This leafless Orchid is remarkable for its lack of chlorophyll, or green colouring matter, and for its curious mass of pinkish brown coral-like roots which absorb nourishment from other roots and refuse vegetable matter. On this account they are known as parasites or saprophytes. The slender flower stalk grows a foot or less in height, and bears two or three closely sheathing, purplish scales. The minute flowers resemble dried seed cases at first sight. They are a dull, dingy purple, and from three to twelve hang or droop from the stalk in a loose, terminal spike-like arrangement. They are nearly spurless, and the whitish lip, which is shorter than the quarter-inch sepals and petals, is toothed at the base, and slightly notched at the apex. This inconspicuous species is found during May and June, preferably in wet, evergreen woods, from Alaska to California, and eastward to Nova Scotia; thence south to Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, and along the mountains to Georgia.