Cuphea

CUPHEA (Greek, curved; referring to the prominent protuberance at the base of the calyx tube). 14/lhrdcem.An exceedingly interesting genus of tropical and sub tropical American herbs and shrubby plants, with re markable variations in the petals. In C. ignea, per haps the most attractive of the group, the petals are en tirely absent, and the showy part ,is the brilliantly colored calyx tube. At the other extreme is C. hyssop|' Iolia with 6 petals (the normal number in the genus), and all of equal size. Between these two extremes (shown in Figs. 606 and 608) are at least two well marked intermediate types. One of these (exemplified in C. procumbem) has 2 large and 4 small petals: the other, (C. Llavea), has 2 conspicuous petals, and the other 4 are completely abortive. These two types are unique among garden plants. The series of intergra dient forms is completed by C. ryrmea, in which there are only 2 petals, and these minute, and C. micropetala, in which there are 12 barely visible petals, alternating with and shorter than the calyx teeth. The genus is badly in need of thorough botanical re\'ision.~ The plants are often clammy: lvs. opposite, rarely whorled or alter nate, ovate, lanceolate, or linear, entire.