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Torrey Botanical Society

Studies in Sisyrinchium-IV: S. angustifolium and Related Species of the West and Northwest
Author(s): Eugene P. Bicknell
Source: Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, Vol. 26, No. 8 (Aug., 1899), pp. 445-457
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2478235
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andrelated
Speciesof
S. angustifolium
inSisyrinchium-IV:
Studies
theWestand Northwest
BY EUGENE

P.

BICKNELL

of the farwest
The simple-stemmedblue-floweredSisyrinicchia
and northwestwhich have hithertobeen referredmostly to S.
Miller in realityrepresenta group of distinctspeang-ustf)'oliumz
cies. This appears unmistakablyfroma considerable collection
of specimensbroughttogetherfromvarious sources; but it is furtherevidentfromthis same materialthat,largelyby reason of its
general deficiencyin specimenswithmaturefruit,itformsa wholly
inadequate basis forthe confidentsegregationof the variousforms.
The problem presentedthereforeis the reductionof this inchoate mass into some approach to naturalorderunderconditions
result. In orderto
which make impossiblea finaland satisfactory
take any forwardstep in these circumstancesit is necessaryto proceed in great part on the individualjudgment pending the final
proof which a sufficientseries of specimens can alone afford.
Under the risk of error involved in thus attemptingthe disentanglementof the species, I have aimed ratherto avoid the
creationlof any mere synonymthan to definethe exact natureof
the differencesbetveen the formsrecognized, whether varietal
or fullyspecific. Anlda number of formshave been passed over
entirelyas appearing to have too uncertainclaims to possible
specificrank.

SisyrinchiumIdahoense sp. nov.


From 20-45 cm. high,pale green and glaucous,usually shoving some discolorationin drying. Leaves fromhalfto threequartersthe heightof the stem,grass-like,varyingfromthinand somewhat lax to firmand closely erect,and fromI-3.5 mm. in width,
attenuateto somewhat abruptly acute, the edges serrulate or
smooth: stem straightand erect or somewhat flexuouslycurved,
frequentlytwisted,simple or occasionallybearing a leaf near the
top subtendingone or two shortbranches,I-3 mm. wide,winged,
the edges sometimessmooth but usually distinctlyserrulate,or
even hispidulous-aculeolate: spathes often deflected,green or
faintlypurplish,long and relativelynarrow,the keels of one or
(445)

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446

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both bracts oftenserrulateor hispidulous; outer bract 3-6 cm.


its
longer than the innerone, rarelytwvice
long, commonly length,foliaceousand abruptlypointedor more slenderand attenuate, the marginsbelow narrowlyhyaline,unitedforabout 4 mm.
at base; innerbract 2-3.5 cm. long, herbaceous,the marginsnarrowly hyaline,obtuselypointed or acute; interiorscales mostly
about 34 the lengthof the innerbract; the spathes,when borne
on branches,are shorterwithless prolongedouterbractthanwhen
terminating
themainstem: flowers3-6 on erectpedicels I. 5-3 cm.
long, deep violet-blue,with rather small yellow eye, large, perianth I2-I8 mm. long, indicatingan extreme spread of over 3.5
cm.; stamineal column 5-8 nmm.
high; ovary glandular puberulent: capsules globose or ovoid, 4-6 mm. high, rather thickwalled,turningdark; seeds (immature)irregularlyobovoid,angled,
rugulose,stipitate,about i mm. in longer diameter.
Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California. Meadows and
moistgrassyplaces, floweringin northernIdaho fromthe middle
of May into July,in westernOregon about a monthearlier.
Idaho: Kootenai Co., J.B. Leiberg, Geo. B. Aiton; Latah
Co., L. F. Henderson; Nez Perces Co., J.H. Sandberg.
Washington: Whitman Co., A. D. E. Elmer, C. V. Piper;
Chehalis Co., A. A. & E. GertrudeHeller.
Oregon: " Eastern Oregon," L. F. Henderson ; Crook Co., J.
B. Leiberg; Benton Co., A. Isabel Mulford.
California: Mt. Shasta, 6ooo ft.alt., Geo. Engelmann; YosemiteValley, H. Mann.
I findthe labels on specimensof thisplant variouslyinscribed
and
with the names, S. angus/jo/ium, S. aictcps,S. mnucroatluin
handin
different
On
sheet
four
names
one
all
appear
S. bellumn.
well illustratingthe confusionthathas prevailedin regard
wA,ritings,
to the plant.
representative
The species may be taken as the northwesterin
in its
of S. anglustjroliumto which it is nearlyrelated,differing
stems,longerspathes
typicalstatemainlyin moreciliolate-serrulate
withless unequal, more foliaceousbracts and muchlargerflowers;
it is also, as a rule,less stiffand straight,the stems oftensomedeflectedand enclosinglonger
what curved; the spathesfrequently
membranousscales than in S. avgustljfoiuim.In the usual state
widenedinto the
of the latterthe wings of the stem are manifestly
base of the spathe; in S. Idahocizsetheyare scarcely,if at all, so

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BICKNELL:

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447

widened,but may be even slightlynarrowed conformablywith a


joint-liketransverseconstrictionwhere the raised line of the stem
disappears as if pinchedout below the base of the spathe. Sugill
gestions of this character casually appear in S. azgustzfoliuln
passes uninwhich,however,as a rule,the raised line of the sterm
into the stifferect spathe.
terruptedly
Stouter,broader-leavedformsof S. Idakoe;tseappear somewhat
and S. littorale
intermediatein aspect between S. angzlstlfolizui
Greene,of Alaska. From the latter,however,the species differs
essentiallyin its largerflowersand smaller fruit; it is also less
stout,paler and more glaucous, with narrowerleaves of thicker
shaped innerbract.
textureand less foliaceousand differently
The type specimensfromnorthernIdaho, Nez Perces Co., have
ratherlong and broad thinleaves, long foliaceousbracts and very
large flowers. The capsules are 4-6 mm. high, and mostlyobovate-subglobose often contractedto a substipitatebase. Most
specimens from Idaho and some fromWashingtonagree closely
withthese, although otherspecimensare much slendererand with
smallerflowers. Some specimensfrom Oregon and Washington,
somewhat doubtfullyreferredhere, bear two peduncled spathes
and have stifferleaves, shorteroften purplish spathes,apparently
smaller flowers and ratherlarger more globose fruiton slightly
more exsertedpedicels. Other specimens,fromwestern Oregon
dark and for their
are noteworthyfrom having dried uniformly
and
rathersmall somebranched
stems,
long oftenflexuousand
what obovate fruit. The specimenscited fromCaliforniaare both
in poor condition,and though appearing somewhat aberrantare
certainlynearer to S. Ida/koeiisethan to any otherspecies now
known.

Sisyrinchiumoccidentalesp. nov.
Mostly over 20 cm. high (I5-35 cm.), stiffand erect,glaucescentto pale glaucous green,usuallywitha yellowishtinge,discoloringslightlyin drying; rootsclustered,usuallycoarselyfibrous.
Leaves I-2.5 mm. wide, firmand erect or sometimesthinnish,
stronglyor ratherweakly close-nerved,very acute, the extreme
tip often hardened in age, the basal remains of older leaves freerect,usually
quentlybecomingbleached and silvery: stemsstiffly
the
much longer than the leaves, I-2 mm. wide,wing-margined,
the edges like those of the leaves
wings usually closely few-striate,

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just below the spathe


verysmooth,a slighttransverseconstriction
spathes erect or slightlydeflected,green or faintlydull purplish,
the outerone mostly
the bracts oftenthinand ratherweak-nerved,
straight,the innerone more or less convex in outline; outer bract
surpassing the inner 2-I 5 mm., mostly 2-3 cm. long, attenuatebelow and united-claspingfor2.5 mm. at
acute, hyaline-margined
base; inner bract rather broadly hyaline-marginednearlyto the
apex, sometimesacuminatebut usually broad above and abruptly
acute or even scarious obtuse; interiorscales rather broad, often
nearly equaling the inner bract: flowers 3-6, medium to large,
deep violet-blueon erectexserted pedicels ; perianth I0-I4 mnm.
long; staminealcolumn4-6 mm.high; capsules (not fullymature)
subglobose, brown, about 4 mm. high, apparentlyrather fewseeded, and glabrateor nearlyso at maturity.
Idaho and Nevada to Colorado and North Dakota, flowering
in Juneand July.
Idaho: Arco, June I8, I893, Dr. Edward Palmer; Pleasant
Valley, June 25-30, I89I, G. N. Allen.
Nevada: Pleasant Valley, May, I865.
Utah: Supply Creek, July 29, I875, 9000 ft., L. F. Ward;
Salt Lake Valley, July, i888, J. H. Paul; Bear River Cafnon,
Aug., I869, S. Watson.
Colorado: Hot Sulphur Springs,Middle Park, Aug. I, i88i,
Geo. Engelmann; Twin Lakes, July6, I896, BiltmoreHerb.
Montana: West Gallatin River, June 9, I883, F. LamsonScribner, no. 27I, "moist banks"; Helena, June, i888, F. D.
Kelsey.
Wyoming: F. Tweedy; Yellowstone National Park, Mrs.
Mammoth Hot Springs, 6000-7000
ft., June 4,
Moore, I894;
1894, F. H. Burglehaus; May, I889, 66oo ft.,F. W. Dewart;
North Platte, "wet sandy bottom,"July25, I858 ; Jackson's Hole
on Snake River,June I8, I 86o, F. V. Hayden, "gravellybottoms.
6ooo ft.;" Ft. Bridger,July,I873, T. C. Porter.
A species resemblingformsof S. augustljoliuvzbut evidently
distinct,and probablynot distantlyrelated to S. Iauoph/ilzu;;but
usuallymuch stouterand taller and withmuch largerflowers. It
from S. angustfoliuinmainlyin much less elongated outer
differs
bract and largerinteriorscales, more narrowlywingedstem,constrictedbelow the frequentlydeflectedspathes, largerflowersand
apparentlysmaller fewer-seededcapsules. The material at hand,

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BICKNELL:

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449

however, is inconclusiveas to the exact characterof the mature


capsule and seeds.
Certain small specimens, imperfectas to flowers and fruit,

withS.
appear somewhatintermediate

/kalopkiiilu;i, but the fully

developed states of the two plants show them to be distinct.


the present species differsin brightergreen
From S. kaulop/kilum1i
color, less thickenedroots, broader leaves and stem, the latter
more decidedly winged, larger spathes with more unequal and
acute bracts,larger flowerson more slender pedicels,largerand
darkerglabratecapsules.
Several small specimensfromthe MammothHot Springs with
mostlycurvedstems,and leaves veryvariablein lengthand breadth
are referredhere with some hesitation. A single specimen from
but at presentcan be placed
North Dakota is old and fragmentary
withno otherspecies than this. In factI am obliged to make this
species for the presenta repositoryfor a somewhat ill-assorted
series of specimens which may representmore than one species
wanting a better
but which it is impossibleto place satisfactorily
knowledgeof theirflowersand maturefruit.

Sisyrinchiumsegetumsp. nov.
Duller green and less glaucous than S. occidentale,even
scarcely glaucescent,with narrowerand thinnerleaves and more
numerousand narrowerstems apparentlygrowingclose together
in dense masses rather than tufted: leaves mostlysetaceous and
I mm. wide (.5-I.5 mm.), not very close-nerved except when
young, sometimesroughishtowardthetaperingaculeate oftenbent
apex: stems mostly I mm. or less wide, the narrowwingsthin,
withalmost hyalineedges: spathes mostlypurplishto red-purple,
erect,theouterbractveryslenderly
sometimesnearlygreen,stiffly
attenuatesometimes for fullyhalf its length,taperingacute, I 838 mm. long, subequal with the inner bract or surpassingit by
I2 mm., ore yen more,the inner bract narrower,more slenderly
thanin S. occide;ztale.flowers
attenuateand less hyaline-margined
on veryslenderoften subspreadingpedicels,very large and deep
violet-blue,the perianth I2-I7 mm. long indicatingan extreme
spread of over 3 cm., the segmentsslenderlyaristulate; stamineal
column 5-7 mm. high; capsules broadly oblong, 5-6 mm. high,
brown, transverselycorrugate, many-seeded, seeds irregularly
obovate, i mm. in longer diameter,black, faintlypittedto smooth.
Washington: Seattle, May, 1892, in full flower,Chas. V.

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450

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Piper,ex Herb. Younig Naturalist'sSociety,Herb. Columbia University; Yakima region, T. S. Brandegee, I 882, matuLrefruit,
Herb. Mo. Bot. Gard.
Oregon : "Prairies WesterinOregon," iMay, i88o, in full
flower,Thomas J. Howell ; distributedas S. bcll/zi;iWatson in
Howell's " PacificCoast Plants," U. S. Nat. Herb.
Nevada: Washoe Co., alt. 1500 m., July 21, I896, mature
fruit,F. V. Coville and J. B. Leiberg, U. S. Nat. Herb.
to S. occidcniAn attractiveplant evidentlywithclose affinity
talc, though niotactually proved to be distinctby the fewspecimens beforeme I feel littlehesitationin givingit a name. It appears to be less glaucous than S. occidczltal/with narrowermore
numerous and crowded leaves and sterns of thinner texture,
slenderer roots, larger often red-purple spathes and narrower
mostlymoreunequal bracts,the innerone especially more attenuate and acute. The highlycolored spathes give the plant much
of the East.
the aspect offormsof S. niuc-onautimnz
plants
The sheet of specimenscitedfromNevada showsfruiting
strikinglyfromthe otherexamples,yet forthe present
which differ
I can referthemnowhere else than here. They are ver-yslender
with long somewhat flexuous stems and verynarrow deflected
spathes havingthe lower part forabout 5 mm. scarcely or not at
all broaderthan the stem.
SISYRINCHIUMI HALOPHILUm

Greene,Pittonia4: 34.

17

Mr. I 899

Very pale dull green and white glaucous, mostly lov, 10-20
cm. high,stiffand erector nearlyso, the thickenedroots densely
clustered: leaves half the height of the stem or longer, stiff
and thickish,oftenslightlycurved,1-3 mm. wide, stronglyclosestriate,smooth-edged,attenuate,acute, in age developing hardpointedtips : stemfromless thaii I mm. to 2 mm. wide,wiry,ascendingor outcurved,marginedto narrowlywinged,thewingsthick
and firm,
smooth-edged: spatheserect,green,ratherflatand sharpedged, 2-4 mm. wide, the bracts striate,subequal or the outer
one slightly prolonged; outer bract 15-22 mm. long, usually
somewhat convex, acuminate to a short-pointedmostly obtuLse
oftenincurved apex, hyaline-niargined,united clasping for 3-4
mm. at base; innerbract more broadly hyaline,abruptlyacute to
obtuse; interiorscales more than half the lengthof the inner
bract: flowvers
4-8, small to medium-sized,perianthapparently

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451

becomirngIO mm. long, violet-blue; capsules 2-3.5 mm. high,


subglobose, often broader than long, stronglytrigonous,or even
on
trilobulatearound an impressedbase, pale, scabrous-puberulent,
erect,slightlyexsertedpedicels: seeds few,I-3 in each cell, large,
oecomingI . 5 mm. long, rugulose-pitted.
Nevada: Humboldt Wells, July 25, 1893, Edw. L. Greene,
Herb. E. L. G.; Diamond Valley, July, I868; 5500 ft. alt., S.
Watson, Torrey Herb. and Herb. Mo. Bot. Gard.
California: Bishop, Owen's Valley, alt. 5000 ft., May I 5,
iS97, M. E. Jones,U. S. Nat. Herb.
Type specimens from Humboldt Wells, Nevada, which have
been kindlysent me by ProfessorGreeneare not closely matched
by anythingelse I have seen and mayperhaps representa specialized halophilous type.
Sisyrinchium leptocaulon sp. nov.
Growingin erectnarrowtuftsfromcoarse fibrousroots,rather
brightpale green and glaucescent,the spathes mostlydull purplish: stems numerous,very slender, 20-38 cm. high: i mm.
or less wide, wiry and subterete,slightly constrictedjust below
the spathe; the almost membranous margins very narrow or
even obsolete: leaves about half the heightof the stem or less,
equally slender or sometimes the shorterones becoming2 mm.
a thickwide, smooth-edged,attenuate,the apex oftenlinearwvith
ened corneous tip, whichis obtuse or acute: spathes verysmall
and narrow,the base less flattenedand more narrowedthan in S.
kalopbk;ll'i,the bracts subequal or the outer one rarelysurpassing
the inner 8 mm.; outer bract I 2-22 mm. long, hyaline-margined to the short and rigid,linear,obtuse prolongation,closely
united clasping for 2-4 mm. at base; inner bract hyaline-marscariousapex; longerinterior
gined to theveryobtuseor truincate
scales sometimesnearlyequaling the innerbract,longer and narflowers3-9, blue or violet,small,
rowerthan in S. /kalopkilumn.:
the perianthapparentlyonly 7-9 mm. long, the stamineal-column
3-6 mm. high; pedicels I3-22 mm. long, erect and exsertedfor
about one quarterof theirlength,usually flattenedand margined:
capsules very small, I.5-3 mm. high, often distinctlypyriform
though sometimes abruptlycontracted at both ends, finelyscabrous-ruguloseand sparselypuberulent,pale but much purplishand less strongly
tinged, thinner-walledthan in S. kalopkizYlztn
trigonous: seeds fewv,only I-3 in each cell, subglobose or
broadly oblong, finelyrugulose, I-I.5 mm. in longerdiameter.

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452

BICKNELL: STUDIES IN SISYRINCHIUM


California: Near Lake Tahoe, July

20,

I889, J. Ball, Herb.

Acad. Nat. Sci. Phil.


Nevada: Deeth, July i4, 1896, E. L. Greene; Ruby Valley,
July, i868, 6ooo ft.,S. Watson, ex Torrey Herb. and Herb. U. S.
Nat. Mus.
Utah: Parley's Peak, 6ooo ft.,June,I869, S. Watson,ex Torrey Herb.
Nearly allied to S. kalopdilzin Greene, and possiblya variety of that species, although I am inclined to regard it as quite
distinct. It is a taller,and more slenderplant than S. hialopikilum,
of a veryperceptiblybrighterand more yellowish shade of green
and with straighterand more clusteredstems; these are long and
exceedingly slender with the wings reduced to little more than
membranousedges. The narrowerleaves are less stronglystriate
and more slenderlyattenuate,
and thickenedthan in S. kalophilumn
and are apparentlyalso withoutthe abruptmembranousexpansion
at the extremebase although narrowlyclaspingbelow fora longer
distance. The purplishspathesare less flattenedand less decidedly
two-edged below, the narrowerbracts less stronglystriate,narrowerand usually more unequal, the outer one less conlvexwith
longer lineartip,the innerone more abruptlyscarious-obtuse;the
less strongly
thinner-walled,
capsules are smaller,more pyriform,
trigonousand more rugulose and scabrous-puberulent.

Sisyrinchiumseptentrionalesp. nov.
Growing in small tufts IO-25 cm. high, pale and glaucous,
discoloring slightlyin drying. Leaves '2-Y4 the height of the
taller stems,equaling the shorterones, stiffand erect,mostlysetaceouslyslenderand . 5-I mm.wide, rarelyI. 5 mm.,finelyclosestriate,attenuateto an acute point: stemsequally slenderwiththe
the edges like those of
leaves, stiffand narrowlyfirm-margined,
the leaves smooth or, when young, minutelydenticulate: spathes
small, purplish or green,oftenpartlydouble, one or more flowers
arisingfrombetweenthe short properspathe and the closely subtending slenderlyprolonged outerbract; innerbract 13-20 mm.
long, mostlyattenuateand acute, the outer one 2.5-4 cm. long,
and united-claspingfor 2-3 mm. at base; both bracts hyalinemargined; interiorscales about 34 the length of the pedicels;
flowersverysmall, apparentlynot more than 3-4 on erectpedicels
usually shorter than the inner bract; perianth 4-7 mm. long,

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BICKNELL: STUDIES 1N SISYRINCHIUM

453

acuminateand shortaristulate,not retuse,apparentlypale rose or


violet; stamineal column about 3 mm. high: capsules on firm
erect pedicels about 15 mm. long, pale, subglobose, relatively
large, 3-5 mm. high.
Assiniboia: Moose Mountain Creek, June 6,' 1883, J. M.
Macoun, "'marginsof marshesand streams,"just in flower. Herb.
Torr. Bot. Club.
Alberta: Near Banff,July 8, I89I, Macoun, in flower and
young fruit. U. S. Nat. Herb. and Herb. Mo. Bot. Gard.
Washington: Wilkes Expedition, 1838-42, " Spokane to Colville." U. S. Nat. Herb.
Idaho: Soda Springs,June 21, 1892, A. Isabel Mulford.
Characterizedespecially by small size, extremelynarrowleaves
and stems,very small, pale flowers,withthe divisions of the perslenderlymuch prolonged outer bract and
ianthlnon-ernarginate,
relativelylarge subglobose capsules. Perhaps most nearlyrelated
to S. alpestre. The specimens from Idaho are without perfect
flowersor fruit; though resemblingthose fromBritish America
they have much less elongated primarybract and may not be the
same.
Sisyrinchium alpestre sp. nov.
Tufted,becoming 20 cm. high, dull green and glaucous, discoloringslightlywhen dry. Leaves about half the heightof the
rather
stem,stiffand erect,.5-2 mm. wide, closely striate-nerved,
abruptlycuspidateacute, the edges smooth or slightlydenticulate
above in young leaves: stems slender, I-1.5 mm. wide, narrowly
th'eedges smooth,distinctlybroadened into the base
firm-winged,
of the spathe: spathes green, narrow,2 mm. or more wide at
base, the outer bract very long and slender, sometimesslightly
broadenedabove the middle,straightor curved,4.5-6.5 cm. long,
surpassing its fellow 2.5-3.8 cm., the margins narrowlyhyaline
below, united-claspingfor 4-6 mm. at base; inner bract 1.8-3
cm. long, narrow and slenderly prolonged, acute, the margins
below white-hyaline; interior scales broad, obtuse, about half the
length of the fruitingpedicels: flowers on firmerect pedicels I4-18
mm. long, and shorter than the inner bract, small, perianth apparently only 6-Io mm. long, with the divisions not emarginate
but narrowed to a short-aristulate tip, faded but appearing white,
thotughin' one flower showing the faintest tinge of violet; column
becoming 5 mm. long: immature capsules 'narrowly obovoid-

oblong, evidentlylarge and apparentlyobovoid at maturity,the


oldest one 6 mm. long and 4 mm. wide at the top.

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Colorado: Como, 9775 ft.altitude,in meadow, Aug. 3, I895.


"Crandall & Cowen," no. 477, Flora of Colorado. U. S. Nat.
Herb.
and perhaps to be referredto an
Related to S. aogustlJfolium,
alpine varietyof that species, but S. atizgustifoiu;uis also a plant
of very high altitudesin Colorado, occurringin a stout and nearly
typicalformwhich contrasts notablywith the slenderplant here
described,although more slender Rocky Mountain forms of S.
appear less distinct. An understandingof the true
anigustsjioliiztiz
material,especiallythe mature
status of theplantmustawaitfurther
fromthe
fruit. In any case it is clearlysomethingquite different
In respect of the slenderly
ordinaryeastern S. (ugustl/folium//.
prolongedinnerbract and small pale flowerswith non-emarginate
segmentsthe plant shows much similarityto S. sarmne;tosumand
in its flowersand generalhabit to the much smallerS. alpestre. It
in duller gray-greencolor,
differsfrom typicalS. angzustifo7iumui
greater slenderness,thickerand more closely striate leaves, narrowerand moreslenderlyprolongedbractswhich are less strongly
nerved and wvithmore hyaline edges, smallerpaler flowerswith
unnotchedsegments,shorterpedicels, more obovoid-oblong caps ules.
I 895.
SARMENTOSUM Suksdorf; Greene,Erythea 3: I 2 1.
Tufted or closely massed in growth, 1.5-2.8 cm. high, dull
green and glaucescent discoloring in drying: roots slender and
numerous: leaves ratherthin,erect,equaling the stem or shorter,
ratherweakly nerved, I-3 mm. wide, attenuate,acute, smoothedged or sornetimesserrulatewhen young: stem I-I.5 mm. wide.
the wings not bi;oadenedintothe base of
narrowlywing-margined,
or obscurelydenticulate,erect or somethe spathe,smnooth-edged
what outcurved,simple and leafless,or occasionally developinga
terminalnode bearinga slenderelongated leafor cldsterof several
leaves subtendingan outcurvedpeduncle: spathes green,erector
bentforward,narrow,1-2 mm.wide at base, the bractsfoliaceous,
thin and somewhat membranous,striate, closely parallel, both
narrowlyprolongedto the ratherabruptlyacute or obtusishapex,
the outer one 3-6 cm. long, surpassingthe inner one 1-2.5 cm.,
broadenedabove the middle,the marginsnarrowlyhyaline,united
for 3-5 mm. at base; innerbractmore than halfthe lengthof the
outer one, also herbaceously prolonged but narrowerand more
I-3, lightblue, small,
scarious margined,2-3. 5 cm. long: flowvers
S.

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BICKNELL:

STUDIES

IN SISYRINCHIUM

455

the perianth7-IO mm. long, the segmentsnot usually emarginate


tip: staminealcolbut abruptlycontractedintothe short-aristulate
uimn4-5 mm. long; pedicels slender,in fruitI.5-2.5 mm. long,
ascending or somewhat spreading from about midway in the
spathe: capsules thin-walled,subglobose, transverselycorrugate
at maturity,4-5 mm. high: seeds not fullymature,black, finely
rugulose pitted,asymetricallyobovoid or curved,angled.
Washington,Skamania Co., no. 2233, W. N. Suksdorf,August 31, I 893. " Bordersof meadows 2000-3000 ft.altitude." In
fullflowerand fruit.
As remarkedby ProfessorGreene in his publication of this
species the fitnessof the name given by Suksdorf is not evident.
I have examinedthree sheets of the originalcollection mounting
several good sized tufts as well as separate specimens. The
printedlabel reads "stems sometimes rooting at the nodes," but
no evidenceof such a characteris shown by the specimens,which
are simple-stemmedand erect,bearing a node, when at all, only
at the top.
The plant is clearly an excellent species. Its very narrow
bractsalone, especiallythe narrowlyfoliaceousinnerone, give itan
fromthat of any otherspecies known to me
aspect quite different
except perhaps S. alpestre,which is amply differentin otherrespects. In the nearest approach to this characterof the inner
bract ever seen in S. anoustifo/iiumthe herbaceous prolongationis
more or less abruptlyattenuate,quite in contrastwith the linearprolonged and more foliaceous condition characteristicof S. sarAn approach to this condition,but on a larger scale,
viien3toszllm.
is sometimesseen in S. Idalioense and S. litlorale. S. sarmenltofurtherfromS. angustifoliumin slender,oftencurved
sunil differs
stems with the wings not widened into the base of the spathe,
which is frequentlydeflectedand much narrower,fewer smaller
flowerson more slender and spreading pedicels,the segmentsof
the perianthnot emarginate,smallerfruit.
Greene,Pittonia,4: 33. I 7 Mr. I 899.
Apparentlylittleor not at all tufted,stout, I5-35 cm. or more
tall, or sometimesnmuchlower and depauperate,apparentlynot
glaucous, or but slightlyso, dull green,turningdark in drying:
roots fibrous,slender, mostly spreading from a strong woody
axis: leaves 2-4 mm. wide,half the heightof the stem or longer,
SISYRINCHIUM LITTORALE

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456

BICKNELL: STUDIES IN SISYRINCCHIUMI

tapering-acute or
erect, rather thin and openly striate-nerved,
acuminate,narrowedto both base and apex, the edges mostly
roughened,the innermarginsbelow vhite-scarious;stems stout,
simple, rarely bearing a terminal leaf subtending an erect peduncle, 2-3 mm. wide, prominently
winged,the winas with thin
serrulateedges, not broadened into the base of the spathe and
showvinga slight transverse constrictionat the top: spathes
green,erect,or slightlydeflected,4-6 mm. wide, flat,the bracts
foliaceous; primarybract 3.7-8 cm. long, surpassing the inner
bract mostly I-4 cm., only exceptionallytwice its length, very
graduallynarrowedto the acute or obtuse pointedapex, the inner
united forabout 5 mm. at
margins belowvnarrowlywhite-hyaline,
the base; inner bract 2.3-4.8 cm. long, often of nearly equal
breadth throughoutbelow the abruptlysomewhat obtuse apex,
or occasionallynarrowlyprolonged; interiorscales narrow,much
shorterthan the innerbract: flowersfew, I-4, on pedicels mostly
a littleshorterthan the innerbract,large,deep violet-bluewithan
mm. long; anthers relaorange-yelloweye, the perianth I2-I4
tivelysmall; staminealcolumnabout 6 mm. high: capsules large
and thick-walled,dark, obovoid or subglobose, 6-8 mm. high,
on erect or slightlyspreading pedicels I-2 cm. long: seeds globose, I.5 mm. in diameter,black, rugulose-pittedalmost to maturitywhen nearlysmooth,the umbilicus usually appearing as a
mere cleft.
Grassy beaches and shores, coast of Alaska, beginning to
flowerin late Juneand early July,fruitripein August. So faras
known,restrictedto the southern Alaskan coast and the only
species of Sisyric/hiium occurring in that territory. Shores of
Yes Bay, July 3, I895, Thos. Howell, no. I662 ; Back Bay, July
3, I895, M. W. Gorman; shores of Behm canal, Aug. 3, 1894,
M. W. Gorman; Sitcha, Ferd. Bischoff,i865-7, Dr. Tiling, i867.
Although long knownand of late years fairlywell distributed
in collections,this Alaskan plant seems neverto have been looked.
fromthe easternS. angfiistifolizimuntil r-ecently
upon as different
distinguishedby Professor Greene,as a matterof fact since the
above descriptionwas penned. In otherwritings,as on specimen
lijo/luz
labels, the plant has been variouslyreferredto as S. augwoust
var,anlceps Gray
underthe names S. atucepsCav., S. BemliucSdia,la
and S. mzucroaltziizMichx. The species is well distinguishedfrom
S. ailgustifol/iumi
being larger in every way, in fact, notwN-ithstand-

secingitsborealhabitatthestoutestspecies of the simple-stemmed

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BICKNELL: STUDIES IN SISYRINCHIUM

457

tion of the genus. It is not nearlyso pale and glaucous as S.


if at all so, and dries much darker; the leaves and
angutstifolizimii,
stem are broader,the spathes and bracts larger and of a someshape, the flowersand especiallythe fruitlarger,the
what different
seeds littlelargerbut darker,more globose and more distinctly
and narrowlyumbilicate. S. littoralehas perhaps its nearestrelbut is clearly separable by thinnerand
ative in S. Ida/koense,
broaderleaves and stem,smaller flowersand largerfruit.

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