The dark purple berries of this common woodland plant are far more noticeable during August than are the singular, nodding yellow flowers that precede them. The long, horizontal, club-shaped rootstock which is white, crisp and juicy, and tastes not unlike cucumbers, is said to have been relished by the Indians. It has also been used as a remedy for torpid livers. The slender, unbranched stalk is slightly adorned with a cottony fuzz, and grows from one to two and a half feet in height, in moist woods and thickets. It bears usually two whorls of leaves. The larger whorl consists of from five to nine thin, stemless, oblong, taper-pointed, toothless and three-ribbed leaves, and occurs half-way up the stalk. The other whorl is borne at the top, directly under the flowers, and the smaller leaves, numbering from two to five, are frequently short-stemmed. Plants which bear no flowers have only one whorl of leaves, and that terminates the stalk. From two to nine inconspicuous, spidery flowers are set on slender curving stems that spring from the centre of the upper leaves, and hang usually below them. They have six spreading recurved petal-like parts, six brown-tipped stamens, and a pistil with three very long and curving stigmas. The species ranges from Nova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Florida and Tennessee.