FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Pyrola elliptica

Pyrola elliptica Nutt.

Pyrola compacta Jennings

Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyPyrolaceaeIncludes at least Chimaphila, Moneses, Orthilia, and Pyrola, and sometimes several genera usually placed in the family Monotropaceae
GenusPyrolaPear-like, from the Latin diminutive of Pyrus, meaning “pear,” for the pear-like leaf shape, and a genus commonly called shinleaf or wintergreen
SpeciesellipticaElliptical, about twice as long as wide

About plant names...

Shinleaf is native to temperate regions of North America. It prefers shaded woods and stream banks, especially under hardwoods.

Plants: Leaf clusters are low-lying, only 1½-3" (4-8 cm) tall, while flower stalks reach 4-10" (10-25 cm). Usually there is a single flower stalk; occasionally there are two.

Leaves: Leaves emerge in a basal rosette. They are dull, oval, 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long and ½-2" (1.5-5 cm) wide. Leaf edges are very slightly scalloped. The leaves are so low that they are often overtopped by leaves from surrounding plants. Leaf stalks (petioles) are shorter than the leaf blades.

Flowers: On flower spikes (racemes) with 3 to 21 hanging flowers. Each flower is white or greenish-white, ¼-½" (8.3-12 mm) around, with five rounded petals. Petals sometimes have green veins. There are a cluster of orange-tipped stamens, and a green pistil which extends well beyond the flower. At the base of each flower are five sepals, forming a green star. Flowers appear from June to August.

Fruits: A flattened round dry capsule ¼" (6.3 mm) around.

Medical: Leaves of plants in this genus contain an aspirin-like compound that has been used to make a poultice to treat bruises and wounds. The poultice, called shinplaster, is the source of the common name “shinleaf.”

 

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

6/30/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 7 × 8" (18 × 21 cm)

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 10" (16 × 25 cm)

Here are some similar species:
 
Pyrola americana
You are here
Pyrola elliptica

Chimaphila maculata
Common Name

Rounded Shinleaf

Pyrola

Spotted Wintergreen
Plant Leaf clusters are low-lying, only 1½-2" (4-6 cm) tall, while flower stalks reach up to 12" (30 cm). Leaf clusters are low-lying, only 1½-3" (4-8 cm) tall, arranged in basal rosettes. Flower stalks reach 4-10" (10-25 cm). Usually there is a single flower stalk; occasionally there are two. A low-growing plant (about 9" (22 cm)) that inhabits forest floors.
Flowers On flower spikes (racemes) with 3 to 22 hanging flowers. Each flower is white, cream-colored, or pink or rarely red, ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, with five round petals. There are 10 yellow or brown-tipped stamens, and a green pistil which extends well beyond the flower. On flower spikes (racemes) with 3 to 21 hanging flowers. Each flower is white or greenish-white, ¼-½" (8.3-12 mm) around, with five rounded petals. Petals sometimes have green veins. There are a cluster of orange-tipped stamens, and a green pistil which extends well beyond the flower. At the base of each flower are five sepals, forming a green star. Flowers appear from June to August. Nodding white flowers about ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) across appear on red-brown stalks. Each stalk is tipped by 2-5 curving stems, each holding a downward-hanging flower. Each flower has 5 white petals, 5 light green sepals, ten stamens, and a green pistil. Flowers appear from late spring to early summer.
Leaves Leaves emerge from the base of the plant, in a basal rosette. They are quite round, or sometimes egg-shaped, and shiny, with a vein structure that makes them look pleated or rippled. Leaf edges are very slightly scalloped. Leaves are 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) around. Leaves emerge in a basal rosette from the base of the plant. They are dull, oval, 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long and ½-2" (1.5-5 cm) wide. Leaf edges are very slightly scalloped. The leaves are so low that they are often overtopped by leaves from surrounding plants. Leaf stalks are shorter than the leaf blades. Thick, low-lying, leathery, waxy-looking leaves are dark blue-green when mature, much lighter when young. They have a prominent central white vein that branches out on larger leaves. The leaves are about 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long and ¼-1" (6.3-25 mm) wide. In the winter, the evergreen leaves turn purple. Leaf margins are dentate, with shallow, widely spaced teeth.
Fruit A dry capsule ¹/₁₆-⅛" (3-3.5 mm) around. A flattened round dry capsule ¼" (6.3 mm) around. Seed capsules that eventually dry and split, releasing tiny seeds.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Moist forests at elevations below 1.3 mi (2.1 km). Shaded woods and stream banks, especially under hardwoods. Forest floors with medium shade and medium to dry moisture levels.
Type Wild Wild Wild

 

Online References:

Pyrola elliptica on wildadirondacks.org

Pyrola elliptica at Minnesota Wildflowers

Pyrola elliptica on www.adirondackvic.org

Pyrola elliptica at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Pyrola elliptica on wisflora.herbarium.wisc.edu

Pyrola elliptica on eFloras

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 364

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 22 cm)

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Pyrola elliptica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Aug 2019.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

6/30/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 7 × 8" (16 × 19 cm)

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

6/30/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 6 × 6" (15 × 15 cm)

Pyrola elliptica (Pyrola, Shinleaf, Common Shinleaf)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 10" (23 × 26 cm)

Range:

About this map...