Schwalbea americana is a very rare species of the Southeastern United States. Like most parasitic Scrophulariaceae, it is not host specific. Sixty-eight percent of the fresh seeds germinated without any host influence or pretreatment. In greenhouse studies, S. americana formed haustoria on four tree species including several that are not found in the savanna-habitat of the parasite. Glandular trichomes were present on the cotyledons and first- formed leaves; the simple hairs on the mature plant arise by loss of the glandular heads. The haustorium of Schwalbea is unique in the Scrophulariaceae in that a well-developed neck, interrupted zone, sclerotic layer, and a very broad endophyte are present. Tyloses, which arise from neighboring parenchyma cells and grow through pits in the vessels, are abundant in the neck region.