Herbs (or woody climbers) with a colorless, acrid juice. Leaves mostly divided, exstipulate, with half-clasping petioles. Calyx. - Sepals 3-15, green or petaloid, distinct, hypogynous. Corolla. - Petals 3-15, distinct, hypogynous, sometimes irregular or none. Stamens ∞, distinct, hypogynous, Anthers adnate, opening lengthwise. Ovaries ∞ or few, simple, distinct, the cell 1 - ∞ -ovuled. Fruit either dry achenia, or follicles, or baccate, 1 - ∞-seeded. Seeds anatropous with a straight, minute embryo in horny albumen.

Illustrated in Figs. 10, 24, 182, 143, 162, 241, 242, 283, 291, 294, 367, 3S6, 415, 458, 286, 288, etc.

Genera 48, species about 1000, mostly natives of cool, damp climates, those of the tropical regions growing only upon the mountains, and in their proper localities abundant.

Properties. Nearly all the genera possess acrid and more or less narcotic properties, some of them being highly prejudicial to animal life. These qualities are dissipated by a boiling heat or by drying, or heightened by spirits and sugar. The species of Helleborus and Aconitum are highly poisonous, but medicinal when rightly used. This order is rich in ornamental cultivated plants.


Sepals 4, valvate in the bud. Achenia tailed. (Tribe I.)

Sepals imbricated in the bud. - Ovaries 1- seeded, acheniate. (2).

- Ovaries 2 - ∞ -needed. (3.)

2 Corolla o, or (indistinguishable from the colored calyx. (Tribe II.)

2 Corolla and calyx distinct either in color or form. (Tribe III.)

3 Sepals as permanent as the stamens. Fruit follicular. (Tribe IV.)

3 Sepals caducous sooner than the stamens. (Tribe V.)

3 Sepals persistent with the follicular fruit. (Tribe VI.)


CLEMATIDEAE. Petals 0, or stamen-like. Leaves all opposite. Clematis.



ANEMONEAE. - Sepals deciduous with the stamens. Stem-leaves opposite. Anemone.


- Sepals deciduous with the stamens. Leaves all radical. Hepatica.


- Sepals caducous. Flowers usually imperfect Tiialictrum.


- Sepals caducous. Flowers perfect. Trautvetteri.



RANUNCULEAE. - Sopals not appendaged. Flowers scarlet or yellow. Adonis.


- Sepals not appendaged. Petals xanthic, a scale at base. Ranunculus.


- Sepals appendaged. Plant minute. Leaves radical. Myosurus.



HELLEBOREAE, Perianth regular.

- Petals 0. Sepals white. Isoptrum.


- Petals 0. Sepals 6 to 9, yellow. Caltha.


- Petals slender, tubular at apex. Roots bright yellow. Coptis.


- Petals minute, tubular at base, 1-lipped. Trollius.


- Petals small, tubular, 2-lippcd. Sepals persistent Helleborus.


- Pet. small, concave, 2-lobed. Fls. racemed. roots.yel.ZANTHORHIZA.


- Petals larger than the colored sepals, 3-lobed. Nigella.


- Petals larger than the colored sepals, spur-like, equal.Aquilegia.



HELLEBOREAE, Perianth irregular.

- Upper sepal spurred, containing two spurred petals. Delphinium.


-Upper sepal hooded, covering the deformed petals. Aconitum.



CIMICIFUGEAE. - Flowers numerous, in long spicate racemes. Cimicifuga.


- Flowers many, in short racemes. Fruit fleshy. Actaea.


- Flower 1 only. Plant 2-leaved. Berry compound. Hydrastis.



PAEONIEAE. - Pet. plane, large, showy. Disk sheathing the ovary. Paeonia.


1. CLEMATIS L. Virgin's Bower. (Gr. ĸλήľa, a vine or tendril.) Calyx of four colored sepals, in aestivation valvate-indnplicate. Petals none, or if present more like sterile filaments. Stamens , shorter than the sepals, the outer or all sometimes sterile. Ovaries ∞, in a head. Achenia caudate with the lengthened plumous or pubescent style.Order I Ranunculaceae Crowfoots 157 Herbs, or vines a little woody, climbing by twining petioles.

Leaves opposite. The herbage is acrid and caustic.

§ Atragene. Outer stamens petal-like. Lvs. verticillate. Fls. solitary. Vine........No. 1

§ Clematis proper. Petals none. Leaves opposite. (*)

* Vinos. - Flowers in cymons panicles............................... ...........Nos. 2-4

- Fls. solitary. - Sepals panduriform, wavy-edged........................Nos. 5, 6

- Sopals lance-ovate with a reflexed point..................Nos. 7, 8

* Erect herbs, near 1 f. high. Flowers solitary................................Nos. 9 - 11

Exotic, cultivated species... .Nos. 12 - 15

1 C. verticillaris DC. Stem ascending trees 15 ft. by means of its twisting petioles. At each node is a whorl (arising from two buds) of four ternate leaves, and two large purple flowers. Leaflets acute, 1 - 2' by 1/2 - 1', ovate, slightly notched. Sepals lanceolate, acute, 15" by 5". Filaments about 24, outer ones (petals?) dilated, spatulate, tipped with imperfect anthers. - A handsome climber in highland woods, Vt. (Dr. Phelps) to N. Car. W. to the Rocky Mts. May, Jn. (Atragene Americana Sims).

2 C. Virginiana L. Lvs. ternate; lfts. smooth, lobed, and cut-dentate. - A common, hardy climber in hedges and thickets, Can. to Ga. and the Miss. Stem 8-15 f. in length, supporting itself on fences and brushwood by means of the long petioles. Leaflets 2 - 3' by 1 1/4 - 2', with mucronate teeth. Sepals 4. white, oblong-obovate, obtuse. Stamens 28 - 36. Panicles large, axillary, dichotomous. Fruit furnished with long, plumous tails (caudae), appearing in large, downy tufts. Aug. †

3 C. holosericea Ph. Lvs. ternate; lfts. pubescent both sides, entire, oblong-lanceolate. - In Carolina. Plant climbing downy or silky in all its parts. Panicles corymbous, trichotomous, few flowered. Flowers dioecious, small, white; the linear petals longer than the stamens. Achenia long-plumed.

4 C. Catesbyana Ph. Lvs. biternate; lfts. ovate, small, mostly 3-lobed, the lobes entire - In Georgia. Plant climbing, minutely pubescent. Flowers in axillary, divaricately forked cymes, small, mostly ♀ ♂. Sepals linear oblong. Filaments in the 2 flowers, linear-margined, without anthers. Achenia short-plumed.

5 C. cylindrica Sims. Lvs. ternate, pinnate, or decompound; lfts. ovate (very variable), acute, smooth, membranous. - Virginia to Ga. and La. Stems climbing, but not extensively, smooth. Leaves exceedingly various. Leaflets 3-15, glabrous, simple, often lobed or 3-parted, rendering the leaf decompound. Peduncle terminal, bearing a large, nodding, bell-shaped, bluish purple flower. Achenia with short (6 - 9") pubescent tails. Apr. May.

β. crispa. Lfts. large (2' - 3'), broadly-ovate, obtuse or subcordate at base.

Sepals above much dilated and crisped, spreading or reflexed. - Ga. Varying imperceptibly into a. (C. crispa L.) y. Walteri. Slender throughout. Leaflets 3 - 5, very narrow, acute at each end.

Sepals narrow and scarcely wavy. Stamens sometimes sterile. - Ga. Perhaps distinct. (E. Walteri, Ph.) δ. lineariloba. Lfts. about 15, lance-linear, acute or acuminate at each end.

Flower more or less cylindraceous below. - Quincy, Fla., La. (C. lineariloba, Dc.)

6 C. reticulata Walt. Leaves pinnate or ternate. Lfts. obtuse at each end, at length rigid and prominently net-veined. - Fla. Lfts. 3 - 6, stalked as in the other species, oblong, ovate or oval entire, simple or lobed. Flower terminal, nodding, bell-shaped, pale-purple, much resembling that of No 5. Sepals 1 - 1 1/4' long. Achenia with long silky tails. Apr.

7 C. Viorna L. Leather-Flower. Lfts. ovate, acute, smooth. Sepals ovate, thick and leathery; ach. with long plumous tails. - Woods, Ohio to Ga. Stems 10 - 15f in length, striate. Lvs. pinnate, those of the branches (bracts) simple, ovate, subsessile. Lfts. ovate or lance-ovate, simple or 3-lobed. Flower terminal, nodding, dark purple. Sepals ovate-lanceolate, 1' long, cuspidate point reflexed. Tails 1 1/2 long. Jn. Jl.

8 C. Pitcheri T & G. Lfts. rough with prominent veins, coriaceous. Sepals lance-ovate, thick, achenia with short pubescent tails. - Iowa, Ill. to Ark. Leaves pinnate, those of the peduncles simple, subsessile. Leaflets ovate, acute or obtuse, often subcordate at base. Sepals of the nodding flower ovate-lanceolate, dull purple, 8 - 10" in length, the cuspidate point reflexed. Jn. (Hardly distinct from the preceding.)