Pyrola?

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vanachterberg
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Joined: 2009-10-06
Pyrola?

I found this on a rather steep north-facing shaded slope above a brook on my Connecticut property. The two-toned waxy leaves and flowering stalk (now going to seed) look like a Pyrola picta, but since that plant is native to the western U.S., never tried by me--and this is in the wild part of the property, never gardened--could it be Pyrola rotundifolia? My plant's basal leaves are much nicer than any picture I have seen of P. rotundifolia.
Barbara van Achterberg

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I'm not familiar with Pyrola rotundifolia (doesn't occur here) but, if it's helpful, this site notes that the leaves often have lighter veins, as your plant does:
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/pyrolaamer.html

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Pyrola rotundifolia is common here (in Norway), it has relatively huge flowers and the style is long and S-shaped. The form of the leaves are like your plant but I have never seen such yellow veins. The leaves of your plant are very decorative!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

Pyrola rotundifolia also occurs in Newfoundland but I've never noticed such veined leaves on ours either.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

vanachterberg
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-10-06

Thanks, everyone.  Too bad I have only one plant, as the experts tell me that the leaves are so decorative. Maybe I'll be able to collect some--not all--of its seed.
Barbara van Achterberg, finally retired with more time to garden!

Kelaidis
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

I believe the commoner Pyrola in the east is P. elliptica. There is also a beautifully mottled Pyrola maculata which is common in parts of the Southeast. Your plant somehow suggests and intermediate of these to me.

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Allison
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Joined: 2010-04-08

Sorry to be so late responding to your post! I didn't look at the mystery plants until today. Anyway, your pyrola is most likely P. virens, although P. minor can look similar. P. minor is smaller and the veins on the leaves are more often white than yellow. The flowers of P. rotundifolia and P. elliptica are white with touches of pink, and much larger. All the pyrolas native to Eastern Canada seem to me to be a lot like the orchids - delightful when you find them, but not easy to make happy in cultivation. The pyrolas seem to need very specialized conditions, probably some sort of soil fungii, to be healthy. I have lots of plants of P. rotundifolia, P. elliptica, P. secunda, Monesis uniflora (I know, but it looks so much like a pyrola) and P. minor, but most years only a few of them bloom.

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Lis wrote:

Sorry to be so late responding to your post! I didn't look at the mystery plants until today. Anyway, your pyrola is most likely P. virens, although P. minor can look similar. P. minor is smaller and the veins on the leaves are more often white than yellow. The flowers of P. rotundifolia and P. elliptica are white with touches of pink, and much larger. All the pyrolas native to Eastern Canada seem to me to be a lot like the orchids - delightful when you find them, but not easy to make happy in cultivation. The pyrolas seem to need very specialized conditions, probably some sort of soil fungii, to be healthy. I have lots of plants of P. rotundifolia, P. elliptica, P. secunda, Monesis uniflora (I know, but it looks so much like a pyrola) and P. minor, but most years only a few of them bloom.

Interesting, Lis.
Do you transplant the Pyrolas from the woods (How do you do that - I think they are parasitic of mycelia?) or have you used seed? I have tried to move plants a few times but they never survive more than a year.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Allison
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Joined: 2010-04-08

Hoy wrote:

Interesting, Lis.
Do you transplant the Pyrolas from the woods (How do you do that - I think they are parasitic of mycelia?) or have you used seed? I have tried to move plants a few times but they never survive more than a year.

I don't fully understand the Pyrolas, but then I gather the scientists don't either. Pretty clear they use soil fungi in some way, but it's not known just how dependent they are.

I haven't had any trouble moving P. rotundifolia, asarifolia, minor or secunda, maybe because they grow here naturally. All I did was dig some from the back of my property and put them nearer the garden. They seem to like damp shady spots and sandy soil. I tried to move a piece of P. virens but it didn't take. I am going to try again but this time I will treat it as a cutting. A thing about the pyrolas and their kin is that what you see is usually all one large plant. The individual rosettes are all attached, even those 10 feet away.

Moneses uniflora is very easy, grows from seed easily.

Some recent name changes: P. secunda is now Orthillia secunda, P. chlorantha is a synonym of P. virens, and P. americana is now considered a sub-species of P. rotundifilia. If I have it straight!

I'd love to get P. grandiflora. Anybody have seeds?

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Lis, maybe I can get seeds from Pyrola norvegica which now is regarded as a form of P. grandiflora. But not this fall, the woods where they grow are covered by snow. Though I have to wait till next spring and look for overwintered capsules or even till next fall. 

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Allison
Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

Hoy wrote:

Lis, maybe I can get seeds from Pyrola norvegica which now is regarded as a form of P. grandiflora. But not this fall, the woods where they grow are covered by snow. Though I have to wait till next spring and look for overwintered capsules or even till next fall. 

That would be wonderful!
]
]Cheers,
Lis

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

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