A perennial glabrous bog herb, with a stout rootstock, thick fibrous roots, basal ob-lanceolate persistent leaves and rather large perfect purple flowers, racemed at the summit of an erect hollow bracted scape. Perianth-segments spreading, spatulate, persistent. Stamens 6, hypogynous, longer than the perianth-segments; filaments filiform; anthers ovate. Ovary ovoid, 3-grooved, 3-celled, slightly 3-lobed, many-ovuled; styles 3, stigmatic along the inner side, deciduous. Capsule obovoid, deeply 3-lobed, the lobes divergent, ventrally dehiscent above. Seeds numerous, linear, white-appendaged at each end. [Name from the Greek, in allusion to its growth in swamps.]

A monotypic genus of eastern North America.

1. Helonias Bullata L. Swamp Pink

Fig. 1225

Helonias bullata L. Sp. PL 342. 1753.

Leaves several or numerous, dark green, thin, clustered at the base of the scape, 6'-15' long, 1/2-2' wide, pointed or blunt, finely parallel-nerved. Scape stout, bracted below, the bracts lanceolate, acute or acuminate, membranous; raceme dense, 1-3' long in flower, becoming 4'-7' long in fruit; perianth-segments about 3" long, equalling or rather longer than the stout pedicels; capsules about 3" long, the valves papery; seeds 1 1/2"-2" long.

In bogs northern New Jersey, southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Local. The scape sometimes bears a few leaves at its base. April-May. Stud-flower. Not definitely known to grow wild in Pennsylvania at the present time.

1 Helonias Bullata L Swamp Pink 1225