Small annual herbs, with digitately parted, lobed and toothed leaves, and very small apetalous flowers in axillary cymose clusters. Calyx-tube ellipsoid, contracted at the throat, the lobes 4 or 5; bractlets as many as the calyx-lobes, or none. Petals none. Stamens usually only one, borne opposite one of the calyx-lobes; filament short; anthers introrse. Pistils 1-4, usually 2; style basal, slender. Achenes 1 or 2. [Greek, referring to the insignificant aspect of these plants.]

A genus of about twenty species, of the north temperate zone. Besides the following, 2 or 3 others occur in the western United States. Type species: Aphanes arvensis L.

1. Aphanes Arvénsis L. Parsley-Piert, Or Field Lady's Mantle. Argentill

Fig. 2263

Aphanes arvensis L. Sp. Pl. 123. 1753.

Alchemilla arvensis Scop. Fl. Cam. Ed. 2, 1: 115. 1770.

Annual, softly pubescent, branching at the base, the branches usually slender, ascending, 1'-6' high. Stipules toothed or rarely entire; leaves very short-petioled, pubescent, fan-shaped, 2"-5" long, deeply 3-parted, the lobes cuneate, 2-4-cleft, the segments obtuse or acutish; flowers 1"-1 1/2" broad, in sessile axillary clusters partly enclosed by the stipules; calyx-lobes usually 4, ovate, obtusish or acute.

In dry fields, District of Columbia to Georgia and Tennessee and in Nova Scotia. Naturalized or adventive from Europe. Breakstone. Parsley-vlix. Parsley-breakstone. Firegrass. Bowel-hivegrass. Colicwort. April-Sept.

The plant of the southeastern states (A. australis Rydb.) has smaller leaves and flowers than European specimens examined, but does not appear to be specifically distinct from them.

1 Aphanes Arv Nsis L Parsley Piert Or Field Lady s 605