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Chimaphila umbellata - (L.)W.P.C.Barton.
                 
Common Name Pipsissewa
Family Pyrolaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Weak skin sensitizing effects. May cause diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Not suitable for long term use. Reduces mineral absorption from gut [301].
Habitats Dry coniferous woods in Europe[9]. Moist woods, particularly coniferous stands, and along mountain streams from the lower hills to about 2,500 metres in Western N. America[212].
Range N. Europe, N. America, E. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade

Summary

Chimaphila umbellata Pipsissewa


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chimaphila_umbellata_Sturm51.jpg
Chimaphila umbellata Pipsissewa
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Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Chimaphila umbellata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Pyrola umbellata. L. Chimaphila cymosa J.Presl & C.Presl

Habitats
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The leaves are nibbled[177], brewed into a tea or used as a flavouring in root beer[183]. They have a delicious scent and flavour. An extract of the leaves is used to flavour candy and soft drinks[177, 183]. In Mexico the herb is used in the preparation of 'navaitai', an alcoholic beverage produced from sprouted maize[183]. A tea can be made from an infusion of the stems and roots[161, 177, 212].
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.

Alterative;  Antibacterial;  Astringent;  Disinfectant;  Diuretic;  Rubefacient;  Stimulant;  Tonic.


Pipsissewa was much used by many tribes of native North American Indians to induce sweating and treat fevers, including typhus[254, 257]. The plant contains hydroquinones which have a pronounced disinfectant effect within the urinary tract and modern day herbalism mainly employs the plant to treat urinary problems such as cystitis and urethritis[254]. The whole plant is alterative, antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic[4, 9, 14, 21, 46, 165, 213, 207, 222]. An infusion is used in the treatment of various problems related to the urinary system, it is also prescribed for more serious conditions such as kidney stones and gonorrhoea[254]. A decoction is very efficacious in the treatment of skin diseases[4]. Used externally, the fresh leaves are rubefacient and internally they are of great use in cardiac and kidney diseases, chronic rheumatism and scrofula[4, 238]. Only the leaves are officinal, though the whole plant is often used[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]. The plant contains glycosides and an essential oil that are used as an astringent and tonic[212]. The plant is harvested when in flower, and the leaves on their own can be harvested during the growing season. They are dried for later use[238]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[9]. It is used in the treatment of inflammations of the urinary system[9].
Other Uses
Disinfectant;  Essential.

The plant's 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]. The plant is used in perfumery because of its delicate scent[9].
Cultivation details
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 have a sweet but refreshing perfume[245].
Propagation
Seed - this is very difficult to germinate, see the notes above in cultivation details. It is best sown in a shady area of the greenhouse on moist sphagnum peat as soon as it is ripe. When 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
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Chimaphila maculataSpotted Wintergreen, Striped prince's pine, Pipsissewa13
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Author
(L.)W.P.C.Barton.
Botanical References
50200
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Subject : Chimaphila umbellata  

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