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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Ericaceae | Orthilia

1. Orthilia secunda (Linnaeus) House, Amer. Midl. Naturalist. 7: 134. 1921.

Pyrola secunda Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 396. 1753; Orthilia secunda subsp. obtusata (Turczaninow) Böcher; O. secunda var. obtusata (Turczaninow) House; P. secunda subsp. obtusata (Turczaninow) Hultén; P. secunda var. obtusata Turczaninow

Plants rhizomatous, 1.2-2.7 (-3.3) dm. Leaves: petiole 4-20 mm, channeled adaxially, glabrous; blade dull and light green abaxially, shiny and green adaxially, (10-)20-47(-58) × 7-28(-35) mm, base rounded to acute, apex rounded to acute. Inflorescences (2-)3-29-flowered; peduncle 10-20(-25) cm, peduncular bracts absent or 2-7, subulate to narrowly or broadly lanceolate, 3-9 × 1-2 mm, membranous, margins entire or erose-denticulate; inflorescence bracts subulate to lanceolate-ovate or narrowly ovate, ca. as long as pedicels they subtend, 4-9 × 0.4-1.8 mm, herbaceous. Pedicels (1-)3-7(-9) mm. Flowers: calyx lobes appressed or spreading in fruit, entirely green or margins hyaline to white or pinkish, 0.5-1.5 × 0.5-1.3 mm, margins erose-denticulate, sometimes obscurely so, apex rounded to obtuse; petals broadly ovate, 4.5-6 × 3-4 mm, margins erose-denticulate or irregularly toothed; stamens 4-8 mm; filament base 0.1-0.3 mm wide; anthers 1.2-1.8 mm, thecae tan or light brown, pores 0.2-0.5 × 0.2-0.4 mm; ovary smooth; style 3-5(-7) mm; stigma 1.4-2 mm wide. Capsules depressed-globose, 3-5 × 4-6 mm. 2n = 38.

Flowering Jun-Aug. Dry to moist, coniferous, mixed, and deciduous forests, bogs, arctic and alpine tundra; 10-3200 m; Greenland; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., Wis., Wyo.; Mexico; Central America (Guatemala); Eurasia.

Plants in open, alpine and arctic habitats often have leaf blades orbiculate to orbiculate-ovate, 10-20 mm, apices obtuse, anthers ca. 1 mm, and styles 3-4.5 mm, and have been called Orthilia secunda subsp. obtusata. E. Haber (1972) concluded that these characters vary too freely among populations to warrant distinction.

The Southern Carrier of British Columbia made a decoction from the roots, which they used as an eyewash (D. E. Moerman 1998).


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