Fleshy decumbent or prostrate herbs, with opposite leaves and solitary or clustered axillary pink or purplish flowers. Stipules none, but the petioles often dilated and connate at the base. Calyx top-shaped, 5-lobed, the lobes oblong, ovate or lanceolate. Petals none. Stamens 5-60, inserted on the tube of the calyx. Filaments filiform, sometimes united at the base. Ovary 3-5-celled. Styles 3-5, papillose along the inner side. Capsule membranous, oblong, 3-5-celled, circumscissile. Seeds round-reniform, smooth; embryo annular.

About 4 species, natives of sea-coasts and saline regions. Besides the following, another, S. Portulacastrum L., the generic type, occurs in the Southern States.

Stamens 5; coastal species.


S. maritimum.

Stamens numerous; inland species.


S .sessile:

1 Sesuvium L Syst Ed 10 1058 1759 75

I. Sesuvium Maritimum (Walt.) B.S.P. Sea Purslane

Fig. 1733

Pharnaceum maritimum Walt. Fl. Car. 117.

1788. Sesuvium pentandrum Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga.

1: 556. 1821. Sesuvium maritimum B.S.P. Prel. Cat. N. Y.

20. 1888.

Annual, glabrous, decumbent or ascending, rarely erect, branches 2'-12' long. Leaves obovate or spatulate, entire, rounded or slightly emarginate at the apex, narrowed into a petiole or the upper ones sessile, 4"-12" long; flowers sessile or very nearly so, about 2" broad, mostly solitary in the axils; stamens 5, alternate with the calyx-lobes; capsule ovoid, about 2" high, scarcely longer than the calyx.

Sands of the seashore, eastern Long Island to Florida. Bahamas; Cuba. July-Sept.

2. Sesuvium Séssile Pers. Western Sea Purslane

Fig. 1734

Sesuvium sessile Pers. Syn. 2: 39. 1807.

Annual, glabrous, fleshy, usually much branched, the branches erect or ascending, 4'-16' long. Leaves oblanceo-late to obovate, obtuse, I' long or less, narrowed into short petioles; flowers sessile or nearly so, 4"-6" wide; calyx-lobes lanceolate to ovate-oblong, acute or acuminate, short-horned near the apex; stamens numerous; capsule about as long as the calyx.

On beaches, and saline plains, Kansas to Utah, Nevada, California, Texas and northern Mexico; also in southern Brazil. March-Nov.

Tetragonia expánsa Murr., New Zealand spinach, a succulent herb with large deltoid or rhomboid leaves and indehis-cent axillary, tubercled fruit, has been found in waste grounds in Connecticut.

2 Sesuvium S Ssile Pers Western Sea Purslane 76