shinleaf

(Pyrola elliptica)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

shinleaf

 

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed
Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Habitat

Dry. Upland forests and woodlands. Acidic, nutrient poor, well-drained soil. Dappled sunlight.

Flowering

June to August

 
Flower Color

White

 
Height

4¼ to 10½

 
 
Identification

Shinleaf is a low growing, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a horizontal underground stem (rhizome). It occurs across northern United States and southern Canada, and in Arizona and New Mexico. It is common in Minnesota. It grows in acidic, nutrient-poor, well-drained soil in moist areas of upland forests and woodlands.

The stem is 4¼ to 10½ tall, erect, hairless and unbranched.

The leaves are ½ to 3 long and 7 16 to 2¼ wide. They are alternate but are clustered at the base of the stem and appear almost basal. They are on ½ to 19 16 (12 to 40 mm) long leaf stalks (petioles). The petioles are hairless, channeled above, and as long or slightly shorter than the leaf blade. The leaf blades are broadly oval, widest in the middle and narrowing to both ends (elliptic), sometimes with nearly parallel sides (oblong). They are narrowly angled or tapered at the base and broadly pointed or rounded at the tip. The upper surface is dark green, shiny or dull, and hairless. The veins are not whitened. The lower surface is light green, dull, and hairless. The margins have tiny, inconspicuous teeth.

The inflorescence is an unbranched cluster (raceme) of usually 3 to 14 flowers, sometimes up to 21 flowers. Each flower hangs downward on a hairless, to 5 16 (3 to 8 mm) long flower stalk (pedicel). There is often no modified leaf (bract) at the base of the pedicel. Sometimes there are 1 or 2 bracts, rarely up to 4 bracts, subtending the pedicel. When present, the bracts are awl-shaped or narrowly lance-shaped and usually shorter than the pedicel that it subtends.

The flowers are ¼ to wide and broadly bell-shaped. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 10 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are triangular, very short, and fused at the base. They are green or pinkish with thin, translucent (membranous) margins. The petals are white to greenish-white, inversely egg-shaped (widest at the tip), ¼ to (6 to 10 mm) long, and to ¼ (3 to 5.5 mm) wide. The stamens have white, to ¼ (4 to 6 mm) long stalks (filaments) and orange anthers. The style is pale green, 3 16 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm) long, curved, and conspicuously protrudes below the corolla.

The fruit is a flattened globe-shaped, to 3 16 (3 to 5 mm) long, to ¼ (3.3 to 6.6 mm) wide seed capsule. The sepals and style persist with the fruit.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.

 
Comments

Taxonomy
The genus Pyrola was formerly placed in the family Pyrolaceae. In 2002, Pyrolaceae and four other families were placed in the heath family (Ericaceae).

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Ericaceae (heath)

 

Subfamily:

Pyroloideae

 

Tribe:

Pyroleae

 
Synonyms

Pyrola compacta

 
Common
Names

elliptic shin-leaf

elliptic shinleaf

large-leaved shineleaf

 

shinleaf

waxflower shinleaf

wild lily-of-the-valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

Pedicel

In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower

       
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Plant

  shinleaf   shinleaf
       

Inflorescence

  shinleaf    
       

Flower

  shinleaf    
       

Leaf

  shinleaf    
       

 

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  Shinleaf
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Shinleaf  
 
About

Pyrola elliptica

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  MyNature Apps; Identifying Shinleaf, Pyrola elliptica
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About

Aug 5, 2011

How to identify Shinleaf, Pyrola elliptica also known as White Wintergreen. www.mynatureapps.com

   
       

 

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Created: 10/13/2019

Last Updated:

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