Slender annual procumbent or diffuse herbs, with verticillate spiny-pointed leaves, and small nearly sessile pink or blue flowers, in terminal and axillary involucrate heads. Calyx-tube obovoid, its limb 4-6-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, persistent. Corolla funnelform, 4-5-lobed, the tube as long as the lobes or longer. Stamens 4 or 5, inserted on the tube of the corolla; filaments slender; anthers small, oblong, exserted. Ovary 2-celled; style 2-cleft at the summit; ovules 1 in each cavity. Fruit didymous, the carpels indehiscent. Seed erect. [Named for Dr. William Sherard, 1650-1728, patron of Dillenius.]

A monotypic genus of the Old World.

1. Sherardia Arvensis L. Blue Field Madder. Herb Sherard. Spurwort

Fig. 3952

Sherardia arvensis L. Sp. Pl. 102. 1753.

Tufted, roughish, stems numerous, prostrate, ascending, or decumbent, 3'-10' long. Leaves in 4's, 5's or 6's, the upper linear or lanceolate, acute and sharp-pointed, rough-ciliate on the margins, 3"-8" long, 1 "-2" wide, the lower often obovate, mucronate; flowers in slender-peduncled involucrate heads, the involucre deeply 6-8-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, sharp-pointed; corolla-lobes spreading; fruit crowned with the 4-6 lanceolate calyx-teeth.

In waste places, Ontario to eastern Massachusetts and New Jersey. Also in Bermuda. Adventive from Europe. June-July.

1 Sherardia Arvensis L Blue Field Madder Herb Sher 623