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Moneses uniflora
Moneses uniflora
Moneses uniflora  Moneses uniflora
Moneses uniflora (Single Delight)
Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Summer.
Above: Lake Hope Trail, July 31, 2017.
Left: Winter Trail, July 10, 2009 and Kilpacker Trail, July 22, 2004.

This is one of the daintiest and loveliest of wildflowers. As you hike, look for it in the decaying needles and mosses of dry Spruce forests.  Because the plant most often reproduces from underground roots, it is common to find two or three plants within a few feet of each other. The deep green, serrated, round basal leaves are often more noticeable than the nodding flower head. You will very commonly find Single Delight in the company of other Pyrolaceae, especially One-sided Wintergreen, and the Orchidaceae Goodyera oblongifolia.

Moneses uniflora  Moneses uniflora

Moneses uniflora (Single Delight)
Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Summer.
Winter Trail, July 10, 2009 and Sharkstooth Trail, July 14, 2006.

The very newly opened flower at left has a shiny stigma and the newly emerged anthers have not opened to expose the pollen.

From specimens collected in Europe, Linnaeus named this species Pyrola uniflora in 1753; Richard Salisbury created the Moneses genus probably in the late 1700s; Thomas Nuttall renamed Pyrola uniflora to Moneses reticulata in 1843; and Asa Gray gave the present name in 1848. 

"Moneses" is a combination of the Greek "monos" ("one") and "hesis" ("delight").

 

Moneses uniflora

Moneses uniflora

Moneses uniflora

Moneses uniflora (Single Delight)
Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, August 4, 2010 and August 22, 2007 and Upper West Mancos Trail, October 1, 2010.

The first photograph gives some idea of how small this plant is and what it typically looks like from a height of about three feet.

The second and third photographs show Moneses uniflora after its petals have fallen and the seed pod has swollen and dried. Moneses uniflora flowers almost always face the ground, but when the petals have fallen the ripened seed head is horizontal or even vertical.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Moneses uniflora

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