Sp. Pl. 1: 387. 1753 ,.
Inflorescences solitary flowers, 5–30 cm; axis white. Pedicels nodding at anthesis, erect in fruit. Flowers: sepals (3–)5(–6), similar to subtending bracts, lanceolate to oblong, 7–10 × 4–6 mm; petals (3–)5(–6), white to pinkish or reddish, obovate, 10–20 × 5–15 mm, base slightly saccate, margins entire, apex rounded or, rarely, slightly lacerate, adaxial surfaces with scattered hairs; nectary lobes 10, elongate, curved-cylindric; stamens 8–14; filaments glabrous or sparsely hairy; anthers horizontal at anthesis, transversely ellipsoid to depressed-ovoid, abaxial pair of sacs smaller; ovary 6–12 × 5–9 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy; style 2–7 × 2–5 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy; stigma broadly funnelform, 2–6 mm diam., not subtended by ring of crowded hairs. Capsules 5-segmented; segments persistent after seed dispersal, stout, 7–11 × 5–12 mm, often connected along margins by fine, pinnate, vascular strands. Seeds 0.5–1 mm, mostly membranously winged. 2n = 32, 48.
Phenology: Flowering early summer–fall.
Habitat: Moist to dry, coniferous and mixed-deciduous forests
Elevation: 0-3000 m
St. Pierre and Miquelon, Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Ala., Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., s Mexico, Central America, South America (Colombia), s, e Asia.