Pipsissewa, prince's pine
The Pacific states, east to the Rocky Mountain states
From 4 to 12 inches
Dry woodland, sandy areas
Spatulate, in groups (whorls) of 3 to 8. Upper surface shiny. Small, sharp teeth at intervals along the edge
Pipsissewa, chimaphila umbellata, is a distinctive plant, producing glossy, evergreen, toothed leaves that grow in whorls along the lower portion of the purple stem, which branches towards the top and bears clusters of between 3 and 8 light pink flowerheads, pointing downwards. Each consists of five rounded petals, ten divided stamens and a green stigma at the center. Flower stalks have a very fine hair covering, sometimes glandular. Buds are spherical, resembling a berry. The lower end of the stem becomes woody with age. The plant grows from spreading rhizomes, inhabiting wooded sites, mostly in coniferous forests.