This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", 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..
Perennial herbs, with simple terete stems and opposite connate-perfoliate or sessile leaves narrowed below the middle. Flowers axillary, perfect, solitary or clustered, sessile, yellowish, green, or purplish, 2-bracted. Calyx-tube ovoid, its limb 5-lobed, the lobes elongated, persistent and sometimes foliaceous in our species. Corolla-tube narrow or campanulate, gibbous at the base, the limb oblique. Stamens 5, inserted on the corolla-tube; filaments very short; anthers linear, included. Ovary 3-5-celled; ovules 1 in each cavity; style filiform; stigma 3-5-lobed. Drupe coriaceous, orange or red, enclosing 2-3 (rarely 4-5) 1 -seeded nutlets. Endosperm fleshy; embryo minute. [Greek, three-bone, from the 3 bony nutlets.]
Six known species, the following of eastern North America, two Japanese, one Himalayan. Type species: Triosteum perfoliatum L.
Leaves ovate or oval; flowers purplish or dull red.
Leaves, or some of them, connate-perfoliate; fruit orange-yellow.
1. T. perfoliatum.
Leaves narrowed to a sessile base; fruit oranee-red.
2. T. aurantiacum.
Leaves lanceolate or oval-lanceolate; flowers yellowish.
3. T. angustifolium.
Triosteum perfoliatum L. Sp. Pl. 176. 1753.
Stem erect, stout, finely glandular-pubescent, 2°-4° high. Leaves ovate to broadly oval, 4'-9' long, 2'-4' wide, acute or acuminate at the apex, abruptly narrowed at the base, connate-perfoliate, soft-pubescent beneath, somewhat hairy above, the margins entire or sinuate; bracts linear; corolla dull purplish-brown, greenish below, 6"-10" long, viscid-pubescent, about the length of the calyx-lobes, the limb nearly regular; filaments bearded; drupe 4"-6" long, obovoid-globose, orange-yellow, densely and finely pubescent; nutlets usually 3.
In rich soil. Massachusetts to Alabama, Kentucky and Kansas. Fever-root. Wild or wood ipecac. Tinker's-weed. Wild coffee. Horse-ginseng. White gentian. Genson (N. C). Ascends 3000 ft. in Virginia. May-July.
T. aurantiacum Bicknell, Torreya 1: 26. 1901.
Stems stout, erect, 2°-4° tall, glandular-puberulent to hirsute. Leaves thin, ovate, ovate-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 5'-10' long, acuminate at the apex, more or less dilated at the base, but not connate-perfoliate, minutely soft-pubescent beneath, thinly appressed-pubescent above or nearly glabrous; corolla dull-red, 7"-10" long, often shorter than the calyx-lobes; filaments bearded throughout or nearly so; drupe oblong-ovoid or obovoid, 6"-7' long, orange-red, densely short-pubescent; nutlets usually 3.
Triosteum angustifolium L. Sp. Pl. 176. 1753.
Stem slender and hirsute-pubescent, 1°-3° high. Leaves lanceolate or oval-lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, 3'-5' long, 1/2'-1 1/2' wide, rough-pubescent, tapering to the sessile base, or the lower smaller, obtuse and spatulate; corolla yellowish, 6"-7" long; flowers commonly solitary in the axils.
In rich soil, Connecticut and Long Island to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama. Illinois and Louisiana. May-Aug.