Nine to eighteen inches high. Stems. - Spreading or ascending. Leaves. - Opposite, oblong or lance-oblong, Flowers. - Pale lilac-purple, in a loose, spreading cluster. Calyx. - With five slender teeth. Corolla. - With a five-parted border, salver-shaped, with a long tube. Stamens. - Five, unequally inserted in the tube of the corolla. Pistil. - One, with a three-lobed style.
We may search for these graceful, delicately tinted flowers in the rocky woods of April and May.
Nearly allied to them is the wild sweet William, P. maculata, the pink-purple blossoms of which are found along the streams and in the rich woods of somewhat southern localities.
The beautiful moss pink, P. subulata, is also a member of this genus. This little evergreen heath-like plant clothes the dry hill-sides with a glowing mantle of purple-pink every spring, Southern New York being probably its most northerly range in our Eastern States. Great masses of these flowers may be seen covering the rocks in the Central Park in May.
The pink or whitish clusters of P. glaberrima are found in the open woods and prairies somewhat westward in July.