No. 82. Sabbatia angularis.
Classif. Nat. Order of Gentianides. Pentandria monogynia L.
Genus SABBATIA. Calyx persistent, four to twelve parted. Corolla rotate, four to twelve parted. Stamens four to twelve, anthers revolute. One pistil and style, two spiral stigmas. Capsule one celled, bivalve.
Sp. Sabbatia angularis. P. Stem erect corymbose, square and winged: leaves clasping, ovate, acute: segments of the calyx lanceolate, half as long as the corolla; stamens five.
Description. Root annual, fibrous, and yellow. Stem one or two feet high, with opposite branches, forming a corymb, smooth, square, with small wings on the angles. Leaves opposite, quite sessile, subcordate, and clasping, very smooth, nerved, ovate acute, very entire. Flowers terminal, handsome, inodorous, forming a large corymb. Calyx base pentagone, five lanceolate segments. Corolla with obovate spreading segments, twice as long as the calyx, of a fine rose colour. Stamens five, erect, filaments short filiform, anthers oblong, revolute after the anthesis. Pistil ovate, style terete, two linear styles, twisted together. Capsule with many seeds, inserted on the two valves.
History. This genus, dedicated to a Roman botanist, was united to Chironia by Linnaeus; it hardly differs from it, and the species which have seven to twelve stamens, a seven to twelve parted corolla and calyx, such as S. calycosa, S. chloroides, S. coriacea, S. flexuosa, S. gentianoides, approximate to the genus Chlora, and ought to form a peculiar subgenus at least, which I call Plurimaria. This species is very common in the meadows of the United States, and blossoms in summer. It has some varieties: 1. Albiflora. 2. Latifolia. 3. Pauciflora. 4. Elatior. It resembles exceedingly the S. centaurium of Europe, which differs only by the round stem, and the S. corymbosa of our swamps, which has a square stem without wings, and a subulate calyx. All the species of this genus are handsome ornamented plants; my S. maritima, as well as S. stellaris of Pursh, have a beautiful central star of two colors in the flower. All the species are medical, and nearly equivalents, although the S. angularis is the most bitter and strongest; next to it are S. corymbosa, S. gracilis, and my two following new species:
1. S. maritima. Raf. 1802. Stem dichotome terete; leaves lanceolate acute; calyx campanulate, segments linear, subequal to the corolla, which is white, with lobes ovate oblong, and a central yellow and rose star. On the sea shore of New Jersey, New York, &c. This plant has been erroneously blended with the S. stellaris, which has a corymbose stem, leaves narrower, calyx turbinate, corolla three times as long, lobes rose oborate obtuse, the central star yellow and red. In the Southern States.
2. S. nivea. Raf. Stem slender, with four angles; leaves distant, cuneate, oblong; flowers trichotome, calyx turbinate, segments equal subulate, corolla double in length, snowy white, segments narrow, cuneate obtuse. Discovered in 1824, in east Kentucky, near the river Cumberland.
Properties. The whole plant is used; it is decidedly better than the European S. centaurium, long used for fevers before the Peruvian Bark was known. Every part of the plant afford a pure strong bitter, soluble in water and alcohol. It has no astringency, and hardly any aroma. The property resides in the extractive principle. It is a popular remedy throughout the country as a stomachic febrifuge, and a cure for intermittent fevers. It is useful in all kinds of fevers, remittent, nervous, typhus, and even yellow fever, and may be given in every stage. It promotes appetite and digestion. It is said also to be a menagogue and vermifuge in a warm decoction. The most usual way to take it is in cold infusion. A good stomachic and febrifuge tincture is made with it, calamus, and orange peel. In powder, the dose is from ten to twenty grains. Wine is a good vehicle for it, a wine glass being a dose. Quite equivalent of Gentian.