Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spotted Wintergreen - Chimaphila maculata   (L.) Pursh
Members of Ericaceae:
Members of Chimaphila with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Ericales » Family Ericaceae
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Author(L.) Pursh
DistributionOccurs throughout most of the state, but scarce to absent in the far northeastern counties. This seeming absence is odd in that it is present in essentially all counties in VA and SC, including along the coast.

This is an Eastern species ranging from eastern Canada south to most of GA and northeastern MS.
AbundanceCommon to often very common and widespread over the state, other than very rare to absent in the northeastern counties. Not as common in the lower Coastal Plain than farther inland.
HabitatThis is a characteristic species of upland forests, typically in medium-growth mixed forests or pine forests, but it does grow in solely upland hardwood forest stands. It favors acidic soils.
PhenologyBlooms in May and June, typically in the latter part of May or early June, with most plants in a given county/area flowering almost simultaneously. Fruits from July to October.
IdentificationThis is a very familiar evergreen subshrub -- slightly woody -- that most people see nearly every day in a forest walk. It grows only to about 4-6 inches tall, with a handful of stem leaves, often crowded toward the tip of the stem. These are very thick and leathery, dark green with wide white stripes along the veins, shiny above, with a number of obvious teeth along the margins. The leaves are somewhat lanceolate, and grow to about 2 inches long. Several fairly small white flowers grow at the top of the stem; each is about 5/8-inch across, with 5 waxy/thick petals. Small rounded capsules are visible later in summer and fall. This species is easily identified at all seasons just by its toothed, white-striped evergreen leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Striped Wintergreen (a better name, as the leaves are striped as opposed to spotted), Pipsissewa (often used, however, for C. umbellata)
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieWhispering Pines, adventive to pinestraw "lawn". May 2016. MoorePhoto_natural
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