Herbs aquatic, with the floating lvs. entire, centrally peltate, the submersed ones dissected. Fls. small, erect, one on each peduncle, hypogynous. Petals 3 - 4, alternate with the 3 or 4 sepals which are colored inside, all persistent. Sta. twice, or 4 or 6 times as many as the petals. Anthers adnate. Ova. 2 or more, distinct. Stig. simple. Fr. indehiscent, tipped with the hardened style. Sds. globular, pendulous. Embryo, minute, 2-lobed, external to an abundant, fleshy aibumen.
Genera 2, species 3. American water plants, extending from Cayenne, S America, N. to N. Eng. Properties, slightly astringent.
1. BRASENIA, Schreb. Water Target. Calyx of 3-4 sepals, colored within, persistent; corolla of 3 - 4 petals; stamens 12 - 24; ovaries 6 - 18; carpels oblong, 2 (or by abortion l)-seeded. - Aquatic. The stems and under surface of the leaves are covered with a viscid jelly. Lvs. all floating, entire.
B. peltata Ph. It inhabits muddy shores and pools, often in company with the water lily, Can. to Ga. and Ark. Lvs. peltate, elliptical, entire, 2 - 3' by 1 - l 1/2', with the long, flexible petioles inserted exactly in the center, floating on the surface of the water, smooth and shining above. Fls. arising to the surface, on long, slender, axillary peduncles. Petals purple, about 3" long. Jl. (Hydro-peltis purpurea Mx.)
2. CABOMBA, Aublet. Sepals 3, petaloid; petals 3; stamens 6; pistils 3 (rarely 2 or 4), nearly the length of stamens, and half as long as the petals and sepals; carpels few-seeded. - Lvs. opposite, mostly submersed and filiformly dissected.
C. Caroliniana Gray. In stagnant waters, N. Car. to Ga. and La. Stems branched. Floating lvs. small (6" long, 1" wide) and few, oblong-linear, centrally peltate; submersed lvs. many, reniform in outline, 1 - 2' broad, repeatedly di and tri-chotomous into threadlike segments. Ped. 2' long, 1-flowered. Fls. white, 5 - 6" broad, strictly 3V, (sometimes V), with oval, obtuse petals yellow at base. May.