BLTC Press Titles


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Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


A flora of North America

by William Paul Crillon Barton

Excerpt:

GENERIC CHARACTER.

Calix urceolate, 4 to 5-cleft. Petals 4, oblique, inserted upon the calix. Anthers declinate. Capsule setigerous, 4-celled, included in the ventricose calix. Receptacle subulate. Seeds numerous. (Stamina sometimes 10.)—Nutt.

SPECIFIC CHARACTER.

Stem angular, winged, garnished with scattered red hairs; leaves sessile, ovallanceolate, serrated with brisded teeth, ciliated between the serrature naked beneath, sparingly and irregularly hirsute above, from 3 to 5 r 7-nerved. B.

SYNONYMS.

Rhexia septemnervia, Walt.? Fl. Car.; the variety p. of Pursh, perhaps, ■ ..

seven nerves, and attains a stature of four or five feet. Alifanus vegetabilis carolinianus, Pluk. amalth. 8.

Lysimachia non papposa virginiana, tuberarise, foliis hirsutis, flore tetrapetalo rubello. Pluk. aim. 235. t. 202. fig. 8? VOL. I. 4

Root fibrous, perennial. Stem erect, from one to three feet high, branching above, nearly dichotomous or trichotomous, the upper forks having a flower in the point of their divarication; four-sided, membranaceously winged on the angles, smooth, nearly naked, but often garnished with scattered, reddish hairs. Leaves oval-lanceolate, attenuated at either end, sessile, mostly three or five, but often seven-nerved, serrated, the serratures distinctly bristled at their points, and the intervening parts ciliated ; smooth and naked beneath, and of a pale green colour; darker green above, also smooth, but covered with distant hairs variously disposed. Peduncles terminal, dichotomous. Flowers solitary, terminal and axillary from the forks, sub-sessile, and, in luxuriant specimens sub-corymbose. Petals obovate, lake-red, delicately veined with a darker shade of the same hue, the portion of each one which contributed to form the external aspect of the flower-buds, covered with red hairs. Anthers falcate, orange-yellow, filaments gamboge-yellow. Calix regularly urceolate, differing in shape from the calix of R. mariana; reddish on one side, and closely covered with fine semi-viscous hairs, or hairs crowned with a gland and emitting a viscous fluid. Segments of the calix acuminate, expanding during florescence, but subsequently reflexed. The whole plant sometimes very hirsute. The ciliation of the leaves varies considerably, 'the serratures or little teeth being sometimes only setaceously armed, while at others, the whole margin is closely fringed. Inhabits rich boggy soil, where its luxuriance is proportioned to the moisture and shade. Generally in the open

borders of swamps, but often in damp meadows. Ranges from the northern states to Georgia, flowering from July until September.

The generic term Rhexia, is derived from />*£<«, a rupture, or fracture. It is the synonym in Pliny of a plant reputed to be endowed with many medicinal virtues, particularly for curing ruptures. His description has reference to a plant supposed by modern botanists to be a species of Anchusa or Echium, but it is not known why Gronovius and Linnseus adopted the generic name Rhexia for the American genus. Of this numerous tribe, containing thirty species, nine are indigenous to North, the rest to tropical America. The present one varies considerably in size, often flowering when only eight inches high in the northern and middle states, but attaining a stature in South Carolina and Georgia, of four or five feet. This circumstance must be owing to the greater congeniality of a southern sun to the constitution of the plant. Mr. Elliott is silent respecting the variety 0. of Pursh, quoted by him from Walter, as having seven nerves and attainin*" » height of five feet; but describes R. virginica as being from tv three feet high with from five to seven nerves, giving at the time, Walter's specific name septemnervia, as a synonym, plant was therefore in all probability, an uncommonly lur, riety, not constantly of that stature. The medium or most height is about two feet. Culture, with due attention to the native soil, would doubtless render a plant of such susceptibility of variation, more showy and ornamental. It bears transplantation well, and is worthy of introduction to our gardens. It is said to succeed only tolerably in England in bog-beds with plenty of water, and that it there requires to be sheltered from the winter. In this its native clime however, it is not likely to suffer from the cold of winter. The boggy swamps of the lower and middle parts of Jersey, are abundantly supplied with this species of Rhexia; and it there grows to a large size, bearing a corymb of numerous flowers. The petals are, however, fugacious; but the constant succession of new flowers, makes up for their short duration.


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