Rhizomes 0.5-1.5 × 0.5-1 cm; bulbs 0.6-1.7 cm. Stems 1/4-1/2 floriferous, 0.5-1.6 m. Leaf blades narrowly oblanceolate, 25-55 × 1-7.2 cm, apex acute. Inflorescences 1.7-7 dm; terminal racemes 0.4-3.9 dm; secondary racemes spreading to ascending, 0.7-1.8(-2) dm; tertiary racemes common; bracts ovate to subulate, green to purplish brown, 2-6 mm, densely floccose proximally and marginally. Tepals greenish white to light yellow, aging green, orbiculate to rhombic, 3-8 × 2-4.8 mm, base abruptly attenuate, clawed, margins strongly undulate, basal 2/5 linear, involute, apex shortly acuminate; claws 0.3-6.9 mm; glands yellow, oblong to oblong-ovate, nectariferous; stamens 4-5.5 mm; filaments inserted at or below middle of claw, 0.4-1 mm from ovary base, not basally dilated, equaling tepal width at insertion point; anthers 0.7 mm; ovary ovoid, glabrous or pubescent; styles 1.7-3 mm; pedicel spreading to ascending, 7-17 mm. Capsules ellipsoid-oblong, 12-19 × 7-12 mm, glabrous or glabrate. Seeds 7.5-9 × 4-4.5 mm (including wings). 2n = 16. Flowering summer. Mesic to dry, rocky, wooded slopes; 300--1700 m; Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Md., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va. Traditionally, Melanthium latifolium has been known by the misapplied name M. hybridum Walter (N. L. Bodkin 1979).
Much like no. 1 [Melanthium virginicum L.]; lvs oblanceolate, 3-6 cm wide; tep green or whitish, 4-7 mm, the blade equaling or slightly exceeding the claw, ruffled-undulate, deltoid-ovate, ±acute and often inflexed at the tip, the basal gland prominent; seeds 7-10 mm. Woods; Conn. to S.C. and W.Va. July, Aug. (M. hybridum, misapplied)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.