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Spotted Wintergreen and Poke Root

judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,484 admin
edited January 8 in Plants, Seeds, & Roots

I just stumbled across a beautiful patch of spotted wintergreen, often called pipsissewa, or Chimaphila maculata in the NC sandhills. The property owner wants to kill everything off next spring... probably with round up. So, I may have 5-8 ounces of this as dried herb if anyone one wants to buy some. I've also identified several poke plants, so I can dig some poke roots - winter killed, so good roots right now. They also have English ivy, holly, dogwood, pine and cedar. Obviously, they won't kill the trees, but I could get some bark or pitch if anyone wants any. I think $5 for a half ounce would be fair based on the wintergreen - small plants, so it would take a lot to to make an ounce... and a lot of stooped digging. If interested, let me know these are good medicinal herbs that don't grow where I live.


  • Gail HGail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    The pipissewa is a nice find! Do you think the property owner would allow it to be dug up? If so, maybe a native plant group could take it and propagate it before it's destroyed.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,484 admin
    edited January 8

    Yes, I can transplant it, but it won't survive the winters where I live. If anyone would like live plants, I could wrap the roots in a damp paper town, put the plants in a plastic bag, then send via priority mail so they should arrive in 1 - 3 days. Winter is a good time for such.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,887 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 Why do you think it wouldn't survive where you are?

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,916 admin

    I saddens me so when people go into an area and start to strip it, but when people cam go in and save and share some, that is fantastic! I will take some of what ever you have available and may ask a few of my herbal friends what they may need too.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,484 admin

    I can try a couple. But, this is a super acidic pine barren with an almost pure sand soil and no hard freezes. That is the opposite of the mountains.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,887 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 I have found pipsissewa growing in coastal areas here in BC and on Vancouver Island where they get frost but generally not hard freezes. I think it likes acidic soil cause it seems to grow with the mosses and other acid loving plants here (huckleberries, blueberries, etc.). But it might not like the sand. Most of the soils that I find it in are more moist than dry. We have quite a bit throughout the province. Its a different species, though. Chimaphila umbellata. There is another less common species, Chimaphila menziesii, but it is mostly in southwestern BC, not as far north as I am.

    @Denise Grant Logging is a major industry in my province. It is always hard to see an area logged when it has been so familiar for so many years. However, when we can go in ahead of time and harvest as much as possible before the logging occurs, that can be a bountiful harvest. My daughter is a logger (she runs heavy equipment), so she lets me know in advance of where the cut blocks are going to be and I can go in and harvest. There is less concern about over-harvesting when you know it is only going to be destroyed anyway.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,484 admin

    Clear cuts are also good to pick as they grow back. With each succession of plants that colonize them, you'll find a bounty of new herbs.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,916 admin

    @torey I have also talked to neighbors when IO know their land will be harvested to collect any native plants.

    Another place I look and ask about is when new construction is going in or houses are being torn down. Save when you can.

    I believe in loggiing when its done properly. Living in my area there is constant logging. Some do a great job and some... It's sad. Across the road they logged and left a mess. I knew ther company thye hired and knew it would not be pretty. I asked if I could go in and rescue anything and tidy up. My grandfatehr was a logger - I admire your daughter for working in this field. Its long hours and hard work.

  • lewis.mary.elewis.mary.e Posts: 199 ✭✭✭

    I miss wintergreen plants so much! I remember chewing on the berries when I would walk in the woods. I grew up in Maine, but the area of Minnesota I live in now doesn't seem to have native wintergreen plants.

  • TaveTave Posts: 587 admin

    @lewis.mary.e I do too. My Dad used to take us on walks through the woods and teach us which plants are edible. Wintergreen was my absolute favorite.

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