Herbs, perennial, with deep, spreading rootstock. Stems erect or ascending, usually unbranched, occasionally few branched, solitary or few, previous year's dead stems not persistent, 20–100 cm, glabrous or slightly pilose to villous. Leaves alternate, ascending; stipules 0.1–0.2 mm; petiole minute or absent; blade oblanceolate, obovate, or elliptic, 25–55 × 5–12 mm, base cuneate to rounded, margins entire, occasionally slightly revolute, apex rounded to subacute, abaxial surface glabrous or pilose to villous, adaxial surface usually glabrous, rarely villous; venation occasionally obscure on small leaves, midvein conspicuous. Cyathia in terminal pleiochasia, dichasial bracts occasionally whorled or rarely alternate; peduncle (1.5–)5–11(–13) mm (proximal to 70 mm), glabrous. Involucre campanulate, 1.2–1.5 × 1.2–1.5(–2) mm, glabrous or moderately puberulent (especially near glands); glands 5, green, reniform, 0.5 × 0.8–1 mm; appendages white, flabellate, 2.5–3.5(–4.5) × 2.5–3.2 mm, entire. Staminate flowers 20–25. Pistillate flowers: ovary glabrous; styles 0.8–1.4 mm, 2-fid at apex to 1/2 length. Capsules globose, 2.3–3 × 3.5–4.2 mm, glabrous; columella 2–2.5 mm. Seeds white or light gray, ovoid, 2.5–2.8 × 2.2 mm, with shallow and coarse depressions; caruncle absent.
"Erect perennial from a deep root, glabrous to villous, 3–10 dm, usually simple below, umbellately or paniculately branched above; lvs not ciliate, the cauline ones alternate, linear to elliptic, 3–6 cm, those subtending the primary branches similar, whorled, those of the infl smaller and often opposite; involucres numerous, forming a corymbiform or paniculiform cyme to 3 dm wide; pedicels, except a few lower ones, less than 1 cm; appendages white (green), conspicuous, ovate or oblong to obovate or rhombic, commonly longer than wide, 1.5–4 mm; seeds ovoid; 2n=28. Dry woods and old fields in the e., in the w. abundant on prairies; Mass. and N.H. to Minn., s. to Fla. and Tex. June–Sept. (Tithymalopsis c.) Two confluent geographic vars:"
|Eastern flowering spurge|