Perennial herb from slender rhizomes; sterile shoots with several, or a rosette of, leaves; flowering stems 1 to several, 10-30 cm tall, with several lance-shaped bracts.
Sometimes leafless; usually with at least a few basal leaves, evergreen, leathery, elliptic to egg-shaped (or oblanceolate), the blades 2-7 cm long, pointed or rounded at the tip, blunt to pointed at the base, entire to minutely-toothed, upper surfaces often dark green and greyish-mottled along the main veins, sometimes pale green and not mottled, lower surfaces often purple, sometimes bluish-waxy when young; stalks to 7 cm long.
Inflorescence a 5- to 25-flowered terminal raceme, the flowers about 1 cm wide, weakly bilaterally symmetric; flower stalks spreading, 4-10 mm long, from linear to lanceolate bracts less than length of stalks; corollas open, the petals yellowish or greenish-white to purplish, oval to egg-shaped, 6-8 mm long; sepals green to reddish, triangular to egg-shaped, about 2 mm long, tips pointed; anthers 2-5.5 mm long, sharp-pointed on the lower tips, pores on the sides of short tubes; styles declined, curved, about 10 mm long.
Capsules, globe-shaped, up to 5 mm wide.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BWBS(12), CWH(154), ESSF(4), ICH(112), IDF(59), MH(2), MS(20), SBS(4)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Pyrola aphylla var. leptosepala Nutt.
Pyrola aphylla var. paucifolia T.J. Howell
Pyrola blanda Andres
Pyrola conardiana Andres
Pyrola dentata Sm.
Pyrola dentata var. apophylla Copeland
Pyrola dentata var. integra Gray
Pyrola pallida Greene
Pyrola paradoxa Andres
Pyrola picta subsp. dentata (Sm.) Piper
Pyrola picta subsp. integra (Gray) Piper
Pyrola picta subsp. pallida Andres
Pyrola picta var. dentata (Sm.) Dorn
Pyrola septentrionalis Andres
Pyrola sparsifolia Suksd.