Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

jclark42(z6 CT)August 3, 2004

Good morning,

I'm hoping someone can help my wife and I identify this plant. We've found several of these in the woods around our house and can't identify them. I've checked the CT Botanical website but didn't find anythign that matched. In the early spring there was a small white flower where there pod-looking things are in the first picture. The plant's height is 4-6"

Thanks, I appreciate any help you can provide.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chimaphila maculata, a charming native plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spotted wintergreen

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jclark42(z6 CT)

That's it! Thanks very much for your help.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
springcherry(6/7 Philly,PA)

What a great plant -- lovely foliage, cute flower. I gather its rare but I want a few anyway.

Can it be started easily from seed?


    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jclark42(z6 CT)

Hi SpringCherry,
After discovering the identity of this plant I did some research and found quite a few resources on the web. Apparently it has some medicinal qualities to it and is used as a "analgesic, antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic" Wow, I hear it makes a great floor wax and a desert topping as well. :)

Anyhow, according to the CT Botanical web site it's not rare, at least not in my area. The "Plants for a Future" web site has some details on uses, propagation, and habitat: Here

On cultivation & propagation:

"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]. "

"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. "


    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You will be happy to know that the website has it ALL wrong!
We frequently rescue these from construction sites throughout the year and transport them bareroot. Potted up in compost, potting mix or directly planted in the garden, you can expect 100% survival rate with moderate care. As far as the mycorrhizal relationship with the soil, I won't comment(never heard that before), but even if were true, the roots contain enough of the fungus? to keep it alive for a couple of years, long enough to establish a new relationship with the new planting soil and in many cases, produce much larger plants than found in situ. Since it is in the Orchidaceae Family, it may take a long time for the dust like seed to germinate, but I frequently find seedlings growing in pots around the garden. Rule of green thumb--If you can purchase it at a fair & reasonable price, it's not difficult to propagate or grow.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A slip of the wrist there, Chimaphila maculata is in the Wintergreen Family(Pyrolaceae) and the seed are scattered throughout the woodlands by insects. It is sometimes found in colonies, but more often, a scattered plant here and there in moist soil. It is said that they spread by rhizomes, but I have lifted entire colonies and found only individual plants.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a small colony growing on the back of my property under a maple tree in a fairly damp spot. My husband dug some of them up to facilitate drainage and only two survived when I transplanted them. Just be sure to keep any transplants moist.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
springcherry(6/7 Philly,PA)

Thank you all for the info. I will keep my eyes open for it.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 3:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
ongoing stiltgrass battle...update
Ran out of wood chip mulch but needed to cover a deer...
White trillium
Is there an online source for Great White Trilliums? Thank...
Problem With My Redbud Tree
Greetings! We planted a native Redbud this Spring,...
Poison Sumac Tree
Is this a poison sumac tree by chance? My woods appear...
Help Identifying Woodland Vine
Would be very grateful if someone can help me identify...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™