Bog Wintergreen – Flowers

(Pyrola uliginosa) Wintergreen family (P. rotundifolia, var. uliginosa of Gray)

Flowers–Magenta pink, fragrant, about in. across, 7 to 15 on a leafless scape 6 to 15 in. high. Calyx 5-parted ; 5 concave petals; 10 stamens; style curved upward, exserted. Leaves: From the root, broadly oval or round, rather thick and dull, on petioles.

Preferred Habitat—Swamps and bogs.

Flowering Season—June.

Distribution—Nova Scotia to British Columbia, southward to New York and Colorado.

Fragrant colonies of this little plant cuddled close to the moss of cool, northern peat bogs draw forth our admiration when we go orchid hunting in early summer. A similar species, the Liver-leaf Wintergreen (P. asarifolia), with shining, not dull, leaves and rose-colored flowers, not to mention minor differences, is likewise found in swamps and wet woods. These two wintergreens, formerly counted mere varieties of the white-flowered rotundifolia, a lover of dry woods, have now been given specific individuality by later-day systematists. Short-lipped bees and flies may be detected in the act of applying their mouths to the orifices of the anthers through which pollen is shed, and some must be carried to the stigma of another flower.