Annual or biennial, ±hairy, usually simple, 2-6 dm; principal cauline lvs very diverse, entire to commonly 3-5-cleft, with linear or oblong segments, the terminal one usually the largest; spike dense, 4-6 cm, elongating to 1-2 dm in fr; bracts wholly or mostly scarlet (rarely yellowish), commonly deeply 3-lobed, occasionally 5-lobed, cal 17-25 mm, thin, often ±scarlet, deeply divided into lateral halves, each half widened distally and the summit broadly rounded to truncate or barely emarginate; cor greenish-yellow, 21-27 mm, little longer than the cal, the minute lower lip less than a third as long as the galea; 2n=48. Meadows, moist prairies, and damp sandy soil; Mass. to Ont. and Man., s. to S.C., Miss., and Okla. May-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.