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..
Slender scapose berbs, with solid bulbs, several generations connected by offsets, the flowers in a long loose terminal raceme. Leaf solitary, basal, unfolding long after the flowering season (in autumn), usually after the scape has perished. Scape with several thin sheathing scales at the base. Flowers green, nodding, bractless. Sepals and petals similar, spreading. Lip 3-lobed, produced backwardly into a very long spur. Column erect, wingless or very narrowly winged. Anther terminal, operculate, 2-celled. Pollinia 4, ovoid, waxy, 2 in each anther-sac, separate, affixed to a short stipe, which is glandular at the base. [Latin, similar to Tipula, a genus of insects, in allusion to the form of the flower.]
Two known species, the following of eastern North America being the generic type, the other Himalayan.
Scape glabrous, 15'-20' high, from a hard, often irregular solid bulb or corm. Leaf arising in autumn from a fresh lateral corm, ovate, 2'-3' long, dark green, frequently surviving through the winter, 1'-2' wide. Raceme 5'-10' long, very loose; flowers green, tinged with purple; pedicels filiform, bract-less, 4"-6" long; sepals and petals 3"-4" long, narrow; lip shorter than the petals or equalling them, 3-lobed, the middle lobe narrow, prolonged, dilated at the apex, the lateral lobes short, triangular; spur very slender, straight or curved, often twice as long as the flower; column narrow, erect, shorter than the petals, the beak minutely pubescent; capsule ellipsoid, 6-ribbed, about 6" long.
In woods, Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas and Louisiana. Reported from Vermont and Michigan. Tallow-root. July-Aug.