Herbs, perennial, deciduous, 1-4 dm, glabrous. Rhizomes short, producing 4-8 or more leaves per year. Aerial stems absent. Leaves alternate, 2-foliolate; petiole long, slender. Leaf blade reniform-orbiculate in overall outline, 1.5-18 cm, leaflet margins entire to shallowly lobed; venation palmate. Inflorescences terminal, solitary flowers borne on scapes. Flowers 4-merous, 15-30 mm; bracteoles absent; sepals caducous, (3-)4(-5), petaloid; petals 8, white [lavender]; stamens 8; anthers dehiscing by 2 apically hinged flaps; pollen exine striate; ovaries obovoid; placentation marginal; style central. Fruits capsulelike, brownish, obovoid, with transverse or oblique dehiscence, top forming reflexed lid. Seeds 10-25, red; aril white, not enclosing seed. x = 6.
Sep usually 4, uniseriate, early deciduous; pet usually 8, biseriate; ovary ovoid, with many ovules and a broad, sessile stigma; fr capsular, obovoid or pyriform, opening in the distal half by a horizontal cleft extending half way around it, the top forming a lid; smooth perennial herbs with a few basal lvs deeply divided into 2 obliquely half-ovate segments, the fls solitary on a naked scape. 2, the other in Manchuria.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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