Stems nearly subterranean, forming a dense mat, often several inches in extent, parasitic upon the roots of various plants, bearing several ovate-oblong scales and one to four slender, erect, glandular-puberulent, naked, one-flowered stalks, 3 to 8 inches high. Calyx bell-shaped, pubescent and glandular, about one-third of an inch long, less than half the length of the corolla, with live lanceolate, long-pointed lobes. Corolla white or violet, puberulent without, two-thirds to 1 inch long, oblique, the curved tube about three times the length of the slightly two-lipped limb, which has live short, oval or obovate, blunt lobes. Fruit a small, ovoid capsule. Stamens four, not projecting out of the flower.
Figure XXX Pale or Naked Broom Rape (Thalesia uniflora (Linnaeus) Britton)
This and the two following species are the common members in New York State of the Broom Rape family ((Jrobanchaceae), which consists of a number of parasitic flowering herbs with brown, yellowish, purplish or nearly white stems, and leaves reduced to alternate appressed scales. Because of their parasitic habit they do not require green leaves for the purpose of manufacturing food and hence are devoid of any green coloring matter or real leaves.