Paul Smiths VIC -- Heron Marsh (28 June 2012)

Adirondack Wildflowers:
One-sided Pyrola (Orthilia secunda)

Paul Smiths VIC -- Adirondack Wildflowers | One-sided Pyrola in bloom (28 June 2012) Adirondack Wildflowers: One-sided Pyrola in bloom on 28 June 2012 at the Paul Smiths VIC.

This page is no longer being updated.  For an updated and expanded version of this material, see: One-sided Wintergreen (Orthilia secunda)

One-sided Pyrola is a native Adirondack wildflower which blooms in early summer. One-sided Pyrola is a small, evergreen perennial. The flowers of the One-sided Pyrola dangle from a single unbranched stem which is 4-8 inches high. Each greenish-white flower is about 5/16 inch wide with a protruding straight style. The leaves are elliptical and rather glossy. The fruit consists of spherical, 5-chambered, nodding capsules, which develop in late summer.

One-sided Pyrola is the sole species in the genus Orthilia. The common name of the plant reflects the fact that it was once included in Pyrola -- a larger genus of species that inhabit damp woods. The plant is also referred to as One-sided Shinleaf, Sidebells Wintergreen, and One-sided Wintergreen. The name "wintergreen" refers to the fact that the leaves remain green throughout the winter.

One-sided Pyrola grows in moist coniferous woods in the Adirondack Mountains and throughout the north woods region. Its distribution includes much of Canada and also the eastern US and northern Mexico. This species is also found in Eurasia. The leaves of the plant have reportedly been used as a tea. In addition, some native American tribes are said to have used a strong decoction of the root as an eyewash.

One-sided Pyrola can be found on the Heron Marsh Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC. It usually begins blooming in late June or early July at the VIC.


Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.