Corolla and Calyx

Page 4 of 4


Although Lewis wrote, "they pluck the corrollar together with the flower and discarding the latter, suffer the former to dry in the shade," undoubtedly he meant to say the Indians picked the calyx and the corrolla, and discarded the latter. Only the calyx would dry into something resembling green tea. The corolla of this plant is up to 1.5 inches (4–5 cm) long; the calyx is from 14 to 20 cm long.

The bulky specimen pictured on the preceding page, was not pressed, but is a single stalk of tobacco leaves, without calices (plural for calyx) and corollas, that probably had already been hung in the smoke of a lodge to dry before Lewis acquired it. Corolla is Latin for "garland" and calyx is Latin for "cup." Petal is Latin for "leaf," and sepal means "cover." Sepals usually are green, petals are not.

The illustration above is based on Arthur Cronquist, Arthur H. Holmgren, Noel H. Holmgren, James L. Reveal and Patricia K. Holmgren, Intermountain Flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. (5 vols., New York Botanical Garden, 1984), 4:73.