Subshrub ID: Spotted Prince’s-pine

Photo of Spotted Prince's-pine fruit

This plant is Chimaphila maculata, referred to as Spotted Prince's-pine by my trusty (if somewhat technical) plant manual*, but labeled Striped Pipsissewa by many other books. This subshrub has waxy, blue-green leaves, with whitened veins and toothed margins. Drooping summer flowers later ripen and stand erect as brown capsules (see above). While the leaves of Noble Prince's Pine look different from those of this species, the similarity of their flower and subsequent fruit structures suggest their close relationship.

Photo of Spotted Prince's-pine

*Flora Novae Angliae by Arthur Haines (2011)

2 thoughts on “Subshrub ID: Spotted Prince’s-pine”

  1. I’ve heard that these are endangered and should not be picked or eaten, but they are everywhere in my state. Any thoughts on that?

    1. April: Spotted Prince’s-Pine isn’t a plant I’ve gathered for food or medicine, though sources (including Peterson’s Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central N.A.) report that the leaf tea has various medicinal uses.

      When I lived in Massachusetts, I’d bump into this plant frequently in the proper habitat. But indeed the plant is much less common in Vermont and Maine, where state agencies list this species as rare and, in Maine, endangered.

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