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..
Branching herbs, with stout or slender rootstocks, thin sessile or clasping alternate many-nerved leaves, the flowers solitary or 2 together, extra-axillary, slender-peduncled, greenish or purplish, small, nodding. Peduncles bent or twisted at about the middle. Perianth somewhat campanulate, its 6 separate segments recurved or spreading, deciduous, the outer flat, the inner keeled. Stamens 6, hypogynous; filaments short, flattened; anthers sagittate, extrorse. Ovary 3-celled; ovules numerous in 2 rows in each cavity; style slender, 3-cleft, 3-lobed or entire. Berry globose or oval, red, many-seeded. [Greek, twisted-stalk, in reference to the bent or twisted peduncles.]
About 5 species, natives of the north temperate zone. Besides the following, another occurs on the Pacific Coast. Type species: Streptopus roseus Michx.
Leaves green on both sides, sessile; flowers purple or rose.
Uvularia amplexifolia L. Sp. PI. 304. 1753. Streptopus amplexifolius DC. Fl. France 3: 174. 180?.
Rootstock short, stout, horizontal, covered with thick fibrous roots. Plant 1 1/2°-3° high; stem glabrous, usually branching below the middle, leaves 2'-5' long, 1'-2' wide, acuminate at the apex, cordate-clasping at the base, glabrous, glaucous beneath; peduncles l'-2' long, 1-2-flowered; flowers greenish white, 4"-6" long; perianth-segments narrowly lanceolate, acuminate; anthers subulate-pointed; stigma simple, obtuse or truncate; berry oval, 5"-8" long.
In moist woods, Greenland to Alaska, south to North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and New Mexico. Ascends to 4000 ft. in the Adirondack's. May-July.
Streptopus roseus Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 201.
Plant 1°-2 1/2° high, from a short stout rootstock covered with fibrous roots, sometimes stoloniferous. Branches sparingly pubescent; leaves 2r-4 1/2' long, acuminate at the apex, sessile, rounded, or slightly clasping at the base, green on both sides, or somewhat paler beneath, their margins finely ciliate; peduncles 1/2'-1' long, usually pubescent, 1-flowered, rarely 2-flowered; flowers purple or rose, 4"-6" long; perianth-segments lanceolate, acuminate; anthers 2-horned; style 3-cleft, the spreading branches stigmatic along the inner side; berry 5"-6" in diameter.
In moist woods, Newfoundland to Manitoba, Georgia and Michigan. Ascends to 5600 ft. in Virginia. Liver-berry. May-July.
Streptopus oreopolus Fernald is apparently a hybrid between this and the preceding species.