Plants herbaceous or shrubby, succulent. Lvs. entire or pinnatifid. Slip. 0. Flowers sessile, usually in cymes and perfectly symmetrical. Sepals 3 to 20, more or less united at base, persistent. Petals as many as the sepals, distinct, rarely cohering. Stamens as many as the petals, and alternating with them, or twice as many. Ovary as many as the petals and opposite them. Fil. distinct Anth. '2-celled, bursting lengthwise. Fruit, follicles as many as the ovaries, each opening by the ventral suture, many-seeded. (Figs. 260, 261.)
Genera 22. species 450, chiefly natives of the warmer regions of the globe, particularly the Cape of Good Hope. About 20 are found in N. America. They prow in the thinnest and driest soil, on naked rocks, sandy deserts, etc They have no peculiar property except a slight acridity. Many arc highly ornamental.
Tribe 1. Crassuleae. Carpels distinct, forming a circle of follicles. (a)
a Flowers all 4-parted. Stamens 4..........................................
a Flowers all 4-parted. Stamens 8...........................................
a Flowers 5-parted, or 4 and 5-parted. Petals distinct, spreading...............
a Flowers 5-parted. Petals united below, erect, connivent.........................
a Flowers 6 to 20-parted. Hypogynous scales laciniate..........................
Tribe 2. Diamorpheae. Carpels united into a many-celled capsule.
b Flowers 4-parted. Stamens 8.........................
b Flowers 5-parted. Stamens 10............
1. TILLAE A, Mx. Pigmy-weed. (To Michael Angelo Tilli, an Italian botanist; died 1740.) Calyx of 3 or 4 sepals united at base; petals 3 or 4, equal; stamens 3 or 4; capsules 3 or 4, distinct, follicular, opening by the inner surface, 2 or many-seeded.- Very minute, aquatic herbs. Lvs. opposite.
T simplex Nutt. St. ascending or erect, rooting at the lower joints; lvs. connate at base, linear-oblong, fleshy: fls. axillary, solitary, subsessile, their parts in 4s; pet. oval or oblong; carpels 8 to 10-seeded. - Near East Rock, New Haven, Ct. (Dr. Robbin s), and Philadelphia, on muddy banks, rare. St 1 to 3' high. Lvs. 2 to 3" long. Fls. as large as a pin's head. Petals oval, flat, acute, twice as long as the oval, minute calyx, longer than the stamens and fruit, and of a greenish white color. Jl. Sept.
2. BRYOPHYL'LUM, Salisb. (Gr. to grow, leaf; i.e, germinating from a leaf.) Calyx inflated, 4-cleft scarcely to the middle; corolla monopetalous, the tube long and cylindrical, 4-sided and obtuse at base; limb in 4 triangular, acute lobes; seeds many. - An evergreen, fleshy, suffruticous plant, native of E. Indies. Lvs. opposite, unequally pinnate, part of them sometimes simple. Fls. greenish purple.
B. calycinum Salisb. Not uncommon in house cultivation, requiring but little water, in a well-drained pot of rich loam. St. thick, green, about 2f high. Lvs. 3 to 5-foliate, with thick, oval, crenate lfts. Fls. in a loose, terminal panicle, pendulous, remarkable for the large, inflated calyx, and the long, tubular, exserted corollas. - This plant is distinguished in vegetable physiology (see § 532), producing buds and new plants from the margin of its leaves.
3. SE'DUM, L. Stone Crop. (Lat. sedere, to sit; the plants, growing on bare rocks, look as if sitting there.) Sepals 4 or 5, united at base; petals 4 or 5, distinct, spreading; stamens 8 to 10; carpels 4 to 5, distinct, many-seeded, with an entire scale at the base of each.- Mostly herbaceous. Inflorescence cymous. Fls. mostly pentamerous.
Flower of the branches 4-merous, central fl. 5-merous............................
Nos. 1, 2
Flowers all pentamerous. Spikes not umbellate.....................................
Nos. 3 - 5
1 S. ternatum Mx. Lvs. ternately verticillate, obovate, flat, smooth, entire, the upper ones scattered, sessile, lanceolate; cyme in about 3 spikes; fls. secund, the central one with 10 stamens. the rest with only 8.- Damp woods, Can. West, Penn., the Southern and Western States. Sts. 3 to 8' long, branching and decumbent at base, assurgent above. Cyme with the 3 branches spreading and recurved, the white fls. loosely arrranged on their upper side. Jl., Aug. †
2 S. pulchellum Mx. Sts. branching at base, ascending; lvs. alternate, linear, obtuse, sessile with an auriculate base; spikes umbellate, spreading, finally erect, the crowded flowers unilateral, octandrous, the central fl. usually decandrous. - On rocks and mts., Va. to Ga. and Tex. Sts. 4 to 12' high, very leafy. Fls. closely sessile, small; petals rose-color, acute. May, Jn.
3 S. telephioides Mx. Lvs. broadly lanceolate, attenuate at base, subdentate, smooth; cymes dense, corymbous; sta. 10, the pet., sep. and carp. in 5s. - Found on rocks, lake and river shores, N. Y., N. J., Harper's Ferry, Va., etc. St. a foot high. Lvs. 1 to 2' long, 2/3 as wide. Fls. numerous, purple, in a terminal, branching cyme. Jn. - Aug. - Like the other species, very tenacious of life, and will grow when pressed and apparently dried in the herbarium.
4 S. Telephium L. Common Orpine. Live-forever. Rt. tuberous, fleshy, white; st. erect, very leafy; lvs. flattish, ovale, obtuse, serrate, scattered; cyme corymbous, leafy.- Cultivated and nearly naturalized. Sts. simple, round, smooth, purplish. Lvs. sessile, fleshy. Fls. white and purple, in dense, terminal, leafy tufts. Aug. † Eur.
5 S. acre L. English Moss. Wall Pepper. Procumbent, spreading, branching from the base; lvs. very small, somewhat ovate, fleshy, crowded, alternate, closely sessile, obtuse, nearly erect; cyme lew-flowered, trifid, leafy. - In cultivation it spreads rapidly on walls, borders of flower-beds, etc., densely covering the surface. Fls. yellow. The whole plant abounds in an acrid, biting juice. † Eur.
4. ECHEVE'RIA, DC. (To Echeveri, a botanical draughtsman.) Sepals 5, unequal; petals 5, coherent below, erect, connivent, carinate; stain. 10, shorter than the petals; carpels 5, tapering into a short, subulate style, with 5 short, obtuse, hypogynous scales. - Handsome; herbaceous or shrubby, fleshy plants, from California and Mexico. Fls. scarlet or yellow.
E. grandifiora Haw. Glaucous with bloom, erect; lvs. fleshy, spatulate, or obovate, acute, narrowed into a thick petiole; fls. paniculate, erect. - Greenhouse St. about 2f high. Lowest lvs. large, rosulate; cauline gradually smaller. Sep. thick. Cor. urn-shaped, orange-purple. † Mex.
5. SEMPERVI'VUM, L. House-leek. (Lat. semper vivere, to live forever; for their tenacity of life.) Sepals 6 to 20, slightly cohering at base; petals as many as sepals, acuminate; stamens twice as many as petals; hypogynous scales lacerated; carpels as many as the petals.- Herbaceous plants or shrubs, propagated by axillary offsets. Lvs. thick, fleshy.
1 S. Tectorum L. Lvs. fringed; offsets spreading. - A well-known plant of the gardens, with thick, fleshy, mucilaginous lvs. It sends out runners with offsets, rarely flowering. It is so succulent and hardy that it will grow on dry walls,aud on the roofs of houses (tectorum). It is sometimes placed in the borders of flower beds.
2 S. arboreum. St. arborescent, smooth, branched; lvs. cuneiform, smooth-ish, bordered with soft, spreading ciliae. - A curious and ornamental evergreen, from the Levant St. very thick and fleshy, branching into a tree-like form, 8 to 10f high (1 to 3f in pots). Els. yellow, rarely appearing.
6. DIAMOR'PHA, Nutt. (A Greek word signifying deformed; alluding to its singular dehiscence.) Sepals 4, minute, coherent at base; pet. 4, oval, concave; stamens 8, with purple anthers; carpels 4, united below the middle, each with a minute obcordate, hypogynous scale, and dehiscent by an irregular dorsal valve; seeds 4 to 8.-A very small, fleshy, branching herb, with corymbs of white or pink-colored flowers and purplish herbage.
D. puailla Nutt. - On rocks in dry, sunny places, Ga. (Stone Mt. 16m. E. of Atlanta), N. and S. Car. (Shields). Sts. 1 to 3' high, caeppitous, forming patches. Lvs. oval, sessile, 1" long, alternate. Fls. numerous. Mar., Apr. - A curious little plant.
7. PENTHO'RUM, L. Virginia Stone-crop. (Or. five; on account of the 5-parted, angular capsule.) Calyx of 5 sepals united at base; petals 5 or 0; stamens 10; capsules of 5 united carpels, 5-angled, 5-celled, 5-beaked, dehiscent by an obliquely terminal valve; seeds ∞, minute.- Erect (not succulent) herbs. Lvs. alternate. Fls. yellowish, cymous.
P. sedoides L. St. branched and angular above; lvs. nearly sessile, lanceolate, acute at each end, unequally serrate; fls. in unilateral cymous racemes. - A hardy plant of little beauty, in moist situations, Can. and U. S. St. 10 to 16' high, with a few short branches. Lvs. 2 to 3' by 1/2 to 1', membranous, smooth, sharply and unequally serrate. Rac. several, recurved at first, at length spreading, with the flowers arranged on their upper side, constituting a corymlous, scentless, pale, yellowish green cyme. Petals generally wanting. Jl. - Sept.