Pyrola asarifolia (Pink Pyrola)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; moist woods, bogs|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||6 to 12 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Raceme of 7 to 15 flowers on slender stalks at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 5 round petals, pink or white with pink to pinkish purple edging, the edges often curled down. A cluster of stamens with dark pink to red tips is hidden under the upper petals. The style is light green, curved down and out below the lower petals like an elephant's trunk.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are basal, 1 to 1½ inches long, round to kidney shaped, often wider than long, the blade typically shorter than the leaf stalk. The tip may have slight point. The upper surface is very shiny. A few scale like leaves may be present on lower part of the flowering stem.
Pink pyrola is about as prevalant as Shinleaf (Pyrola elliptica) though its range is more westward and Shinleaf extends further south. Typically Pink Pyrola is found on moister sites than the other pyrolas, along lake shores and wet meadow wood lines. It can't be easily confused with any other pyrola since it is the only pink pyrola out there. When not flowering, the shiny round to kidney-shaped leaves should be distinctive enough for a positive ID. All of the Pyrolas have been move from family Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen) to Ericaceae (Heath).
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Savanna Portage State Park. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?