Rhizomes heterogeneous, whitish, cordlike portions 0.1-1.5 dm × 2-4 mm, enlarging to 6-8 mm diam., densely covered with brown, scalelike leaves, roots absent, or torulose with roots borne along entire rhizome. Stems simple, 5-15 cm. Leaves: basal with blade light green, ensiform, 0.3-1.5 dm × 0.3-1.3 cm, enlarging to 3.5 dm, glaucous; cauline 5-9, sheathing, imbricate, blade light green, obovate, 1.3-5 cm, increasing in length, proximal shortest, membranous, apex acute. Inflorescence units 1-2-flowered; spathes divergent, exposing floral tube, green, lanceolate, 2-2.5 cm, apex acuminate. Flowers: floral tube pale violet, filiform, 2.5-6.5 cm, expanding somewhat distally to 2.5-4 cm diam.; sepals widely spreading, blue to violet with yellow or orange longitudinal papillose band at base of blade, obovate, 2-6 × 0.8-2 cm, base gradually attenuate into claw, not crested; petals erect, arching inward at tip, spatulate, 2-7 × 1-2 cm, base abruptly attenuate into claw; ovary linear, to 1.3 cm; styles pale violet, 2.5-4 cm, crests linear-acute, narrow, 0.7 cm; stigmas rounded, margins entire; pedicel 1-3 cm, increasing to 25 cm as capsule matures. Capsules 3-angled with single ridge at each angle, almost hidden in bases of spathes, 1-3.2 × 0.8-1.5 cm, tapering into beak consisting of dried remnant of floral tube. Seeds dark brown, ribbed, 2.8-3.2 mm, lustrous, with small, fleshy aril basally.
Lvs grass-like, bright green, glaucous on one side, 3-4 cm נ3-10 mm at anthesis, later much elongate; spathe 1-2-fld, the valves pale green to whitish or pink-tinged, rather closely sheathing each other; perianth-tube dull green, ±exceeding the spathe-valves, the limb 5-6 cm wide, bright violet (pale or white); sep spreading or recurved; with a broad, yellow, papillose-hairy band extending from the middle of the blade into the claw and frequently surrounded by white markings; pet erect, with long slender claw and obovate blade; fr obtusely 3-angled, slender-beaked, 1.5-2.5 cm; seeds arillate; 2n=42. Sandy open woods and pine-lands. Pa. to Ky., Miss. and Ga. Apr., May. (Neubeckia v.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.