The smooth slender stem of Uvularia perfoliata is 15 to 50 centimeters tall, and forked above the middle. The leaves are obovate, 4 to 12 centimeters long and 1.5 to 4 centimeters wide, glabrous or glaucous, and perfoliate (clasping the stem). There are usually 1 to 4 leaves below the fork in the stem. The stems bear a single downward drooping flower with six 2 to 3.5 centimeter long tepals which are granular on the inside. The fruit is a triangular three lobed capsule 7 to 13 millimeters in length.
Uvularia perfoliata is widely distributed in the eastern and southern United States from Texas to New Hampshire, plus the Canadian province of Ontario. It is listed as an endangered species by the states of Indiana and New Hampshire. It grows in habitats such as floodplain forests, but also mesic upland forests, and dry rocky woodlands. The presence of this species is dependent on appropriate habitat, and it may be eliminated from an area by development, changes in land use, or competition with invasive species. Like so many of our woodland understory plants, it is disappearing.