Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)
General - a small, evergreen perennial from long, slender, much-branched rhizomes; stems single, often woody towards base, with several bracts above; growing up to 20 sm tall.
Leaves - several to many, mostly at stem base; blades longer than stalks, 1.5 - 4 cm long, elliptic-oval to nearly round, small-toothed to nearly toothless, green above, paler below.
Flowers - 4 - 20 in long, narrow, one-sided cluster; pale greenish to white, bell-shaped, nodding, 5 - 6 mm across; style straight, projects from flower; appearing mid-summer.
Fruit - spherical, 5-chambered, nodding capsules; developing in late summer.
Woods and thickets; widespread across our region north to Arctic coast; on dry to wet sites across a range of forest habitats.
The common name 'wintergreen' refers to the evergreen leaves of these plants. The species name secunda refers to the one-sided (secund) arrangement of flowers and fruits.
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