Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Pyroloideae
Genus: Orthilia
O. secunda
Binomial name
Orthilia secunda
(L.) House

Pyrola secunda

Orthilia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. It has only one species, Orthilia secunda.[1][2][3] Its common names are sidebells wintergreen,[1]one-sided-wintergreen and serrated-wintergreen.[2] It is also called one-sided pyrola, one-sided shinleaf, and one-sided wintergreen. It was previously part of genus Pyrola, the wintergreens.[4]

The plant has a circumboreal distribution, growing throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere.

The American wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens, belongs to a different genus.


Orthilia secunda is a mixotroph. It obtains about one half of its carbon from mycorrhizal networks. Mycorrhizal fungi obtain carbon through the roots of nearby trees. Orthilia then obtains the carbon from the fungi through its roots. No counterflow of nutrients has been observed.[5]

Conservation status within the United States

It is listed as endangered and extirpated in Maryland, extirpated in Indiana, presumed extirpated in Ohio, as threatened in Iowa and Rhode Island.[6] It is a special concern and believed extirpated in Connecticut.[7]


The Southern Carrier of the Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada use a strong decoction of the root as an eyewash.[8] Some Native Americans also crushed the leaves to make a poultice.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Orthilia secunda L." PLANTS Profile. United States Department of Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Orthilia secunda". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2009-07-17.
  3. ^ Pojar, Jim; Andy MacKinnon (1994). Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Lone Pine Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 1-55105-042-0.
  4. ^ "Plants Profile for Orthilia secunda (sidebells wintergreen )". plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ John Whitfield, “Underground networking”, Nature, Vol. 449, 13 September 2007
  6. ^ "Plants Profile for Orthilia secunda (sidebells wintergreen )". plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Connecticut's Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species 2015". State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Bureau of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2 January 2017. (Note: This list is newer than the one used by plants.usda.gov and is more up-to-date.)
  8. ^ Smith, Harlan I., 1929, Materia Medica of the Bella Coola and Neighboring Tribes of British Columbia, National Museum of Canada Bulletin 56:47-68, page 62
  9. ^ Fagan, Damian (2019). Wildflowers of Oregon: A Field Guide to Over 400 Wildflowers, Trees, and Shrubs of the Coast, Cascades, and High Desert. Guilford, CT: FalconGuides. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-4930-3633-2. OCLC 1073035766.

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