Stem. - Square, with wing-like angles. Leaves. - Opposite, narrowly oval. Flowers. - Purplish-pink, clustered. Calyx-tube. - Urn-shaped, four-cleft at the apex. Corolla. - Of four large rounded petals. Stamens. - Eight, with long curved anthers. Pistil. - One.
It is always a pleasant surprise to happen upon a bright patch of these delicate deep-hued flowers along the marshes or in the sandy fields of midsummer. Their fragile beauty is of that order which causes it to seem natural that they should belong to a genus which is the sole northern representative of a tropical family. In parts of New England they grow in profusion, while in Arkansas the plant is said to be a great favorite with the deer, hence one of its common names. The flower has been likened to a scarlet evening primrose, and there is certainly a suggestion of the evening primrose in the four rounded, slightly heart-shaped petals. The protruding stamens, with their long yellow anthers, are conspicuous.
Plate LXXII. Meadow-Beauty - R. Virginiea
Of the plant in the late year, Thoreau writes : "The scarlet leaves and stem of the rhexia, sometime out of flower, make almost as -bright a patch in the meadows now as the flowers did. Its seed-vessels are perfect little cream-pitchers of graceful form."