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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    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Chimaphila maculata Spotted Wintergreen, Striped prince


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Chimaphila maculata Spotted Wintergreen, Striped prince
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Summary

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


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 all year, in flower from June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

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].

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Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

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Edible Shrubs Book

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].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover  Scented Plants

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. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 5. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2].

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

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

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Chimaphila umbellataPipsissewaShrub0.4 4-8 SLMHFSM232

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Pursh.

Botanical References

200204235

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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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