December 9, 2020
Spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata), also called striped wintergreen, is a member of the heath family and is native throughout all of Virginia. According to The Flora of Virginia, it is a commonly found perennial plant that grows in mesic to dry, acidic forests and woodlands.
The whorled leaves of this low-growing evergreen can be seen year round they are complemented by little white to pink flowers that shoot up in the spring and summer.
There are two species in the Chimaphila, or Pipsissewa, genus that are native to Virginia. The genus name is derived from the Greek words for winter, cheima, and to love, philein. C. maculata is distinguished by its irregular white to light-green venation whereas the other species C. umbellata has shiny green leaves that lack the white coloration.