shinleaf

(Pyrola elliptica)

Conservation Status
shinleaf
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  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

     
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4¼ to 10½

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

June to August

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  10/12/2019      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  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 (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Ericales (heathers, balsams, primroses, and allies)  
 

Family

Ericaceae (heath)  
  Subfamily Pyroloideae  
  Tribe Pyroleae  
 

Genus

Pyrola (shinleaf, wintergreen)  
       
 

Some authorities, including GRIN, place the tribe Pyroleae in the subfamily Monotropoideae. Others, including Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, place it in the subfamily Pyroloideae.

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

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

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, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

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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Luciearl

 
    shinleaf   shinleaf  
           
    shinleaf   shinleaf  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Plant

 
    shinleaf   shinleaf  
           
 

Inflorescence

 
    shinleaf      
           
 

Flower

 
    shinleaf      
           
 

Leaf

 
    shinleaf      
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Shinleaf
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Shinleaf  
 
About

Pyrola elliptica

 
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  MyNature Apps; Identifying Shinleaf, Pyrola elliptica
MyNatureApps
 
   
 
About

Aug 5, 2011

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

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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  Luciearl
7/10/2021

Location: Cass County

shinleaf  
           
 
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Created: 10/13/2019

Last Updated:

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