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Pyrola asarifolia
Pyrola asarifolia subspecies asarifolia.  Synonyms: Pyrola rotundifolia subspecies asarifolia (Pink Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola)
Ericaceae 
(Heath Family)

Montane, subalpine. Boggy woodlands, meadows, and streambanks. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005.

These lovely Pyrolas can be obscured by grasses in boggy meadows (as in this photograph) or be very obvious at the side of the trail in moist open forests (bottom photographs).  Pyrola asarifolia grows to 15 inches tall and spreads in large colonies.  It is usually the large, shiny green, thick mat of  leaves that first catches our attention.

Because of the resemblance of the basal leaves of this genus to the leaves of a Pear Tree, Linnaeus gave it the name "Pyrola", a diminutive of "Pyrus", the Pear Tree.  The species, P. rotundifolia was first named Pyrola asarifolia by Andre Michaux in 1803 from a specimen he collected in North America. William Jackson Hooker renamed the plant P. rotundifolia variety asarifolia in his 1834 Flora Boreali-Americana. (Click the title to read.)

Pyrola asarifolia

Pyrola asarifolia

Pyrola asarifolia

Pyrola asarifolia subspecies asarifolia.  Synonyms: Pyrola rotundifolia subspecies asarifolia(Pink Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola)
Ericaceae  (Heath Family)

Montane, subalpine. Boggy woodlands, meadows, and streambanks. Summer.
Winter Trail, July 9, 2009, Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005, and Woods Lake Trail, July 21, 2009.

Pyrola asarifolia

Pyrola asarifolia

Pyrola asarifolia subspecies asarifolia.  Synonyms: Pyrola rotundifolia subspecies asarifolia(Pink Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola)
Ericaceae  (Heath Family)

Montane, subalpine. Boggy woodlands, meadows, and streambanks. Summer.
Ice Lakes Trail, September 2, 2005.

Pyrola asarifolia seed pods are lovely works of art in themselves. Late in the season seed pods show their Elephant trunks (the styles) and then these styles fall away and green, furrowed seed pods swell. And all the while the leaves stay green.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Pyrola asarifolia