Coarse, erect biennial or winter-annual, branched above, ±hairy, and glandular at least in the infl; lvs lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, to 12 cm, narrowed to the base, remotely or obscurely denticulate or sinuate; spikes several, many-fld; sep 6-18 mm, reflexed in pairs; pet 6-15 mm, turning pink or red; anthers 2-5 mm; fr short-hairy, 5-9 mm, 4-sided, with a prominent thick rib on each angle and a slender one on each face, fusiform, tapering to a sessile or subsessile base; 2n=14. Open places, often in disturbed habitats; Mass. to Wis. and Neb., s. to N.C., Ala., and Tex. July- Oct. Two cytologically distinctive but hybridizing and morphologically confluent vars.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.