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Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

Posted by jclark42 z6 CT (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 3, 04 at 8:45

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.

-Josh-


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

Chimaphila maculata, a charming native plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spotted wintergreen


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

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

-Josh-


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

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?

Springcherry


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

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. "


-Josh-


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

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.


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

OOPS!
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.


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

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.


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RE: Can anyone identify this woodland plant?

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

Springcherry


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