This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is woods, near roots of fir and beech, and the plant is a saprophyte. The plant feeds on decaying vegetable matter. The stem with fleshy roots is scaly, with bracts above, and is creamy-white, turning black, succulent, unbranched above, forming a terminal raceme or cluster, which is drooping, then erect. The flowers are yellow, hairy, numerous, on short stalks, erect in fruit. The sepals are irregular in position. The anther-stalks are bent inwards, the alternate longer. The upper flowers are in 5 or 6 parts, with 10 stamens, those below in 4 parts, with 18 stamens. The style is short. The fruit is egg-shaped or round, and erect. The plant is 3-12 in. in height, and flowers from June to August, being perennial.