Stems frequently pink or reddish, especially with age, 1-6(-8) dm, stipitate glands hyaline or reddish brown and often black- or purple-tipped. Leaves: petiole absent or 1-10 mm; blade 2-18(-24) × 0.5-4(-5.5) cm, glabrous or sparsely stipitate-glandular abaxially and ad-axially, hairs black- or purple-tipped. Inflorescences secund, 2-7-branched, each branch (6-)10-25(-30)-flowered. Pedicels 0.5-3 mm. Flowers: hypanthium 0.5-1.5 × 1.5-3.5 mm; sepals persistent, erect or spreading, unequal, 0.8-2 × 0.4-1 mm, margins entire or serrulate with 1-4 gland-tipped teeth per side; filaments 1-2 mm; anthers 0.7-1 mm; pistil 3-4 mm; stigmas often purple with age. Seeds 0.5-0.7 × 0.2-0.3 mm, tubercles reddish or pinkish. 2n = 18. Flowering Jul-Oct. Wet soils, stream banks, fresh-water marshes, margins of beaver ponds, pools in floodplain forests, shores, ditches; 0-700 m; B.C., Man., N.B., Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis. The seeds of Penthorum sedoides were used by the Meskwaki to make cough medicine, and the leaves were used by the Cherokee as a potherb (D. E. Moerman 1998). The species is introduced in southern British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington, where it grows in cranberry bogs.
Perennial herb 15 cm - 1 m tall Stem: erect, unbranched or branching near tip, hairless near base but stalked-glandular in inflorescence. Leaves: alternate, 5 - 10 cm long, lance-shaped to narrow elliptic, tapering at both ends, finely toothed. Flowers: borne terminally on a two- to four-branched inflorescence (cyme) 2 - 8 cm across, greenish, with five oblong-lance-shaped sepals, five petals falling early or absent, ten stamens, and five pistils fused at the base. Fruit: a five-angled, five-beaked, five-chambered capsule, 5 - 6 mm wide. The capsule opens when the beaks fall off, releasing many seeds.
Similar species: Penthorum sedoides is easy to distinguish from other members of the Crassulaceae family, because it lacks succulent leaves.
Flowering: late June to early October
Habitat and ecology: Frequent in ditches and along muddy shores.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Notes: This species does not have the succulent leaves of the Crassulaceae family, and it is sometimes placed in the Saxifragaceae family.
Etymology: Penthorum means five, referring to the five-parted floral parts. Sedoides means "resembling Sedum."
Erect, 2-7 dm, simple or branched above, glabrous below, stipitate- glandular in the infl; lvs lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 5-10 cm, sharply serrate, acuminate at both ends; cymes 2-8 cm; sep oblong-lanceolate; capsule 5-6 mm wide; 2n=18. Marshes and muddy soil; Me. to Ont. and Minn., s. to Fla. and Tex. July-Sept.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.