This section is from the book "Nature's Garden", by Neltje Blanchan. Also available from Amazon: Nature's Garden; An Aid To Knowledge Of Our Wild Flowers And Their Insect Visitors.
Flowers - White, solitary, or 2 at end of a scape 2 to 5 in. high. Calyx deeply, unevenly 5 or 6 parted, the larger divisions toothed; 5 petals falling early; numerous stamens; 5 to 10 carpels forming as many dry drupelets within the persistent calyx. Stem: Creeping, slender, no prickles. Leaves: Long petioled, in tufts from the runner, almost round, heart-shaped at base, crenate-edged, both sides hairy.
Preferred Habitat - Woods and wooded hillsides.
Flowering Season - June - September.
Distribution - Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania, and westward to the Mississippi.
This delicate blossom, which one might mistake for a white violet among a low tuft of violet-like leaves, shows its rose kinship by its rule of five and its numerous stamens. Like the violet again, however, it bears curious little economical flowers near the ground - flowers which never open, and so save pollen. These, requiring no insects to fertilize them, waste no energy in putting forth petals to advertise for visitors. Nevertheless, to save the species from degeneracy from close inbreeding, this little plant needs must display a few showy blossoms to insure cross-fertilized seed; for the offspring of such defeats the offspring of self-fertilized plants in the struggle for existence.