Also known as one-sided wintergreen, sidebells pyrola is a perennial and herbaceous wildflower with erect flower stems arising from 5-15 cm high from slender, branching rootstocks. The stems and leaves are typically glabrous. The leaves are crowded on the lower section of the stem. They are thin in cross-section and ovate to elliptic in shape with obtuse to acute tips. The blades are 2-4.5 cm long with slender petioles. The margins are minutely toothed and wavy.
The inflorescence is a raceme with the flowers turned to one side of the stem. The flowers are greenish and 5-6 mm wide. The slender pedicels are 3-8 mm long. The calyx lobes are obtuse with cut margins at the tip. The petals are 4-5 mm long and are white or greenish. The style is straight, 3-4 mm long, and extends beyond the mouth of the corolla. 10 stamens are present and these have inverted anthers. The fruit is a 5-chambered capsule. The carpels are connected by web-like hairs.
Sidebells pyrola may be found in open to fairly dense coniferous forests from mid to high altitudes in the mountains.
Sidebells pyrola may be found from Alaska south to California and Mexico and east to the Atlantic Coast. It is also native to Eurasia.