Stems: villous-pubescent. Leaves: few, lanceolate, acute, attenuate below to a sheathing petiole. Flowers: solitary, peduncle scape-like, shorter than the leaves; perianth campanulate, of six segments, white; style equalling the stamens. Fruit: blue berry.
Queen-Cup (Clintonia uniflora)
An exquisite six-parted white flower with a heart of gold, found growing in the shady woods. Its leaves fairly carpet the ground in the localities where it abounds; they are large and glossy and resemble those of the Lily-of-the-Valley. The stems, which usually bear only a single flower, are very hairy. Thoreau has complained bitterly that this beautiful dweller of the forest should be called after so prosaic an individual as the Governor of New York, and soundly berates Gray for the fault; but may not Clinton, the man of affairs, statecraft, and finance, have had an artistic side to his character? May he not have been a true lover of Nature and an ardent admirer of the splendid beauties that enrich with the perfume of their presence the land of the alpine flower-fields?
I feel that a great honour has been conferred upon me in that I have been permitted to name this lovely plant - Queen-cup. Hitherto it has been nameless in the English language, and it seems to me that no more fitting title could be bestowed upon the Clinionia unifiora, with its great shining leaves, amongst which are set the pure white chalices of its blossoms, than Queen-cup, - the queen of all the snowy flower-cups of the alpine forests.