This plant can be seen growing low to the ground in fens, swamps, wet meadows, open seepage areas, and moist woods in the upper midwest and northeastern United States. The Flower stalks can grow to 8 inches in height. The leaves are about 4 inches in height. The flower has five white petals with light green venation and can be about 1 inch in diameter. The flowers bloom between July and October.
The name comes from ancient Greece when the cattle on Mount Parnassus ate the plant; hence it was an "honorary grass". The leaves of Grass of Parnassus do not look grass-like at all. They are cordate (or heart-shaped), green, and somewhat thick.