Herbs with swollen joints, opposite, entire leaves, and regular flowers. Sepals 4 or 5. persistent, distinct, or cohering into a tube. Petals 4 or 5, unguiculate or not, bifid or entire, mostly removed from the calyx by a short internode of the torus, sometimes wanting. Stamens distinct, twice as many as the petals, rarely an equal number or fewer. Ovary often stipitate; styles 2 - 5, stigmatous the whole length of the inner surface. Fr. a 1-celled capsule (or imperfectly 2 - 5 celled), opening at the top, or loculicidal. Sds. numerous; embryo curved around the albumen. (See Figs. 70, 209, 258, 296, 299, 300, 313, 392.)
The Pinkworts as constituted by Endleicher and others, and above characterized, comprehends four Suborders, and in the aggregate 88 genera and 1180 species. They are in general destitute of active properties. A few of them are valued as highly ornamental in cultivation, but the greater part are insignificant weeds abounding in waste sandy tracts throughout the temperate zones.
§ Leaves furnished with dry, membranous stipules. Suborder II. (¶) - § Exstipulate. - Capsule 1-celled, 3 - ∞-sccded. Petals rarely absent. Suborder I.(*) - Capsule 1-celled, 1-seeded. Petals none. Suborder III. (h) - Capsule completely 3-celled. Petals none. Suborder IV. (k) * Sepals united into a tube. Petals long-clawed. Ovary stiped. Tribe 1. (a) * Sepals distinct or nearly so. Petals subsessile. Ovary sessile. Tribe 2. (b) ¶ Styles or stig. 3 to 5. Capsule 1-celled, ∞-seeded. Tribe 8. (e) ¶ Styles 2 or united into 1. Utricle 1-seeded. Tribe 4. (f)
Suborder I. CARYOPHYLLLNEAE.
SILENEAE - Calyz with scale-like bractlets at base. Stules 2 ..............DIANTHUS
- Calyx bractless. - Styles 2. Capsule 4-toothed when open.Saponaria.
- Styles 3. Capsule 6-toothed when open.SILENE.
- Styles 5. Caps. 10-toothed... Agrostemma, 4. .Lychnis.
ALSINEAE. - Petals 2-parted (sometimes wanting in No. 7.) (c)
C Styles 5. Capsule opening at the top by 10 teeth.....Cerastium.
C Styles 3. Capsule opening deeply by 6 half-valves...Stellaria.
- Petals undivided (sometimes wanting in No. 10.) (d)
d Valves of the capsule 3, each 2-toothed. Styles 3 ....Arenaria.
d Valves, etc., entire. - Styles 3, always fewer than sepals......Alsine.
- Styles 4 or6, always as many as sepals. .Sagina.
-Styles 3 & 5. Disk large, 10-lobed.HONKENYA.
Scborder II. ILLECEBRLNEAE.
SPERGULEAE - Stles 5. petals white. Lvs. linear, whorled ....SPERGULA
- Styles 3 and 5. Petals red. Lvs. linear, opposite......Spergularia.
-Styles 3 in all the flowers. - Stipules ovate. Lvs. in 4's.Polycarpon.
- Stip. multifid. Lvs. opp...Stipulicida.
f 4. PAE0NYCHIEAE. - Sepals herbaceous, distinct or nearly so.....................
- Sepals white above, united in a tube below..................
Suborder III. SCLERANTHINEAE.
h Styles 2. Utricle inclosed in the hardened calyx tube..........
Suborder IV. MOLLUGINEAE.
k Styles 3. Stamens hypogynous, 3 or 5. Herb prostrate......
1. DIANTHUS, L. Pink. (Gr. the flower of Jove, alluding to its preeminent beauty and fragrance.) Calyx cylindrical, tubular, striate, with 2 or more pairs of opposite, imbricated scales or bractlets at base; petals 5, with long claws, limb unequally notched; stamens 10; styles 2, tapering, with long, recurved stigmas; caps. cylindric, 1-celled. - Beautiful Oriental plants, everywhere cultivated.
§ Flowers in dense corymbs. - Scales as long as the calyx
Nos. 1, 2
- Scales ovate, awned, short.....................................
... No. 7
§ Flowers solitary or panicled. - Petals toothed or crenate..................................
Nos. 3, 4
- Petals fringed..........................................
Nos. 5, 6
1 D. Armaria. Wild Pink. Lvs. linear-subulate, hairy; fls. aggregate, fascicled; scales of the calyx lanceolate, subulate, as long as the downy tube.- Our only wild species of the pink, found in fields and pine woods, Mass. to N. J. St. erect, 1 - 2f high, branching. Lvs. erect, 1 - 2' long, 1 - 3" wide at the clasping base, tapering to a subulate point. Fls. inodorous, in dense fascicles of 3 or more. Cal. and its scales 3/4" long. Petals small, pink-colored, sprinkled with white, crenate. Aug. § Eur.
- 2D. barbatus L. Sweet William or BUNCH Pink. Lvs. lanceolate; fls. aggregate, fascicled; scales of the calyx ovate-subulate, as long as the tube. - An ornamental flower, still valued as in the times of old Gerarde, "for its beauty to deck up the bosoms of the beautiful, and garlands and crowns for pleasure." Stems l 1/2f high, thick. Lvs. 3 to 5' by 1/2 to 1', narrowed to the clasping base. Fls. in fastigiate cymes, red or whitish, often greatly variegated. May - Jl. †
3 D. Chinensis L. China Pink. St. branched; lvs. linear-lanceolate; fls. solitary; scales, linear, leafy, spreading, as lony as the tube.- Native of China. An elegant species, well characterized by its leafy, spreading scales, and its large, toothed or crenate, red petals. The foliage, like that of the other species, is evergreen, being as abundant and vivid in winter as in summer.
4 D. caryopb/yllus L. Carnation, Bizarres, Picotees, Flakes, etc. Lvs. linear-subulate, channeled, glaucous; fls. solitary; scales very short, ovate; petals very broad, beardless, crenate. - Stem 2 - 3f high, branched. Fls. white and crimson; petals crenate. This species is supposed to be the parent of all the splendid varieties of the Carnation. Over 400 sorts are now enumerated by florists, distinguished mostly by some peculiarity in color, which is crimson, white, red, purple, scarlet, yellow, and arranged in every possible order of stripes, dots, flakes and angles.
5 D. plumarius L. Pheasant's Eye. Glaucous; st. 2 - 3-flowered: fls. solitary; calyx teeth obtuse; scales ovate, very acute; lvs. linear, rough at the edge; petals many-cleft, hairy at the throat.- Native of Europe. From this species probably originated those beautiful pinks called Pheasaut's-eye, of which there are enumerated in Scotland no less than 300 varieties. Fls. white and purple. Jn. - Aug. †
6 D. superbus L. Lvs. linear-subulate; fls. fastigiate; scales short, ovate, mucronate; petals pinnate.- A singular, beautiful pink, native of Europe. St. 2f high, branching, with many flowers. Petals white, gashed in a pinnate manner beyond the middle, and hairy at the mouth. Jl. - Sept.
7 D. Carthusianorum L. The Monthly Pink, common in house cultivation, with bright green, channeled, linear leaves, short, caespitous stems, pink-red, double flowers, appears to bo a variety of this species.
2. SAPONARIA, L. Soapwort. (Latin sapo, soap; the mucilaginous juice is said to make soap.) Calyx tubular, 5-toothed, without scales; petals 5, unguiculate; stamens 10; styles 2; capsule oblong, 1-celled. Petals often crowned.
1 S. officinalis L. Bouncing Bet. Lvs. lanceolate, inclining to elliptical; fls. in paniculate fascicles; cal cylindrical; crown of the petal3 linear.- By roadsides. N. E. to Ga. A shady, smooth, succulent plant, with handsome, pinklike flowers. St. 1 - 2f high. Lvs. 2 - 3' long, 1/3 or more as wide, very acute. Fis. many, flesh-colored, often double. The plant has a bitter taste, and makes lather with water. Jl., Aug. § Eur.