Family, Broom - rape. Color of both flowers and stem, a purplish or brownish tint hard to describe. No green in the plant shows it to be a parasite. This one is parasitic on beech tree roots. No leaves, but brownish scales scat-tered on the stem. Flowers, in a spike terminating the branches, the upper ones sterile, with a 4-toothed, tubular corolla; the lower cleistogamous, fertile, the corolla not expanding, but remaining like a hood on the tip of the ovary. Calyx, 5-toothed. August to October.
New England to Florida, westward to Michigan and Louisiana. I have found this singular plant in chestnut woods, where apparently no beeches grew.
One-flowered Cancer-root Orobanche uniflbra. - Family, Broom - rape. Color, purplish. Calyx, tubular, sharply 5-toothed. Corolla, a curved tube passing into a 5-lobed limb or border. Stem, short, 1 inch long, underground, with a few scales instead of leaves. Flower-scapes, 3 to 8 inches high, 1 to 4 arising from the root, leafless, with a single flower at the tip. No leaves. April to July.
Whole plant a brownish purple, parasitic on the roots of various herbs, in damp woods and thickets. Common. Looking into the flower one sees 2 folds bearded with yellow, not without some pretensions to prettiness.