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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Onagraceae (from the genus Onagra, now a part of Oenothera, derived from the Greek, a wild ass, in reference to a fancied resemblance between the ears of that animal and the leaves of these plants). Evening Primrose Family. Fig. 44. Mostly herbs, rarely shrubs: leaves opposite or alternate: flowers bisexual, regular, perigynous or epigynous; sepals 4, rarely 2-3, separate or united, valvate; petals 4, or rarely 2 or 0, mostly clawed, convolute; stamens of the same number as the petals or twice as many, outer alternate with the petals; ovary 2-4-celled, inferior; ovules numerous; style 1; stigmas l-4: fruit a capsule, rarely a berry or nut.

The 36 genera and 470 species are mostly natives of the temperate portion of the New World (western United States and Mexico), but are also abundant in South America. Epilobium, containing 160 species, is widely distributed in the cooler regions of both hemispheres. This is a distinct family, recognized by the numerical plan of 2 or 4, the usually perigynous flowers, and the inferior ovary with many ovules. It is related to Lythraceae, Melastomaceae, Myrtaceae, and other families of this group.

Fuchsia is shrubby or even arborescent, and its fruit is a berry. The tubular receptacle is prolonged beyond the ovary in most genera, but not in Jussieua, Ludwigia, and Epilobium. The seeds of Epilobium are comose, and are distributed, parachute-like, by the wind. The flowers of a number of species of Oenothera open only at night or in dark weather, and are pollinated by night-flying moths; hence the name evening primrose.

The wood of several species of Fuchsia furnishes ink and a black dye. Jussieua pilosa yields a yellow dye. The berries of many Fuchsias are eaten, and preserved with sugar. The young shoots of Epilobium latifolium are eaten as greens. The roots of Oenothera biennis have been improved in Europe and furnish “rhapontic" roots, which are eaten like celery. The coma of the seeds of Epilobium has been used in Lapland to make lamp-wicks and has been spun into cloth, but without great success. Many genera are cultivated for ornamental purposes because of the showy flowers.

About a dozen genera are cultivated in N. America, among which are the following: Circaea (Enchanter's Nightshade); Epilobium (Willow Herb, Fire Weed); Fuchsia; Ludwigia (Water-purslane, Seed-box or Rattle-box); Clarkia; (Oenothera (Evening Primrose, Sundrops); and Godetia. These are mostly grown in the open as annuals or as hardy perennials, except Fuchsia, which is a greenhouse plant but often bedded out in summer.


The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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