This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Acaulescent perennial often clustered herbs, with slender aromatic branched rootstocks, thick fibrous-fleshy roots, long-petioled cordate, mostly ovate or orbicular entire leaves, and solitary large peduncled purple-brown or mottled flowers, borne very near or upon the ground. Calyx campanulate or hemispheric, adnate to the ovary at least below, regularly 3-lobed, the lobes valvate. Stamens 12, inserted on the ovary; filaments short, stout; connective of the anther-sacs more or less continued beyond them as a tip. Ovary partly or wholly inferior, 6-celled, the parietal placentae intruded; ovules numerous, horizontal or pendulous. Capsule coriaceous, crowned by the withering-persistent calyx and stamens, subglobose or hemispheric, at length bursting irregularly or longitudinally dehiscent. Seeds compressed. [The ancient name, its meaning obscure.]
Calyx-segments lanceolate-acuminate, longer than the tube, not reflexed.
Calyx-segments slightly longer than the tube, the tubular portion 2"-4" long; species mainly
Calyx-segments much longer than the tube, the tubular portion 5"-10" long; species campes-
Calyx-segments triangular, merely acute, about as long as the tube, reflexed.
Asarum canadense L. Sp. PI. 442. 1753.
Finely pubescent, petioles rather slender, 6'-12' long. Leaves commonly 2 to each plant, reni-form, thin, short-pointed at the apex, 4'-7' broad, dark green, not mottled, the basal sinus deep and open; flower slender-peduncled from between the bases of the petioles, 1' broad or more when expanded, brownish purple; calyx ovoid, its tube completely adnate to the ovary, its lobes inflexed in the bud, ovate-lanceolate, acute or long-acuminate, spreading, a little longer than the tube; filaments longer than the anthers; stigmas radiating; capsule 6"-8" in diameter.
In rich woods, New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to North Carolina, Missouri and Kansas. Ascends to 3000 ft. in Virginia. Called also Canada snakeroot. April-May. Rootstocks with the flavor of ginger. False coltsfoot. Colic-root. Heart-, Vermont or southern snakeroot. Asarabacca.
A. canadense var. acuminatum Ashe, Contr. 1: 2. 1897. Asarum acuminatum Bicknell; Britton & Brown, 111. Fl. 3: 513. 1898.
Similar to A. canadense but more pubescent, at least when young. Leaves thin and membranous, reniform-cordate and acutely short-pointed or broadly reniform and blunt, at first densely cinereous-tomentose on the lower surface, less so when old, the larger veins often densely divaricate-pubescent, giving the leaves beneath a coarsely white-reticulated appearance; calyx-lobes much longer than in A. canadense and duller brownish-purple, caudate-acuminate, or flagellate, the slender terminations recurved-spreading, often flexuous, 5"-10" long.
Rich woods, Minnesota and Wisconsin to Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. May-June.
pl. 317. 1897. Asarum reflexum ambiguum Bicknell, Bull. Torr. Club 24: 535- 1897.
Similar to A. canadense, more loosely pubescent, rootstocks more elongated, slender. Leaves reniform, broader than long, the basal sinus shallow or deep, obtusely pointed, the upper surface commonly nearly glabrous, the petioles often nearly glabrous in age; flowers smaller than those of A. canadense, the calyx-tube white within; lobes of the calyx-limb early reflexed, purplish-brown, 4"-8" long, about as long as the tube, triangular, with a straight obtuse tip, 1"-4" long.
In rich woods, along streams or river valleys, often forming large patches, Connecticut and southeastern New York to Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Missouri and Kansas. April-May.