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Friday, August 10, 2012

Pyrola- Which One?

Well, I thought I was going to be all smart and tell you exactly what plant this is. As it turns out, I'll tell you the genus, but don't quite dare pick the particular species.

It's connected to yesterday's plant because I want you to notice how similar the seed pod is. So we'll do that first. If you didn't see yesterday's post, just scroll down and take a look.


This is a plant that Marie and I found on our little hike at Esopus Creek Nature Preserve in May. It REALLY fooled me. I couldn't figure it out at all, because I didn't recognize the buds.


So, with some research, I've verified that it's a Pyrola. This is another genus of plants that sometimes gets called wintergreen. Who knew? I've never heard it called that!

Here are the leaves.


The most common plant in the genus is Shinleaf (P. elliptica), but I don't think the leaves are right for that. The leaves look more like Round-leaved Pyrola (P. rotundifolia), but it seems too small for that. There are choices for smaller plants, but I've never seen them, and think I'd need the flowers to be certain of the ID.

I have pictures of the flowers of Shinleaf somewhere. I'll see if I can find them for another day. You'll never guess what they look like from studying these buds!

If there are any lurking Pyrola experts, please weigh in!

See Spotted Wintergreen
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john bain said...

We live and learn don't we? I saw a little butterfly I didn't recognise yesterday. It turns out to be quite common.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Not an expert on Pyrola (wintergreen) but I have to agree it looks like our rotundifolia it's quite scarce here, it grows at Ainsdale nearest to me and other odd spots not a big plant average height about 18 inches - as you say the flowers will tell all, it has a curved style which always reminds me of a tongue.

Ann said...

Well at least you can identify the genus. That's more than I could do

jeanlivingsimple said...

I love plant mysteries. It is great that you found the ID!

Sharkbytes said...

John- I think there are always discoveries that have been in plain sight all along!

Carol- the height is one of my problems. These were more like 6 inches high.

Ann- Now I'll recognize the buds!

Jean- still working on the exact species.

wiseacre said...

LOL, I think I have photos somewhere.

I just started to organize and delete photos from '09 to the present. A couple 1000 down and only about 4,000 more photos to go. Storing photo by date was a big mistake.

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