One to four feet high. Stem. - Branching. Leaves. - Alternate, lance-shaped. Flowers. - Bright pink, growing in thick, short, erect spikes. Calyx. - Mostly five-parted, the divisions petal-like, pink. Corolla. - None. Stamens. - Usually eight. Pistil. - One, with a two-cleft style.

In late summer this plant can hardly escape notice. Its erect pink spikes direct attention to some neglected corner in the garden or brighten the fields and roadsides. The rosy divisions of the calyx persist till after the fruit has formed, pressing closely against the dark seed-vessel within.