This exceedingly common and familiar annual is usually found in moist, open, waste soils, everywhere from the Gulf States to Minnesota, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. The branching, jointed stalk is smooth below and hairy above, and grows in an irregular erect or sprawling manner from one to three feet tall. It is often flattened on one side, and has hairy, tissuelike sheaths at the joints. The long, narrow and stoutly-ribbed tapering leaves are toothless, and alternate upon the stalk. The small, five-parted flowers vary from pink to white and are densely crowded into numerous, irregularly clustered, thick terminal spikes. The pink calyx takes the place of petals, and remains after the flowering period to enclose the flattened seeds as it did the buds. In her delightful book, "Nature's Garden," Neltje Blanchan truly says: "Familiarity alone breeds contempt for this plant, that certainly possesses much beauty." There are many varieties, closely related to this species, distributed through the country.