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.
Spotted Wintergreen are shipped as bare root.
1. Does Spotted Wintergreen spread?
A. Spotted Wintergreen, also known as Chimaphila maculata, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to North America. It typically spreads through its rhizomes (underground stems) to form colonies or clumps. The plant has a creeping habit, and new shoots can emerge from the rhizomes, allowing it to spread slowly over time.
2. Do deer eat wintergreen berries?
A. While deer are generally herbivores and may eat a wide range of vegetation, including berries, it's important to note that their preferences can vary. Some sources suggest that deer may eat wintergreen berries, especially in the winter when other food sources are scarce. However, the availability of alternative forage and the local deer population's feeding habits can influence whether they actively seek out and consume Spotted Wintergreen berries.