞, in 2 rows in each cavity, anatropous. Fruit mainly capsular; seeds mainly straight; endosperm none. About 10 genera and over 300 species, mostly of temperate and warm regions.
Sepals 4, in unequal pairs; petals 4.
Sepals and petals 5.
Petals yellow, convolute in the bud.
Leaves normal, not reduced to scales.
Leaves reduced to minute appressed scales.
1. ┴SCYRUM L. Sp. PL 787. 1753.
Leafy glabrous low shrubs, with the aspect of Hypericum. Flowers bright yellow. Sepals 4, in 2 pairs, the exterior ones broad and round, the interior smaller and narrower. Petals 4, oblique or slightly contorted, deciduous. Stamens 00, distinct, or united in clusters. Ovary I-celled, with 2-4 parietal placentae; styles 2-4. Capsule I-celled, 2-4-valved, dehiscent at the placentae. [Greek, not rough.]
About s species, natives of eastern and southeastern North America, the West Indies and Central America. Type species: Ascyrum hypericoides L.
Erect, 1-2 high; leaves clasping; styles 3-4.
Diffusely branched, 5'-10' high: leaves sessile; styles 2.
Ascyrum stans Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 77. 1803.
Erect, simple or with a few upright branches, 1°-2° high. Stems and branches 2-edged or slightly winged; leaves clasping, erect or ascending, oval, or broadly oblong, 9"-18" long, 5"-7" wide, obtuse, thick; cymes terminal, few-flowered; pedicels 4"-6" long, 2-bracted below the middle; flowers 8-12" broad; outer sepals nearly orbicular, 4"-6" long, cordate, the inner lanceolate, 3"-6" long; petals obovate, longer than the sepals; styles 3 or 4. short; capsule ovoid, about 3" long.
Ascyrum hypericoides L. Sp. Pl. 788. 1753. Ascyrum Crux-Andreae L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, 1107. 1763.
Low, much branched from the base, diffuse or ascending, 5'-10' high. Stems and branches flattened and 2-edged; leaves oblong or obovate, sessile, narrowed and 2-glandular at the base, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, 2"-4" wide, thin, obtuse; flowers terminal or also axillary; pedicels l" - 3" long; 2-bracted near the summit; flowers 6"-9" broad; outer sepals oval or ovate, sometimes cordate, 4"-6" long, 2"-4" wide, obtuse, the inner narrower and mainly shorter; petals oblong-linear, about equalling the outer sepals; styles 2; capsule ovoid, about 2' long.
In dry sandy soil, Nantucket, Mass., to Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and Texas. Ascends to 2800 ft. in Virginia. Cuba; Jamaica. July-Aug.