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..
Bog herbs, with entire sagittate acute or acuminate leaves, the long petioles sheathing the shorter scape at the base. Spathe elongated, convolute, or expanded above. Flowers monoecious, covering the whole spadix. Perianth none. Staminate flowers uppermost, consisting at first of irregularly 4-sided oblong flat-topped shields, from the edges of which appear 6-10 imbedded anthers opening by apical pores, the shields ultimately shrivelling and leaving the linear-oblong anthers nearly free. Ovaries ovoid, surrounded at base by 4 or 5 white fleshy scale-like staminodia, i-celled; ovules solitary or few, amphitropous; style erect, short, thick, tipped with a small stigma. Fruit a green or red berry, 1-3-seeded, when ripe forming large globose heads at the extremity of the finally recurved scape, and enclosed in the persistent leathery base of the spathe. Seeds surrounded by a tenacious jelly; endosperm none. [Greek, referring to the shield-shaped staminate disks.]
Arum virginicum L. Sp. PI. 966. 1753.
Peltandra virginica Kunth, Enum. 3: 43. 1841.
Leaves bright green, somewhat hastate-sagittate, 4-30' long, 3'-8' wide, acute or acuminate at the apex, firm, strongly veined. Root a tuft of thick fibers; scape nearly as long as the leaves, recurving and immersing the fruiting spadix at maturity; spathe green, 4'-8' long, long-conic, closely investing the spadix throughout, the strongly involute margins undulate; spadix shorter than the spathe, the pistillate flowers covering about one-fourth of its length, the rest occupied by staminate flowers; ovaries globose-ovoid; style nearly J" long; stigmas a little thicker than the style; berries green when ripe.
In swamps or shallow water, Maine to Ontario, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana and Missouri. Poison-arum. Virginia wake-robin. May-June. Peltandra sagittaefolia (Michx.) Morong, admitted into our first edition, differs from P. virginica in a dilated spathe with a whitish summit; it is not definitely known north of North Carolina.