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 branching shrubs, with alternate membranous entire deciduous leaves, and small nodding greenish purple slender-pedicelled flowers, in terminal corymbs or umbels, developed from scaly buds. Calyx 4-toothed or 4-parted, persistent. Corolla urceolate-cylindric, or nearly globose, 4-toothed or 4-lobed. Stamens 8, included; filaments subulate, flattish, slightly dilated below; anthers linear-oblong, awnless, attached by their backs to the filaments, the sacs opening by terminal pores or chinks. Disk obscurely 8-crenate. Ovary mostly 4-celled; ovules numerous; style filiform; stigma 4-lobed or 4-toothed. Capsule sub-globose or ovoid, 4-celled, septicidally 4-valved, many-seeded. Seeds slender, the testa membranous, prolonged at both ends. Parts of the flower rarely in 5's. [Named in honor of Archibald Menzies, surgeon and naturalist, died 1842.]
About 7 species, natives of North America and Japan. Besides the following, 2 others occur in the northwestern parts of North America. Type species: Menziesia ferruginea J. E. Smith.
Filaments glabrous; seeds pointed at each end.
A shrub, 2°-6° high, the twigs more or less chaffy and with stiff hairs. Leaves oval, oblong or obovate, thin, obtuse or acutish and glandular-mucronulate at the apex, narrowed at the base, rough-hairy above, pale glaucescent and sometimes chaffy on the veins beneath, 1'-2' long, the margins ciliate; petioles 2"-5" long, pubescent; flowers few in the umbels, drooping; pedicels filiform, glandular, 1/2-1' long; calyx-lobes short and broad, hirsute-ciliate; corolla urn-shaped or globose-ovoid, 2"-3" long; filaments glabrous; capsule ovoid, about 2" high, erect, glandular-bristly; seeds pointed at each end.
Menziesia glabella A. Gray, Syn. Fl. N. A. 2: Part 1, 39. 1878.
Similar to the preceding species, the twigs less chaffy. Leaves obovate, obtuse and glandular-mucronulate at the apex, pale, glaucous and glabrous or very nearly so beneath, sparingly pubescent above, 9"-18" long, the margins ciliolate; flowers 1-5 in the umbels, spreading, becoming erect; pedicels 1/2'-1' long, glandular; calyx-lobes short and broad, ciliate and pubescent; corolla urn-shaped, about 2" long; filaments pubescent below; capsule oblong or obovoid, erect, about 2" high, glabrous; seeds long-appendaged at each end Minnesota Point, Lake Superior, west to Montana, Oregon and British Columbia. May-June.
A glabrous evergreen shrub, with coriaceous entire small mostly opposite leaves, and numerous small white or pinkish flowers, in terminal corymbs. Bud-scales coriaceous, persistent. Calyx 5-parted, the segments rigid, oblong-lanceolate, acute, persistent. Petals 5, sessile, ovate to obovate, spreading. Stamens 10, exserted; filaments filiform, glabrous; anthers small, globose-didymous, attached by their backs to the filaments, awnless, the sacs opening longitudinally. Disk 10-lobed. Ovary 2-5-celled; ovules numerous; style slender, straight; stigma simple, truncate. Capsule ovoid, 2-5-valved from the top. [Greek, a tree.]
Three species, of eastern North America, the following typical.
Ledum buxifolium Berg. Act. Upsal. 1777: pl. 3. f. 1 1777. Dendrium buxifolium Desv. Journ. Bot. (II) 1: 36. 1813. Leiophyllum buxifolium Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 483. 1819-20.
A low shrub with box-like foliage, widely branching, 4'-18' high. Leaves crowded, oblong or oval, thick, obtuse, dark green and shining above, lighter and black-dotted beneath, short-petioled, somewhat revolute-margined, 3"-7" long, the midrib prominent, the lateral veins obscure; flowers about 2" broad, several or numerous in short corymbs; anthers purple; pedicels filiform', 3"-5" long in fruit; capsule acute, slightly over 1" high, glabrous, puberu-lent, or roughened with short processes.
In sandy pine-barrens, New Jersey to Florida. April-June.