Index- plants in this Family
Pyrolaceae / Pyrolas
Striped Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata)
Striped Wintergreen is also known as Striped Prince's Pine, Spotted Wintergreen and Spotted Pipissewa or just Pipissewa.

Plant Type: This is a woody herb, it is a perennial and is a evergreen which can reach 25cm in height (10inches). (It may be considered a shrub.)
Leaves: The leaves are whorled. Leaves can reach 7cm in length (2.75inches). Each leaf is toothed and striped white down the middle.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 1.6cm wide (0.65 inches). They are white or pinkish. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into late summer. There are often two flowers sometimes several, hanging face down.
Fruit: A brown erect capsule.
Habitat: Dry woods.
Range: From Southern Canada south to Georga west to Alabama.

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This plant is considered rare in Canada and New England and is protected by law in some states.

Medical Uses: Pipsissewa was listed in the US Pharmacopeia from 1820 to 1916. Native Americans of various tribes had a number of uses for the plant. A leaf tea was used it for rheumatism, as a diuretic, sudorific, for kidney and urinary complaints, for stomach problems, as a tonic. It has also been used to flavor other medicine. The leaves were applied externally on wounds and sores.

There is some question as to its value as a diuretic. It has proven value as urinary antiseptic, astringent, tonic and does have antibacterial properties. Pipsissewa is still used as a flavoring in such products as candy and root beer.
: Leaves applied to the skin may irritate causing redness and blisters.

Similar Species: Pipsissewa (C. umbellata) is very similar except it does not have the strip on the leaves and the flowers are more upright.

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Chimaphila maculata - close view of flower  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves

Prince's Pine

Welcome / Glossary / Books / Links / Feedback / Image use policy - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 6/6/2002 9:25:29 PM.