This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
Erect, succulent herbs of a pale brown or yellowish colour, leafless except for small scales the colour of the stem. Are like Broomrape, and parasitical upon the roots of trees. Allied to Pyrola, but easily distinguished by the want of green leaves.
A very small genus inhabiting woods in Europe, Asia, and America. Sometimes accorded a family to itself.
Stem 6-9 inches high, with oblong or ovate scales instead of leaves. Flowers few, in a short, terminal raceme. Sepals and petals about the same size, ovate or oblong, glabrous or slightly downy inside. The whole plant of a pale yellowish brown, turning black on drying.
Europe, except in Arctic regions; Western and Northern Asia, N. America. British.