This section is from the book "Nature's Garden", by Neltje Blanchan. Also available from Amazon: Nature's Garden; An Aid To Knowledge Of Our Wild Flowers And Their Insect Visitors.
Flowers - White, I in. broad, solitary, on a naked scape about 7 in. high in flower, more than twice as tall in fruit. Calyx of 4 petal-like sepals falling early; 8 longer, flat, oblong petals; 8 stamens; 1 pistil. Leaves: From the root, long-petioled, rounded, palmately veined, cleft into 2 divisions. Fruit: A leathery, many-seeded capsule, slit horizontally.
Preferred Habitat - Rich shady woods.
Flowering Season - April - May.
Distribution - New York to Virginia, west to Ontario and Tennessee.
Like many little darkies in the United States, this low plant was named for Thomas Jefferson. One suspects from a glance at its solitary white flower and deeply divided leaves that it is not far removed from the May apple, which is characterized by even greater Jeffersonian simplicity of habit, although separated into another genus.