Herbs or shrubs with alternate, usually exstipulate, simple or compound leaves. Flowers perfect, hypogynous, imbricated in aestivation. calyx of 2 - 6 deciduous sepals, in 1 or 2 rows, often with petaloid scales at base. Corolla of as many or twice as many petals as sepals, in one to several rows. Stam. as many as the petals and opposite to them, rarely more numerous. Anthers opening mostly by recurved valves hinged at the (op. Pistil one, style short or none. Fr. a berry or capsule, seeds several, albuminous. (Figs. 168, 182, 253, 304, 346, 347, 444.)
An order hard to define, including 12 genera and 100 species, some of them of widely different habit and very doubtful affinities. They inhabit the temperate zones. Some genera, as Podophyllum and Jeffersonia, possess catharic properties. Others, as Berberis, contain in their fruit* malic and oxalic acids.
TRIBES AND GENERA.
Tribe BERBERIDEAE - Shrubs. Embryo long as albumen. Anth. halved...............
Tribe NANDINEAE. - Herbs. Embryo short or minute. (*)
* Anthers opening by 2 valves hinged at the top. (a)
a Stamens 6. Fruit 2 drupe-like, soon naked seeds................................................
a Stamens 6. Fruit a 2 - 4 seeded berry........................................................
a Stamens 8. Fruit a capsule opening by a lid...................................................
* Anthers opening by 2 slits lengthwise. Stara. 6 - 18....................................................
1. BERBERIS, L. Berberry. (Name from the Arabic.) Calyx of 6 obovate, spreading, colored sepals, with the 3 outer ones smaller; corolla of 6 suborbicular petals, with two glands at the base of each; filaments 6, flattened; anthers 2 separate lobes on opposite edges of the connectile; style 0; berry oblong, 1-celled; seeds 2 or 3. - Fine, hardy shrubs.
1 B. vulgaris L. Spines (reduced lvs.) 3-forked; lvs. simple, serratures terminated by soft bristles; rac. pendulous, many-flowered; pet. entire. - A well-known bushy, ornamental shrub, in hard gravelly soils. Northern States. Grows 3 - 8f high. Lvs. 1 1/2 - 2' long, half as wide, round-obtuse at apex, tapering at base into the petiole, and remarkably distinguished by their bristly serrratures.
Fls. yellow, a dozen or more in each hanging cluster. Sta. irritable, springing violently against the stigma when touched. Berries scarlet, very acid, forming an agreeable jelly when boiled with sugar. The bark of the root dyes yellow.
Jn. §? Eur.
β Canadensis Willd. Rac. few (6 - 8)-flowered; berries oval. - Can. (Pursh) to
Va. and Ga., along the Alleghanies. Apparently a reduced form of a, with narrower leaves and smaller flowers and clusters. (B. Canadensis Ph.)
2 B. Aquifolium Ph. Lvs. pinnate, lfts. 3 - 6 pairs, leathery, with spinulose teeth; fil. with 2 slender teeth. - la woods, Oregon (Rev. G. Atkinson), now often cultivated. A firm bushy shrub, 3 - 5f high, with shining, dark green leaflets, resembling the leaves of the holly. Fls. yellow, in short, upright clusters, opening early. † (Mahonia Nutt.)
2. CAULOPHYLLUM, Mx. Cohosh. (Gr. ĸavλoς, stem; (фvλλov, leaf; the stem appearing as the stalk of the compound leaf.) Calyx of 6 green sepals 3-bracted at base; corolla of 6 short, gland-liko thickened petals, opposite the sepals; stamens 6; ovary 2-ovuled, becoming a thin pericarp, which soon breaks away after flowering, and the 2 round drupe-like seeds ripen naked. - Glabrous and glaucous, arising from a knotted rhizome. Lvs. compound.
C. thalictroides Mx. Pappoose Root. A curious plant in woods, Can. to Car. and Ky. Plant glaucous, purple when young. St. 1 - 2 1/2 f high, round, dividing above into 2 parts, one of which is a short common petiole of a triternate leaf, the other bears a 2-ternate leaf and a racemous panicle of greenish flowers. Lfts. paler beneath, 2 - 3' long, lobed like those of the Thalictrum or Aquilegia. Seeds 2 (mostly 1 by abortion), naked after having burst the caducous, thin, pericarp, deep blue, resembling berries on thick stipes. May. (Leontice, L.)
3. DIPHYLLEIA, Mx. Umbrella-leaf. (Gr. δíς, twice; фvλλov, leaf.) Calyx of 5 sepals, caducous; cor. of 6 oval petals larger than the sepals; stamens 6; ovary eccentric; stigma subsessile; berry few-ceeded, seeds attached laterally below the middle.- Glabrous, arising from a thick, horizontal root-stock. Lvs. simple, peltate.
D. cymosa Mx. Along streams or Mts., Va. to Ga., and Tenn. Stems 1 - 2f high, stout, some of them bearing a single large (1 - 2f broad) orbicular, cut-lobed, centrally peltate leaf; others with two alternate, smaller, roundish reni-form leaves, which are peltate near the base, deeply 2-lobed, the lobes cleft, and a terminal cyme of white flowers in June.
4. JEFFERSONIA, Bart. Twin -leaf. (In honor of President Jefferson, a patron of science.) Sepals 4, colored, deciduous; petals 8, spreading, incurved; stamens 8, with linear anthers; stigma peltate; capsule obovate, stipitate, opening by a circumscissile dehiscence. Rhizome thick, blackish, with a mass of matted fibers. Scape simple, 1-flowered. Lvs. 2-parted or binate. (Figs. 168, 253, 304, 444.)
J. diphylla Barton. A singular plant 8 - 14' high, Middle and Western States.
S. to Ga. Rhizome horizontal. Each petiole bears at the top a pair of binate, obliquely ovate leaflets, which are placed base to base, and broader than long, ending in an obtuse point, glaucous beneath. Scape as long as the petioles. Fls. large, regular, white. The capsule opens only half round, and has, therefore, a persistent lid. Apr. This plant has, in Ohio, the reputation of a stimulant, and anti-spasmodic, and is there significantly termed rheumatism root
5. PODOPHYLLUM, L. May Apple. (Gr. πovς, πoδoς, a foot, фvλλov, a leaf; alluding to the long, firm petioles.) Sepals 3, oval, obtuse, concave, caducous; petals 6 - 9, obovate, concave; stamens 9 - 18, with linear anthers; berry large, ovoid, 1-celled, crowned with the solitary stigma. - Low, rather poisonous herbs. Flowering stems, 2-leaved. Fl. solitary.
P. peltatum L. Wild Mandrake. In woods and fields, common in the Mid. and Western States, rare in N. Eng. S. to La. Height about 1 f. It is among our more curious and interesting plants. St. round, sheathed at base, dividing into 2 round petioles, between which is the flower. Lvs. broadly cordate, in 5 - 7 lobes, each lobe 6' long from the insertion of the petiole, 2-lobed and dentate at apex. Barren stems with one centrally peltate leaf. Fl. pedunculate, drooping, white, about 2' diam. Fr. ovoid oblong, large, yellowish; with the flavor of the strawberry. The root is cathartic. May.