Flowers: growing in whorls of three oh a leafless scape. Calyx: open; of three sepals that fall early. Corolla: open; of three rounded petals. Stamens: very numerous, on the receptacle. Pistils: distinct; very numerous. The flowers are imperfect: the pistillate ones being those of the lower whorls and the staminate ones those of the upper whorls. Leaves: sagittate; nerved. Scape: varying greatly in height.
The demure arrow-heads are surely the Quakers of the flower world; and that they do not condone frivolity, we may gather from the way in which they keep their pistillate and staminate members apart. The pistillate ones also deck themselves in very seemly little petals that fall early and do not vie in comeliness with those of the staminate blossoms. It hardly seems possible that one of these little under-flowers would ever have the courage to call out boldly: Joseph, thou art keeping the sunshine from falling upon my head.
S. lancifolia is the arrow-head that grows southward from Virginia. Its lower whorls of flowers are better developed than those of its northern sisters, and the plant is, therefore, more showy and beautiful.