This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Plants with tubers or fleshy roots; stem scapose. Leaves 2, basal. Flowers greenish or white; sepals free, large and spreading; petals small and narrow; lip entire, linear or nearly so; spur long and slender, generally longer than the elongated, straight ovary. Beak of the stigma without appendages. Anther-sacs widely diverging, their narrow beak-like bases projecting forward; stalk of the pollen-mass laterally affixed to the back of the orbicular gland, whose face is turned inward. Pod cylindric-clavate, distinctly stipitate. [Named for Lysias, an Attic orator.]
A circumboreal genus of about half a dozen species. Type species: Lysias bifolia (L.) Salisb.
Scape stout, bracted, 1 °-2° high, occasionally bearing a small leaf. Basal leaves 2, orbicular, spreading flat on the ground, shining above, silvery beneath, 4'-7' in diameter; raceme loosely many-flowered; pedicels nearly 1/2' long, the fruiting ones erect; flowers greenish white; upper sepal short, rounded; lateral sepals spreading, falcate-ovate, obtuse 4"-5" long; petals smaller; lip oblong-linear, entire, obtuse, white, about 6" long; spur longer than the ovary, often 1 1/2' long; anther-sacs prominent, converging above; glands small, orbicular, nearly i' apart, their faces turned toward the axis.
In rich woods, Newfoundland to British Columbia, North Carolina and Minnesota. Ascends to 4500 ft. in Virginia. Large two-leaved orchis. Heal-all. July-Aug. Races differ in the size of leaves and in length of the spur.
Habenaria Hookeriana A. Gray, Ann. Lye. N. Y. 3: 229.
1836. Habenaria orbiculata Goldie, Edinb. Phil. Journ. 6: 331.
1822. Not Orchis orbiculata Pursh, 1814. Habenaria Hookeri var. oblongifolia Paine, Cat. PI.
Oneida, 83. 1865. L. Hookeriana Rydb. in Britton, Man. 295. 1891.
Scape 8'-15' high, not bracted. Leaves 2, basal, fleshy, shining, spreading or ascending, oval, orbicular or obovate, 3'-5 1/2' long; raceme rather loosely many-flowered, 4'-8' long; bracts acute, about as long as the yellowish green flowers; lateral sepals greenish, lanceolate, acute, spreading, about 4" long; petals narrowly linear or awl-shaped; lip linear-lanceolate, acute, 4"-5" long; anther-sacs widely diverging below; glands small, their faces turned inward; spur slender, acute, 8" long or more, as long as the ovary or considerably longer.
In woods, Nova Scotia to Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Iowa. Small two-leaved orchis. Solomon's-seal. June-Sept.