This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Scape slender, glandular-pubescent, from a thick base of matted fibrous roots. Flowers and capsules racemose, pendulous. Calyx deeply 5-parted. Corolla gamopetalous, globose-ovoid, with 5 reflexed lobes. Stamens 10, included; filaments subulate, glabrous; anthers introrse, horizontal in the bud, the sacs longitudinally dehiscent, each with a deflexed awn near the base. Disk none. Ovary subglobose, 5-lobed, 5-celled; style short, columnar; stigma capitate, 5-lobed. Capsule depressed globose, 5-lobed, 5-celled, 5-valved, the apex and base intruded. Seeds horizontal, globose-ovoid, with a terminal reticulated wing. [Greek, wing-seeded.] A monotypic genus of temperate North America.
Roots very astringent, forming a rounded mass sometimes 2' in diameter. Scape purplish or brown, 6'-4 1/2° high, bracted, grooved, densely covered with viscid hairs. Bracts lanceolate, or linear, very numerous and crowded at the base; flowers numerous, racemose, white, 2"-4" broad; pedicels at first spreading, soon recurved, 3"-10" long, viscid; sepals oblong, about one-half the length of the corolla; capsule 4"-6" in diameter.
As regards the two names given to this plant in 1818, Nut-tail's " Genera," appeared before the second edition of Eaton's "Manual."