2. Lechea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 90. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 40. 1754.
Pinweed [For Johan Leche, 1704–1764, Swedish botanist] Pinweed [For Johan Leche, 1704–1764, Swedish botanist]
David E. Lemke
Herbs, perennial or biennial, or subshrubs, (0.7–)1.5–9 dm, <sericeous, villous, or rarely glabrous; stems dimorphic: basal stems produced late in growing season, prostrate to procumbent or ascending, overwintering; flowering stems produced in spring, erect to spreading-ascending>. Leaves alternate, subopposite, opposite, or whorled, petiolate or sessile; blade 1-veined from base, <linear to elliptic or ovate, oblanceolate, or orbiculate>, margins revolute. Inflorescences paniculate or racemose, <loose or congested, axils 1–3-flowered, bracteolate>. Pedicels present. Flowers: chasmogamous; sepals 5, <outer 2 linear to linear-lanceolate, inner 3 ovate to obovate, sometimes indurate in fruit>; petals 3, maroon or green, <usually shorter than sepals>; stamens (3–)5–15(–25); carpels 3; style 0–0.5 mm; stigmas 3, <dark red, fimbriate-plumose>, sometimes persistent in fruit. Capsules 3-valved, exserted beyond calyx or not. Seeds 1–6 per capsule, <ovoid, often compressed laterally, with or without easily separating membranous coat>. x = 9 or unknown.
Species 18 (16 in the flora): North America, Mexico, West Indies (Cuba), Central America (Belize).
The flowers of Lechea species are at anthesis only early in the day and most collections comprise fruiting individuals. In the key here, specimens lacking fruit and seeds can be difficult to determine with certainty. Regional treatments (for example, K. Barringer 2004; D. D. Spaulding 2013) can be very useful for identification.
SELECTED REFERENCES Barringer, K. 2004. New Jersey pinweeds (Lechea, Cistaceae). J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 131: 261–276. Britton, N. L. 1894. A revision of the genus Lechea. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 21: 244–253. Hodgdon, A. R. 1938. A taxonomic study of Lechea. Rhodora 40: 29–69, 87–131. Spaulding, D. D. 2013. Key to the pinweeds (Lechea, Cistaceae) of Alabama and adjacent states. Phytoneuron 2013-99: 1–15. Wilbur, R. L. 1966. Notes on Rafinesque’s species of Lechea. Rhodora 68: 192–208. Wilbur, R. L. and H. S. Daoud. 1961. The genus Lechea (Cistaceae) in the southeastern United States. Rhodora 63: 103–118.