Description from Flora of China
Amelia Alefeld; Braxilia Rafinesque; Erxlebenia Opiz ex Rydberg; Thelaia Alefeld.
Herbs suffruticose, evergreen, erect, glabrous. Rootstock long, slender, branched, with sparse fine roots. Aerial stem ascending, not branched, scaly at base. Leaves in a rosette at base of caudex, long petiolate; leaf blade abaxially light green, adaxially green, margin entire or serrate. Scapes long, slender, with scalelike bracts at base. Flowers many, nodding, in racemes. Calyx 5-lobed, persistent. Stamens glabrous; anthers opening by pores. Ovary depressed-globose; style exserted, usually curved distally and dilated apically into a ring; stigma capitate, shortly 5-lobed. Capsules nodding, valves connected by fibers at valve margins. Seeds many, small, with thin testa prolonged at both ends. n = 23, 46.
Pyrola chouana Chang Y. Yang (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 5: 167. 1985) was described from N Xinjiang (Burqin). However, we have seen no specimens and are therefore unable to treat it in this account. Further revision is necessary.
Between 30 and 40 species: N temperate regions, extending south to Indonesia (N Sumatra); 26 species (15 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Qin Haining (覃海宁); Peter F. Stevens)