The Penthoraceae family contains only one species in our region. It is a perennial herb with upright stems and leaves that grow from alternating sides of the stem. The leaf blades are simple and toothed. The flowers are arranged in a branched inflorescence at the top of the plant. They are small and actinomorphic (radially symmetrical), and have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. The flowers have 5 petal-like sepals that are fused together at the base and are attached below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior), no petals, and 10 stamens. There are usually 5 styles. The fruit is a dry, usually 5-parted capsule containing many seeds. Species placed in this family were formerly considered to be part of the Saxifragaceae or the Crassulaceae.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key