A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Sidebells (Pyrola secunda)

Union Creek Trail,  William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

Union Creek Trail, William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

Although perhaps the least showy of the pyrolas, the tell-tale curved stalk is endearing when repeated in a grouping, explaining it’s common name of sidebells or one-sided wintergreen.    The “flowers” are greenish bells that one rarely  sees open; more often as pea-shaped buds.  What does make them stand out is their “one-sidedness.”  All of the ten-plus flowers on each stock appear on the same side of the stem, causing the stem to nod to that side.   Common in west side forests and sometimes forms a ground-cover.   Said to have a pleasing fragrance (although we keep forgetting to smell it).  It’s leaves without the flower, resemble those of Moneses uniflora, a close cousin not technically in the pyrola genus.

Union Creek Trail,  William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

Union Creek Trail, William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

IMG_6998

Sturgil Landing Trail, Skagway, AK, 8/2017.

One response

  1. Hi T & T … this is such a beautiful little plant. In Alberta it’s usually called one-sided wintergreen but “sidebells” sounds so much prettier. Keeping up with scientific names is a never-ending chase, especially for plants — my recent sources refer to it as “Orthilia pyrola”, so I’m scribbling that into my field guides. The pyrolas have bounced around a lot it seems … https://thelensandi.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/whats-in-a-name/

    September 17, 2017 at 8:02 am

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