Stems. - Slender, fleshy, branching, with small scales; purplish, yellowish or brownish. L.eaves. - None. Flowers. - Purplish, yellowish or brownish, spiked or racemed, small, of two kinds, the upper sterile, the lower fertile.

These curious-looking plants abound in the shade of beech-trees, drawing nourishment from their roots. The upper open flowers are sterile; the lower ones, which never expand, accomplish the continuance of their kind.