A striking and decorative perennial, from two to six feet tall, with alternate leaves, pale on the under side, the veins making a scalloped border near the margin, the upper leaves and stems sometimes slightly downy, and the drooping buds deep reddish-pink or purple. The flowers form a fine cluster, with small bracts, each flower an inch or more across, the sepals often pink or purple and the petals bright purplish-pink; the stamens drooping, with purplish anthers; the style hairy at base, the capsule two or three inches long. This is very common, both East and West, reaching an altitude of ten thousand feet, and often growing in such quantities in the mountains as to cover large tracts with bright color. The seeds are furnished with tufts of white, silky hairs, making the plant very conspicuous when gone to seed, covering it with untidy bunches of pale down and giving a strange shaggy effect. It often flourishes in places that have been burned over, hence the name Fire-weed, and Willow-herb is from the leaves and the silky down on the seeds, suggestive of willows.