Wildlife Wednesday – Pipsissewa

Striped Wintergreen w/SpiderWhile the quality of these photos are not my best due to low light conditions and the camera being handheld, I wanted to share the unusual flowering in our woods of Striped Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata), also known as Pipsissewa or Spotted Wintergreen.

The flowers have interesting double stamens, are sticky and fragrant, attracting insects and the above spider, which is probably looking for ants.

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    From the web: “Striped 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. During the summer fragrant white to pinkish flowers appear in small nodding clusters. It is considered endangered in some states.”

    About Eliza Waters

    Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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    64 Responses to Wildlife Wednesday – Pipsissewa

    1. francisashis says:

      I think the flowers have very mild yet sweet fragrance👍🌹🙏

    2. Alice says:

      With the ‘Wildlife’ subject I was expecting something BIG! 🤣 the flowers are beautiful. There’s a plant in our woods I need to find again & ID.

    3. Val Boyko says:

      Delightful! I love learning new things about plants.

    4. Eliza Ayres says:

      Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
      I’ve seen samples of another sub-species of this rare and delicate woodland flower that grows in the temperate forests of the Pacific NW… in places. It’s always a delight to spot delicate flowers growing in the shadows of towering giant Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce…

    5. jenanita01 says:

      Pity the images are a little blurred, such sweet flowers!

    6. Anne says:

      A most unusual plant – thank you for the introduction!

    7. Murtagh's Meadow says:

      What a pretty flower

    8. Good to see, even if the light was low. I had never heard of them. Also, enjoyed the little spider.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Thank you, Laurie. They prefer pine woods, so your area certainly has the best habitat for them. However, I’ve only seen them a handful of times in my life, so they are pretty unusual.

    9. Maria says:

      They’re very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    10. I’ve never seen one, so thank you for sharing. Beautiful and unique.

    11. Glad to see you have this in your yard. I usually find several Noble Prince’s-pine, also called Pipsissewa, that are similarly flowered although differently leaved, next to a pond in North Quabbin but only one this year which I have yet to process and share. Nice little spider on the first flowers.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Thank you, Steve. They are rare little plants to see. I’m sure you would have done a much better job of it with your awesome camera. 🙂

    12. Do you know if they are as far south as northern Pennsylvania? I can find teaberry plants on the mountains there. Do you know if they are related at all? (internet was not helpful)

    13. Kris P says:

      Interesting plant. The shot with the spider suggests that the flowers are relatively small – is that the case?

    14. Jewels says:

      Such sweet little flowers!

    15. Very interesting, I have not seen this flower before.

    16. AmyRose🌹 says:

      Exquisite and so unique, Eliza. You are always so full of information … you amaze me. Never have I heard of these flowers yet due to you, I now do. Thank you! xo

    17. arlingwoman says:

      What a beautiful little discovery! Glad you shared it.

    18. I remember those from woods in North Georgia. Haven’t seen one in years. Never a colony, just one or two…

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Yes, they seem to grow sparsely. After 30 years here, there are still only 3 little sprouts with only one blooming. No wonder they are rare!

    19. I’ve never heard of the shinleaf botanical family. I looked up the name and found this explanation in the American Heritage Dictionary: “Probably from the use of its leaves in plasters for sore legs.”

      • Eliza Waters says:

        From the link I gave: “Native Americans used its leaf tea to treat rheumatism and stomach problems, and crushed leaves were applied as a poultice to sores and wounds.” Since there are so few plants that I have seen in my life and it reproduces so slowly, they may have been over-harvested by earlier settlers, because I can’t imagine finding enough to make a tea or poultice!

        • It’s also possible that the English name shinleaf came into use based on a different and—based on what you say about the scarcity of your plants—perhaps more abundant species in the same family. For example, the English plant name groundsel developed from two Old English words meaning ‘pus swallower,’ from the use of one or more European species to reduce abscesses. When the English came to America they brought the name with them, but I don’t know if any of the Texas groundsel species were ever used to treat abscesses.

    20. Irene says:

      Lovely wildflowers. Not sure that I have seen these before. 😊

    21. Quite interesting stamens, cool upshot!

    22. Beautiful and teeny! Love it.

    23. Attractive little plant, I don’t believe I’ve seen it before.

    24. Eliza where are you? I wonder if I have these flowers in eastern NH. You can keep the spiders I am so allergic to all of their bites 🙂

    25. Very pretty and unusual Eliza.

    26. Niraj Patel says:


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