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Calyx 5-fidus, Petala obovato-spathulata, unguibus sæpius involutis. Stamina 5, petalis opposita; filamentis dilatis planis, basi monadelphis; antheræ loculis acuminatis. Ovarium stipitatum, 5-loculare; loculis multi-ovulatis. Capsula loculicide 5-valvis. Semina plurima, reniformia. Embryo arcuatus.
HERMANNIA, Tourn. Inst. t. 432. Dill. Elth. t. 147. Linn. Gen. 628. Juss. Gen. p. 289. Cav. Diss. 6. t. 177182. DC. Prodr. 1. p. 493. Endl. Gen. 5340.
CALYX five-cleft, persistent; often vesiculose-inflated in fruit; the segments valvate in æstivation. PETALS 5, convolute in æstivation, alternate with the segments of the calyx, spathulate or obovate, erect-spreading, hypogynous, deciduous, the usually dilated claw with involute or convolute margins. STAMENS 5, opposite the petals and shorter than they, hypogynous: FILAMENTS flat and dilated, monadelphous at the base around the stipe of the ovary into a ring which is adnate to the very base of the claws of the petals: ANTHERS extrorse, connivent, sagittate, two-celled; the cells acuminate and often tipped with a minute gland, opening longitudinally for their whole length. OVARY stipitate, five-celled; the cells (at least in the American species) opposite the petals: STYLES more or less distinct, or united into one, introrsely stigmatose at the apex. OVULES numerous in two series from the inner angle of each cell, anatropous or amphitropous, ascending or horizontal.
CAPSULE coriaceous or nearly membranaceous, usually five-lobed, five-celled, loculicidal, the dissepiments adhering to the middle of the valves. SEEDS several or numerous in each cell, reniform; the testa coriaceous or crustaceous, often pitted EMBRYO arcuate, or almost hippocrepiform, in fleshy albumen: COTYLEDONS foliaceous,flat: RADICLE slender, centripetal
SHRUBS, or nearly herbaceous plants, usually hoary of hirsute with stellular pubescence; the leaves alternate, stipulate. Peduncles axillary, onemany-flowerd, the pedicels commonly articulated. Flowers yellow, or sometimes purple.
ETYMOLOGY. Dedicated by Tournefort to Paul Hermann, Professor of Botany at Leyden in the latter part of the seventeenth century.
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION This genus belongs to the Cape of Good Hope (where it is numerous in species); with the exception of two plants recently detected in Mexico and Texas, which appear to be truly congeneric with South African Hermanniæ. Of one of these (No. 802 of Coulter's Mexican collection) Mr. Bentham informs me he has long possessed a specimen from the Montpellier Garden, under the (apparently unpublished) name of Hermannia Brasiliensis, Delile. It is most likely the H. inflata, Link & Otto, mentioned in Steudel as a Mexican species, as its fructiferous calyx is remarkably inflated. The other species (in which the calyx is not thus inflated) was gathered by Dr. Gregg near Buena Vista, in Northern Mexico, and previously on the Rio Colorado in Texas, north of lat 31° by Mr. Lindheimer; from whose indigenous specimens it is here figured. It has been raised from his seed in the Botanic Garden of Harvard University; but the plants have not yet flowered. The corolla is purple or violet-colored in both species.
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