Perennial 1-2 m; stem glabrous and glaucous, branched above; lower lvs deeply pinnately lobed, with entire or toothed, widely divergent lobes and broad sinuses; upper lvs less deeply lobed, the bracteal ones narrowly lanceolate, entire or serrulate; pedicels stout, abruptly upcurved, 4-10 mm at anthesis; cal glabrous; cor 3.5-5 cm; fr glabrous, ovoid, 12-20 mm; 2n=24. Dry upland woods; Me. to Mich. and Wis., s. to Fla. and La. July-Sept. (Gerardia virginica, misapplied) Midwestern plants tend to have much longer cal-lobes (5-14 mm, as opposed to 2-5 mm) than plants of the e. and n. states, and have been segregated as var. macrantha Pennell.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.