Color, deep crimson. Stamens, 8. Wings, longer than the keel. Crest of corolla somewhat cut. Flowers, showy, in a long, terminal raceme, on short pedicels. When old they curve backward. Leaves, small, many on the simple stem, oblong or lance - shaped, smaller below, sessile. Root - leaves petioled. Taller than the last, 4 to 9 inches high. Stems, clustered from deep and slender roots. Biennial. June and July.
From the root short, underground runners spring, bearing a loose raceme of inconspicuous, self-pollinating flowers. Dry soil from Maine to Florida and westward.