Pipsissewa – Identification

Q: What is this interesting-looking plant I found flowering in the woods?

A: Striped pipsissewa, Chimaphila maculata, was one of the first forest plants taught to me by Dr. Frank Fitch, wildlife biologist at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.

Like you, I was struck by how pretty the leaves are. Although it seems to have potential as an attractive groundcover, I’ve never seen it used as such.

The biggest patch of pipsissewa I ever saw was in the pine forest behind an elementary school in DeKalb county. It has been used as a medicinal herb but I can not recommend it as such. Enjoy your discovery!

More information on the pipsissewa can be found from Dave’s Garden.

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