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 Polemonium Family
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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Polemoniaceae (from the genus Polemonium, an ancient name of doubtful application). Polemonium Family. Fig. 50. Herbs, rarely woody: leaves alternate, or the lower sometimes opposite, simple or pinnate: flowers bisexual, regular, or nearly so; calyx 5-cleft; corolla 5-lobed, gamopetalous, hypogynous, convolute; stamens 5, epipetalous, alternate with the corolla-lobes; hypogynous disk present; ovary superior, 3-, rarely 2- or 5-, celled; ovules in each cell many, rarely 1; style 1, 3-fid, rarely 5-fid; stigmas 3, rarely 5: fruit a capsule.

About 8 genera and 200 species are known; these are almost entirely American and principally North American. Nearly 100 species belong to the genus Gilia. The family is closely related to the Convolvulaceae, and difficult to separate from that family. The 3 many-ovuled cells of the ovary are important. The disk of Cobaea is large and 5-lobed. The terminal leaflet of this plant is a branched tendril.

Many Polemoniaceae are grown as ornamental plants. Polemonium caeruleum (Jacob's ladder, or Greek valerian) is used in some countries as a remedy for various ailments.

About 6 to 8 genera are cultivated in this country as ornamental plants: Cantua, a shrub in the greenhouse; Cobaea, a climbing herb, mostly in the greenhouse; Gilia, many species, for bedding; Loeselia in the cool-house; Phlox (Phlox, Ground or Moss Pink), for bedding; Polemonium, for bedding.


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 It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article.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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