Annual erect herbs, half parasitic on the roots of other plants, with small opposite leaves, and yellow or red flowers in terminal bracted spikes or racemes. Calyx 4-toothed. Corolla with a narrow tube and a strongly 2-lipped limb, the upper lip concave, entire, or 2-lobed, the lower 3-lobed, spreading. Stamens 4, didynamous, ascending; anther-sacs similar. Capsule mostly subglobose, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds few, pendulous. [Greek, referring to its supposed value as a cure for toothache.]

About 20 species, mostly natives of the Mediterranean region, the following typical.

36 Odontites Gmel Fl Sib 3 213 1768 516

1. Odontites Odontites (L.) Wettst. Red Bartsia. Red Eyebright

Fig. 3845

Euphrasia Odontites L. Sp. Pl. 604. 1753. Bartsia Odontites Huds. Fl. Angl. Ed. 2268. 1778. Odontites Odontites Wettst. in Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pfl. Fam. 4: Abt. 3b, 102. 1891.

Annual, appressed-pubescent, roughish; stem slender, at length much branched, 6'-15' high, the branches erect or ascending. Leaves sessile, lanceolate, or oblong-lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, serrate with low distant teeth, slightly narrowed at the base, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, 1"-3" wide; spikes slender, becoming 2'-5' long in fruit, somewhat 1-sided; bracts similar to the leaves, but smaller; flowers numerous, 4"-5" long; calyx 4-cleft; corolla red or pink, its tube somewhat longer than the calyx; anthers slightly pubescent; capsule oblong, shorter than the calyx.

In fields and waste places, coast of Maine to Nova Scotia. Naturalized from Europe. Native also of Asia. June-Sept.