From the Greek prosartao, to hang upon; in allusion to the suspended ovules. Disporum, two-seeded, because of the two ovules in each cell of the ovary.
Perennial. Moist, rich woods. Ontario to Washington, south to New York and Tennessee. Frequent in northern Ohio. April, May.
Slender, creeping; with tufts of fibrous roots.
Twelve to eighteen inches high, sheathed below; the upper part unequally twice or thrice forked; downy.
Alternate, sessile, one and a half to three inches long, marked with three to five parallel veins, ovate-oblong or lanceolate, acuminate, minutely downy beneath, rounded at base, entire or slightly ruffled at margin.
Yellowish green, at first bell-like, later spreading; one or two at the end of the branches.
Six divisions; each division linear-lanceolate, a little broadened in the middle, with a nectar-bearing pit at the base.
Six, inserted at the base of the perianth, half the length of the flower; filaments threadlike; anthers greenish, extrorse.
Ovary three-celled; style slender, three-cleft. Fruit. - A red berry, long oval or oblong.
Dispdrum lanuginosum as theirs, though it has more of the poise of the Bellworts. The stem rises a foot or more and forks two or three times above the middle. Each of the forks sends out two or three leafy branchlets, which in the blooming season bear at their tips one or two green starry flowers. The green of the blossom is modified by yellow, but it is green; it begins as a bell and ends as a six-pointed star. There are six stamens with greenish yellow anthers and a green style with a three-lobed stigma. The plant is so often mistaken for its neighbors that it is virtually unknown, even to frequent visitors of the wildwood. It may be distinguished from the Twisted Stalk by its flowers, which are terminal, while those of Twisted Stalk appear in the axils of the leaves.
In autumn, if all has gone well, one or two bright-red berries hang on slender stems at the tip of the flowering branchlets.