Herbs with entire exstipulate leaves, and irregular hypo-gynous flowers. Stamens 6 or 8, monadelphous or diadelph-ous, the anthers 1-celled, and opening at the top by a pore. Pod 2-celled and 2-seeded, flattened contrary to the partition. The only genus with us is
Tourn. Milk-wort. Sepals 5, the upper one and the two lower ones small and often greenish, the 2 lateral ones (called wings) larger and coloured like petals. Petals 3, connected with each other and with the tube of filaments, the lower one keel-shaped, and usually fringed or crested at the top. Style prolonged and curved.
1. P. vertieillata, L. Flowers small, greenish-white, in slender spikes. Stems 4-8 inches high, much branched. Stem-leaves linear, 4-5 in a whorl, the upper ones scattered. - Dry soil.
2. P. Sen'ega, L. (Seneca Snakeroot.) Flowers greenish white, in a solitary cylindrical close spike. Stems several, from a hard knotty rootstock, 6-12 inches high. Leaves lanceolate, with rough margins, alternate. - Dry hill-sides and thickets.
3. P. polyg'ama, Walt. Flowers rose-purple, showy, fringed, in a many-flowered raceme. Stems 5-8 inches high, tufted and very leafy, the leaves linear-oblong or oblanceolate. Whitish fertile flowers on underground runners'. - Dry soil.
4. P. paucifo'lia, Willd. (Fringed P.) Flowers rose-purple, very showy, fringed, only 1-3 in number. Stems 1-4 inches high, from long underground runners, which also bear concealed fertile flowers. Leaves ovate, crowded at the top of stem. - Dry woods.
5. P. sanguin'ea, L. Flowers usually bright red-purple, but sometimes pale. Corolla inconspicuously crested. Flowers in dense globular heads, at length oblong. True petals mostly shorter than the wings, the latter broadly ovate, closely sessile. Stem leafy to the top; leaves oblong-linear. - Sandy and moist places.