Chimaphila maculata or spotted wintergreen is also known as striped wintergreen, striped prince’s pine or ratsbane. This small evergreen herb is native to Central and North America. It blooms in late summer with pink or white flowers that appear at the top of a tall, woody stalk. “Chimaphila” means “lover of winter,” perhaps because the plant is most visible in the autumn and winter when other, larger plants have lost their leaves.
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Spotted wintergreen’s leaves have a mottled dark green and white appearance that gives it its “spotted” and “striped” nicknames. A close relative is Chimaphila umbellata, which has solid dark green leaves without the mottling. The “wintergreen” names refer to its evergreen leaves; it’s not a relative of the true wintergreen plant Gaultheria procumbens and does not have a mint-like smell. Its flower do have a slight, delicate fragrance. The leaves are edible and are used in some folk remedies. Deer generally avoid this plant.
The plant does not require pruning and is very easy to take care of once planted. Bees are its primary pollinator.