Stems erect, rather stiff and branching, slender, smooth, yellowish brown or purplish yellow, 6 to 20 inches high from a thick, scaly base, the roots fibrous and brittle; scales few and small. Flowers sessile, of two kinds, distantly spicate on the branches; the lower flowers cleistogamous and abundantly fertile, the upper complete but mostly sterile. Calyx short, nearly equally five-toothed. Corolla of the upper flowers cylindric, slightly flattened laterally, one-third to nearly one-half of an inch long and about one-tenth of an inch thick, the slender tube much longer than the four-lobed limb, upper lobe concave, larger than the three lower lobes. Stamens about as long as the corolla. Lower flowers small, about one-eighth of an inch long, not unfolding, borne at the summit of the ovoid ovary and resembling the hood of a moss capsule. Fruit a small capsule about one-fourth of an inch high.
In woods, parasitic upon the roots of the beech, Nova Scotia to Ontario and Michigan, south to Florida, Louisiana and Missouri. Flowering from August to October.
Figure XXXII Beechdrops (Leptamnium virginianum (Linnaeus) Rafinesque)