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Common Herb Species of the Northwest Forest

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Pyrola asarifolia
Pink Pyrola
"Common Pink Wintergreen"

Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)

Description

General - an evergreen perennial from long branched rhizomes; flowering stems growing up to 30 cm tall, with a few papery branches.

Pink Pyrola Leaves - numerous in basal rosette; blades broadly elliptic to kidney-shaped, 3 - 6 cm long, leathery, shiny, finely toothed, dark green above, purplish beneath; stalks usually longer than blades.

Flowers - 6 to 15, in long loose terminal cluster; usually nodding, 8 - 12 mm across, pale pink to purplish red, bell- or cup-shaped; style long, curved, bends downwards; appearing mid-summer.

Fruit - spherical capsules, 5-chambered, with arching, 5 - 10 mm long style; developing late-summer.

Habitat

Moist woods and thickets; widespread across our region; prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade.

Notes

If not in flower, Pink Pyrola could be mistaken for Arctic Wintergreen. Arctic Wintergreen's flowers are creamy white. It is very common in open forests and on sheltered, sunny tundra slopes from the Northwest Territories to Alaska.

The Pink Pyrola is sometimes also known as "Bog Wintergreen".


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