Stem very slender, 4 to 8 inches high, smooth, bearing below the middle a single leaf which sheathes the stem, the blade I to 3 inches long, one-half to 1 ¾ inches wide. Flowers whitish, very small, in a slender raceme, 1 to 4 inches long; each flower about one-half of an inch long on a very short, nearly erect pedicel; lip triangular or ovate and long pointed.
Figure XIII White Adder's-mouth (Malaxis monophylla (Linnaeus) (Swartz)
In woods, thickets and recent clearings, Quebec to Manitoba, south to Pennsylvania and Nebraska. Flowering in July.
The Green Adder's-mouth (Malaxis unifolia Michaux) has the single leaf clasping the stem near the middle; flowers greenish on slender pedicels; lip broad and three-toothed at the apex. Small and inconspicuous as well as rather rare.