Pyrola asarifolia (Pink Pyrola)
|Also known as:
|part shade, shade, sun; dry to wet soil; woods, bogs, swamps, talus slopes, bluffs
|June - July
|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 have 5 roundish petals 1/6 to 3/8 inch (4.8 to 9.1 mm) long, the edges often curled down. Color is pink to purple or white at the base with pink to purple edging; flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across when fully open. 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. The calyx cupping the flower has 5 lobes that are triangular to egg-shaped, half to nearly as wide as long, less than half as long as the petals. At the base of a flower stalk is a papery bract, oblong to narrowly egg-shaped, usually as long as or longer than the stalk, occasionally shorter.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are basal, leathery, 1 to ~3 inches (24 to 71 mm) long, round to kidney shaped, often wider than long, the blade typically shorter than the leaf stalk, rounded to blunt at the tip, hairless, toothless or obscurely scalloped around the edges. The upper surface is very shiny. Flowering stems are smooth and may have a few scale-like leaves below the flower cluster.
Pink Pyrola is about as prevalent in Minnesota as Shinleaf (Pyrola elliptica). Typically Pink Pyrola is found on moister sites than the other Pyrolas, in swamps and bogs as well as along lake shores and wet meadow woodlines, though occasionally it is found on drier sites. It can't be easily confused with any other Pyrola since it is the only Pink Pyrola in Minnesota, and when not flowering, the shiny round to kidney-shaped leaves should be distinctive enough for a positive ID. There are two recognized subspecies: subsp. bracteata, limited to western North America, has leaves usually egg-shaped to elliptic with sharp tooth-like projections around the edges (dentate); subsp. asarifolia, found throughout Canada and the northern and western US including Minnesota, has leaves elliptic to round to kidney-shaped that are toothless or have minutely scalloped edging.
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- Pink Pyrola plant
- Pink Pyrola plants
- Pink Pyrola in a mesic woods
- Pink Pyrola in a bog
- Pink Pyrola with Wild Strawberry
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Savanna Portage State Park, Aitkin County, and in Cook and Hubbard counties. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin and Becker counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?