A family of shrubs or herbs having perfect and usually regular flowers, with four or five petals and the same number, or twice as many, stamens.
Divided into three sub-families, the Pyrola (Pyrol-oideae), the Indian Pipe (Monotropoideae) and the Heath (Ericoideae).
Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila Macula-Ta) is a very handsome plant that we often come across in our rambles through rich woodland. It is a species one cannot mistake, for no other is like it. The stalk, that rises from 3 to 9 inches high, is of a ruddy color; the leaves are thick, smooth, irregularly toothed, lance-shaped, pointed and with conspicuous whitish streaks following the veins. In July and August, it bears one to five nodding flowers on long, erect peduncles above the topmost whorl of leaves; the five rosy or cream-colored petals have a frail, translucent, waxy appearance that characterizes members of this sub-family.
A. Spotted Wintergreen.
B. Pipsissewa; Prince's Pine.
As would be imagined from its name, the leaves of this species remain on the plant through the winter. Because of this fact and their beauty, they are in demand for, and make excellent plants in ferneries. It ranges from Me., Ontario and Minn, southward to Ga. and Miss.
Pipsissewa; Prince's Pine (Chimaphila Umbel Lata) grows in similar localities and is generally more common than the last. Its leaves are usually in two whorls about the brownish stem; they are bright shining green, toothed, unspotted, pointed, but broadened towards the end. The flowers are similar to the last and are in a loose 2 to 8-flowered umbel. The style is very short, with a five-parted gummy stigma; the ten stamens have double, purplish anthers. This species is found from N. S. to Ga. and west to the Pacific Coast.
A. Shin-leaf. Pyrola elliptica. B. One-flowered Pyrola. Pyrola uniflora. C. Indian Pipe. Monotropa uniflora.
Shin-Leaf (Pyrola Elliptica) is the most common of the Pyrolas. During the greater part of the year it is composed of a tuft of thin leaves, almost prostrate on the ground. The evergreen leaves are bright green, obscurely toothed, broadly elliptical and' narrowing into long stems that clasp at the base. During May a long, smooth scape springs from the middle of the group of basal leaves to a height of 5 to 10 inches, bearing near its top a raceme of many buds; during June and July, these buds expand into nodding flowers; each has five waxy-white petals, a small, five-parted, green calyx and a long curving pistil.
The name Shin-leaf was applied because the leaves were formerly used for, and supposed to cure, sores or bruises. It is common throughout the United States and southern Canada.