An easily recognized family, with one genus, the conspicuous white or creamy petals strongly veined with greenish or yellowish. The solitary flowers are on scapes bearing at most one leaf-like bract, and appear late in the season (P. parviflora earlier than the others). Alternating with 5 anther-bearing stamens, there are 5 staminodia, each cleft into 3 or more slender filaments bearing a glandular tip.
1. Staminodia cleft nearly to the base into 3 segments; leaves leathery (tough, almost succulent); petals (11–) 12–16 (–19) mm long.
1. Staminodia cleft 40–60 (–75)% to the base into 5 or more segments; leaves thin and membranous; petals 5–13 mm long.
2. Blades of larger basal leaves 11–25 mm broad, at least slightly cordate; staminodia with 9 or more filaments; petals 8–13 mm long.
2. Blades of larger basal leaves 4–13 (–15) mm broad, tapered and not at all cordate at base; staminodia with 5–7 (–8) filaments; petals 5–9 mm long.
All species found in Parnassia
MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. July 25, 2017. http://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Parnassia.