Flowers: large; solitary; terminal on the ends of the flower-stalks. Calyx: of five-parted linear lobes. Corolla: wheel-shaped; with five, deeply-parted lobes. Stamens; five. Pistil: one; style, two-cleft. Leaves: opposite; lanceolate; becoming linear as they ascend the stem. Stem: branching; slender.
We may picture to ourselves the sea-pinks by the side of a green marsh with the salt breezes blowing about us. There, spread out in brilliantly-coloured masses of great extent, they form a little world by themselves, - living and weaving out their own destiny. A bright, cheery lot they are too, with round yellow eyes that look at us frankly and without showing the slightest signs of drowsiness. There is very little sleep allowed in their households, hardly even forty winks; and yet they do not want for beauty. They are always fresh and bright and wide-awake.
S. dodecaudra, or large sabbatia, is a beautiful species, whose blooms are rosy pink, or white. The corolla is fuller than that of the preceding flower and often as much as two and a quarter inches broad. On the borders of brackish ponds, especially in southern New Jersey, it is found in great abundance.
S. campanulata (Plate XXXI.) is readily known by the length of its sepals, which is unusually great, equal, in fact, to that of the petals.
Throughout Massachusetts, and especially about Plymouth, the sabbatia is held in great admiration, almost reverence. It is called the rose of Plymouth, and it is generally believed that its generic name is associated with the pilgrims having first beheld it on the sabbath day. Facts, however, that are often just a trifle disagreeable, tell us this is an unfounded notion which has been circulated within the last thirty years; and that the genus is named for an early botanist, Liberatus Sabbatia.