Rhizomes short, 0.5–1 cm, bearing numerous, clustered, fleshy roots; stolons absent. Stems 1–several, 1-branched, angled and puberulent distally, especially at nodes, 1–4.5 dm, bearing 1 leaf below lowest branch. Leaf blades sessile, broadly oblong-elliptic, 4–8(–8.5) × 1.5–3.5(–4) cm, puberulent on abaxial veins, margins minutely papillose, apex acute to acuminate. Flowers 1–3 per stem; peduncles 0.5–2 cm, ebracteate; tepals greenish to pale yellow, 10–25 × 2–4 mm, smooth adaxially, apex rounded; stamens 6.5–17 mm; anthers 5–12 mm; connectives 0.6–0.8 mm; ovary sessile or subsessile, sharply triangular; style 8–14 mm; stigma lobes 4–6 mm. Capsules sharply 3-winged, broadly ellipsoid, 1.5–3.7 × 1–2 cm, not beaked. Seeds 3–3.5 mm; arils crested. 2n = 14.
Phenology: Flowering spring–early summer.
Habitat: Moist to dry, open woods
Elevation: 0–900 m
Ga., Md., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va.