liverleaf wintergreen

(Pyrola asarifolia ssp. asarifolia)

Conservation Status
liverleaf wintergreen
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland


Liverleaf wintergreen, also called pink pyrola, is common, low-growing, late spring wildflower. It occurs throughout Canada. In the United States it occurs in the northeast, in the upper Midwest, and throughout the west. In Minnesota it is common in the northeast and north-central regions, less common in the northwest, central, and metro regions, and mostly absent from the remainder of the state. It is found in deciduous and coniferous forests, swamps, bogs, and peatlands, and on stream banks. It grows in moist soil. It blooms from June to July, peaking the first week of July.

Liverleaf wintergreen is a 6 to 12 (1.5 to 3.0 dm) tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single aerial stem from a shallow, horizontal, underground stem (rhizome). The rhizome is slender, long, and branching. The stem is very short, erect, unbranched, and hairless.

The leaves are crowded and form a radiating cluster (rosette) in the spring. They are consistently described in the literature as “nearly basal” after Gleason and Cronquist (1991). This suggests that they are clustered along the plant’s very short solitary stem. Each leaf is on a to 2916 (15 to 65 mm) long stalk (petiole). The petiole is hairless, channeled above, and usually as long as the leaf blade.

The leaf blades may be round, kidney-shaped, egg-shaped (widest near the base), or elliptic (widest in the middle). They are 1 to 2¾ (24 to 71 mm) long, ½ to 2 (13 to 49 mm) wide, rounded to tapered at the base, and broadly or narrowly angled at the tip. They are leathery in dry habitats, soft in moist habitats. The upper surface is dark green, shiny, and hairless. The lower surface is lighter green and somewhat purplish, dull, and hairless. The margins are untoothed or have shallow, rounded teeth.

The inflorescence is a loose, unbranched cluster (raceme) of 4 to 25 flowers on the upper half of a 6 to 12 (1.5 to 3.0 dm) long inflorescence stalk (peduncle). The peduncle is unbranched and hairless. It has 1 to 3 small, scale-like leaves (bracts). The bracts are egg-shaped, ¼ to (7 to 16 mm) long, to 316 (2.5 to 5 mm) wide. Each flower nods downward at the end of a to 5 16 (4 to 8 mm) long flower stalk (pedicel). At the base of each pedicel there is a linear lance-shaped bractlet. The bractlet is usually as long or longer than the pedicel it subtends.

The flowers are to (10 to 15 mm) wide. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 10 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals (together the calyx) are green and are fused at the base then separated into 5 triangular, 116 to (1.4 to 3.5 mm) long lobes with narrowly pointed or tapered tips. The margins are whitish or pinkish with thin, translucent (membranous) margins. The petals are widely spreading, inversely egg-shaped (widest at the tip) to round, 316 to (4.8 to 9.1 mm) long, and to ¼ (2.9 to 6.0 mm) wide. They are white or pinkish at the base, rose-red or purplish-red at the tips. The stamens do not protrude beyond the petals. The style is pale green, long, and curved, and conspicuously protrudes below the corolla.

The fruit is a flattened globe-shaped, to 3 16 (4 to 5 mm) long, ¼ to 516 (6 to 8 mm) wide seed capsule. The sepals and style persist with the fruit.




6 to 12 (1.5 to 3.0 dm)


Flower Color


White or pink to purplish-red


Similar Species


Moist to dry. Deciduous and coniferous forests, swamps, bogs, peatlands, stream banks.




June to July


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Ericales (heathers, balsams, primroses, and allies)  


Ericaceae (heath)  
  Subfamily Pyroloideae  
  Tribe Pyroleae  


Pyrola (wintergreens)  
  Species Pyrola asarifolia (bog wintergreen)  

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

Some authorities, including GRIN, place the tribe Pyroleae in the subfamily Monotropoideae. Others place it in the subfamily Pyroloideae. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, which should be the last word on naming of North American plants, places Pyroleae in the subfamily Pyroloideae.


Subordinate Taxa






Pyrola asarifolia var. incarnata

Pyrola asarifolia var. ovata

Pyrola asarifolia var. purpurea

Pyrola californica

Pyrola cordata

Pyrola elata

Pyrola rotundifolia ssp. asarifolia

Pyrola rotundifolia var. asarifolia

Pyrola uliginosa

Pyrola uliginosa var. gracilis


Common Names


bog wintergreen

liverleaf wintergreen

pink pyrola

pink wintergreen












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



A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it; bracteole.



The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube. Plural: calyces.



Narrowly oval, broadest at the middle, narrower at both ends, with the ends being equal.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antennae. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



In angiosperms, the stalk of a single flower or a flower cluster; in club mosses, the stalk of a strobilus or a group of strobili.



On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.



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



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



On plants: An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster. On insects: The basal segment of the antenna.



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



Extending nearly horizontal.

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Other Videos
  Pyrola asarifolia
Kawasaki FMG

Aug 19, 2018

  [E] Pyrola asarifolia / 紅花一薬草(ベニバナイチヤクソウ )\
North Local Tube

Jul 2, 2018

ツツジ科 / Ericaceae イチヤクソウ属 / Pyrola
🚑〔Medicinal〕It seems to become beriberi and diuretic.
🌏 本州中部以北~北海道、朝鮮、中国東北部、カムチャツカ、シベリア、アラスカ




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Location: Fairview Twp

liverleaf wintergreen  

Location: Cass County

liverleaf wintergreen  

Location: Cass County

liverleaf wintergreen  




Created: 10/29/2020

Last Updated:

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