Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionThis native perennial plant is 4-12" tall, consisting of a short stem that branches at ground level into 2 basal leaves with long petioles. The basal leaves are up to 3" long and 4" across. They are cordate-orbicular, deeply indented at the base, and have smooth margins. Their upper surface is slightly hairy and shiny. From the axil of a pair of leaves, develops a single reddish brown flower on a short stalk. Both the flowering stalk and the petioles of the leaves are covered with white hairs that are long and twisted. The flower is about 1" across; it has 3 calyx lobes that are triangular in shape and curl backward. The thick tubular base of calyx is divided into 6 rounded chambers (3 primary chambers, which are each divided into 2 secondary chambers). These chambers contain the ovaries, which develop into rows of seeds. The tubular base of the calyx is light reddish brown and covered with long white hairs. There is a stout column of reproductive organs at the throat of the flower, which is reddish brown like the lobes. It is surrounded by the inner surface of the calyx, which is white. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring, and lasts about 3 weeks. After the flowers wither away, the seed capsule splits open to release the seeds. These seeds have a fleshy appendage. The root system consists of shallow rhizomes that are fleshy and branching. This plant often forms vegetative colonies.