Leaves mostly basal, lanceolate and spreading, forming a dense cluster, lanceolate, long pointed, narrowed at the base, pale yellowish green, 2 to 7 inches long, one-fourth to 1 inch wide. Roots numerous, tough and very bitter. Stem or scape 1 to 3 feet tall, bearing a few distant bractlike leaves. The terminal raceme of flowers 4 to 12 inches long; flowers erect on short pedicels subtended by small bracts; perianth tubular-oblong, six-lobed. white or the short lobes yellowish, about one-fourth to one-third of an inch long and less than half as thick, mealy-roughened without; capsules ovoid, about one-sixth of an inch long, inclosed by the withering-persistent perianth.

In dry, mostly sandy soil, Maine to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Florida and Arkansas. Flowering in June and July. In New York rarely seen except in the sandy regions adjacent to the coast. Extremely abundant on sterile sandy fields like the Hempstead plains of Long Island, where it is very conspicuous in early summer. It possesses a number of vernacular names, such as Ague Grass, Blazing Star, Bitter Grass, Crow Corn, Mealy Starwort, Aloeroot, Starroot, Huskroot, and others.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 16

Ague Or colicroot; star grass Aletris farinosa

Ague Or colicroot; star grass Aletris farinosa