A genus of 15-70 species, herbs, primarily of arctic and north temperate areas. Our species (especially Parnassia caroliniana) are among the most southerly of the genus in distribution. Parnassia (all species) are among the most beautiful of our native plants. From a distance the white flowers are attractive but not extraordinary; when observed closely, though, the delicate tracery of the green veins on the waxy white petals is astonishing.
ID notes: The five staminodia are (in our species) deeply three-lobed to the base, thus appearing as 15.
Ref: Alexander (1934a); Alexander (1934b); Ball (2016) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2016); Gastony & Soltis (1977); Godfrey & Wooten (1981); Simmons In Kubitzki et al. (2004); Spongberg (1972). Show full citations.