Penthorum sedoides L.

Penthorum sedoides plant

Family - Crassulaceae

Stems - To -1m tall, branching, erect, from fibrous stoloniferous roots, scabrous to glabrous, with ferruginous glandular pubescence near apex, herbaceous.

Penthorum sedoides stem

Leaves - Alternate, sessile to very short-petiolate, serrulate, glabrous, lance-elliptic, acute to acuminate at apex, tapering to base, to +/-12cm long, +/-3.5cm broad.

Penthorum sedoides leaves

Inflorescence - A terminal branching cyme with 2-6 branches. Flowers secund on upper side of branches. Axis of inflorescence densely glandular pubescent. Flowers on pedicels to 2mm long.

Penthorum sedoides inflorescence

Flowers - Typically apetalous. Sepals 5, green, acute, 1.1mm long, typically glabrous, persistent in fruit. Stamens 10. Filaments to 2mm long, pinkish. Anthers yellowish-pink, .8mm long. Carpels 5(7), white and glabrous in flower, in a ring, to 4mm long. Placentation free central. Styles to 1.2mm long, persistent in fruit as beak. Capsule 5-horned, circumsissle below the beaks, glabrous, greenish-brown to reddish. Seeds many, .7mm long, tuberculate.

Penthorum sedoides flowers

Penthorum sedoides flowers

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Wet soils, flood plains, ditches, submerged or marginal.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - Penthorum can be found throughout Missouri and is quite common but frequently overlooked. The flowers are anything but showy, however, the fruits are interesting.
The plant was used traditionally by Indians to treat such ailments as diarrhea, dysentery, tonsillitis and bronchitis.

Photographs taken off Hwy H., Shannon County, MO., 7-18-03.


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