10. Isotria Raf. (whorled pogonia)
lacking rhizomes, the roots fascicled from the base of the flowering stem,
fibrous or somewhat fleshy. Flowering stems glabrous, somewhat glaucous,
hollow, with 1 or 2 flowers at the tip. Leaves 5 or 6, in a single whorl near
the tip of the flowering stem, 3–5(–8) cm long, elliptic to obovate, green,
glabrous. Sepals spreading, all similar. Lateral petals curved inward and overlapping
over the column. Lip 3‑lobed, positioned parallel to the column. Stamen
1, staminodes lacking. Capsules erect, 18–30 mm long, elliptic in outline,
strongly ribbed. Two species, North America.
plants of Isotria might be confused with those of the Indian cucumber
root, Medeola virginiana L. (Liliaceae). The latter species can be
distinguished by its nonglaucous stems that are solid rather than hollow and
have cobwebby pubescence.