SPOTTED WINTERGREEN, Chimaphila maculata


Photo by Sue J. Avery

Spotted Wintergreen, also known as striped prince’s-pine or pipsissewa, is an attractive sub-shrub of the forest floor conspicuous by its waxy, dark green leaves, which have a white stripe along the midrib. “chimaphila” is Greek for “winter-loving” – the plant is evergreen. In summer, nodding, waxy white flowers with five petals are borne on red stems about four to 10 inches above the basal leaves. The flowers are fragrant and insect-pollinated. The name “pipsissewa” is derived from an Indian word which means “breaks into small pieces.” Native Americans used the plant as a medicine to dissolve kidney stones and gallstones.

More information

US Department of Agriculture


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center