Spotted Wintergreen - Striped Prince's Pine - Pipsissewa
Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen) Family
Flowers occur in the spring as small terminal clusters of 1 to 5 heads. The clusters extend above the top leaf whorl. The color is pink or white, fragrant and nodding. Petals number 5 and sepals number 5.
The Cree Indians called these plants Pipsisikweu, meaning "it-breaks-into-pieces," because they believed the plants were effective in breaking down kidney stones and gallstones. The tonic was still a popular home remedy in the early part of the century, but today the leaf extract is used merely to flavor candy and soft drinks. In Colonial times, the leathery leaves were also used to make a poultice to treat bruises and skin irritations.