Stems 1 to 3 feet high from a short, stout rootstock covered with fibrous roots. Branches usually three or four in number and obliquely ascending, all leafy and sparingly pubescent. Leaves alternate, thin, many-nerved, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 4 ½ inches long, long pointed at the apex, sessile, rounded or slightly clasping the stem at the base, green on both sides, but usually paler beneath, their margins finely ciliate. Flowers purple or rose colored, about one-third of an inch long, slender-peduncled, solitary or two together from the axil of each of the upper leaves on slender peduncles, one-half to I inch long, the peduncle bent or twisted at about the middle; perianth bell-shaped, its six segments lanceolate and pointed, their tips somewhat recurved or spreading. Stamens six, shorter than the perianth. Fruit a globose, red berry about one-third of an inch or less in diameter.
In moist woods, Newfoundland to Manitoba, Georgia and Michigan. Flowering in May and June.
The Clasping-leaved Twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexi-folius (Linnaeus) De Candolle) is similar but the leaves are clasping around the stem at their bases, glaucous or whitish beneath and the flowers are greenish white in color.
The Hairy Disporum (Disporum lanuginosum (Michaux) Nichols.) resembles the Twisted-stalks in manner of growth, but the leaves are somewhat narrower and not clasping and the flowers are solitary or few together at the ends of the branches, one-half to three-fourths of an inch long and greenish in color. It is found in woods in western New York.
Figure IV. Sessile-leaved Twisted-stalk (Streptopus roseus Michaux)