This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Theodor Dorsten, professor of medicine at Marburg, died 1539). Moraceae. About 50 tropical herbs or small shrubs, remarkable for the dilated receptacle in which the unisexual flowers are borne, being imbedded in the surface. Both staminate and pistillate flowers are without perianth; stamens 1-4; ovary 1-loculed; stigma 2-lobed. Dorstenias are easily grown in warm shady glasshouses. The plants are not in the American trade, but they are often grown in botanical establishments to illustrate morphology. The fig is a hollow receptacle formed of the axis of the flower-cluster; the dor-stenia bears a flattened or cup-like receptacle, and is an intermediate stage between the fig and other plants. One of the common species is D. Contrajerva, Linn. (Fig. 1343), which is native to tropical Amer.: flowers on a scape: leaves round-cordate, palmately lobed or parted, the segments ovate or oblong and more or less toothed: receptacle irregularly rectangular, peltate: rhizome cylindric, nodose. Mex., W. Indies, Venezuela, Colombia. L, H, B.
Fig. 1343. Dorstenia Contrajerva. (X 1/4) leaves 9 ft. long, over 8 in. wide: flowers rich crimson, 4 in. long. It yields a good fiber. Gn. 44, p. 69. G.C. III. 45:383.