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..
[Prosartes Don, Ann. Nat. Hist. 4: 341. 1840.]
More or less pubescent herbs with slender rootstocks, branching stems, scaly below, leafy above, and alternate somewhat inequilateral sessile or clasping leaves, the flowers terminal, drooping, whitish or greenish yellow, solitary or few in simple umbels. Perianth of 6 narrow equal separate deciduous segments. Stamens 6, hypogynous; filaments filiform or somewhat flattened, longer than the anthers; anthers oblong, or linear, extrorse. Ovary 3-celled; ovules 2 or sometimes several in each cavity; style slender; stigma 3-cleft or entire. Berry ovoid or oval, obtuse. [Greek, referring to the 2 ovules in each cavity of the ovary, in most species.]
About 15 species, natives of North America and Asia. Besides the following, some 5 others occur in western North America. Type species: Disporum pullum Salisb.
Stamens shorter than the perianth; fruit smooth, 2-6-seeded.
Stamens as long as the perianth; fruit roughened, 4-18-seeded;
Streptopus lanitginosus Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 201. 1803.
Prosartes lanuginosa Don, Trans. Linn. Soc. 18: 532. 1841.
Disporum lanuginosum Nichols. Diet. Gard. 1: 485. 1884.
Finely and rather densely pubescent, 1 1/2°-2 1/2° high. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, or oblong-lanceolate, 2'-4 1/2' long, 1'-2' wide, long-acuminate at the apex, rounded at the base, 7-15-nerved; flowers solitary or 2-3 together, greenish, 6"-9' long; pedicels filiform, about 1' long; perianth narrowly campanulate, its segments linear-lanceolate, acuminate, somewhat spreading, glabrous, one-third to one-half longer than the stamens; ovary oblong; style slender, longer than the stamens or equalling them, 3-cleft; berry oval, red, pulpy, 2-6-seeded, 5"-7 ' long.
In woods, Ontario to western New York, Georgia and Tennessee. Ascends to 4000 ft. in Virginia. May-June.
Prosartes trachycarpa S. Wats. Bot. King's Exp.
344. 1871. Disporum trachycarpum B. & H. Gen. PI. 3: 832.
Puberulent, at least when young, 1°-2° high. Leaves ovate, oval or oblong-lanceolate, 1 1/2'-3 1/2' long, 1 '-2 1/2 wide, acute or short-acuminate at the apex, rounded or subcordate at the base, 5-11 -nerved; flowers solitary or 2-3 together, yellowish-white, 4"~7" long; pedicels 1/2-1 long; perianth narrowly cara-panulate, its segments narrowly oblong or oblanceolate, acute, little spreading, about equalling the stamens, ovary depressed-globose; style slender, about equalling the stamens, 3-lobed; berry roughened, depressed-globose or somewhat obovoid, 4"-5" in diameter, apparently leathery rather than pulpy, 4-18-seeded.
Manitoba to Alberta, British Columbia, South Dakota, Nebraska, Washington and Arizona. May-Aug.