Chimaphila umbellata (L.) W.P.C.Barton

  • Family

    Pyrolaceae (Magnoliophyta)

  • Scientific Name

    Chimaphila umbellata (L.) W.P.C.Barton

  • Primary Citation

    Veg. Mater. Med. U.S. 1: 17, t. 1. 1817

  • Common Names

    pipsissewa, common pipsissewa

  • Description

    Description: Subshrubs, 8.5-45 cm tall. Leaves spreading or ascending, clustered in 2-5(-6) pseudo-whorls of 3-8 leaves each, the pseudo-whorls separated by 0.7-6 cm long internodes, thick-coriaceous, narrowly-oblanceolate, oblanceolate, obovate, elliptic, or spatulate, 1-8 x 0.4-2.7 cm, basally cuneate and decurrent on the petiole, apically subacute, acute, or obtuse, sometimes mucronate at tip, margin sharply serrate to crenate-serrate, especially above the middle, lustrous or shining, uniformly dark green above, drying olive-green, pale brownish-green, or copper-green below; midvein and secondary veins impressed above; petioles channeled, smooth, 1-12 mm long, reddish-brown. Inflorescences 3-7-flowered; peduncles solitary (rarely paired), (2-)4-10 cm long, dark reddish-brown; pedicels ascending, diverging, or nodding, finely papillate or smooth, 4-35 mm long, dark reddish-brown; floral bracts fleshy at the base to membranaceous or slightly membranaceous above, acicular to linear-lanceolate, acute, slightly denticulate, 2-6 x ca. 0.5 mm, light brown. Flowers: calyx 2-4 mm long, bases overlapping, lobes broadly-ovate, acute or rounded, erose-denticulate, 1-3 x 1.4-3 mm, green (?) drying reddish- or maroon-brown; corolla crateriform, 8-10 x 8-15 mm, white or rose-colored, petals broadly-ovate to obovate, 4-12 x 4-8 mm, margins erose-denticulate; stamens ca. 4-7 mm long; filaments 2.5-5 mm long, ciliate to glabrous, light brown; anthers 1.5-3 mm long, anther tubes ca. 1 mm long, light brown; ovary depressed-globose; stigma 2-4 mm diam. Capsule 4-5 mm tall, 5-10 mm diam.

    Distribution: Widespread in temperate and boreal regions of North America, Eurasia, and Japan; isolated populations occurring in the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala, and on the island of Hispaniola.

    Key to Subspecies of Chimaphila umbellata: 1. Plant 10-45 cm tall; leaves 3.8-8 x 0.8-2.7 cm, margins 6-23(-26)-toothed; peduncles and pedicels finely papillate; filaments ciliate or ciliolate; capsule 6-10 mm diam. (Mexico, C. Amer.) ................ subsp. umbellata 1. Plant 8.5-15(-19.5) cm tall; leaves 1-3.8 x 0.4-1.5 cm, margins 4-14(-20)-toothed; peduncles and pedicels smooth; filaments glabrous; capsules 5-6 mm diam. (Hispaniola) ............. subsp. domingensis

  • Floras and Monographs

    Chimaphila umbellata (L.) W.P.C.Barton: [Book] Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.