Pyrolaceae

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pyrola asarifolia

Pyrolaceae was a small family of flowering plants under the old Cronquist system of plant classification. It included the four genera Chimaphila, Moneses, Orthilia, and Pyrola, and sometimes also the eight genera formerly usually placed in the family Monotropaceae.

Recent genetic research by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group has however demonstrated that these genera are all better placed in the family Ericaceae.

The family was distinguished mainly by its herbaceous growth form, not being woody plants like the rest of the Ericaceae. The genera are native to cool temperate and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The common name wintergreen (shared by several other plants) derives from their evergreen leaves.

The leaves are typically alternate or basal, and are always evergreen. The flowers are regular, most often with five sepals, five petals, and 10 anthers. The fruit are dry dehiscent capsules.