Pyrola asarifolia (Pink Pyrola)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Ericaceae (Heath)
Life cycle:perennial
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):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

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

[photo of flowers] 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: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] 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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More photos

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?

Posted by: Gretchen NW of Pelican Rapids - Ottertail County
on: 2011-10-03 20:56:56

We own 20 acres in Scambler Township and these sweet little plants are all over. I have some incredible photos. More true pink than your pics, and loaded with waxy flowers. What a delight!

Posted by: Ken - Banning State Park
on: 2012-06-15 18:56:35

Along spur from Quarry Trail to the Hell's Gate rapids

Posted by: Carole - Scenic State Park, Bigfork MN
on: 2012-06-23 09:33:07

In bloom on June 14 2012.

Posted by: Melody - Brook Park, Kanabec County
on: 2016-06-10 09:52:20

Happy to have identified this patch at the edge of the woods.

Posted by: Marisa - Lake County
on: 2017-07-05 14:41:28

Spotted 8-10 plants with lots of flowers. At first I thought it was just a color variation of shinleaf, so glad to ID it on your site as a separate species. Thanks!

Posted by: Maria kaefer - Along the temperence river
on: 2019-07-05 10:41:45

Beautiful first time seeing it thanks to this site for helping me identify

Posted by: Jane Johnson - Tofte
on: 2019-07-16 12:40:25

So pretty - several plants at the end of our road

Posted by: Kelly Blackledge - Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, ROCHERT, MN
on: 2021-06-25 18:25:30

Several patches of this aka Bog Wintergreen on Tamarac Refuge. Often blooming next to yellow and showy lady slippers.

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