This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", 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..
Creeping, somewhat woody herbs, with opposite evergreen petioled obovate or orbicular leaves, and perfect pink or purplish flowers borne in pairs at the summit of elongated terminal peduncles. Calyx-tube ovoid, the limb 5-lobed. Corolla campanulate or funnelform, 5-lobed, the lobes imbricate. Stamens 4, inserted near the base of the corolla-tube, didyn-amous, included. Ovary 3-celled, 2 of the cavities with several abortive ovules, the other with 1 perfect pendulous ovule. Fruit nearly globose, 3-celled, 2 of the cells empty, the other with a single oblong seed. Endosperm fleshy; embryo cylindric. [Named by Gronovius for Linnaeus, with whom the plant was a favorite.]
Three or four species, of the north temperate zone. Type species: Linnaea boredlis L., of Europe.
Linnaea americana Forbes, Hort. Woburn. 135. 1825. L. borealis var. americana Rehder, Rhodora 6: 56. 1904.
Branches slender, slightly pubescent, trailing, 6-20 long. Petioles 1"-2" long; leaves obscurely crenate, thick, 3"-8" wide, sometimes wider than long; peduncles slender, erect, 2-bracted at the summit, 2-flowered (or rarely proliferously 4-flowered); pedicels filiform, 3"-10" long, 2-bracteolate at the summit; flowers nodding, 4"-6" long, fragrant; corolla funnelform; calyx-segments about 1" long; ovary subtended by a pair of ovate glandular scales which are connivent over the fruit or adnate to it.
In cold woods, mountains of Maryland, New Jersey, Long Island, north to Newfoundland, west through British America to Alaska and Vancouver, south to Michigan, in the Rocky Mountains to Colorado and in the Sierra Nevada to California. Has been considered identical with the similar L. borealis L. of Europe and Asia, which has a nearly bell-shaped corolla and longer calyx. Twin sisters. Two-eyed berries. June-Aug.