Stem. - Rather low, branching, clammy. Leaves. - Opposite, narrowly oblong or lance-shaped, glutinous, with a balsamic odor. Flowers. - Purple, occasionally pinkish, not usually clustered. Calyx. - Five-cleft, two-lipped. Corolla. - Five-lobed, the three lower lobes more or less united. Stamens. - Four, very long and curved, protruding. Pistil. - One, with a two-lobed style.
In the sandy fields of late summer this little plant attracts notice by its many purple flowers. Its corolla soon falls and exposes to view the four little nutlets of the ovary lying within the enlarged calyx like tiny eggs in their nest. Its aromatic odor is very perceptible, and the little glands with which it is covered may be seen with the aid of a magnifier. The generic name, Trichostema, signifies hairy stamens and alludes to the curved hair-like filaments.