Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Orthilia secunda

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: OrthiliaView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: straight spiral, from 1-sided raceme) Note: Once placed in Pyrola.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace & Erich Haber

Orthilia secunda (L.) House
Habit: Perennial herb, +- shrubby or not, < 20 cm, evergreen, rhizomed. Leaf: +- cauline, generally near base, 1.5--6 cm, ovate-elliptic, leathery or not, entire to finely crenate, petioled. Inflorescence: raceme, elongate, 1-sided, arched, +- erect in fruit; peduncle densely papillate; bracts several, generally lanceolate. Flower: radial, +- closed, parts in 5s, free; petals with 2 basal tubercles adaxially, +- green to cream-white; stamens 10, filaments +- narrow throughout, glabrous, anther pores not on tubes; nectary present; ovary superior, style straight, exserted, stigma peltate, lobes 5, shallow, domed. Fruit: capsule, pendent; valves opening base to tip, margins fibrous. Chromosomes: 2n=38.
Ecology: Dry, shady, conifer forests; Elevation: 1000--3200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, NCoRO, s CaRH, SNH, SnBr, SnJt, MP, SNE (exc W&I); Distribution Outside California: circumboreal, subarctic, North America, Central America, Eurasia. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep
Synonyms: Pyrola secunda L.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace & Erich Haber
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botanical illustration including Orthilia secunda


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace & Erich Haber 2016. Orthilia secunda, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 05, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 05, 2016.

Orthilia secunda
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© 2003 Steve Matson
Orthilia secunda
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Orthilia secunda
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© 2015 Neal Kramer
Orthilia secunda
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Orthilia secunda
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© 1988 Gary A. Monroe
Orthilia secunda
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© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Orthilia secunda in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Orthilia secunda:
KR, NCoRH, NCoRO, s CaRH, SNH, SnBr, SnJt, MP, SNE (exc W&I);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.