This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(after DeWitt Clinton, the famous Governor of New York and promoter of the Erie Canal). Liliaceae. A small group of low-growing, herbaceous plants of North America and Asia, with a few tufted, broad shining leaves, and usually umbels of flowers.
Perianth-segments equal or nearly so; stamens 6, inserted at the base of the perianth-segments: ovary 2-3-celled with 2 to several ovules in each cavity: flowers on scapes: root-stocks slender: fruit a globose or oval berry. For C. pulchella and other species of the abandoned genus Clintonia of Hort., see Downingia a very different genus belonging to Campanulaceae.
Clintonias grow in cool, moist woods, and fanciers can secure them from some dealers in native plants. It is difficult to tell the species apart by the leaves.
A. Scape bearing an umbel of flowers
B. Flowers greenish yellow.
Raf. Height 1-2 ft.: flowers 3-6, nodding, green, margined yellow. Labrador to Winnipeg and south to N. C. B.M. 1403 (as Smilacina borealis). - This is one of the choicer plants of cool, moist woods, known to plant lovers chiefly by its handsome umbels of blue berries found in autumn, which are borne above the large, dark green, shining leaves The commonest species, but not easily grown below elevations of 1,000 ft.
bb. Flowers white, with green spots. umbellulata, Torr. Flowers 10-20 or more, smaller than in C. borealis, erect or nearly so, white, with green or purplish spots. Alleghany Mts. from N. Y. to Ga. B.M. 1155 (as Smilacina borealis). - This species has the smallest flowers of the group, and is the only one that has but a single pair of ovules in each cell of the ovary.
bbb. Flowers deep rose. Andrewsiana, Torr. One to 1 1/2 ft. high, bearing 4 sessile, oblong, acute leaves, and 20 or more nearly erect flowers which are in dense umbels. Calif. to S. Ore., in deep, cool woods, in clayey soil rich in mold. B.M. 7092. - The showiest of the group. Cult. to some extent.
aa. Scape bearing 1 white flower
Kunth. The only species in which the scape is shorter than the leaves: flowers nearly erect; rarely there are 2 flowers: leaves narrow, obovate-lanceolate, hairy. Calif. to Alaska. Wilhelm Miller.