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..
Annual or biennial erect usually branched glabrous herbs, with opposite or sometimes verticillate sessile or rarely petioled or clasping leaves, and rather large terminal and solitary or cymose pink rose or white flowers. Calyx 4-12-parted or -divided, the tube campanulate, sometimes very short, the lobes or segments usually narrow. Corolla rotate, deeply 4-12-parted. Stamens 4-12, inserted on the short tube .of the corolla; filaments filiform, short; anthers linear or oblong, curved, revolute or coiled in anthesis. Ovary 1-celled, the placentae intruded; style 2-cleft or 2-parted, its lobes filiform, stigmatic along their inner sides. Capsule ovoid or globose, 2-valved, many-seeded. Seeds small, reticulated. [In honor of L. and C. Sabbati, Italian botanists, according to Salisbury, Parad. Lond. pl. 32, therefore Sabbatia, though Adanson's spelling was Sabatia.]
About 18 species, natives of eastern North America, the West Indies and Mexico. Besides the following, some 6 others occur in the southern United States. Type species: Chironia dodecandra L.
Flowers normally 4-5-parted, sometimes 6-7-parted. Branches opposite.
Style 2-parted to below the middle or nearly to the base; flowers white. Leaves lanceolate or ovate, acute; flowers 8"-12" broad.
1. S. lanceolata.
Leaves linear-oblong or lanceolate, obtuse; flowers 0 -9 broad.
Style 2-cleft to about the middle; flowers normally pink. Leaves linear-lanceolate, sessile: stem slightly 4-angled.
3. S. brachiata.
Leaves ovate, cordate-clasping; stem strongly 4-angled.
4. S. angularis.
Branches alternate, the lower sometimes opposite in nos. 5 and 6. Calyx-segments foliaceous, longer than the corolla.
5. S. calycina.
Calyx-segments linear or lanceolate, not longer than the corolla.
Calyx-tube 5-ribbed; flowers 1'- 2' broad; leaves ovate to oblong.
6. S.. campestris.
Calyx-tube scarcely ribbed; flowers 1' -1 1/2' broad; leaves linear to lanceolate. Calyx shorter than the corolla; style 2-parted.
Flower pink with a yellow eye (rarely white); corolla-segments obovate.
Flowers white, very numerous; corolla-segments spatulate or oblanceolate.
Calyx-segments filiform, as long as the corolla; style 2-cleft.
9. S. campanulata.
Flowers normally 8-12-parted, 1 1/2' - 2 1/2' broad.
10. S. dodecandra.
Stem branched above, or simple, slender, somewhat 4-angled, or terete below, 1°-3° high, the branches all opposite. Leaves lanceolate to ovate, acute, or the lower sometimes obtuse, 3-5-nerved, 1'-2' long, or the lowest shorter, the uppermost reduced to narrow bracts; flowers white, fading yellowish, 8"-12" broad, usually numerous in bracteolate corymbed cymes; pedicels slender, 2"- 7" long; calyx-lobes filiform-linear, much shorter than the corolla; corolla-segments oblong or slightly obovate; anthers recurved; style 2-parted; capsule ovoid, about 3" high.
In pine-barren swamps, New Jersey to Florida. May-Sept.