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Chimaphila maculata - (L.)Pursh.
Common Name Spotted Wintergreen, Striped prince's pine, Pipsissewa
Family Pyrolaceae
USDA hardiness 6-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich woods[222]. Dry woods[235].
Range Eastern N. America - Illinois to Michigan and Ontario, south to Texas and Georgia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Prostrate.

Chimaphila maculata Spotted Wintergreen, Striped prince

Chimaphila maculata Spotted Wintergreen, Striped prince
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Chimaphila maculata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.

The leaves are used as a snack, being nibbled for their refreshing qualities[183, 257]. In Mexico the herb is used as a catalyst in the preparation of 'tesguino', an alcoholic beverage produced from sprouted maize[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Analgesic;  Antibacterial;  Antiscrophulatic;  Astringent;  Cancer;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  
Rubefacient;  Skin;  Stimulant;  Tonic.

The plant is analgesic, antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic[4, 207, 222, 257]. The plant has an antiseptic influence on the urinary system and is sometimes used in the treatment of cystitis[4]. An infusion of the plant has been drunk in the treatment of rheumatism and colds[257]. A poultice of the root has been used to treat pain[257] whilst the plant has also been used as a wash on ulcers, scrofula and cancers[257]. All parts of the plant can be used, though only the leaves are officinal[4]. The plant is loaded with the biologically active compounds arbutin, sitosterol and ursolic acid[222]. Arbutin hydrolyzes to the toxic urinary antiseptic hydroquinone[222].


Other Uses
The plants stoloniferous root system, and dwarf spreading habit make it a god ground cover, though it is a difficult plant to establish and grow well[245].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Woodland garden. Requires a light moist but well-drained lime-free soil and shade from direct sunlight[1]. This species is difficult to propagate and grow in cultivation, mainly because it has certain mycorrhizal associations in the wild and these are necessary if the plant is to thrive[200]. It is best to use some soil collected from around an established plant when sowing seed or planting out into a new position[200]. The plant has wide-spreading fibrous feeding roots and will often die or fail to increase in size if these are disturbed. The flowers are deliciously scented[245]. Special Features: North American native.
Seed - very difficult to germinate, see the notes in cultivation details. It is best sown on moist sphagnum peat. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division. Rather difficult because the plant is very sensitive to root disturbance. It is best attempted in the spring as the plant comes into growth[200]. Cuttings of softwood, June in a frame. Use some soil from around an established plant[14].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Readers comment
Frank J. Dye   Sun Nov 6 2005
Hi, First time I have visited your site. Do you know where I can find an image of the seeds of spotted wintergreen? Thank you. Frank J. Dye, Ph.D. Professor of Biology Director, Westside Nature Preserve (www.wcsu.edu/wnp) Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences Western Connecticut State University 181 White Street Danbury, CT 06810 203-837-8794 203-837-8769 (fax) dyef@wcsu.edu
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Subject : Chimaphila maculata  

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