This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds.
Time of bloom: April to June.
Seed time: June to August.
Range: Ontario to the Northwest Territory, southward to Virginia, Alabama, and Arizona.
Habitat: Dry soil; prairies; fields, meadows, pastures, waste places.
The thick, deep-boring, red root of this plant yields a red stain or dye; the Indians used it for decorating their naked bodies, before battle or on ceremonial occasions, and they called all plants from which they obtained such juices Puccoon. In grain fields it is even more obnoxious than the Wheat-thief, because it is perennial, and its hard, pearl-like seeds are possessed of exceedingly long vitality.
Stems six to fifteen inches high, simple or branched at the top, covered with fine, grayish, appressed hairs, particularly when young. Leaves one-half inch to nearly two inches in length, oblong to linear, obtuse, appressed hairy above, downy beneath, entire, sessile. Flowers sessile in the upper axils, the ends of the branches forming dense spikes, usually curved; corolla about a half-inch long, deep orange, the five lobes spread salver-form, the tube of a lighter yellow and longer than the hairy calyx. Nutlets about an eighth of an inch long, ovoid, pointed, keeled, smooth, and lustrous pearl-white.
Means of control the same as for the Common Gromwell.