Flowers: growing with the leaves along the stem. Calyx: three to five-lobed. Corolla: wheel-shaped, with five almost linear lobes. Stamens: five. Pistil: one; stigmas, three. Pods: triangular. Leaves: oblong with heart-shaped bases; clasping. Stem: hairy.
This fancifully named little plant is one that bears cleistogamous flowers. It does not, however, hide them at its base as though ashamed for them to be seen. The leaves clasp the stem tightly and look like little shells in which lie three closed buds. They never open and are very fruitful. It seems as though the plant held them in the hollow of its hand. It is only the fortunate ones that reach the top of the stem that unfold the dainty blossom.
S. biflora is the small Venus's looking-glass. It grows from Virginia southward and westward, and blooms from April until July.