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Pyrola (Pyrola elliptica), also known as Shinleaf, is an evergreen perennial which is usually only noticed at this time of year, when it is flowering.  The flower is distinctive in that the style of the female pistil is proportionally far longer than in most flowers, and extends beyond the waxy, white petals.  There are several species of Pyrolas in New England, varying in leaf shape and flower color/arrangement.  All of them belong to the family Ericaceae, which includes blueberries and cranberries.  Look for this 4” – 12” plant in shady, damp woods and when you find one, peer up under the petals to see the orange-tipped stamens.

One response

  1. Susan MacKenzie

    Saw one today. Thanks for the info!

    July 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

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