Trees, shrubs or herbs closely allied to the Umbellifers in the leaves, inflorescence and flowers, but the styles and cells of the ovary are usually more than 2 (3 to 5) cells 1-ovuled; fruit baccate or dry, 3 to 5-celled, with 1 albuminous seed in each cell.
Genera 22, species 160. They are natives of northern temperate climes of both hemispheres.- Several species are well known In medicine, etc., as Ginseng, Spikenard, Sarsaparilla, etc. The latter is sometimes substituted for the Sarsaparilla of the shops.
1. ARA'LIA, L. Wild Sarsaparilla, etc. Calyx tube adherent to the ovary, limb short, 5-toothed or entire; petals 5, spreading, apex not inflexed ; stamens 5, epigynous ; styles and carpels 5 ; berry crowned with the remains of the calyx and styles, mostly 5-celled and 5-seeded.- Lvs. compound. Fls. in simple, solitary, or racemous umbels.
§ Plants wholly herbaceous and unarmed..................................
§ Plants shrubby at racemous wholly shrubby, Prickly.......
...................Nos. 8, 4
1 A. nuclicaulis L. Nearly stemless; If. solitary, decompound; scape naked shorter than the If, bearing the few umbels. - Ц A well-known plant, found in woods, most abundant in rich and rocky soil. Can. to Car. and Tenn. It has a large, fleshy root, from which arise a leaf-stalk and a scape, but no proper stem. The former is long, supporting a single, large, compound leaf, which is either 3-ternate or 3-quinate. Lfts. oval and obovate, acuminate, finely serrate. The scape is about a foot high, bearing 3 simple umbels of greenish fls. Jn., Jl.
2 A. racemosa L. Pettymorrel. Spikenard. St. herbaceous, smooth; lvs. decompound; umbels numerous, small, arranged in a decompound panicle. - Ц In rocky woods, Can. to the S. States. St. 3 to 4f high, dark green or reddish, arising from a thick, aromatic root. The If.-stalks divide into 3 partitions, each of which bears 3 or 5 large, ovate, serrate lfts. Umbels numerous, arranged in branching racemes from the axils of the lvs. or branches. The root is pleasant to the taste, and highly esteemed as an ingredient in small beer, etc. Jl.
3 A. hispida L. Wild Elder. Bristly Aralia. St. shrubby at base, hispid, with prickles, herbaceous above ; lvs. bipinnate, lfts. ovate, cut-serrate; umbels on long ped., forming a terminal corymb. - Ц Common in fields about stumps and stoneheaps, N. Eng. to Va. St. 1 to 2f high, the lower part woody and thickly beset with sharp, stiff bristles, the upper part branching, herbaceous. Lfts. many, ending in a long point, smooth. Umbels many, simple, globous, forming bunches of dark-colored, nauseous berries. Plant ill scented. Jl, Aug.
4 A. spinosa L. Angelica Tree. Arborescent; st. and petioles prickly; lvs. bi- and tripinnate, lfts. ovate, acuminate, sessile, glaucous beneath; umbels numerous, forming a very large panicle; invol. small, few-leaved. - Damp woods, Penn. and Ohio to Fla. and La. Shrub 8 to 12f high, with the lvs. all crowded near the summit. In the South it attains the height of 20 to 30f, usually without a branch, imitating the form of the palm (as Elliott remarks) more nearly than any other tree. Its leaves are there 4 to 6f in length. Fls. white. Aug.- Properties emetic and cathartic.
2. PANAX, L. Ginseng. (Gr. nav, all, , a remedy ; i. e., a panacea, or universal remedy.) Dioeeiously polygamous. £ Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb short, obsoletely 5-toothed ; petals 5 ; stamens 5, alternate with the petals; styles and carpels 2 to 3 ; fruit baccate, 2 to 3-celled; cells 1-seeded, ♂ Calyx limb nearly entire ; petals and stamens 5. - Herbs or shrubs. Lvs. 3 (in the herbaceous species), palmately compound. Fls. in a solitary, simple umbel.
1 P. trifolium L. Ground-nut. Dwarf Ginseng. Rt. globous, tuberous; lvs.
3, verticillate, 3 to 5-foliate, lfts. wedge-lanceolate, serrate subsessile; sty. 3; berries 3-seaded. - Common in low woods. Can. to S. States. The globular root is deep in the ground, nearly 1/2' diam., connected with the stem by a fchort, screwlike ligament. The st. arises 3 to 6 above tin surface, smooth, slender and simple. At the summit is a whorl of 3 compound lvs. with a central ped. terminating in a little umbel of pure white fls. Lfts. generally 3, nearly or quite smooth. Barren and fertile fls. on different plants, the latter without stamens, succeeded by green berries, the former with a tinglo abortive style. Uay.
2 P. quinquefdlium L. lit. fusiform; lvs. 3, verticillate, 5-foliatc; lfts. oval, acuminate, serrate, petiolate; ped. of the umbel rather shorter than the common petiole. - Not uncommon in rocky or mountainous woods. Can. to S. States. Rt. whitish, thick and fleshy. St. round, smooth, If high, with a terminal whorl of 3 compound lvs. and a cantral ped. bearing a pimple umbel. Fls. small yellowish, on short pedicels, the barren ones borne on separate plants have larger petals and an entire calyx. Berries bright scarlet. Jn. - Aug. The root is in some estimation as a drug.
3. HED'ERA, L. European Ivy. (Celtic hedra, a cord ; from the vine-like habit.) Calyx 5-toothed ; petals 5, dilated at the base ; berry 5-seeded, surrounded by the permanent calyx. - European shrulby plants, climbing or erect, with simple, evergreen lvs. and green fis.
H. Helix L. St. and branches long and flexible, attached to the earth or trees or wall by numerous radicating fibres; lvs. dark green, smooth, with white veins, petiolate, lower ones 5-lobed, upper ovato; fls, in numerous umbels, forming a corymb; berry black, with a mealy pulp. - Native of Britain. There are several varieties in gardens.†