Leaves. - One or two on each plant, kidney or heart-shaped, fuzzy, long-stalked. Flower. - Dull purplish-brown, solitary, close to the ground on a short flower-stalk from the fork of the leaves. Calyx. - Three-cleft, bell-shaped. Corolla. - None. Stamens. - Twelve. Pistil. - One, with a thick style and six thick, radiating stigmas.
Certain flowers might be grouped under the head of " vegetable cranks." Here would be classed the evening primrose, which only opens at night, the closed gentian, which never opens at all, and the wild ginger, whose odd, unlovely flower seeks protection beneath its long-stemmed fuzzy leaves, and hides its head upon the ground as if unwilling to challenge comparison with its more brilliant brethren. Unless already familiar with this plant there is nothing to tell one when it has reached its flowering season; and many a wanderer through the rocky woods in early May quite overlooks its shy, shamefaced blossom.
Plate CIII. Wild Ginger. - A. Canadense
The ginger-like flavor of the rootstock is responsible for its common name. It grows wild in many parts of Europe and is cultivated in England, where at one time it was considered a remedy for headache and deafness.