This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", 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..
Low tufted herbaceous shrubs, with simple petioled stipulate leaves white-canescent beneath, and white or yellow, rather large perfect solitary flowers on slender scapes. Calyx persistent, not bracted, its tube concave, glandular-hirsute, 8-9-lobed. Petals 8 or 9, obovate, larger than the calyx-lobes. Stamens 00, inserted on the throat of the calyx; filaments subulate. Carpels 00, sessile, inserted on the dry receptacle; style terminal, persistent, elongated and plumose in fruit. Seed ascending, its testa membranous. [Name Latin, a wood-nymph.]
Three species, natives of the cold-temperate and arctic parts of the north temperate zone. Type species: Dryas octopetala L.
Flowers white; sepals linear.
Leaves oval or ovate, coarsely crenate.
Leaves ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, subcordate, entire or nearly so.
Flowers yellow; sepals ovate; leaves crenate.
Dryas octopetala L. Sp. Pl. 501. 1753.
Dryas chamaedrifolia Pers. Syn. 2: 57. 1807.
Stems prostrate, woody at the base, branched, 3'-6' long. Stipules linear, ad-nate to the petiole; leaves oval or ovate, coarsely crenate all around, green and glabrous above, densely white-canescent beneath, generally obtuse at each end, 1/2'-1' long; scape terminal, erect, 1'-5' long, pubescent; flower white, about 1' broad; sepals linear, acute or acutish, glandular-pubescent, persistent; style about 1' long, plumose and conspicuous in fruit.
Similar to the preceding species, but the leaves are ovate or ovate-lanceolate, obtuse and often subcordate at the base, obtusish at the apex, entire or with 1 or 2 teeth near the base, the margins strongly revolute; flowers white, generally slightly smaller; sepals linear.
"White Hills of New Hampshire," collected by Prof. Peck, according to Pursh, Anticosti, Greenland; Labrador, west through arctic America to Alaska. June-Aug.
1830. Dryas octopetala var. Drummondii S. Wats. Bibliog.
Index 1: 281. 1878.
Similar to D. octopetala, the leaves crenate-dentate, but generally narrowed at the base. Scape floccose-pubescent, often taller; flower yellow, about 9" broad; sepals ovate, acutish, black glandular-pubescent.
On gravel, Gaspé, Quebec; Anticosti and Labrador, throughout arctic America, south in the Rocky Mountains to Montana and to Oregon. June-Aug.