Pyrola chlorantha (Green-flowered Pyrola)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Ericaceae (Heath)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; dry woods
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:4 to 12 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] A raceme of 3 to 10 hanging flowers on short slender stalks at the top of the stem. Flowers are about ½ inch across with 5 round pale green to greenish white petals, the edges often curled down, and a cluster of yellowish orange stamens under the upper petals. The style is light green, curved down and out below the lower petals like an elephant's trunk.

Leaves: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are basal, 1-1½ inches long, mostly round, toothless or with shallow rounded teeth, the blade shorter than or equal to the leaf stalk. The upper surface is dull, dark green with prominent light veins.


Found only in the northern deep boreal forest, a good place to come across Green-flowered Pyrola is along hiking trails in Itasca, Savanna Portage and any of the state parks in the arrowhead. Like most pyrolas, when you come across them, there are usually a number of flowering plants in a colony. The flowers are much like Shinleaf (Pyrola elliptica) and Round-leaved Pyrola (Pyrola americana) but the dull, dark green leaves with light venation set this species apart. All of the Pyrolas have been move from family Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen) to Ericaceae (Heath).

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Susan Premo - 18 mile lake between Finland and Ely
on: 2021-06-30 13:29:23

I have a couple of photos, I will try and post on Facebook, having a bit of trouble getting to mn wildflowers on it. Beautiful new pyrola for me, 4 so far!

Posted by: Don Wendel - Birch Lake mid-Gunflint Trail
on: 2021-07-11 10:04:13

I'm not entirely sure what I found is the green-flowered pyrola, but I am reasonably sure. The leaves and flowers are the same as in the photos. And I have found the GFP in the typical habitate of the flower. However, the photos show a leaf of a lily that dominates and overshadows the leaves of the GFP, making accurate id questionable. The patch I found them is pathside on my property with just a small culster of plants.

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