Plants rhizomatous, 1.1-2.7(-3) dm. Leaves: petiole (8-)12-40 mm, channeled adaxially, glabrous; blade not or, rarely, obscurely maculate, dull and light green abaxially, shiny and dark green, rarely with white tissue bordering larger veins adaxially, broadly elliptic to oblong or oblong-obovate, 12-80 × (8-)11-57 mm, subcoriaceous, base decurrent or acute to rounded, margins crenulate or obscurely denticulate, apex obtuse to rounded. Inflorescences 1(-2) per stem, 3-14(-21)-flowered; peduncular bracts absent or 1-2(-4), subulate to linear-lanceolate or lanceolate, 3.5-10 × 0.5-1.2 mm, membranous, margins entire; inflorescence bracts subulate to narrowly lanceolate, usually shorter than or, rarely, longer than subtended pedicels, (2-)2.5-10 × 0.3-1 mm, membranous. Pedicels 3-8 mm. Flowers: calyx lobes appressed or spreading in fruit, green or pinkish with margins hyaline to white, deltate to deltate-ovate, 1.2-2.1(-2.6) × 1.2-1.9(-2.3) mm, margins entire or obscurely erose-denticulate, apices acute to short-acuminate; petals white to greenish white, obovate, 6-8.8(-10) × 3-5.4 mm, margins entire or obscurely erose-denticulate; stamens 4-6 mm; filament base 0.6-0.9 mm wide; anthers 2.2-3.5 mm, apiculations 0.1-0.4 mm, thecae creamy white or tan, tubules yellowish brown, 0.3-0.6 mm, gradually narrowed from thecae, lateral walls touching for most of their lengths or connivent distally, pores 0.1-0.2 × 0.1-0.2 mm; ovary smooth; style exserted, 5-7 mm; stigma 0.7-1.2(-1.5) mm wide, lobes erect. Capsules depressed-globose, 3-5 × 3.7-6.6 mm. 2n = 46. Flowering Apr-Jul. Dry, upland forests; 10-1700 m; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ariz., Conn., Del., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
Plant: Perennial rhizomatous, scapose herb Leaves: blades broadly elliptic, oblong to commonly obovate, (2.5-)3.5-5.5(-7.5) cm long, the bases partly decurrent; petioles generally shorter than blade INFLORESCENCE: glabrous symmetric bracteate racemes Flowers: with triangular sepals and short acuminate reflexed tips, 0.9-2.3 mm long; petals white, 5-7 mm long; anthers 2-3.5 mm long, the tubes slightly curved with small pores at ends Fruit: FRUITS 5-locular drooping capsules with a depressed center and fibers connecting opened valves Misc: Mesic streamside and ravine woodlands; 2100-2700 m (7000-9000 ft); Jul-Aug Notes: scapes 10-20(-28) cm tall with leafy ovate, oblong to obovate basal bracts REFERENCES: Haber, Erich. 1992. Pyrolaceae. Ariz.-Nev. Acad. Sci. 26(1)2.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
An infrequent to rare plant in some of the counties of the lake region. It is usually found in cool, shady places in sandy soil at the base or on the lower part of black and white oak slopes where these border a lake, swamp, or pond. Where it is found it is usually frequent to common. This is by far our most common species of the genus.
Lvs 3-7 cm, commonly longer than the petiole, broadly elliptic or oblong to somewhat obovate, subacute to rounded above, acute to rounded at base and always decurrent on the petiole; scapes 1.5-3 dm, often with more than 10 fls; sep triangular, about as broad as long, very shortly acuminate; pet 5-9 mm, white, ±veined with green; anther-tubes scarcely narrowed or differentiated from the pollen-sacs, prolonged only 0.2-0.3 mm and connivent; style declined. Dry upland woods; Nf. and Que. to Minn. and B.C., s. to Del., W.Va., and Io. June-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.