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.
(Greek, upon the pod, referring to the structure of the flower). Including Chamaenerion. Onagraceae. Border plants, with willow-like foliage, and large showy spikes of deep pink, rosy crimson or white or even yellow flowers borne from June to August.
Herbs or sub-shrubs, sometimes annual, erect, sprawling or creeping: leaves alternate or opposite, toothed or entire: flowers axillary or terminal, solitary or in spikes or racemes, rosy purple or flesh-colored, very rarely yellow; calyx-tube little, if at all, produced beyond the ovary; petals 4, obovate or obcordate, erect or spreading; stamens 8; ovary 4-celled; seeds comose; stigma often 4-lobed: caps, long and narrow, 4-sided and 4-valved. - Species about 200 or more, in many parts of the world, mostly in temperate regions.
The taller species, like E. angustifolium and E. hir-sulum, make very rank growth in moist places, and are therefore especially adapted for the wild garden or for naturalizing along the water's edge and in low meadows. The underground runners reach far, and the plants spread fast when not kept in bounds. Propagation is by division or seeds.
Linn. (E. spicatum, Lam. Chamx-nerion angustifolium, Scop.). Great Willow-Herb. Fire-Weed. In cult, mostly branched and 3-5 ft. high; in the wild simple or branched, 2-8 ft. high: leaves alternate, very short-petioled, lanceolate, entire or minutely toothed, 2-6 in. long, 4-12 lines wide, pale beneath, acute, narrowed at bases: flowers spreading, in long, terminal spike-like racemes, petals rounded at tip; stigma 4-lobed: caps. 2-3 in. long. Eu., Asia, N. Amer. B.B. 2:481. variety alba, Hort., has pure white flowers suitable for cutting; also occurs wild. This variety was perfected in England. It forms a compact bush.
Linn. Stout, 2-4 ft. high, with short but conspicuous soft straight hairs: leaves oblong-lanceolate, usually opposite, sessile and often clasping, with many small, sharp teeth, 1-3 in. long, pubescent on both sides: flowers erect, axillary, about 1 in. across; petals notched: weed from Eu., showy, and sometimes found in old gardens.
Dodonaei, Vill. (E. rosmarinifolium, Haenke). Perennial, 1-3 ft., blooming in midsummer, mostly erect: leaves linear, tapering somewhat toward either end, entire, smooth or somewhat soft-hairy: flowers red, the infloresence terminal on the branches. Eu.
Gray. Glabrous perennial: decumbent, stems 3-5 in. long, 1-5-flowered: leaves numerous, opposite, ovate, sessile, 3/4in. or less long: flowers bright rose-color, the petals 1/2in. long and obcordate; stamens yellow, shorter than declining style: caps, short and thick. Calif, in the high Sierras, and in Nev. - Offered as an alpine. A handsome species.
Pursh. Nearly simple, 1-2 ft., nearly glabrous: leaves ovate or elliptical to broad-lanceolate, toothed, slightly fleshy, 1-3 in. long, sessile or with a short-winged petiole: flowers bright yellow, the petals 3/4in. long; style often exserted: caps, long-stalked, somewhat puberulent. Ore. to Alaska.
E. abyssinicum album is offered abroad, as "pure white, pretty:" the name does not appear to have botanical standing. - E. lati-fdlium, Linn. (Chamaenerion latifolium, Sweet). Erect, canescent, about 1 1/2 ft.: leaves lanceolate or ovate - lanceolate, tapering at both ends, thick: flowers purple, showy, sometimes 2 in. across. Newfoundland to Ore. and north. L H B