Oxybaphus ViscosusViscid Umbrella-Wort
- Class and Order
- Triandria Monogynia
- Generic Character
- Cal. 5-fidus campanulatus. Cor. infundibuliformis. Nux 5-gona 1-sperma calyce explanato persistenti circumdata.
- Specific Character and Synonyms
- OXYBAPHUS viscosus. L'Herit. Monograph. MIRABILIS viscosa floribus racemosis; foliis cordatis orbiculato-acutis tomentosis. Cav. Icon. I. n. 17. t. 19.
The present is one of those plants which is entitled to our admiration, for its curious and singular structure, rather than for any extraordinary figure it makes in a collection; not that its flowers are without a certain share of beauty.
It is an annual, growing to about the height of two feet; the whole plant is viscous, and, if bruised, smells somewhat disagreeably; the flowers do not open at any particular time as those of the Mirabilis do, and each contains only three stamina; when they fall off, which they do soon after expanding, the calyx closes on the germen, enlarges, droops, and becomes deeply plaited; on the ripening of the seed it turns brown, expands, and is suspended like a little umbrella over the seed, which when perfectly ripe drops out on the ground; the expanded calyx in this state appears somewhat like the flower of a Physalis.
This plant flowers from June to October, and ripens its seeds in the open air; it is not difficult of culture, requires the same treatment as other tender annuals from Peru.
Our figure was drawn from a plant which flowered 1796, in the collection of the Marchioness of Bute, and was raised from Peruvian seeds, sent her by Prof. Ortega of Madrid, under the name of Mirabilis triandra; Mons. Cavanille has figured and described it as the Mirabilis viscosa; Mons. L'Heritier, from a consideration of all its characters, has been induced to make a new genus of it, which he has called Oxybaphus.