Herbs, rarely shrubs, with mostly opposite, entire, exstipulate leaves. Calyx tubular, the limb 4 to 7-lobed, sometimes with as many intermediate teeth. Petals inserted into the calyx between the lobes, very deciduous or 0. Stamens equal in number to the petals, or 2 to 4 times as many, inserted into the calyx. Ovary free, inclosed in the calyx tube, 2 to 4-celled. Styles united into one. Fruit, capsule membranous, enveloped in the calyx, usually by abortion 1-celled. Seeds small ∞, attached to a central placenta. Albumen 0.
Genera 35, species 300. Some of tho species are found in temperate climes, but most of them are tropical. Lythrnm salicaria, native of Europe, N. Holland, and U. S., is used for tanning where it. abounds. All the species are astringent.
§ Shrubs with numerous stamens and clawed petals......................................
$ Herbs - Fls. irregular. Calyx inflated, gibbous at base................................
- Fls. regular - Calyx cylindrical, striate, with 5 minute horns..........
- Calyx campanulate, - 5 teeth with 5 long horns.....
- 4 teeth with 4 short horns....
-4 teeth. Horns 0, petals 0...
1. LAGERSTROEMIA, L. Crape Myrtle. (In honor of Magnus
Lagerstroem, a Swedish traveler.) Calyx broadly campanulate, 6-cleft, with 2 bracts below; petals 6, on claws inserted into the calyx tube; stamens ∞; capsule 3 to 6-celled; seeds many, winged. - East Indian shrubs.
L. In'dica L. Petals crisped, on slender claws; lvs. alternate, roundish ovate, coriaceous, subpetiolate, glabrous; branches winged; fls. in terminal panicles.- A common and beautiful exotic, with large, delicately crisped, bluish purple fls. §
2. CU'PHEA, Jacq. (Gr. curved or gibbous; in reference to the capsule.) Calyx tubular, ventricous, with 0 erect teeth, and often as many intermediate processes; petals 6 or 7, unequal; stamens 11 to 14, rarely 6 or 7, unequal; style filiform; capsule membranous, 1 to 2-cellcd, few-seeded. - Herbaceous or suffruticous. Lvs. opposite, entire. Fls. axillary and terminal.
C. viscosissima Jacq. Herbaceous, viscid-pubescent; lvs. ovate-lanceolate, pe-liolate, scabrous; fls. on short peduncles; cal. gibbous at base on the upper side,
12-veined, 6-toothed, very viscid.- Wet grounds, Pittsfield, Mass. (Hitchcock), Cambridge, N. Y. (Stevenson) to Ga. and Ark. St. 9 to 18' high, with alternate branches. Lvs. somewhat repand, 1 to 2' long. Fls. solitary, one in each axil
Calyx often purplish. Petals violet, obovate; stamens included. Capsule bursting lengthwise before the seeds are ripe. Aug. (Lythrum petiolatum L.)
3. LY'THRUM, L. Loosestrife. (Gr. black blood; referring to the color of the flower.) Calyx cylindrical, striate, limb 4 to 6-toothed, with as many intermediate, minute processes; petals 4 to 6, equal; stamens as many or twice as many as the petals, inserted in the calyx; style filiform; capsule 2-celled, many-seeded. - Mostly , with entire lvs.
§ Stamens as many as the petals. Fls. axillary, solitary..............................
Nos. 1 - 3
§ Stamens twice as many as the petals. Fls. spicate or racemed....................
Nos. 4, 5
1 L. hyssopifolia L. Grass-poly. Glabrous, erect, branching; lvs. alternate or opposite, linear or oblong-lanceolate, obtuse; fls. solitary, axillary, subsessile; pet. and stam. 5 or 6. - A slender, weed-like plant, found in low grounds, dry beds of pond3, etc, Mass. and N. Y., near the coast, rare. Plant 6 to 10' high, with spreading, square branches. Lvs. sessile, acute at base, pale green, each with a single small flower, sessile in its axil. Petals pale purple. Calyx obscurely striate, with short lobes. Jl.
2 L. alatum Ph. Glabrous, erect, branched; st. winged below; lvs. lance-ovate, acute, sessile, broadest at base, alternate and opposite; fls. axillary, solitary.- Damp grounds 8. and W. States, common. St. 1 to 2f high, striate, the wings narrow. Lvs. 1 to 2' long, 1/4 as wide. Calyx tube 12-striate, 12-toothed, alternate teeth cornute. Corolla purple, wavy, 6-petaled. Stam. 6, included. Jn., Jl.
3 L. lineare L. St. slender, somewhat 4-angled, branched above; lvs. linear, mostly opposite and obtuse; fls. nearly sessile; petals and stamens 6. - Swamps near the coast, N. J. to Fla. St. 2 to 4f high, the angles sometimes slightly winged. Lvs. 1 to 2' by 2 to 4", rather fleshy. Fls. small nearly white.
4 L. Salicaria L. More or less pubescent; lvs. lanceolate, cordate at base; fls. nearly sessile, in a long, somewhat verticellate, interrupted spike; petals 6 or 7; stam. twice as many as pet. - An ornamental plant, native in wet meadows, Can. and N. Eng., rare. St. 2 to 5f high, branching. Lvs. 3 to 6' long, 1/4 as wide, gradually acuminate, entire, on a short petiole, opposite or in verticels of 3, upper ones reduced to sessile bracts. Fls. large, numerous and showy; petals purple. Jl., Aug. †
5 L. virgatum L. St. erect, branched, virgate; lvs. lanceolate, acute each end, floral ones small; fls. about 3 in each axil of the virgate raceme; stam. 12. - A fine species for the garden, native of Austria. St. 3 to 4f high. Fls. purple. Jn. - Sept. †
4. NESAE'A, Juss. Calyx short, broadly campanulate, with 5 erect teeth, and 5 elongated, spreading, hornlike processes; stamens 10, alternate ones very long; style filiform; capsule globous, included, many-seeded. - Lvs. opposite or verticillate, entire. Fls. axillary, purple.
N. verticillata Kunth. Swamps, throughout the U. S. and Can. St. woody at base, often prostrate, and rooting at the summit, 3 to 8f in length, or erect, and 2 to 3f high, 4 to 6-angled. Lvs. opposite, or in whorls of 3, lanceolate, on short petioles, acute at base, 3 to 5' long, gradually acuminate and acute at apex. Fls. in axillary, subsessile umbels of 3 or more, apparently whorled, constituting a long, leafy, terminal and showy panicle. Petals 5 or 6, large, and of a fine purple. Jl., Aug. (Decodon verticillatum Ell.) a. pubescens. St. and lvs. beneath pubescent. - R. Island (rare) to La.
β. LAEVIGATUM. Glabrous and bright green. - More common. N. Eng. to Ill.
5. AMMAN'NIA, L. (To John Amman, of Siberia, professor of botany at St. Petersburg.) Calyx campanulate, 4 to 5-toothed or lobed, generally with as many horn-like processes, alternating with the lobes; petals 4 or 5; stamens as many, rarely twice as many as the calyx lobes; capsule globular, 2 to 4-celled, many-seeded.- In wet places. Sta. square and lvs. opposite, entire. Fls. axillary.
1 A. humilis Mx. St. branched from the base, ascending; lvs. linear-oblong, or lanceolate, obtuse, tapering at base into a short petiole; fls. solitary, closely sessile, all the parts in 4s; sty. very short. - An obscure and humble plant in wet places, Conn. to Ga., W. to Oreg. Sts. square, procumbent at base, 6 to 10' high. Fls. minute, with 4 purplish, caducous petals. - A variety has the leaves somewhat dilated at base, approaching the next species. Aug., Sept. (Ammannia ramo-sior L.)
2 A. latifolia L. St. erect, branching; lvs. linear-lanceolate, acute, dilated and au-riculated at the sessile base; fls. crowded, and apparently verticillate, upper subsol-itary and pedunculate; cal. 4-angled, 4-horned; sep., pet, stam. and cells of capsule 4. - Wet prairies, W. States to La, St. 1 to 2f high. Lvs. 2 to 3' by 2 to 5". Fls. purple. Jl. - Sept. (A. ramosior L.)
6. HYPOBRICH'IA, Curtis. Calyx 4-lobed, without accessory teeth; petals 6; stamens 2 to 4; ovary 2-celled; stigma 2-lobed, subsessile; capsule globous, bursting irregularly, many-seeded. - A submersed, aquatic herb. Lvs. opposite, crowded, linear. Fls. axillary, sessile, minute. (Didiplis Raf.)
H. Nuttallii Curt. A little inhabitant of ponds and sluggish streams, Ill. (Mead, Buckley) to N. Car. and La. Its habit is similar to a Callitriche. St. mostly submersed, 10 to 20' long. Lvs. 10 to 15" by 1 to 2", very numerous. Jn. - Aug. (Peplis diandra Nutt)