I Love Spotted Wintergreen aka Chimaphila maculata

Feb 9, 2024 | Love This!

Name:  Spotted Wintergreen aka Chimaphila maculata 

Type of Plant: First of all we need to sort through the common names which are Striped Prince’s Pine, Spotted Wintergreen, Pipsissewa, Spotted Pipsissewa, Ratsbane, Rheumatism Root, and Striped Wintergreen. Yikes!

Secondly, this is a perennial plant that is native to eastern North America to Central America, South to Florida and west to Illinois.

But more important to you, this is a shade loving, native plant to welcome to your gardens.

Why I Love This Plant:   Stripped Wintergreen a native, evergreen, rhizomatous wildflower in the shinleaf family and is found in dry woods in the eastern US. The white midrib stripe on the dark green leaf is an identifying characteristic, since the name “spotted wintergreen” is misleading. During the summer fragrant white to pinkish flowers appear in small nodding clusters although you’d have to get right down next to the flower to smell the fragrance.

A Word to the Wise:  This plant needs very well-drained, acidic sandy soils, in shady conditions. Use in a dry woodland garden mixed with other shade loving, native plants. This is not a weed-smothering groundcover, but a lovely native plant that grows in community with sedges and other plants.

This is a native plant that grows in community with others. We should appreciate it as a lovely component in our woodland gardens. Low maintenance! It grows where we don’t have to “clean up the leaves.”

The foliage isn’t spotted nor is it a wintergreen. Nevertheless, it’s a stylish, native plant.


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