Herbs or shrubs with opposite, simple leaves and regular, bracted flowers. Calyx pentamerous, equal or unequal, imbricated in the bud. Corolla 5-merous, tubular below, limb more or less bilabiate, convolute in bud. Stamens didynamous or diandrous, inserted on the tube of the corolla. Fruit a 2-celled, 4 to 12-seeded capsule.
Seeds supported by hooks or cup-shaped processes of the placentae, exalbuminous.
Genera 155, species 1450, chiefly tropical, a few only, extending into the United States. They are mostly destitute of active progeties, and in aspect mere weeds. Yet anions them arc many remarkable for their beauty. Acanthus mollis is celebrated as having, by its leaves, suggested the style of the Corinthian capital in architecture.
ANECMATACANTHEae. Seeds destitute of hooked supports, (a)
a Corolla regular. Seeds few, adnate to a cup instead of a hook.......
a Corolla bilabiate. Seeds many, with papilae instead of hooks.......
ECHMATACANThEae. Seeds subtended by hooked processes, (b)
b Corolla funnel-form, subregular stamens didynamous. (ruellieae.) (c)
C Anthers 2-spurred at base. Castile 4-seeded in the middle......
C Anthers not spurred. Capsule 2 to 16-seeded from the middle.....
c Anthers not sparred. Capsule 12 to 16-seeded from the base.......
b Corolla bilabiate, ringent Stamens 4. Capsule ∞ -seeded from the base.
b Corolla bilabiate. Stamens 2.-Corolla resupinate, upper lip 3-toothed...
-Corolla straight, lower lip 3-toothed. Wild
-Corolla straight, lower lip 3-parted. Cult.
1. THUNBER'GIA, L. (In honor of C. P. Thunberg, Prof, of Bot. at Upsal). Calyx short, truncate or many-toothed, subtended by 2 bract-lets ; corolla funnel-bell-form, throat inflated, limb 5-cleft, subregular; stamens 4, didynamous ; anthers cells parallel, ciliate, one of them awned at base; capsule globular, 3 to 4-secded.-Shrubs or climbing herbs of the Old World.
1 T. grandiflora Roxb. Climbing; lvs. cordate, angled, acuminate, hispid; cal. limb truncate, entire.-In cultivation, a hardy perennial climber, clothed all • over with fine reversed hairs, with large blue flowers 1 1/2' deep and 3' broad, † E. Ind. Variable.
2 T. alata Bojer. Twining, silky-villous; lvs. cordate-sagittate, acute, on winged petioles; cal. 12- cleft, bracteoles repand.-In cultivation, perennial, the whole plant soft-villous. Lvs. repand, and 5-veined. Fls. large, yellow, with a purple base, \V deep, campanulate with a curved tube. † E. Africa. Variable.
2. ELYTRA'RIA, Vahl. (Gr. an envelope or bract; from the bractcd inflorescence.) Calyx 5 or 4 parted, segments unequal; corolla bilabiate lower lip or 3 bifid segments; stamens 2 fertile, 2 sterile, included; anther cells parallel; capsule 8-seeded from the base, without hooks.-Herbs acaulescent, with radical lvs. Scape covered with appressed leaf-like, clasping scales. Fls. small, one beneath each bract of the terminal spike.
1.E. virgata Mx. Scapes several, slender, terete, glabrous, erect, covered with ovate, clasping, cuspidate, alternate scales; lvs. radical, narrow-oblong, tapering long to the petiole, repand or wavy; fls. in a dense, imbricated spike, each flower covered by a broadly ovate, coriaceous, cuspidate, ciliate scale; cal. with 2 linear bractlets which are villous-ciliate as well as the segments; cor. white, with its 5 segm. nearly equal.-Wet plains S. Car. to Fla. (Mettauer). Scapes If high.
Lvs. 3 to 6' long, 5 to 8" wide. Fls. 4" broad. Summer. (Anonymus Caroli-nensis Walt.)
3. CALOPH'ANES, Don. (Gr. fair, to appear.) Calyx segments setaceous, much longer than the tube; corolla funnel-form, limb subregular, 5-lobed; stamens 4 ; anther cells spurred or mucron-ate at base, parallel; capsule lanceolate, empty below, 4-seeded in the middle; flowers axillary, opposite, mostly solitary, with narrow bracts and bractlets.-Low, pubescent herbs with blue corollas spotted in the throat.
1 C. oblongifolius Don. Densely pubescent, ascending from a procumbent or creeping base; lvs. obovate, obtuse, obscurely denticulate, narrowed to the sub-sessile base; fls. solitary, subsessile, opposite, with oblong bractlets equaling the deeply parted calyx and the corolla tube.- Pino barrens and gravelly plains, Ga. and Fla. common. Herb 6 to 12', branched at base, simple above. Lvs.
, 1' long, rarely rather acute. Cor. showy, a little exceeding the lvs., purplish blue, with deeper purple spots. Apr. (Ruellia oblongifolia Mx. Ph.)
2 C. humistratus Shutt. Smooth, prostrate, diffuse; lvs. oblong, oval, rather obtuse, entire, narrowed to a petiole; fls. axillary, subsessile, solitary or 2 or 3 together; bracts oblong-spatulate, shorter than the strict, setaceous calyx segm.-
S. Car. to Fla., in rich soils. Lvs. distinctly petiolate. Cal. segm. very slender, scabrous, membranous edged below, 5" long, equaling the 4-seeded capsule. (Ruellia humistrata, Mx.)
4. DIPTERACAN'THUS, Nees. (Gr. two-winged,
Acanthus.) Calyx deeply 5-cleft; corolla funnel-form, limb subequally 5-lobed; stamens 4, included; anther cells parallel, not awned ; capsule compressed and empty at base, 2 to 12-seeded above; seeds orbicular, compressed, with hooked, abrupt processes.-Mostly herbs with opposite, solitary or fascicled flowers.. Bracts leafy, often stalked. Fls. large, showy, blue or purple.
D. strepens Nees. Herb erect ; lvs. ovate or obovate-oblong, somewhat repand, cuneate at base and petiolate, smoothish or thinly downy; ped. axillary, very short, ' about 3 (1 to 4)-flowered; bractlets lance-oval, equaling or exceeding the calyx; sep. lance-linear, ciliate, a little shorter than the tube of the long-funnel-form corolla. Dry soils, Mid. W. and S. States, common. Plant variable, 9 to 16' high, often branched, nearly smooth. Lvs. large, 2 to 3' long, the fls. half or two-thirds as long. Caps, oblanceolate, 6-seeded or by abortion fewer. Hooks grooved. Jn.- Sept. (Ruellia strepens L.)
2 D. ciliosus Nees. Herb erect, hoary-hirsute; Ivs. ovate, the lower obovate upper oblong, all obtusish at apex and abrupt at base, subsessile; fls. subsessile, with oblong or lanceolate bracts not longer than calyx; sep. setaceous, hairy, not half as long as the long lube of the corolla.-Rich soils W. and S. States. Plant If or more high. Lvs. 18 to 30" long, the fls. nearly as long. A variety has smaller leaves almost dentate. (Ruellia ciliosa Ph.)