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Pyrolaceae: Pyrola Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Pyrolaceae
Plants of the Pyrola Family

      The Pyrolas are forest dwellers. They thrive in the shade of others. These plants have evergreen leaves and slightly woody stems. The waxy-looking flowers are bisexual with 4 or 5 separate sepals (sometimes united at the base) and 4 or 5 separate petals. There are twice as many stamens as petals. The ovary is positioned superior and consists of 4 or 5 carpels with the partition walls present, forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a round capsule with numerous seeds.

      Worldwide, there are 3 genera and 46 species. The Pyrola family is now considered a subfamily of the Heath Family. Be sure to read about other evergreen plants of the forest in the Barberry Family.

Key Words: Evergreen forest plants with waxy-looking flowers and parts in fours and fives.

Please e-mail Thomas J. Elpel to report mistakes or to inquire about purchasing high resolution photos of these plants.


Chimaphila umbellata. Pipsissewa.

Chimaphila umbellata. Pipsissewa.

Chimaphila umbellata. Pipsissewa.

Chimaphila umbellata. Pipsissewa.

Orthilia secunda (Syn. Pyrola secunda). One-Sided Wintergreen.

Orthilia secunda (a.k.a. Pyrola secunda). One-Sided Wintergreen.

 Orthilia secunda (Syn. Pyrola secunda). One-Sided Wintergreen.

Orthilia secunda (a.k.a. Pyrola secunda). One-Sided Wintergreen. Tobacco Root Mountains, near Pony, Montana.

Foraging the Mountain West
Foraging the Mountain West
Moneses uniflora. One-Flowered Wintergreen.

Moneses uniflora. One-Flowered Wintergreen. (The apparent leaves in this photo belong to a different plant. Look on the ground for the real leaves.)

There are more
Pyrola Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org.


Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Living
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Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
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Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
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