Stem. - One to four feet high, widely branching. Leaves. - Linear, sharply pointed. Flowers. - Bright purplish-pink, rather large. Calyx. - Five-toothed. Corolla. - One inch long, somewhat tubular, swelling above, with five more or less unequal, spreading lobes, often downy and spotted within. Stamens. - Four, in pairs, hairy. Pistil. - One.
In late summer and early autumn these pretty noticeable flowers brighten the low-lying ground along the coast and in the neighborhood of the Great Lakes. The sandy fields of New England and Long Island are oftentimes a vivid mass of color owing to their delicate blossoms. The plant varies somewhat in the size of its flowers and in the manner of its growth.
The little seaside gerardia, G.maritima, is from four inches to a foot high. Its smaller blossoms are also found in salt marshes.
The slender gerardia, G. tenuifolia, is common in mountainous regions. The leaves of this species are exceedingly narrow. Like the false foxglove (Pl. LIX.) and other members of this genus, these plants are supposed to be parasitic in their habits.