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 rarely perennial herbs, with alternate mostly entire leaves, and purple white or reddish capitate or cymose flowers. Calyx obpyramidal or cup-shaped, 5-cleft, scarious in the sinuses, accrescent in fruit, not distended by nor ruptured by the ripening capsule, its lobes lanceolate or triangular, entire, erect, the sinuses often at length enlarged into a revo-lute lobe. Corolla tubular-funnelform or salverform, the limb 5-lobed, spreading, the lobes obtuse. Stamens unequally inserted on the tube of the corolla, mostly straight, the filaments unequal. Ovules 1 or few in each cavity. Capsule oval to obovoid. Seeds of most species mucilaginous and emitting spiral threads when wetted. [Greek, gluten, referring to the glutinous seeds when wetted.]
About 15 species, natives of western America. Besides the following typical one, some 10 others occur in the western United States and British Columbia.
Collomia linearis Nutt. Gen. 1: 126. 1818.
Annual, viscid-puberulent; stem erect, leafy, simple or branched, slender, 3'-18' high. Leaves linear-oblong, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, entire, acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, sessile, or the lower short-petioled, 1'- 2 1/2' long, 1 1/2" - 6" wide; flowers 5"-/" long, numerous in terminal capitate leafy-bracted clusters; calyx-lobes triangular-lanceolate, acute; corolla light purple or nearly white, the tube very slender, longer than the calyx, the lobes 1"- 2" long; capsule at maturity about as long as the calyx.
In dry soil, Manitoba to Minnesota and Nebraska, west to British Columbia, Arizona and California. Also in Quebec and New Brunswick. May-Aug.