Description from Flora of China
Hypopitys monotropa Crantz; H. multiflora Scopoli; H. multiflora var. glabra Ledebour; Monotropa chinensis Koidzumi; M. hypophegea Wallroth; M. hypopitys f. atricha (Domin) Kitagawa; M. hypopitys subvar. atricha Domin; M. hypopitys var. glaberrima H. Hara; M. hypopitys var. glabra Roth; M. hypopitys var. hirsuta Roth; M. hypopitys subsp. lanuginosa (Michaux) H. Hara; M. lanuginosa Michaux; M. multiflora (Scopoli) Fritsch; M. taiwaniana S. S. Ying.
Herbs pale yellow-brown, rather fleshy, becoming brown when dry, usually pubescent on upper part of inflorescence. Inflorescence racemose, (1 or)2–11-flowered, 5–30 cm tall, 1–5 mm in diam. below lowermost flower, emerging from soil in nodding position. Inflorescence bracts below soil level shorter and thicker and more densely crowded on axis than upper bracts. Inflorescence bracts above soil level, sessile, ± erect, ovate to oblong, 7–15 × 3–15 mm, rather fleshy, somewhat pubescent to glabrous, margin entire or erose to irregularly toothed, apex acute to acuminate. Flowers nodding, tubular-campanulate. Bracts 1, rarely to 3, similar to inflorescence bracts in size and shape. Sepals 3–5, occasionally absent, oblong to broadly elliptic, 6–10 × 2–5 mm, shorter than petals, base attenuate, margin irregularly toothed, apex acute or acuminate. Petals 4–6, oblong, 1–1.5 cm × 3–6 mm, abaxially finely pubescent, adaxially long pubescent, base saccate, margin entire and irregularly denticulate or erose in upper part, apex acute or rounded. Stamens 8–12; filaments 7–14 mm, pubescent; anthers hippocrepiform, short, 0.8–1.5 mm, opening by a solitary terminal slit over connate sacs. Ovary 4–8 mm, 3–6 mm in diam. at anthesis, placentae axile; style 2–10 mm, ca. as long as ovary, slender, pubescent, articulation between style and ovary conspicuous. Stigma yellow, funnelform, 1.5–3 mm in diam., often subtended by a ring of short hairs, usually pubescent. Nectary at base of ovary with 8–10 paired lobes directed downward between staminal bases opposite saccate bases of petals. Capsules erect, broadly ellipsoid, 6–10 mm, 4–8 mm in diam. Fl. Jul–Aug, fr. Sep–Oct.
Damp mixed and coniferous forests; 100–2500 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, W Hubei (Shennongjia), Hunan, Jilin, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, N Sichuan (Barkam), Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Kashmir, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sikkim, Thailand; SW Asia, Europe, North America, Central America (Mexico)].