Pipsissewa, Prince's Pine, Ground Holly

Chimaphila umbellata

Family: Pyrolaceae
Genus: Chimaphila (ky-MAF-ih-luh) (Info)
Species: umbellata (um-bell-AY-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Valley Lee, Maryland

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts

Saint Helen, Michigan

West Branch, Michigan

Statesville, North Carolina

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 24, 2005, kayaker from Milton, VT (Zone 4a) wrote:

Medicinal Uses:
Pipsissewa was much used by many tribes of native North American Indians to induce sweating and treat fevers, including typhus. The plant contains hydroquinones which have a pronounced disinfectant effect within the urinary tract and modern day herbalism mainly employs the plant to treat urinary problems such as cystitis and urethritis.
The whole plant is antibacterial, and has agents that induce urination, cause tissue to contract, induce sweating, cause reddening or irritation when applied to the skin, that act as a stimulant and tonic, and that gradually restore health. A tea is used in the treatment of various problems related to the urinary system, it is also prescribed for more serious conditions such as kidney stones and gonorrhea. A decoction is very e... read more