E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Pyrola grandiflora Radius
arctic wintergreen (largeflowered wintergreen)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)
(Previously in Pyrolaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23929)

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Distribution of Pyrola grandiflora
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from slender rhizome; flowering stems 5-25 cm tall, single.
Evergreen, basal, leathery, lustrous, oval to egg-shaped or circular, the blades 1-4.5 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, from nearly heart-shaped to blunt, rounded, or pointed at base, blunt to rounded at tip, nearly entire to toothed or undulating on margin, green above, often reddish beneath, often whitened along the veins; stalks 1-8 cm long.
Inflorescence a 4- to 11-flowered terminal, cylindric raceme, with dry, brown, membranous, broadly lanceolate bracts, the flowers weakly bilaterally symmetric; flower stalks 2-8 mm long; petals broadly rounded, creamy white with some pink, 7-12 mm long; sepals petal-like, purplish with irregular, membranous margins, elliptic-oblong, 2-4 mm long, distinctly veined; anthers about 2 mm long, rounded and rather blunt at the base, yellow to pink, the pores on very short tubes; filaments slender, almost thread-like at the summit; styles up to 6 mm long at maturity, bent at the base, with a collar below the stigma.
Capsules, globe-shaped, about 6 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist heath, turfy tundra, thickets, and mossy forests in the montane to alpine zones; infrequent in N BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT, and NT and E to NF; N Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Pyrola grandiflora

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 7 1014 2080
Slope Gradient (%) 0 11 91
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 239 356
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(7), BWBS(10), CWH(1), ESSF(9), ICH(12), IDF(2), SBPS(9), SBS(16), SWB(8)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Pyrola borealis Rydb.
Pyrola canadensis Andres
Pyrola gormanii Rydb.
Pyrola grandiflora var. canadensis (Andres) Porsild
Pyrola grandiflora var. gormanii Rydb.
Pyrola occidentalis R. Br. ex D. Don

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References