This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", 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..
Erect or diffuse glabrous or glandular-pubescent herbs, with opposite sessile, entire or dentate leaves, and yellow or whitish peduncled flowers solitary in the axils. Peduncles 2-bracteolate at the summit in the following species. Calyx 5-parted, the segments narrow, slightly unequal. Corolla irregular, its tube cylindric, its limb more or less 2-lipped; upper lip entire, emarginate, or 2-cleft; lower lip 3-lobed. Perfect stamens 2, the anterior pair wanting, or represented by rudiments; filaments filiform; anther-sacs distinct, transverse and separated by a broad connective. Style filiform; stigma dilated, slightly 2-lobed. Capsule loculicidally and septicidally dehiscent, ovoid or globose, 4-valved. Seeds numerous, longitudinally and transversely striate. [Latin, grace or favor, from its reputed healing properties.]
About 30 species, of wide geographic distribution in temperate and warm regions. Besides the following, some 9 others occur in southern and western North America. Type species: Gratiola officinalis L.
Sterile filaments minute or none.
Glandular-puberulent; flowers 4"-5" long; capsule ovoid.
1. G. virginiana.
Glabrous; flowers 7 long; capsule globose.
Sterile filaments 2, slender, capitate at the summit. Leaves lanceolate, entire or remotely denticulate.
3. G. aurea.
Leaves ovate or oblong, sharply serrate.
4. G. viscosa.
Gratiola virginiana L. Sp. Pl. 17. 1753.
Annual; stem erect, at length widely branched, glandular-puberulent, at least above, 3'-12' high. Leaves oblong or oblong-lanceolate, sessile, narrowed to both ends, denticulate, 1'-2' long, 2"-5" wide, glabrous or nearly so; peduncles slender, glandular, shorter than or equalling the leaves; flowers 4"-5" long; bractlets as long as the calyx, or longer; calyx about one-half as long as the yellowish corolla-tube; limb of the corolla short, white; sterile filaments minute or none; anther-sacs transverse, separated by a broad connective; capsule broadly ovoid, 2" high, as long as the calyx.
In wet places, Quebec to British Columbia, south to Florida, Texas and California. Ascends to 3000 ft. in Virginia. Water jessamine. May-Oct.
Gratiola sphaerocarpa Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 14. 1816.
Annual (or perennial?), glabrous; stem ascending or erect, rather stout, simple or branched, 6'-12' high. Leaves oblong or obovate-oblong, sessile, dentate or denticulate, 3-5-nerved, acute or obtusish at the apex, narrowed at the base, 1'-2' long, 3"-8" wide; peduncles stout, little cr not at all longer than the calyx; bractlets about equalling the calyx; calyx-lobes linear; calyx nearly one-half as long as the corolla; flowers about 7" long; corolla-tube yellow, the limb paler; anther-sacs broad, transverse; sterile filaments wanting; capsule globose, 3" in diameter.
In wet places, southern New Jersey to Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Mexico. June-Sept.
Gratiola aurea Muhl. Cat. 2. 1813.
Perennial, glandular-puberulent above, or gla-brate; stems decumbent, creeping or ascending, simple or branched, 4'-12' long, somewhat 4-sided. Leaves lanceolate to linear-oblong, 1/2'-1' long, 1"- 3" wide, sparingly denticulate, scarcely narrowed to the sessile and somewhat clasping base; peduncles filiform, in fruit equalling or longer than the calyx; corolla bright yellow, 6"-7" long, 3 times as long as the calyx; sterile filaments 2, capitate at the summit; anther-sacs of the fertile stamens broad, transverse; capsule globose-ovoid, shorter than or equalling the calyx.
In sandy wet places, Quebec and Ontario to New Jersey and Virginia. Recorded from Florida. June-Sept.
Gratiola viscosa Schwein.; LeConte, Ann. Lyc. N. Y.1: 106. 1823.
Annual; stem weak, finely viscid-pubescent, slender, commonly simple, 6'-18' long. Leaves ovate, ovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate, sharply serrate, acute at the apex, sessile, cordate-clasping at the base, 1/2'-1' long; peduncles slender, shorter than or exceeding the leaves; bractlets and calyx-segments foliaceous, entire or dentate, one-third to one-half as long as the yellow or purplish corolla; flowers 5"-6" long; sterile filaments 2, capitate at the summit; anther-sacs of the fertile stamens transverse, separated by the broad connective; capsule subglobose, shorter than the calyx.
In brooks and swamps, Delaware to Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee. May-Sept.