As the species name suggests, pyrola minor
is the smallest member of this genus, with stems just a few inches tall, and is distinguished by its short, straight style, only around 0.05 inches long, and contained within the flower - other species have styles up to 0.4 inches long, curved, and exserted. The pendant flowers are formed of five small, triangular, green or pink sepals, sometimes darker pink and finely serrate along the margins, and five larger white or pink petals, obovate in shape, with entire margins.
The rounded green basal leaves are shiny on top, duller underneath, and are attached via broad, grooved stalks about the same length as the leaf blade. The inflorescence usually contains between 3 and 11 flowers, each of which may be subtended by one or two small bracts. Pedicels are short, less than 0.2 inches. The fruits are downwards-pointing, flattened, five-chambered capsules, colored white, pinkish or greenish, with the residual style protruding underneath.