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..
Erect forked herbs, perennial by rootstocks. Stem leafy above, scale-bearing below, the leaves alternate, sessile or perfoliate. Flowers large, solitary at the ends of the branches or rarely 2 together, peduncled, drooping. Perianth bell-shaped or narrower; segments distinct, deciduous, sometimes bearing a nectary at the base. Stamens 6, free, or adnate to the very bases of the perianth-segments; filaments filiform; anthers linear, the sacs longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary 3-lobed, 3-celled, short-stalked or sessile; styles united to about the middle, stigmatic along the inner side above; ovules several in each cell. Capsule ovoid or obovoid, 3-angled or 3-winged, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds globose, 1-3 in each cavity. [Name Latin, from uvula, a palate, in allusion to the hanging flowers.]
Five or six species, natives of eastern North America. Type species: Uvularia perfoliata L.
Capsule obtusely 3-angled, truncate or rounded; leaves perfoliate.
Glabrous, glaucous; perianth-segments papillose within.
Leaves pubescent beneath; perianth-segments smooth or nearly so.
Capsule acutely 3-angled or 3-winged, acute at each end; leaves sessile. (Oakesiella Small.)
Leaves thin, slightly rough-margined, narrowed at both ends.
Leaves firm, manifestly rough-margined, sometimes subcordate.
Uvularia perfoliata L. Sp. PI. 304. 1753.
Glabrous and glaucous or pale green. Stems 6'-2o' high, slender, forked above the middle, usually with 1-3 leaves below the fork; leaves oval, oblong or ovate-lanceolate, acute at the apex, rounded or sometimes narrowed at the base, smooth-margined, 2'~5' long when mature, small at flowering time; flowers io"-i6" long, pale yellow; peduncle becoming 1/2-1' long in fruit; perianth-segments granular-papillose within, sometimes but slightly so; stamens shorter than the styles or equalling them, the connective sharp-tipped; capsule obovoid, truncate, thicker than long, 4 '-5" long, obtusely 3-angled, with concave sides and grooved angles, its lobes dehiscent above.
Uvularia grandifiora J. E. Smith, Ex. Bot. 1: 99. pl. 51. 1804-5.
Stems rather stouter than that of the preceding species, naked or with 1 or 2 leaves below the fork. Leaves perfoliate, oblong, oval or ovate, pubescent beneath, at least when young, glabrous above, becoming 2'-5' long; flowers lemon-yellow, 1'- 1 1/2' long; perianth-segment smooth on both sides or very slightly granular within; stamens exceeding the styles, the connective blunt; capsule obtusely 3-angled, truncate, 4'-5" long, the lobes dehiscent above.
In rich woods, Quebec to Ontario, Minnesota, Georgia, Tennessee and Kansas. Aoril-June.
Glabrous, stem slender, naked or bearing 1 or 2 leaves below the fork. Leaves oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1 1/2'-3' long when mature, thin, sessile, acute at each end, roughish-margined, pale or glaucous beneath; flowers greenish yellow, 8"-15" long; perianth-segments smooth; styles exceeding stamens; anthers blunt; peduncle 1/2'-1' long in fruit; capsule sharply 3-angled, narrowed at both ends, short-stipitate, about 1' long, 6"-8" thick.
In moist woods and thickets, New Brunswick and Ontario to Minnesota, south to Georgia and Arkansas. Wild oat. Straw-lilies. May-June.
Uvularia puberula Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 199. 1803. Oakc„ia puberula S. Wats. Proc. Am. Acad. 14: 269. 1879.
Stem rather stout, sparingly rough-pubescent with short hairs, at least on the forks. Leaves oblong, oval or ovate; rough-margired, firm and 1 1/2"-3' long when mature, sessile, acute at the apex, obtuse, subcordate or sometimes narrowed at the base, shining, green on both sides, the midvein sometimes pubescent; flowers light yellow, about 1' long; styles about equalling the stamens; capsule sharply 3-angled, acute at both ends, sessile or very nearly so on the short peduncle, 10"-12" long.
In mountain woods, Virginia and West Virginia to South Carolina. Ascends to 5000 ft. in Virgini:. May-June.
Uvularia nitida (Britton) Mackenzie, of the pine-barrens of New Jersey, differs in having the styles exceeding the stamens and a smaller capsule; it may be specifically distinct.