Scape. - Five to eight inches high, sheathed at its base by the stalks of two to four large, oblong, conspicuous leaves. Flowers. - Greenish-yellow, rather large, rarely solitary. Perianth. - Of six sepals. Stamens. - Six, protruding. Pistil. - One, protruding. Fruit. - A blue berry.
When rambling through the cool, moist woods our attention is often attracted by patches of great dark, shining, leaves; and if it be late in the year we long to know the flower of which this rich foliage is the setting. To satisfy our curiosity we must return the following May or June, when we shall probably find that a slender scape rises from its midst bearing at its summit several bell-shaped flowers, which, without either high color or fragrance, are peculiarly charming. It is hard to understand why this beautiful plant has received no English name. As to its generic title we cannot but sympathize with Thoreau. "Gray should not have named it from the Governor of New York," he complains; "what is he to the lovers of flowers in Massachusetts? If named after a man, it must be a man of flowers. Name your canals and railroads after Clinton, if you please, but his name is not associated with flowers."
Plate XXXIX. Fruit - Clintonia borealis
C. umbellata is a more Southern species, with smaller white flowers, which are speckled with green or purplish dots.