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DescriptionThis perennial wildflower is about 1-2¼' tall, consisting of loose clumps of unbranched leafy stems that are more or less erect. The central stem of each plant is medium green, slender, terete, and glabrous; it has a pair of longitudinal wings (about 0.5 mm. in length). At intervals, pairs of opposite sessile leaves occur at intervals along each stem. These leaves are 2-4' long and 1-2½' across; they are ovate-cordate, ovate, or lanceolate in shape and their margins are smooth (entire). The upper leaf surface is dark green and glabrous, while the lower leaf surface is medium green and either glabrous or pubescent along the veins. Leaf venation is pinnate; the lateral veins are curved, rather than straight. Above the uppermost pair of leaves, there occurs a spike-like raceme of flowers on a peduncle about 2' long. This raceme is about 1-4' long and curves to one side; about 2-10 flowers occur along the upper side of the raceme, where they are ascending to erect. Each flower is about 1½' long, consisting of a scarlet tubular corolla with 5 upper yellow lobes, a short green calyx with 5 narrow teeth, 5 slightly exerted stamens, and a pistil with a strongly exerted style. The tubular corolla is more narrow toward the bottom than the top; its upper lobes are slightly recurved, widely spreading to ascending, triangular in shape, and about 8-12 mm. in length. The teeth of the calyx are 5-8 mm. long and narrowly linear-lanceolate in shape. The base of the calyx is tubular and very short. The short pedicels of the flowers are up to 2.0 mm. in length. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer (rarely later), lasting about 1 month. There is no noticeable floral scent. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 2-celled seed capsules that are 4-6 mm. tall and 6-10 mm. across at maturity. Each cell of the capsule contains a few seeds. Later in the summer, these capsules split open to discharge their seeds explosively. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Clonal offsets often develop from the rhizomes.