Parnassia

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.

P. glauca

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.

P. palustris

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.

P. parviflora

All species found in Parnassia

Parnassia glaucaGRASS-OF-PARNASSUS 
Parnassia palustrisMARSH GRASS-OF-PARNASSUS 
Parnassia parvifloraGRASS-OF-PARNASSUS 

Citation:

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. March 28, 2017. http://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Parnassia.