Trees, shrubs or herbs with square branches, and usually exstipulate. Lvs. opposite, entire and undivided, without dots and with several veins. Cal. persistent, the tube urceolate, cohering with only the angles of the ovary. Petals as many as the segments of the calyx (4 to 6), twisted in aestivation. Stamens twice as many as petals, sometimes the same number, inflexed in aestivation. Anthers before flowering contained in the cavity between the calyx and the sides of ovary. Fruit capsular or baccate.
Genera 118. species 1200. The order is represented in the U. S. by a single genus, the remainder being natives chiefly of India and tropical America. No plant of this order is poisonous. All are slightly astringent.
RHEX'IA, L. Deer-grass. (Gr. a rupture; some of the species are good vulneraries.) Calyx 4-cleft, swelling at the base; petals 4; stamens 8, 1-celled; style declined; capsule 4-cellcd, nearly free from the investing calyx tube; placentae prominent; seeds numerous. - Lvs. opposite, exstipulate, 3-veined.
§ Anthers curved, saccate at base, with a bristly appendage at the insertion
of the filament. - Stem square, winged................................
Nos. 1, 2
- Stem terete or teretish.......................................
Nos. 3 - 5
§ Anthers straight, terminal. - Stems simple, with purple flowers..........................
Nos. 6, 7
- Stems brachiate, with yellow flowers.........................
1 R. Virginica L. Meadow Beauty. St. square, the angles narrowly winged: lvs. sessile, oval-lanceolate, ciliate-serrulate, and with the stem clothed with scattered hairs; cal. hispid. - Grows in wet grounds, Mass. to Ill. and La. St. 1f or more high, often 3-forked above. Lvs. with 3 (rarely 5 or 7) prominent veins, 1 to 3' long, about 1/2 as wide, acute. Fls. large, in corymbous cymes. Petals bright purple, obovate, hispid beneath, caducous. Anth. long and prominent, crooked, golden yellow above, with a purple line beneath. Sty. somowhat longer than the stamens, a little declined. Jl., Aug.
2 R. stricta Ph. St. tall, with 4 strongly winged angles, glabrous; lvs. ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, setaceously serrate, glabrous, or slightly hispid above; cal. glabrous, the tube very short. - Bogs around pine barrens, S. Car. to Ala. and Fla. St. 3 to 4f high, slightly bearded at the joints. Lvs. 2 to 3' long. Fls. purple, large and fine. Jn., Jl.
3 R. Mariana L. St. nearly terete, covered with bristly hairs; lvs. lanceolate, acute, attenuate at base into a very short petiole, and, with the calyx clothed with scattered hairs. - In sandy bogs, N. J. to Flor. The whole plant is hispid, even the petals externally. St. 1 to 2f high, slender, and generally with few branches. Lvs. often narrowly oblong, 4 to 6 times longer than wide, serrate-ciliate. Petals large, obovate, purple. Jn. - Sept
4 R. lanceolata Walt. St. much branched, hirsute, teretish; lvs. linear and lance-linear, attenuate to a short petiole, slightly hispid and ciliate; fls. very pale, in fastigiate cymes; cal. glabrous. - Damp soils, N. Car. to Fla. and La. Sts. 1 to 2f high, very leafy, growing in dense patches, with numerous white or pale purple fls. Lvs. 1 or 8 times longer than wide. Jn. - Aug.
5 R. glabella Ph. Glabrous and somewhat glaucous; st. simple, teretish; lvs. lanceolate; calyx glandular-hispid. - Damp woods, N. Car. to Fla. and La. St. 2 to 3f high, dividing at top into a few peduncles. Lvs. mostly longer than the internodes (1 to 2), obscurely serrulate, acute, sessile. Cal. rather funnel form above the ovary. Petals pale purple, large, expanding near 2'. Jn. - Aug.
6 R. ciliosa Mx. St. tall (1 to 2f high), squarish, glabrous; lvs. broad-ovate, glabrous beneath, sparsely hispid above, the margin serrate-cihate, with long, spreading bristles; fls.- nearly sessile between the upper pair of lvs; cal. glabrous, the lobes acute. - Damp pine woods, N. Car. to Fla. Lvs. nearly 1' long, 2/3 as wide, acute, on short petioles (scarcely 1"). Fls. terminal, 1 to 3 together, large, the petals roundish, 9" long, purple. Jn. - Aug.
7 R. serrulata Nutt. St. low (C to 8') square, glabrous; lvs. small, roundish-oval, glabrous both sides, the margin serrulate, ciliate; fls. subsessile, 1 to 3 between the upper pair of lvs.; cal. glandular-hispid, the lobes short, obtuse. - Open swamps, Ga., Fla. Much like the last, but smaller in all its parts. Lvs. 3 to 6" long. Fls. large, purple. Jn, Jl.
8 R. lutea Walt. Sparsely hispid; st. square, brachiately branched; lvs. lance-linear and oblong-linear; cal. much constricted above the ovary, the upper portion campanulate, with cuspidate teeth. - Damp pine woods, N. Car. to Fla. St. about 18' high. The soft, scattered bristles on all its parts are quite characteristic, as well as its showy, yellow, paniculate fls. Jn. - Aug.