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Elliptic shineleaf Pyrola elliptica

Previously known as:

  • Pyrola compacta
Phonetic Spelling
py-ROH-luh ee-LIP-tih-kuh
Description

Pyrola elliptica is an evergreen wildflower that produces unbranched, six to ten-inch stalks that each bear 3 to 21 flowers.  The petals on the hanging/nodding flowers can be a waxy white, greenish-white or yellowish-green and may have greenish veins on the petals.  The basal leaves grow at the bottom of the plant.  

It can be found growing in mostly dry, sandy or loamy wooded areas and on shaded stream banks.  

Its common name, shinleaf, comes from the medicinal side of the plant.  A drug similar to aspirin is produced by the plant.  This drug has been reported to have analgesic properties and was used on bruised shins and other wounds. A plaster made from the leaves was called a shin plaster.  

It can be a difficult plant to grow.  The best growing condition would be to gather and use soil from an area where the plant is currently growing.  Division would be another means of propagation, again using soil as mention above.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#fragrant flowers#herb garden#NC native#native wildflower#wildflower garden#native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#fragrant flowers#herb garden#NC native#native wildflower#wildflower garden#native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pyrola
    Species:
    elliptica
    Family:
    Ericacea
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada to U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AZ, CT, DC, DE, IA, ID IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY
    Wildlife Value:
    Insects pollinate this plant
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a flattened round capsule.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small, nodding, waxy, fragrant greenish white flowers with five petals; long curving pistils
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dull, evergreen, elliptical, rounded-end leaves up to 3 in. The blade is longer than petiole. The leaves cluster in a rosette at ground level.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The 6-10" stalk has red stemlets and green veins. The stalks are unbranched.