Orthilia secunda (One-sided Pyrola)

Plant Info
Also known as: One-sided Shinleaf, One-sided Wintergreen, Sidebells Wintergreen
Family:Ericaceae (Heath)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; moist forests, bogs
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:3 to 8 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FAC NCNE: FAC
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: bell Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] A raceme of 3 to 25 flowers on short stalks hanging from 1 side of the arcing stem at the top of the plant. Flowers are about ¼ inch long, creamy white to greenish white, urn-shaped, with several creamy-tipped stamens and a long, stout green style protruding from the center. There is often a scale-like leafy bract where the flower stalk attaches to the stem.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf attachment: whorl Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are basal or nearly so, whorled or nearly so,  ½ to 2 inches long, ¼ to 1¼ inches wide, generally egg-shaped with a softly pointed tip, hairless, toothless or finely toothed around the edges, on stalks up to ¾ inch long. The upper surface is typically a bit shiny. The flowering stem is smooth and may be green or tinged red.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a flattened globular capsule about ¼ inch in diameter, the long style persisting even after the fruit dries. The stem elongates and becomes erect as fruit develops. The dried fruit persists to the next season.


One-sided Pyrola is fairly common but may go unnoticed due to its diminutive size. It prefers the mossy floor of forests and bogs. It may form small colonies, spreading via rhizomes.

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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: Sherrie - property on Cedar Lake outside of Ely MN
on: 2015-08-26 11:25:07

Have photos so identification can be verified.

Posted by: Brett W - Sherburne County
on: 2021-08-04 20:02:30

Labeling the photo I took as this in Kunkel State WMA. Growing along the edge of large planted pines. Looks to be one sided, leaves are very similar.

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