Page author: David Giblin
Pyrola minor
lesser wintergreen, snowline wintergreen

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades in Washington; Alaska south to California, east to the Rocky Mountains; east across Canada and northern U.S. to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Uncommon, mostly in moist areas in coniferous woods, moderate to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial, glabrous herbs from slender rhizomes, the single, scapose stem 1-2 dm. tall.


Leaves basal, several, petiolate, the blades broadly elliptic to rotund, sub-cordate to rounded at the base, 1.5-3.5 cm. long, the margins with small, rounded teeth.


Flowers 5-20 in a crowded raceme, 5-7 mm. broad; calyx 5-lobed, pinkish; petals 5, distinct, pale pinkish to rose, about 3 mm. long; stamens 10, bent inward, the anthers without awns, inverted, opening by 2 pores on short tubes; style 1.2 mm. long, straight, without a collar, stigma 5-lobed; ovary superior.


Capsule 5-celled.

Accepted Name:
Pyrola minor L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 396. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Pyrola conferta Fisch. ex Cham. & Schlecht.
Pyrola minor L. var. parviflora B. Boivin
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Pyrola minor in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Pyrola minor checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Pyrola minor atlas page.

CalPhotos: Pyrola minor photos.

USDA Plants: Pyrola minor information.

18 photographs:
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