This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", 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..
Annual or perennial herbs, partly parasitic on the roots of other plants, with opposite leaves, and purple pink red or yellow flowers, in terminal leafy-bracted spikes. Calyx cam-panulate or tubular, 4-toothed or 4-cleft. Corolla very irregular, the tube straight or recurved, the limb 2- lipped; upper lip erect, concave, entire, the margins not recurved; lower lip spreading, 3- lobed. Stamens 4, didynamous, ascending under the upper lip of the corolla; anther-sacs similar, parallel. Capsule globose, oblong, or ovoid, loculicidally dehiscent, several-many-seeded. Seeds horizontal, striate, or ribbed. [Named for John Bartsch, a Prussian botanist, died 1738.]
About 6 species of the northern hemisphere. Only the following is known to occur in North America. Type species: Bartsia viscdsa L.
Bartsia alpina L. Sp. Pl. 602. 1753.
Perennial by short rootstocks, pubescent; stem erect, leafy, simple, or rarely with 1 or 2 short branches, 4'-10' high. Leaves sessile, ovate, or ovate-oblong, crenate-dentate, obtuse or acutish, rounded and sometimes slightly clasping at the base, 1/2'-1' long; bracts similar, smaller, mostly shorter than the flowers; spike l'-2' long; flowers 8"-10" long, sometimes borne also in the upper axils; calyx 4-cleft nearly to the middle; corolla purple, its tube much longer than the calyx; anthers pubescent, at least on the back; capsule ovoid-oblong, equalling or longer than the calyx.
Labrador to Greenland and the Arctic Sea. Also in Europe. Summer.