Aquatic herbs, with thick rootstocks buried in the mud, oblong-elliptic nerved leaves without a distinct midvein, and slender terete scapes terminated by a cylindric spadix. Spathe enclosing the spadix when very young, soon parting and remaining as a sheathing bract at its base, or falling away. Flowers perfect, bright yellow, covering the whole spadix. Sepals 4-6, scale-like, imbricated upon the ovary (lower flowers commonly with 6, upper with 4). Stamens as many as the sepals; filaments linear, wider than the anthers, abruptly narrowed above; anthers small, with two diverging sacs opening by oblique slits. Ovary partly imbedded in the axis of the spadix, depressed, obtusely angled, 1-celled; ovule solitary, half-anatropous; stigma sessile. Fruit a green utricle. Endosperm none; embryo long-stalked. [Ancient name of some water plant, said to be from the Syrian river Orontes.]

5 Orontium L Sp Pi 324 1753 1118

A monotypic genus of eastern North America.

1. Orontium Aquaticum L. Golden-Club. Floating Arum

Fig. 1118

Orontium aquaticum L. Sp. PI. 324. 1753.

Leaves ascending or floating, depending on the depth of water, deep dull green above, pale beneath, the blade 5-12' long, 2'-$' wide, entire, acute or cuspidate at the apex, narrowed at the base into a petiole 4'-20' long. Scape 6'-24' long, flattened near the spadix; spadix 1 -2' long, 3"-4" in diameter, frequently attenuate at the summit, much thickened in fruit; spathe bract-like, 2'-4' long, 2-keeled on the back; usually falling away early; utricle depressed, roughened on top with 9 or 10 tubercles.

In swamps and ponds, Massachusetts to central Pennsylvania, south to Florida and Louisiana, mostly near the coast. Ascends to 2000 ft. on the Pocono plateau of Pennsylvania. Water-dock. Tawkin. April-May.