Paris quadrifolia has solitary flowers with four or more very narrow greenish filiform (threadlike) petals and green petaloid sepals. The flower is borne above a single whorl of four or more stem leaves. It prefers calcareous soils and lives in damp and shady places, especially old established woods and streamsides. It occurs locally in temperate and cool areas throughout Europe and West Asia but is absent in the wild from the Americas, Africa and the southern hemisphere. In Britain it is more frequently found in the east of the country, but it is uncommon throughout its range. Each plant only produces one blueberry-like fruit, which is poisonous. Paris quadrifolia poisonings are rare, because the plant's solitary berry and its repulsive taste make it difficult to mistake it for a blueberry.