Stems: glaucous, slender, simple, very leafy. Leaves: linear, acute, sessile. Flowers: cymes several-flowered, corymbose, clustered at the summit, peduncles short.
The Comandra is parasitic on the roots of other plants. It has pretty little whitish-green flowers, which grow in clusters and are bulb-shaped at the base, spreading out into five lobes at the top. The leaves are very narrow and grow close to and all the way up the stalk, and the fruit is a nutlike berry, which retains at its tip the upper short part of the calyx.
Comandra livida, or Swamp Comandra, differs from the foregoing species in that it has wider leaves, each one growing on its own tiny stalk attached to the main stem; and whereas the flowers of the White Comandra grow in clusters at the top of the stems, those of the Swamp Comandra grow in the axils of the leaves lower down on the stems, and its fruit is a roundish red and edible berry. It is a parasite on the roots of Cornus canadensis.
Comandra Richardsiana, or Green Comandra, has very leafy branched stems, oblong pointed leaves and greenish-white or purplish flowers growing in flat-topped clustered heads and also in the axils of the leaves. The fruit is a round berry containing a stone. This plant is usually found in dry open places.