Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 89. 1803.
Roots fascicled, often fusiform, or spreading horizontally. Stems subterete to scarcely angled, with narrow raised lines or wings decurrent from leaf axils, 45–85 cm, branched mainly near base, glabrate with strigillose raised lines or strigillose. Leaves: stipules narrowly deltate, 0.1–0.2 × 0.1–0.15 mm; sessile; blade ovate to obovate proximally, lanceolate-linear to linear distally, 2–7 × 0.2–1(–1.5) cm, base cuneate, margins entire, apex acute to rounded, surfaces strigillose, densely so particularly along veins; bracts usually very reduced in size, sublinear. Inflorescences sparse racemes, flowers solitary in leaf axils; bracteoles attached in subopposite pairs on distal 1/3 of pedicel, lanceolate-linear, 0.7–3.2(–5) ×0.2–0.5 mm, margins entire, apex acute, surfaces strigillose. Flowers: sepals strongly reflexed, narrowly ovate-deltate, 6–10 × 2.5–4.5 mm, margins entire, apex acute, surfaces finely strigillose to glabrate; petals cordate, 14–19 × 13–15 mm, base attenuate, apex emarginate; filaments opaque white, awl-shaped, 1.9–4.2 mm, anthers 2–4 × 0.6–1 mm; ovary subcuboid to globose, 3–4 × 3–4 mm; nectary disc elevated, domed, 0.8–1.4 mm diam., prominently 4-lobed, ringed with silky-curly hairs; style 5–9.5 mm, glabrous, stigma capitate to hemispherical, 0.6–1.3 × 1.3–2.6 mm, shallowly 4-lobed, as long as or exserted beyond anthers. Capsules subglobose to ellipsoid, 3.5–6.8 × 3.3–4.3 mm, 4-angled, angles not developed into wings, pedicel 6.5–17 mm. Seeds light brown, elliptic-oblong to reniform, 0.5–0.7 × 0.3–0.4 mm, surface cells elongate transversely to seed length or elongate parallel to length near raphe. 2n = 16.
Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: Sandy savannas, pinelands, damp roadside ditches, margins of ponds, bogs, irrigated fields, usually within 75 miles of sea coast.
Elevation: 0–300 m.
Ala., Fla., Ga., Miss., N.C., S.C., Va.