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..
[Epifagus Nutt. Gen. 2: 60. 1818.] An erect slender glabrous, purplish or yellowish, rather stiff branching herb, parasitic on the roots of the beech, with few small scattered scales, and sessile dimorphous flowers, distantly spicate on the branches, the lower cleistogamous, abundantly fertile, the upper complete but mostly sterile. Calyx short, nearly equally 5-toothed. Corolla of the upper flowers cylindric, slightly flattened laterally, the tube much longer than the 4-lobed limb, the upper lobe concave, larger than the 3 lower ones; stamens not exserted; anther-sacs mucronulate at the base; style filiform, 2-lobed; ovary with an adnate gland on the upper side near the base. Corolla of the lower flowers minute, not unfolding, borne like a hood on the summit of the ovoid ovary; style very short; placentae contiguous in pairs; capsule at length 2-valved at the summit. [Greek, referring to the small calyx.]
A monotypic genus of eastern North America.
1818. Leptamnium virginianum Raf.; A. Gray, Syn. Fl.
2: Part 1, 314. 1878. As synonym.
Plant 6'-2° high from a thick scaly base, the roots brittle, fibrous. Stem paniculately branched, the branches straight, ascending; scales very few and small; corolla of the upper flowers 4"-5" long and 1" thick, striped with purple and white, the limb not at all spreading; stamens about as long as the corolla; style slightly exserted; lower flowers 1 1/2" long, the corolla resembling the calyptra of a moss; capsule 3" high, somewhat oblique and compressed, many-seeded.