* Lathyrus pratensis - Plate 12 D. † Lythrum Salicaria - Plate 12 A.
The Water Chickweed,"* an insignificant succulent annual, found in springy places and on the edges of rills, represents the Portulacaceous or Purslane family, another group of the Calyciflores, of which the genus Calandrinia of our flower-gardens affords much handsomer illustrations. This little plant grows in tufts a few inches high, and has small obovate or spathulate leaves, and solitary flowers in the axils of the upper leaves, the flowers being minute, with a calyx or cup of two sepals, and a corolla of five white petals united into one but split open in front. There are three stamens, three stigmas, and a capsule opening in three valves and containing three seeds.
In the Wall Pepper † we have an illustration of the Crassu-laceous family, a Calyciflorous group, containing many very beautiful species of flowering plants familiar in gardens under the names of Sedum, Sempervivum, Crassula, etc. The present native species is a common perennial British plant, found on walls and on rocks, and in stony and sandy places in a wild state, and not nnfrequently in gardens upon artificial rock work. It forms a close spreading flat tuft or patch of the brightest green when not in flower, and during the flowering season is literally covered with its bright yellow star-like blossoms. The leaves are small and thick, ovoid, spurred at the base, those of the barren shoots usually imbricated in about six rows. The flowers are wholly bright yellow, in short terminal cymes; they have five short sepals, and five longer distinct petals which spread out in the form of a star, ten stamens, and five carpels. The whole family is distinguished for the succulent or fleshy character of its leaves or stems.
* Montia fontana - Plate 13 E. † Sedum acre - Plate 13 C.
In boggy places on open heaths, growing amongst sphagnum moss, may generally be found a profusion of little rosulate plants furnished with curious glandular hairs. They are the Sundews, and represent the family of Droseraceous plants, which some learned botanists place among the Thalamiflores, and others along with the Calyciflores, according as the insertion of the stamens is regarded as hypogynous or perigynous. Its position is thus quite an unsettled point. We here follow Mr. Bentham in regarding it as associated with Saxifraga and Parnassia. The Common Sundew * has a short slender rootstock, encircled by round or orbicular leaves attached by long stalks, and covered on the upper surface with long red viscid hairs, each hair bearing a gland at the top. In the centre rise two or three slender flower-stems supporting an undivided or once-forked one-sided raceme of small whitish flowers, which have five small sepals, five somewhat larger petals, and five stamens, - the latter being considered almost or by some botanists quite hypogynous. They are very interesting little plants, and are called Sundews from the little glands secreting a pellucid fluid which sparkles like dew-drops in the sunshine.
* Drosera rotundifolia - Plate 8 B.
We come next to a group of Calyciflores having this diversity of structure from the preceding - the petals and stamens, instead of being perigynous, are what is called epigynous, or, in other words, they appear to grow from the top of the ovary. We must describe a few illustrations of the group.
The Onagraceous family, known among the British Calyci-flores with an inferior ovary, by the parts of the flower being all in twos or fours, is very well illustrated by the Great Willow Herb,* a handsome perennial, found by the side of ditches and watercourses: a common plant, having stout branched hairy stems, three to five feet high, furnished with lanceolate leaves clasping the stem at the base, and toothed along the margin. The flowers grow from the axils of the upper leaves, and are stalked, the calyx and corolla being elevated on a long slender quadrangular ovary which looks like a thickened stalk. The calyx is divided into four small teeth, and the corolla consists of four broad deeply-notched petals, forming a large handsome flower of a pinkish rose-colour, within which are eight stamens and a deeply four-lobed stigma, all these growing at the apex of the long narrow four-angled ovary, which becomes a hairy four-celled four-valved capsule, containing numerous small seeds, each crowned by a tuft of hair.
The Mare's-tail † represents a small group of insignificant plants, sometimes considered as a separate group, called Halo-ragaceous plants, and sometimes regarded as a subdivision of the Onagraceous or Evening Primrose family. It is a water plant, found in shallow ponds and ditches, and has erect annual simple stems springing from a perennial rootstock. These stems are furnished with whorls of from eight to twelve linear entire leaves, in the axils of which grow the minute flowers, which are entirely without petals, and have a scarcely perceivable calyx, a single stamen, one subulate style, and a single ovule. The plant has considerable superficial resemblance to the Equisetums or Horsetails, but has no affinity with them.
* Epilobium hirsutum - Plate 12 C. † Hippicris vulgaris - Plate 12 B.
In the Red or Common Bryony,* we have a British example of the Cucurbitaceous family, to which the Melon and Cucumber belong. It is a scrambling plant, as are most of the family, trailing over the surface of the ground if no support is at hand, or clambering by means of its tendrils over any adjacent herbage. In the southern parts of England, it is common in hedges and thickets. It has a thick tuberous perennial root-stock, from the crown of which the annual stems are produced. These are hairy, branched, very much elongated, and furnished with broadish leaves, divided into five or seven angular lobes, of which the middle one is the longest. The flowers are produced separately by young plants, the staminiferous on one and the pistilliferous on another; but as they become older, both forms, though still separate, are borne by the same plant. The staminiferous flowers grow several together in long-stalked racemes from the leaf-axils, while the fertile or pistilliferous* ones are on short stalks; both have a five-toothed calyx, and five petals just united at the base into a single five-lobed corolla, which is inserted in the margin of the calyx. The stamens are combined into three sets, of which two are double, comprising two stamens each, and one single. The pistilliferous flowers are succeeded by small scarlet berries, which are fetid when bruised. In the younger stages of growth, the fruits, in that state called ovaries, have the flowers growing from their apices, the same as may be seen in a young Cucumber.