Herbs, annual. Taproots stout. Stems simple or branched, terete. Leaves connate proximally into sheath, sessile; blade 1-veined or obscurely 3-veined, linear to narrowly lanceolate, apex acute. Inflorescences terminal, lax cymes or of solitary, mostly axillary flowers; bracts, when present, paired, foliaceous; involucel bracteoles absent. Pedicels erect. Flowers bisexual or rarely unisexual and pistillate; sepals connate proximally into tube, 25-62 mm; tube green, 10-veined, cylindric to ovoid, terete, commissures between sepals 1-veined, herbaceous; lobes green, 1-veined, linear-lanceolate, [shorter or] longer than tube, often equaling or longer than petals, margins green, herbaceous, apex acute; petals 5, purplish red or white, clawed, auricles absent, coronal appendages absent, blade apex obtuse, entire or briefly emarginate; nectaries near bases of filaments opposite sepals; stamens 10, 5 adnate to petals, 5 at base of gynoecium; filaments distinct; staminodes absent; styles (4-)5, clavate, 10-12 mm, with dense, stiffly ascending hairs proximally; stigmas (4-)5, subterminal, papillate (30×). Capsules ovoid, opening by (4-)5 ascending teeth; carpophore absent. Seeds ca. 30-60, black, reniform, laterally compressed, tuberculate, marginal wing absent, appendage absent; embryo peripheral, curved. x = 12.
Cal-lobes 5, much longer than the coarsely 10- ribbed tube; pet 5, without auricles or appendages; stamens 10; styles (4)5; capsule dehiscent by (4)5 ascending teeth; annual with opposite, entire, exstipulate lvs. 2, Eurasia.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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