Bulbs globose to subglobose, to 1-1.5 cm diam.; outer coats brown; bulblets absent. Scape solitary (rarely 2), terete, (10-)20-40 cm × 1-3 mm. Leaves 1-4, sheaths enveloping neck of bulb, hyaline, subtruncate apically; blade filiform or linear, to 30 cm × 1-4(-5) mm, margins entire. Umbel mostly 3-6(-10)-flowered, often asymmetrical, 1-3 cm diam.; bracts persistent, 2, 1-2 cm × 4-8 mm, base coherent, imbricate, margins scarious or hyaline, apex acuminate. Flowers not fragrant; tepals whitish to cream, at least outer ones with red or purplish red midvein, elliptic, (8-) 10-12(-15) × 3-4.5 mm, apex acute or acuminate; filaments simple, adnate to tepals, 5-6 mm; anthers yellow; ovary crestless; style persistent, equaling stamens; stigma unlobed, 3/4 perianth; pedicel erect, 1-2 cm, elongating as flowers develop, but often of several lengths even in fruit. Capsules subglobose or obovoid, 6-8 × 6-8 mm. Seeds 4-7 per locule. Flowering Mar--Dec. Open woods, prairies, barrens; 0--1700 m; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Miss., Mo., N.Mex., N.C., Ohio, Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.; s to South America.
Bulb ovoid, 2 cm, with membranous coats; lvs few, 1-2 dm נ2-3 mm; scape 1-3 dm; fls 5-12; pedicels 2-5 cm, often unequal; tep white or greenish-white, oblong, 9-13 mm; fr subglobose, 5 mm; seeds black, angularly ellipsoid, 3 mm; 2n=18. Open woods, prairies, and barrens, usually in moist soil; se. Va. to s. O., c. Ill. and Kans., s. to S. Amer. Mar.-Sept.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.