This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Erect or decumbent herbs, with entire lobed or pinnatifid leaves, and small spicate or narrowly racemose flowers. Petals 4-7, toothed or cleft. Disk cup-shaped, glandular. Stamens 8-40, inserted on one side of the flower and on the inner surface of the disk. Capsule 3-6-lobed, horned, opening at the top before the seeds mature. [Ancient Latin name, referring to the supposed sedative effects of some of the species.]
About 55 species, all natives of the Old World. Type species: Reseda lutea L.
Leaves entire; upper petals lobed, the lower entire.
Leaves lobed or pinnatifid.
Petals greenish-yellow, 3 or 4 of them divided.
Petals white, all of them cleft or divided.
Reseda Luteola L. Sp. Pl. 448. 1753.
Glabrous, erect, simple, or sparingly branched above, \°-2\° high. Leaves lanceolate or linear, entire, obtuse, sessile or the lowest narrowed into a petiole; flowers greenish-yellow, 1"-2" broad, in long narrow spikes; sepals 4; petals 4 or 5, very unequal, the upper ones lobed, the lower one linear, entire; capsule globose, 2."-3" in diameter, with 3 or 4 apical teeth and 6-8 lateral ridges.
In waste places and in ballast, Massachusetts to New York and Pennsylvania. Mexico. Adventive from Europe. Cultivated for its yellow dye. Summer. Dyer's-weed. Dyer's-mignonette. Weld. Yellow or Italian rocket. Dutch pink. Wild woad.
Reseda lutea L. Sp. Pl. 449. 1753.
Ascending or decumbent, pubescent with short scattered stiff hairs, or nearly glabrous. Leaves 2'-4' long, broadly ovate or oblong in outline, deeply lobed or divided, sometimes pinnatifid, their segments linear or oblong, obtuse, the margins undulate; flowers greenish-yellow, 2"-3" broad, in narrow racemes; pedicels ascending, about 2" long in fruit; petals 6 or 5, all but the lowest irregularly cleft; sepals of the same number; stamens 15-20; capsule oblong, about 4" long, 1 1/2"-2" wide, with three or rarely 4 short teeth.
In waste places, Massachusetts to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and in ballast about the seaports. Adventive from Europe. Summer. Called also cramb-ling rocket.
Reseda alba L. Sp. Pl. 449. 1753.
Erect, glabrous, somewhat glaucous, 1°-3° high. Leaves often crowded, pinnate or deeply pinnatifid, the segments 9-12, linear, linear-oblong or lanceolate, obtusish, entire or undulate, 4"-12" long; flowers nearly white, 2" - 3" broad, in dense spike-like racemes; pedicels short; petals 6 or 5, all 3-cleft at the summit; sepals of the same number; stamens 12-15; capsule ovoid-oblong, usually 4-toothed, 5"-6" long.
In waste places, Connecticut to Pennsylvania and Ohio, in ballast about the eastern seaports and in British Columbia. Adventive from southern Europe. July-Aug.