(Chimaphila umbellata) Wintergreen family

Flowers - Flesh-colored, or pinkish, fragrant, waxy, usually with

deep pink ring around center, and the anthers colored; about 1/2

in. across; several flowers in loose, terminal cluster. Calyx

5-cleft; corolla of 5 concave, rounded, spreading petals; 10

stamens, the filaments hairy style short, conical, with a round

stigma. Stem: Trailing far along ground, creeping, or partly

subterranean, sending up sterile and flowering branches 3 to 10

in. high. Leaves: Opposite or in whorls, evergreen, bright,

shining, spatulate to lance-shaped, sharply saw-edged.

Preferred Habitat - Dry woods, sandy leaf-mould.

Flowering Season - June-August.

Distribution - British Possessions and the United States north of

Georgia from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Also Mexico, Europe,

and Asia.

A lover of winter indeed (cheima = winter and phileo = to love)

is the prince's pine, whose beautiful dark leaves keep their

color and gloss in spite of snow and intense cold. A few yards of

the trailing stem, easily ripped from the light soil of its

woodland home, make a charming indoor decoration, especially when

the little brown seed-cases remain. Few flowers are more

suggestive of the woods than these shy, dainty, deliciously

fragrant little blossoms.

The SPOTTED WINTERGREEN, or PIPSISSEWA (C. maculata), closely

resembles the prince's pine, except that its slightly larger

white or pinkish flowers lack the deep pink ring; and the

lance-shaped leaves, with rather distant saw-teeth, are

beautifully mottled with white along the veins. When we see

short-lipped bees and flies about these flowers, we may be sure

their pollen-covered mouths come in contact with the moist stigma

on the summit of the little top-shaped style, and so effect



(Azalea nudiflora) Heath family

Flowers - Crimson pink, purplish or rose pink, to nearly white, 1

1/2 to 2 in. across, faintly fragrant, clustered, opening before

or with the leaves, and developed from cone-like, scaly brown

buds. Calyx minute, 5-parted; corolla funnel-shaped, the tube

narrow, hairy, with 5 regular, spreading lobes; 5 long red

stamens; 1 pistil, declined, protruding. Stem: Shrubby, usually

simple below, but branching above, 2 to 6 ft. high. Leaves:

Usually clustered, deciduous, oblong, acute at both ends, hairy

on midrib.

Preferred Habitat - Moist, rocky woods, or dry woods and


Flowering Season - April-May.

Distribution - Maine to Illinois, and southward to the Gulf.

Woods and hillsides are glowing with fragrant, rosy masses of

this lovely azalea, the Pinxter-bloem or Whitsunday flower of the

Dutch colonists, long before the seventh Sunday after Easter.

Among our earliest exports, this hardy shrub, the swamp azalea,

and the superb flame-colored species of the Alleghanies, were

sent early in the eighteenth century to the old country, and

there crossed with A. Pontica of southern Europe by the Belgian

horticulturalists, to whom we owe the Ghent azaleas, the final

triumphs of the hybridizer, that glorify the shrubberies on our

own lawns to-day. The azalea became the national flower of

Flanders. These hardy species lose their leaves in winter,

whereas the hothouse varieties of A. Indica, a native of China

and Japan, have thickish leaves, almost if not quite evergreen. A

few of the latter stand our northern winters, especially the pure

white variety now quite commonly planted in cemetery lots. In

that delightfully enthusiastic little book, "The Garden's Story,"

Mr. Ellwanger says of the Ghent azalea "In it I find a charm

presented by no other flower. Its soft tints of buff, sulphur,

and primrose; its dazzling shades of apricot, salmon, orange, and

vermilion are always a fresh revelation of color. They have no

parallel among flowers, and exist only in opals, sunset skies,

and the flush of autumn woods." Certainly American

horticulturists were not clever in allowing the industry of

raising these plants from our native stock to thrive on foreign


Naturally the azalea's protruding style forms the most convenient

alighting place for the female bee, its chief friend; and there

she leaves a few grains of pollen, brought on her hairy underside

from another flower, before again dusting herself there as she

crawls over the pretty colored anthers on her way to the nectary.

Honey produced from azaleas by the hive bee is in bad repute. All

too soon after fertilization the now useless corolla slides along

to the tip of the pistil, where it swings a while before dropping

to earth.

Our beautiful wild honeysuckle, called naked (nudiflora), because

very often the flowers appear before the leaves, has a peculiar

Japanese grace on that account. Every farmer's boy's mouth waters

at sight of the cool, juicy May-apple, the extraordinary pulpy

growth on this plant and the swamp pink. This excrescence seems

to have no other use than that of a gratuitous, harmless gift to

the thirsty child, from whom it exacts no reward of carrying

seeds to plant distant colonies, as the mandrake's yellow,

tomato-like May-apple does. But let him beware, as he is likely

to, of the similar looking, but hollow, stringy apples growing on

the bushy Andromeda, which turn black with age.

>From Maine to Florida and westward to Texas, chiefly near the

coast, in low, wet places only need we look for the SWAMP PINK or

HONEYSUCKLE, WHITE or CLAMMY AZALEA (A. viscosa), a more hairy

species than the Pinxter-flower, with a very sticky, glandular

corolla tube, and deliciously fragrant blossoms, by no means

invariably white. John Burroughs is not the only one who has

passed "several patches of swamp honeysuckles, red with blossoms"

("Wake-Robin"). But as this species does not bloom until June and

July, when the sun quickly bleaches the delicate flowers, it is

true we most frequently find them white, merely tinged with pink.

The leaves are well developed before the blossoms appear.

Concerning azaleas' poisonous property, see the discussion under

mountain laurel that follows.